[Greater-Baltimore] Make a difference for Blind People
nfbmd at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 14 18:22:09 UTC 2020
Here is an opportunity to make a big difference for blind people. Let's let
Congress, in particular, the Maryland Delegation hear from us. Read
Stephanie Flynt's message below and take action quickly. Thanks.
Dear Federation Family:
We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but the advocacy and legislative
priorities of the Federation have not been stopped. In fact, we are working
harder than ever before to ensure that our rights are protected and that we
receive the benefits we need in a timely and efficient manner.
We are currently working to include a provision in the next coronavirus aid
legislation that will eliminate the five-month waiting period for SSDI
payments as well as the 24-month waiting period for Medicare benefits. If
enacted, this provision would amend section 223 of the Social Security Act
to include language for a temporary waiver of the waiting period for cash
payments for SSDI. We would also propose an amendment to section 226 of the
Social Security Act to include temporary waivers of the waiting period for
Medicare benefits. Both of these waivers would apply to people with
disabilities who are determined eligible between March 1, 2020 and December
31, 2020. In these times of uncertainty it is critical that we have access
to these disability and Medicare benefits as quickly as possible. We are
asking you to call your senators and representative and urge them to include
this provision in the coronavirus aid legislation.
When you call or email, you might say something like the following:
"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your
senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your
senator/representative] to support language that would waive waiting periods
for SSDI payments and medicare benefits during this national crisis. It's no
secret many Americans are losing their jobs as a result of the COVID-19
pandemic, including those with disabilities. As it currently stands, persons
with disabilities wait up to 5 months before their benefits begin and 24
months before they are Medicare-eligible. To address this situation, the
National Federation of the Blind requests the following actions:
For individuals who qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits-The
requirement for an initial 5-month waiting period be waived, effective March
1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. This waiver should be included in Section
223 of the Social Security Act. Similarly, a waiver of the 24-month Medicare
waiting period should be included in Section 226 of the Social Security Act.
You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard
and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you
email your representative or senators, please copy Stephanie Flynt at
sflynt at nfb.org <mailto:sflynt at nfb.org> .
While Capitol Hill is physically closed, congressional staff are
telecommuting in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Rest assured that
your calls and emails continue to make a significant difference.
It is best to call or email the relevant staffer in your member of
Congress's office. If you need the name and email of the appropriate staff
person for any Senate or House office, please email Jesa Medders at
jmedders at nfb.org <mailto:jmedders at nfb.org> .
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
P (410) 659-9314, Extension 2210
E: sflynt at nfb.org <mailto:sflynt at nfb.org>
Sharon Maneki, Director of Legislation and Advocacy
National Federation of the Blind of Maryland
The National Federation of the Blind of Maryland knows that blindness is not
the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the
expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles
between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want;
blindness is not what holds you back.
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