The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The bill includes many important provisions that will assist people with disabilities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. For example, the bill includes additional federal Medicaid support for home and community-based services, additional funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, additional funding for schools, and stimulus payments which include adult dependents.
“We thank the House for this much needed relief in order to continue to support people with disabilities during the pandemic,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “The virus is still with us which means that we must continue to be vigilant on both the health and economic fronts. This bill will assist the nation by ensuring further safeguards are in place to mitigate the impact of the virus on our communities.”
The bill also includes a critical increase in the minimum wage while also phasing out section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, a provision that permits employers to pay some people with disabilities even less than the minimum wage. Any effort to increase the federal minimum wage must include an elimination of 14(c) and we applaud the House for including this provision in their package.
NDRN and the Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System have also been advocating for dedicated funding to support the important cross disability work of the P&As during this time. We once again urge that a final package include this dedicated funding so the P&A can address issues arising from the pandemic.
# # #
The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.