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Dear Congress Template Letter Re: REAADI, DRMA & COVID

Dear [Congressman/woman or Senator],

I am writing to you today [as a person with a disability and/or supporting the 61 million people with disabilities across the country], to urge you to enact, fund, and implement all elements of the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) in Disasters Act (HR. 3208 & S.1755) and Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) Act (HR. 3215 & S.1754) in the next COVID-19 Relief Package.

Some main take-away points from the bills that we need NOW during the COVID-19 Pandemic and in preparations for concurrent disasters:

The REAADI Act will:

  • Protect and enforce civil rights obligations for people with disabilities by;
    • Requiring the Department of Justice to examine how the civil rights of people with disabilities and older adults are or are not upheld during and following disasters, and review of ADA non-compliance settlement agreements in preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
    • Government Accountability review of federal funds expended in disasters to ensure compliance with Rehabilitation Act requirements.
  • Amend the Stafford Act to open Category B funding eligibility for nonprofits like CILs, The Partnership, and many more doing on the ground response work.
  • Create Disability, Emergency and Disaster Technical Assistance Centers - a network of centers focused on training, technical assistance, and research to assist states and localities to better involve and support people with disabilities and older adults during times of disasters.
  • Establish a National Commission on Disability Rights and Disasters - to identify the needs and make recommendations for best practices at the local, state (including territorial), tribal, and federal levels for ensuring older adults and people with disabilities are included in all aspects of disaster preparedness.

DRMA will:

  • 100% Federal Matching Payments and Presumptive Eligibility for Home and Community Based Services for States under presidential declared disaster.
  • Provide Healthcare for millions who are eligible without red tape for enrollment.
  • Allow Medicaid to "follow the person in disasters.”
  • Provide a Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Corp - as a pilot program for HCBS Corp to help fill Personal Assistance Services (PAS)  gaps and disruptions during disasters.

Further information to support these points can be found in The Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Legislative Recommendations for Public Health Emergencies and Disasters. Also, plenty of information on these bills can be found at reaadi.com

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