April 2021




Vaccinations and Aid for the Disabled

The country is rounding a corner with the pandemic.
eating disorders can cause disability

With the approval of a third vaccine by Johnson and Johnson, increased vaccination sites, and the recent passing of the colossal American Rescue Plan (also known as the COVID-19 relief package), we are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.

Vaccination Protocols

Since many disabled people have underling conditions, a priority has been established to assist in vaccinating those groups of individuals in the first wave of available vaccines. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has designated different “Phases” of eligibility for a vaccine.

People with disabilities can be categorized in any of the phases, but most can qualify under Phase 1c – which includes “high-risk medical conditions.” If someone suffers from a heart condition, diabetes, immunity disorder and other health issues, there is an increased risk associated with COVID-19. As such, the CDC has established a list of underlying conditions that qualify people for the vaccine that are considered “at increased risk of severe illness” from COVID-19.

The list of conditions are: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, immuno-compromised state, obesity, sickle cell, and type 2 diabetes. The list is updated regularly with changes and can be found on the CDC’s website.

Stimulus Relief Bill and the Disabled

Many disabled people rely on home-based health care assistance. Home-based care services were excluded from additional financial support in the earlier COVID-19 relief legislation. With the passage of the American Rescue Plan in March, $350 billion is being allocated to states and local municipalities in large part to fund home and community-based services that assist people with disabilities.

Also, unlike the previous aid which allowed relief only for dependents younger than 17, the new package includes relief for adult dependents, including those with disabilities. They may now qualify to receive $1400. There has also been an increase in the SNAP program. About 20% of people with disabilities receive SNAP benefits. Unfortunately, despite the push by disability advocates, the elimination for the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities failed to make it into the new law.

Resources for Community Outreach

Many social workers and health care providers that serve the disabled may now be tasked with educating their clients on the importance and safety of vaccinating. This can be a daunting undertaking. There are many factors to consider, such as availability, location, transportation to the vaccination site and education and safety concerns.

The CDC has provided a large resource center for community-based organizations to assist in educating your community. The toolkit for community groups provides information on how to start promoting vaccines, resources to communicate with your community, social media tools, printable resources, video resources and more. The information can be found at cdc.govcoronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/toolkits/community-organization.html.



Supporting YOU
Supporting the Disabled

If you have questions or would like to discuss any aspect of disability law with us, we are here to help. There is much aid being distributed to social workers and health care providers currently and as the situation evolves, we offer our services to those supporting the disabled.

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