April 2020 Council News: COVID Resources

COVID-19 Resources and Information

We at the UDDC recognize that we are all impacted by COVID-19 differently. We also understand that many are working to overcome uneasy feelings, disruptions to our daily routines and concern for our family, friends and communities. As we navigate new challenges, we have collected some tools and resources for you. These resources are found by clicking the links shown as underlined words in each section. We appreciate the members of our community who have shared their experiences and ways to help. We’re in this together.

What are Coronavirus and COVID-19?

The Green Mountain Self-Advocates have put together a booklet to help explain Coronavirus. You can see the guide by clicking here. Thank you to Vermont and the Green Mountain Self-Advocates for creating and sharing this guide created for, and by, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities Self-Determination Channel has created a short video, “Coronavirus: Tips to Staying Healthy.” To view these tips click here. We appreciate this video from our self-advocate friends in Wisconsin.

What is happening in Utah to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

The Federal Government passed a bill called the CARES Act, part of which include sending stimulus payments to every household in America that qualifies. Payments have started being deposited in taxpayers accounts this week for those with direct deposit. Americans who do not have direct deposit will begin receiving checks as early as next week. No action is necessary if you have filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes or if you receive SSI/SSDI benefits unless you have children under age 17. For those SSI recipients with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS web site when claiming children under 17. The IRS’ service line is 1-800-829-1040 for those who may have further questions.

If you have not filed your taxes, need to update your information, or want credit for your dependent, you can input your updated information at the IRS website. According to the Social Security Administration, “People who receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits and who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who have qualifying children under age 17 should now go to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments to enter their information instead of waiting for their automatic $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they will also receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment.” You can read more about that at the SSA.gov website.

The CARES Act also prevents individuals on Medicaid or those who qualify for Medicaid from being terminated from the program. It removed the work requirement during the crisis. During this period of time, Medicaid members do not need to register for work, complete an online evaluation, participate in online workshops or apply for jobs. The CARES Act also increased unemployment payments and extended those who qualify. According to UWIPS, “for SSI recipients who may be eligible for any of these UI benefits, know that UI will still count as unearned income and that your SSI may be reduced or put into suspense during the time you receive UI. For SSDI/CDB/DWB beneficiaries who may be eligible for any of these UI benefits, the amount you get in SSDI/CDB/DWB may impact how much you are eligible for in UI, but whatever amount of UI you are eligible for would have no impact on your SSDI benefit. Additionally, you should still be eligible for the additional $600/week regardless of your base amount.”

Caregiver compensation is allowed during the COVID-19 emergency, up to 40 hours per week based on documented and assessed need. Parents, spouses, and guardians (caregivers) may provide self-administered supported living (SL1) for their individual in-service on the Community Supports Waiver (CSW) and Acquired Brain Injury Waiver (ABIW.) Caregivers may provide personal assistance (PA1) for individuals on the Physical Disabilities Waiver (PDW.) For complete information about this temporary benefit, please visit DSPD Caregiver Compensation Guidance COVID-19 Appendix K Flexibility.

The Division of Services for People with Disabilities has created a COVID-19 webpage to help answer questions for individuals, their families, and service providers related to COVID-19 and people with disabilities served by DSPD. Click here to learn about DSPD’s COVID-19 Information page.

The Utah Parent Center has also created a webpage to support parents, families and individuals with resources and information regarding COVID-19. Click here to learn about UPC’s COVID-19 Resources to Stay Healthy page.

Where can I get mental health resources?

The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health has offered tips to manage stress and anxiety. View these tips on the Your Mental Health and COVID-19 webpage.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has created a resource and information guide to help people cope with stress and anxiety that many people are experiencing during this difficult time. To access the guide, click here.

What can you do?

1) Educate and Advocate! The Department of Health and Human Services issued a bulletin on March 28, 2020 BULLETIN: Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to ensure civil rights protections for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can help educate your networks, hospitals and health care providers so they do not put in place protocols or make decisions based on “stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person’s relative “worth” based on the presence or absence of disabilities.” Please read the “States and Health Care Providers On Avoiding Disability-Based Discrimination in Accessing COVID19 Treatment” (April 3, 2020),” which outlines concrete steps hospitals and health care providers can take to avoid discrimination in urgent medical care. Additionally, the Center for Dignity in HealthCare for People with Disabilities created a helpful reference guide to “Safeguard Against Disability Discrimination During COVID-19” based on the guidance from the HHS Office of Civil Rights. Be an ambassador for rights by sending these documents to your local hospitals and health care providers. You can also share these documents widely to your network of friends using social media so that others are also informed and can share.

2) Send in your stories! Many of your families are experiencing big changes because of social distancing and maybe even access to necessary services and care. The Association of University Centers of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities is collecting stories through an easy to use online template. Click here to share how you are being impacted by COVID-19. We need your stories to educate Congress on how this public health emergency is affecting the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Stories Needed about impact of COVID-19 on People with Disabilities

3) Share information. If you or your loved one lives or works in a long-term care facility (nursing home, intermediate care facility) and is experiencing difficulties related to COVID-19, the Disability Law Center wants to know. You can answer this survey to help DLC advocate for people with disabilities residing in long-term care facilities. There are many other ways to inform the DLC of your situation by email at communityintegration@disabilitylawcenter.org, by phone at (801) 363-1347 and toll free at (800) 662-9080, or by filling out an online form.

Call for Contributions!

Public Comment Opportunities on the Utah Developmental Disabilities New State Plan

The 2022-2026 State Plan Development Survey is Open Now!

If you are unable to attend any of the public comment meetings listed above, you may submit your comments, needs, and thoughts about issues facing our community through the link below. If you need any technical support with this survey or would like an alternate format, please call 801-245-7350 or email uddc@utah.gov

Click here for the 2022-2026 State Plan Development Survey


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