We are collaborating with the Disability Organizing Network and California Independent Living Centers to give input on voter reform in our area. Please email us your story (or the story of a person with a disability who you support) about any barriers to casting an independent and private ballot because of:
- distance from polling places
- lack of transportation
- living in an “all vote by mail precinct”
- someone who claims they never received their mail ballot, or
- any other accommodation issue related to voting.
Voting is an important right for all citizens regardless of disability. Help us give input to the voting authorities to improve access to voting. The turnaround time is quick! Please share your story by Friday, July 3rd.
In your email, please include your name, complete physical address, phone/or email address, and 1-2 paragraphs. This is so we can follow up with you if we need more details. When your story is submitted from us, we will remove your contact information and your story will be confidential.
Please send your story to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-893-8527
Systems Change Coordinator
Disability Action Center (formerly ILSNC)
1161 East Ave., Chico, CA 95926
169 Hartnell Avenue, Suite 128, Redding, CA 96002
V/TTY (530) 893-8527 ex. 110
AB 449 CA (2015-16 Session)
Why is this bill needed?
This bill will harmonize with recently enacted legislation, The Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (ABLE), which allows individuals who became blind or disabled before reaching age 26 to create tax-free savings accounts.
Purpose of the bill:
According to the author, “In California many people with disabilities and their families depend on a variety of public benefits for income, health care, food and housing assistance provided by the state and federal government. There are strict eligibility requirements for public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP), CalFresh and Medi-Cal, which often don’t allow an individual to have more than $2,000 in savings. To remain eligible for these public benefits, an individual cannot save for the future. AB 449 will give eligible Californians with disabilities access to federally recognized 529A ABLE accounts. The California ABLE program will be administered by the State Treasurer, who also administers 529 college savings accounts. Eligible individuals and families will be allowed to establish ABLE savings accounts that will not affect their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits. However, pursuant to federal law once an ABLE account reaches $100,000 SSI benefits are suspended until the balance goes below that amount. The ABLE Act recognizes the extra and significant costs of living with a disability. These include costs related to raising a child with significant disabilities or a working age adult with disabilities, for accessible housing and transportation, personal assistance services, assistive technology and health care not covered by insurance, Medicaid or Medicare. AB 449 will provide people with disabilities and families raising a child with disabilities an opportunity to save money without being penalized with loss of public social services.”
Additionally, the measure provides that any moneys in an ABLE account, contributions to, and distributions for qualified disability services from, that don’t exceed $100,000 will not count toward determining eligibility for any state or local means-tested program. Maximum contribution of $14,000 per year.
Who will be qualified?
An individual who is blind or disabled, with onset before the age of 26 can qualify. The individual must be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, or have a disability certificate on file with the Internal Revenue Service.
Which services can the disabled person receive?
Funds may be spent on education; housing, transportation; employment training and support; assistive technology and personal support services; health, prevention, and wellness; financial management and administrative services; legal fees; oversight and monitoring; and funeral and burial services.
Who will administer this program?
Accounts will be administered by the State Treasurer
Limited Budgetary Impact
According to the Franchise Tax Board, AB 449 will result in revenue losses of $100,000 in 2015-16, $400,000 in 2016-17, and $900,000 in 2017-18.
Progress in the Legislature
Passed the Assembly on a vote of 79-0 Will be heard in the Senate starting this week. No opposition is expected
Details are available at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_0401-0450/ab_449_cfa_20150622_110619_sen_comm.html
Disability Action Center directly interacts and impacts the lives of people with disabilities and seniors in our communities.
Another aspect of our direct support is our active outreach program to reach out even more to our communities.
On June 17th our staff met with folks in the areas of Glenn and Siskiyou counties in Orland, Willows, Elk Creek, Grindstone Rancheria, Yreka, and Montague.
A part of our outreach plan is to schedule a day to come to one or some of our communities to share information, schedule presentations, meetings, and work directly with organizations, people with disabilities and seniors.
If you are interested in learning more about our community services, schedule a presentation or meeting, give us a call at (530) 242-8550.
Many times small business owners do not wish to spend the necessary amount of cash to retrofit their businesses to be fully accessible to people with various disabilities. Here is a link to a new video which shows small business owners how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On February 24th we asked 6 questions for Lyme Disease Awareness. 19 people responded. 1 diagnosed with Lyme Disease. The percentage for each question and overall knowledge of and about Lyme Disease was only 16%. Our Chico office has a Lyme Disease support group that meets each month. A lot of education and support is shared. Next support group is 6/15 between 2-4 pm on Monday. If you wish details of the survey questions themselves, please respond to the post and we can post additional information.