[Nfbnet-members-list] Legislative Alert - 4/13/2020

Flynt, Stephanie sflynt at nfb.org
Mon Apr 13 21:59:39 UTC 2020

Dear Federation Family:

We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but the advocacy and legislative priorities of the Federation have not been stopped. In fact, we are working harder than ever before to ensure that our rights are protected and that we receive the benefits we need in a timely and efficient manner.

We are currently working to include a provision in the next coronavirus aid legislation that will eliminate the five-month waiting period for SSDI payments as well as the 24-month waiting period for Medicare benefits. If enacted, this provision would amend section 223 of the Social Security Act to include language for a temporary waiver of the waiting period for cash payments for SSDI. We would also propose an amendment to section 226 of the Social Security Act to include temporary waivers of the waiting period for Medicare benefits. Both of these waivers would apply to people with disabilities who are determined eligible between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. In these times of uncertainty it is critical that we have access to these disability and Medicare benefits as quickly as possible. We are asking you to call your senators and representative and urge them to include this provision in the coronavirus aid legislation.

When you call or email, you might say something like the following:

"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am a constituent of [your senator/representative]. I live in [city, state]. I am calling to urge [your senator/representative] to support language that would waive waiting periods for SSDI payments and medicare benefits during this national crisis. It’s no secret many Americans are losing their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including those with disabilities. As it currently stands, persons with disabilities wait up to 5 months before their benefits begin and 24 months before they are Medicare-eligible. To address this situation, the National Federation of the Blind requests the following actions:

For individuals who qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits—The requirement for an initial 5-month waiting period be waived, effective March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. This waiver should be included in Section 223 of the Social Security Act. Similarly, a waiver of the 24-month Medicare waiting period should be included in Section 226 of the Social Security Act.


You can contact your member of Congress by calling the Capitol Switchboard and asking for the office in question. The number is 202-224-3121. If you email your representative or senators, please copy Stephanie Flynt at sflynt at nfb.org<mailto:sflynt at nfb.org>.

While Capitol Hill is physically closed, congressional staff are telecommuting in order to fulfill their responsibilities. Rest assured that your calls and emails continue to make a significant difference.

It is best to call or email the relevant staffer in your member of Congress's office. If you need the name and email of the appropriate staff person for any Senate or House office, please email Jesa Medders at jmedders at nfb.org<mailto:jmedders at nfb.org>.

Stephanie Flynt
Government Affairs Specialist
National Federation of the Blind

P (410) 659-9314, Extension 2210
E: sflynt at nfb.org<mailto:sflynt at nfb.org>



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