On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. The bill was voted out of committee along party lines and will now go to the full House for a vote. All of the amendments proposed by democrats were voted down, also along party lines.
“…The bill would weaken the protections afforded us under the Americans with Disabilities Act and make it even harder to enforce our rights under the ADA. Twenty seven years after the passage of the ADA, the fact that Congress is working to make it easier to discriminate against people with disabilities is shameful.”
Read more: The Advocacy Monitor.
Charleston, W.Va. – Disasters attract a few trying to help themselves rather than those who suffered losses. Precautions can help those affected by the severe storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides of July 28-29, 2017 avoid being victimized.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) never charges for any of its disaster recovery services, nor does it endorse any commercial businesses, products or services.
West Virginia has a price gouging law that forbids businesses and contractors from raising their prices more than 10 percent above pre-disaster levels. It is enforced by the state’s Attorney General.
State and FEMA officials offer these consumer tips:
When hiring a contractor, ask for proof that the contractor has current general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Ask for references and check them before signing a contract.
Don’t pay in advance for more than half the repair costs. Don’t make the final payment until you are satisfied with the completed work.
Verify solicitations for disaster relief agencies by asking for the charity’s exact name, street address, phone number and web address. Phone the charity directly and confirm that the person asking for funds is an employee or an authorized volunteer.
Request a receipt.
FEMA and the U. S. Small Business Administration deal only with the homeowner or renter, not with an intermediary.
State and federal workers do not solicit or accept money from applicants for disaster assistance.
FEMA inspectors present photo identification. They are assigned to specific properties and have the applicant’s nine-digit FEMA registration number. They make appointments
to meet the applicant at the property. A FEMA inspector’s job is to verify the extent of eligible disaster-related damage. They don’t seek banking or other personal information, nor do they recommend contractors.
If you suspect fraud, call the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. If you are the victim of a home repair scam or price gouging, call the Office of the West Virginia Attorney
General at 800-368-8808.
West Virginia Residents Urged to Register with FEMA
Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia disaster survivors in Harrison, Marion, Marshall and Wetzel counties are urged to register for federal disaster assistance with FEMA.
Individuals and business owners in the designated counties who had severe storm or flood damage may register for assistance the following ways:
• Online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov
• By calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)
o People who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY should call 1-800-462-7585.
o For those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362.
o These toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.
Assistance provided by FEMA for homeowners and renters can include grants for rent, temporary housing and home repairs to their primary residences, as well as other serious disaster-related needs, such as medical and dental expenses or funeral and burial costs.
Healthcare Vote Expected Next Week: The Fight Is Not Over!
- The Senate released their updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (PDF) yesterday, and all of our concerns remain the same. Read the Senate summary (PDF). The new version will still cut Medicaid by $772 billion, with an even more restrictive growth rate and deeper cuts starting in 2025. Fifteen million people will lose Medicaid. The bill also still eliminates the enhanced match for the Community First Choice Option, removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and allows waivers to eliminate essential health benefits, on top of adding a new provision to create separate insurance products for people with higher and lower health needs.
- This new version of the bill has made NO improvements. Despite that, we’re hearing that Republicans who were undecided or even opposed to the previous version of the bill are now leaning toward voting YES. Republicans are reportedly becoming more unified around this new version, and we cannot let that happen!
- The vote is expected to take place next week. That means that we have less than one week to fight this dangerous bill, and every single day counts. We need to make sure our Senators understand how dangerous this bill is for their constituents with disabilities. We need them to understand that we are literally fighting for our lives. And we have less than one week to make sure they hear us.
- Call your Senators by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
- Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.
- Use faxzero.com to fax your Senators for free.
- Find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.
- Please see our previous alert for additional ways to take action. Every single one of us needs to keep the pressure on our Senators! Call often, send emails, keep protesting, and Tweet at GOP Senators; take action in every way you can!
Three West Virginia Centers for Independent Living received 75 manual wheelchairs of various sizes for distribution to those in need. Brynn Hochman and her family from Los Angeles have been working with American Wheelchair Mission as part of a humanitarian Bat Mitzvah project. Initially they focused their efforts to bring wheelchairs to Vietnam, Africa, and Israel. They are now bringing their humanitarian efforts to Appalachia and have partnered with the CILS to identify individuals who need these chairs.
Please call us at (304) 296-6091 or your local CIL for more information. A list of state CILS can be found at: http://nwvcil.org/state-centers-for-independent-living/.