UCP Central PA Advocates for the Independence, Full Citizenship, Development, and Support of Individuals with Disabilities

UCP of Central Pennsylvania is an advocate for federal and state legislation and initiatives that promote the independence, full citizenship, development, and support of people with disabilities.

Promoting Independence, Full Citizenship, Development and Support

To that end, we encourage site visitors to join us in advancing our efforts to secure equal and unhindered access to education, employment, transportation, public accommodations, and government services for individuals with disabilities and to support our cause on disability-related issues such as accessibility, equality, and inclusion. We seek meaningful reform through several avenues: legislative advocacy, administrative advocacy, and public awareness and education.

We direct your attention to the following action alerts

The Department of Labor has issued new rules that will require most government contractors to set a goal of having at least 7 percent of their employees be workers with a disability, and at least 8 percent be veterans. Both groups have high unemployment rates at 14.7 percent for disabled workers (nearly twice the rate of 7.4 percent for the general population) and 9.9 percent for veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Labor officials estimate that as many as 585,000 disabled workers and more than 200,000 veterans could be hired if all the companies meet the hiring goals within the first year of compliance. Business groups are trying, before the rules go into effect in six months, to resolve a conflict with federal laws that discourages employers from asking about a job applicant’s disability status.

more information

The Social Security Administration will become the latest federal agency to start using the term “intellectual disability” instead of “mental retardation.” The change reflects the widespread adoption of the term “intellectual disability” by Congress, government agencies and various public and private organizations, including those made under Rosa’s Law. A Social Security official said that advocates for individuals with intellectual disabilities have rightfully asserted that the term ‘mental retardation’ has negative meanings and has become offensive to many people. All references using the outdated language will be changed in the Social Security’s Listing of Impairments and other agency rules. The change will not impact how benefit claims are evaluated.

read the final rule

On September 16, DPW Secretary Beverly Mackereth announced that Pennsylvania plans to submit an 1115 waiver application to the federal government to implement a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Adults up to 138% of the federal poverty level would receive premium assistance to purchase health insurance through private insurance companies on the Health Insurance Marketplace. This approach, named Healthy PA, is similar to the way Arkansas and Iowa plan to expand their Medicaid coverage. “Able-bodied” adults enrolled in Medicaid who do not have a job will be required to sign up for some job seeking programs. Individuals on Medicaid would pay co-pays of up to $25 per month, or up to $35 for a household. The premiums would be on a sliding scale based on income. The number of benefit plans available for adults (but not children) would be decreased. There will be a public comment period on the waiver application. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must approve the application before the program can begin. The Secretary said that the program likely would not be implemented until 2015. Public comments can be sent to RA-PWHealthyPA@pa.gov or sent to: PA Dept. of Public Welfare, c/o Healthy PA, 625 Forster St. Suite 333, Harrisburg, PA 17120.

more information

On March 26, 2013, the President signed a budget bill to fund the federal government until September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Most programs were funded at the same level as the first half of the year—a small 0.6% increase over 2012. But many programs are feeling the effects of “sequestration,” across-the-board cuts, which went into effect on March 1. Mandatory Federal programs will not be receiving spending cuts, but discretionary programs will receive cuts in funding until Congress changes the laws that require it to take place.

In late March, Congress passed legislation that gives some departments in the U.S. government more flexibility in how sequestration cuts are implemented. The legislation also reduced the amount of budget cuts for some programs while increasing the amount of cuts in other programs. Overall, sequestration would lead to about a 5% reduction in discretionary program spending for a full year. But for FY 2013, because the cuts need to be achieved in seven months (March - September) rather than twelve, the amount of spending to be cut is roughly 9%. Programs affected by sequester include Special Education; Medicare providers (limited to a 2% cut), Developmental Disability Councils (PA’s percentage to be cut is 4.47%) and Protection and Advocacy agencies (PA’s Disability Rights Network percentage to be cut is 5.13%). Other programs not affected by sequestration include Social Security, SSI, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) and the PA Department of Aging (PDA) have both reorganized their structure and personnel. The OLTL is no longer under both the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and PDA; it is now is fully within DPW. The PDA no longer shares oversight of OLTL with DPW. Both OLTL and PDA made changes in their Bureaus and Divisions, as well. 

Get the the latest bulletins issued by the Office of Long Term Living.

view revised organization charts

We also collaborate with various local and state organizations

  • Policy Information Exchange (sponsored by the Developmental Disabilities Council)
  • Disability Rights Network
  • The ARC of Pennsylvania

We encourage you to contact your state and national legislators on issues of importance to you

  • Pennsylvania General Assembly
  • United States House of Representatives
  • United States Senate

Get In Touch

UCP Central PA
55 Utley Drive
Camp Hill, PA 17011 map/directions

Local: 717.737.3477
TTY: 717.737.0158
Toll-Free: 800.998.4827
Fax: 717.975.3333

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