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 current federal fiscal year (FY 2013) began on October 1, 2012. Funding is being provided through a continuing resolution in effect through March 31, 2013. Spending rates are slightly higher than the previous year.

Congress passed a compromise bill, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, to deal with many of the impacts of the “fiscal cliff.” As part of the fiscal cliff deal, the required spending cuts (often referred to as “sequestration”) have been delayed until March 1, 2013. By finding ways to save $24 billion, the amount of required cuts has been reduced from $109 million to $85 billion. Congress and the President must continue to deal with very difficult decisions about tax changes and cuts in spending which could affect many disability programs and public benefits. Medicaid is exempt from sequester spending cuts.

On February 4, 2013, the President signed a bill (HR 325) that suspends the federal debt limit through May 18, 2013 and also would temporarily withhold Congressional pay if Congress fails to adopt a budget resolution for the 2014 budget by the April 15 deadline. To read the bill, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas .

As this issue of Slice of PIE goes to press, Congress has two key budget issues to address: 1) Whether to postpone or replace the planned March 1 spending cuts (sequester); 2) How to fund the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 after March 31.

read the bill

In the January 26, 2013 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) published notice that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved the renewal of the Consolidated and the Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) waivers. DPW said that CMS approved these waivers with an effective date of July 1, 2012.

The Consolidated waiver can be found at www.dpw.state.pa.uslearnaboutdpw/waiverinformation/consolidatedwaiver forindividualswithintellectualdisabilities/index.htm.

The P/FDS waiver can be found at www.dpw.state.pa.us/learnaboutdpw/waiverinformation/personfamilydirectedsupportwaiver/index.htm.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has issued a new Administrator Interpretation that expands the Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) current language to include adult children who are unable to care for themselves because of a mental or physical disability and whose disabilities occurred before or after the age of 18.

The previous interpretation of the law was unclear as it applied to adult children with disabilities. This Interpretation also clarifies FMLA-protected leave for a parent is not dependent on the age of the adult child and the onset of their disability, and broadens the definition of “disability” to reflect the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Ultimately, this Interpretation means that more parents will be able to take FMLA- protected leave from their jobs to care for their adult children with disabilities.

Learn more about the FMLA and this new Administrator Interpretation.

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has put out a report, Subminimum Wage and Supported Employment, that makes recommendations on the use of the law that allows employers to pay people with disabilities a wage that is below minimum wage in certain situations. The report recommends that the rule, called Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, should be gradually phased out through change and reform efforts. The report also recommends that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) improve opportunities for higher education, post-secondary training and transitions for people with disabilities. In addition, stakeholder involvement and expanded supported employment will be needed.

view the report

The federal fiscal year ends on September 30 and a new budget should begin on October 1. In recent years Congress has not passed the appropriations bills by that date and has instead used extensions until a budget was passed. None of the disability program bills has been acted upon. Before the summer recess, the 112th Congress struck a tentative deal to fund the government into the next fiscal year through a continuing resolution through March, 2013, with spending rates slightly higher than the FY2012 levels. The deal was reached to avoid the threat of a government shutdown just before the upcoming 2012 general elections, and to allow the next Congress and President to deal with very difficult spending and tax decisions.

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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