Final Public Charge Rule Adds Critical Protections for Immigrant Families

By Katherine Villeda, Colin Reusch: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Late last week following guidance from the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security released the final Public Charge Rule, taking an important step forward to undo the harm caused by the previous administration’s rule which significantly threatened access to critical services for immigrants and their families. This final rule adds critical protections and affirms that immigrants and their families can safely access health, housing and nutritional programs to which they are entitled to without fear of consequences to their immigration status.     

Here is what advocates need to know:  

  • The final rule goes into effect Dec. 22, 2022. Between now and then, the field guidance from the 1999 rule will continue to be followed.  
  • Immigrants and their families, including citizen children, can safely access non-cash health, nutritional and housing programs they qualify for, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Section 8 housing assistance. Benefits received from these programs will not count towards the public charge test. 
  • Applying for benefits, being approved for benefits, assisting someone else to apply for benefits, or being in the same household as someone who receives benefits will not be counted towards the applicant’s immigration application.  
  • The only programs that can be considered in a public charge determination are Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, state and locally funded cash assistance for income maintenance, and long-term institutional care paid for by Medicaid (this excludes short term or rehabilitative care and home and community-based services). However, getting these benefits does not automatically make someone a public charge. Other factors such as when benefits were received, length of receipt of benefits, education, skills, income and affidavit of support will be taken into account before making a public charge determination. If a public charge determination is made, immigration officers must now state their reasons as to why someone is a public charge.  

A further analysis of the final rule can be found here.   

At a wheelchair rally, Inglis House residents protest the sale of their home

by Harold Brubaker: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Financial capitalism at its worst…

Residents fear the loss of a way of life if the facility is sold to Tryko Partners.

A group of Inglis House residents took to the sidewalk in West Philadelphia Friday afternoon to protest the planned sale of the home they deeply appreciate to a for-profit organization from Brick, N.J.

They said they fear the loss of so much they love about the nursing home at 2600 Belmont Ave., which specializes in the care of people with paralysis and impaired mobility. High-quality food, computers, museum visits, music, and shopping trips — things they may not find at other homes that can accommodate their physical needs — are some of the amenities that residents dread losing if the sale happens.

“Now it’s going to change, and not for the better,” said Annette Davis, who has lived there for eight years.

Inglis Foundation announced the sale of Inglis House in July to Tryko Partners, a fast-growing for-profit that already owns 10 facilities in the Philadelphia region. Inglis management said at the time that the nursing home loses so much money that it will eventually jeopardize the entire organization, which also provides community services and develops low-income housing for individuals with disabilities who don’t need nursing-home levels of care.

A contentious issue is the Inglis Foundation’s $240 million endowment. Management says only a slice of it is restricted to the nursing home and will continue to support the nursing home after the sale.

Family Caregiver Services by State

From The Family Caregiver Alliance: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Our Family Caregiver Services by State tool helps you locate public and nonprofit programs and services nearby, no matter where you live in the United States. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal, in-home, out-of-home care, and more. Caregiving is challenging, but there are resources to help. Choose a state in the dropdown menu, or click on a state in the map for state-specific resources, then filter by topic to help you find what resources are available to help with your situation.

Select a state…

The best way to get a crying baby back to sleep? Researchers say they’ve figured it out

By Jordan Mendoza: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nearly every newborn parent has dealt with it: a crying baby that just won’t go to sleep, or an infant who wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t let anyone go back to bed.

Regardless of the countless hours of sleep lost, people have endless amounts of remedies and tricks to get a baby back to sleep. Now, researchers say they have figured out – scientifically – the best way to get a newborn back in their crib, and it involves moving around.

The findings, published Tuesday in the peer reviewed journal Current Biology, suggest the best method is to hold a crying baby and walk with them for five minutes. After that, researchers say to sit and hold the baby for five-to-eight minutes before putting them to bed. The walking-to-sit method even worked in the daytime, the results showed.

10 TikToks to Watch If You’re Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts Right Now

By Sky Taylor: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. If you need support right now, you can call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line if you are in the U.S. A list of crisis centers around the world can be found here.

When people are struggling, especially with their mental health, we tell them to reach out. Talk to someone. Tell a trusted adult. But the unfortunate reality is that not everyone has a person they can text when suicidal thoughts get too loud and the pain gets too heavy. Even if someone has a great support system, when you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, feeling like a burden can make it incredibly difficult to reach out. And yes, crisis lines exist, but they have a time and a place (and plenty that needs fixing). Sometimes you just need the face of another person who understands, spending 60 seconds with you, being supportive and empathetic.

That’s why I’m thankful for TikTok, and especially these videos. People can say what they will about screen time and mindless scrolling, but there are far more destructive coping mechanisms, and I’m certainly not one to judge. I know how lonely and isolating living with suicidal thoughts can be. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve watched these videos on repeat, and how many times they’ve saved me. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts right now, I want you to know I see you. And I hope you find as much comfort and support in these videos as I have. Save them, bookmark them, come back to them when you need to, they’ll be here.

1. POV: You see us struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A wildly popular mental health advocate with years of lived experience, Jazz Thornton is always there to remind you the world is better with you in it. The way she uses her story to help so many who are struggling with such dark thoughts, is inspiring. This point-of-view style video, talking di

Medicare Assistance Programs Go Unused Despite Need

By Julie Carter: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Older adults and people with disabilities may face barriers to programs that could help them pay for Medicare and other basic needs, like food, housing, and utilities. These challenges range from confusing or restrictive application and eligibility rules to simply not knowing about a program’s existence. As costs continue to rise, it is increasingly important to ensure that people who need help get it.

For example, Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) pay Medicare premiums for eligible enrollees and, in some cases, cover cost-sharing like copayments and coinsurance. But MSP enrollment is consistently low, despite widespread efforts to increase use and outreach. This is likely from a combination of people not knowing about or understanding the program and administrative inefficiencies like complex enrollment or asset documentation processes. Medicare Rights continues to suggest ways states could address these problems and increase MSP uptake, like making better use of existing technology and data, implementing automatic renewals, increasing income eligibility thresholds, and removing asset limits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is another critical but under-enrolled program. Food insecurity is widespread among older adults with an estimated 9.5 million people 50 or older and 5 million people 60 or older facing limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Despite this need, SNAP participation rates for the older adult population are low, with an estimated 29% of those eligible participating. In a series of reports earlier this year, AARP explored the reasons for this and identified several policy changes that could bolster older adult participation: higher eligibility limits, outreach to eligible people, streamlined application processes, and increased minimum benefits.

Other benefit programs are also underused by older adults, leaving many struggling to afford basic needs. Medicare Rights recommends contacting your local Area Agency on Aging and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), as well as using online tools like Benefits Checkup, to see if you or a loved one are eligible for assistance programs in your area. Eligibility rules and access vary by state and community, so we advise people to check even if they feel certain they do not qualify.

A Tinnitus Epidemic is the Awful Sound of Hearing impaired America

By ScottCDunn: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If your ears are ringing, you know what I’m talking about.

There is an epidemic of tinnitus. Millions of people hear a ringing or rumbling in their ears with greater frequency than before. Some studies estimate that 15% of people worldwide suffer from tinnitus.

I have tinnitus. My ears simulate the low hum and rumble of the Starship Enterprise, all the time. I have a ringing in my ears, too. I wear a hearing aid due to a defect from birth. I have one good ear, and it’s not really that good. The other ear is 90% deaf, but it hears my shaver better than my good ear. And I wear a headset while talking to customers at work.

I’m a techie. My job is to fix software that monitors and provides remote access to very large data storage systems. I use Zoom 5 days a week. During these meetings, some people are loud, some people are quiet. Some people like their notifications from Outlook to be loud. Some of them work from home. They have kids playing, dogs barking, or an argument in the next room.

I don’t listen to music at work over my headphones. The reason is that I can’t objectively measure the volume of the sound in my ears. I have to use some other device, some other measuring stick to determine just how loud things are in there. And if I can’t do that, then I risk damaging my already damaged ears.

I know I’m not the only one. I know that millions of Americans, whether they’re working from home or not, are listening to their headphones at work, mostly too loud. And work is just the start.

I walk every day now. I needed to get off my butt and walk around my neighborhood because I live an otherwise, sedentary life. While I’m out walking, I see other people walking with their dogs, their families, and maybe their friends. But if they’re walking alone, they have AirPods in their ears. They have some kind of earbud sticking out of their ears. And I don’t think they’re a very good judge of the volume they’re playing, either.

Apple is already upselling with a new feature, “hearing enhancement”. For a few years now, we’ve had hearing aids with Bluetooth built in so that you can connect your hearing aids to your phone, and by extension, your music. That might be a safer option, but I’m not convinced. I know how tempting it is to turn it up.

Kids growing up today see their parents wearing earbuds. They see parents tuning out the world for their music, their podcasts, their phone calls, and their content. And I’m not so sure this is the future we want.

When I walk, I listen to my mind. I play music in my head. I plan for the future. I solve problems. I wear my hearing aid to hear the sounds around me. I look around to see what we call “progress”. I’ve watched sewers grow from nothing. I’ve watched streets get paved. I’ve seen the houses go up. I don’t need music or someone else’s voice in my ear when I walk. I want to hear the approaching cars.

But when I work, I still have to deal with people who aren’t mindful enough to turn off their notifications. I still have to deal with people who lack microphone presence, have thick accents, terrible diction, or have poor communication skills.

Michiganders with disabilities are living in poverty, struggling to afford basics

By Nushrat Rahman: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Jamie Junior is in the market for a wheelchair accessible van but the cost is steep — up to $50,000 for a used one.

In the meantime, Junior relies on the city of Detroit’s paratransit services to get to and from work. But the system is not efficient, she said. 

Junior has cerebral palsy and osteoarthritis.  To use the city’s paratransit service, she must be up at 5 a.m. and may not get home until 7 p.m. It can take up to half an hour to commute the 8 or so miles to her job, and when she’s done with her shift, she waits another 30 to 45 minutes to get picked up, then another hour or more back home. 

Transportation — and just getting around one’s neighborhood — is a big barrier for people with disabilities, she said. It’s one of the challenges, advocates say, that contributes to the financial instability nearly half of people with disabilities in the state face. 

Add rising costs, trouble finding work and difficulty getting affordable housing and economic hurdles are that much harder to navigate.  

“If you are lucky enough to be in the middle class and live in a two-income household, you get some relief. But again with inflation being what it is right now, if you want to be in a position to build wealth — which would require you to own a home and things like that — you’re up against the gun,” said Junior, 46, of Detroit. 


WRITTEN BY: Kylie Miller: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Good to see Detroit Disability Power as a leader in this critical initiative…

Next week, September 12th to 16th, is Disability Voting Rights Week. Learn more about it through this episode with Lilian Aluri from AAPD’s REV UP Campaign, Dessa Cosma from Detroit Disability Power, and YT Bell from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The transcript for this episode is available here.

Additional Resources:

The unexpected star of NASA’s Webb images — the alt text descriptions

by Theresa Vargas: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A team in Baltimore was responsible for the words that made the stunning photos accessible to everyone.

In the days since NASA publicly shared stunning images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope, people have oohed and aahed. They have marveled at the breathtaking beauty of those photos and the significant lessons about the universe that might exist in those crisp cosmic details.

But it’s not only the photos that have wowed people.

Many have also been struck by the thoughtful descriptions that have accompanied them.

“If anyone ever tells you alt text isn’t important, show them @NASA’s alt text for the #WebbSpaceTelescope images,” Kate Meyers Emery tweeted. “They are able to convey the wonders and beauty of these in words, making these breathtaking views accessible.”

“This isn’t just a stunning picture from @NASA, it’s a brilliant example of how to use alt text,” the Royal National Institute of Blind People tweeted. “Do you agree?”