What do we want? Community Support! When do we want it? Now! Thank you to everyone who showed their support of the Key Campaign! Alaskans who want to help make a difference can contact their legislators at any time of year, and let them know they support the Key Priorities of the Key Campaign. A simple way to do this is by submitting a Public Opinion Message (POM) form to your Legislator.
1,200 individuals were on the waitlist in FY06. Thanks to Senior and Disabilities Services’ commitment to draw between 17-20 individuals a month off the waitlist, the number of Alaskans waiting for services has dropped dramatically. However, the longer the 662 individuals sit on the waitlist, the more the cost to the State increases. Without supports, young people sit at home, losing all the skills they developed during their school years. Family members neglect their own health trying to “do it all,” especially as they and their loved ones face the challenge of aging.
Many families save for the educational needs of their children through “Section 529” college tuition plans. However, these plans often do not fit the needs of their children with severe disabilities who need long term services and supports of the Medicaid program and the income assistance of the Social Security program. Adults with disabilities also want to save for their own needs. HB 188 and SB 104 will allow individuals with disabilities whose disabilities occur before age 26 and their families, access to accounts that would allow individual choice and control while protecting eligibility for Medicaid, Social Security, and other important federal benefits for people with disabilities. In creating ABLE Accounts, the legislative intent is to provide secure funding for disability-related expenses on behalf of designated beneficiaries with disabilities that will supplement, but not supplant, benefits provided through private insurances, the Medicaid program, the Social Security program, the beneficiary’s employment, and other sources.