Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Laws Address Disability Discrimination

disability
The Washington State Legislature passed seven new laws to address homelessness and affordable housing, Crosscut. reports. While all seven pieces of legislation are worth taking stock, two of the bills can significantly help people with disabilities; they could prevent permanently disabled citizens from finding themselves homeless.

Washington passed a new ban on source-of-income discrimination, according to the article. It is now illegal to deny a current, or a prospective, tenant housing due to said renter's reliance on Social Security and veterans benefits rental assistance, and Section 8 housing vouchers.

“That kind of discrimination has a disparate impact on people we know are already at a higher risk of housing discrimination — people of color, people with disabilities, single parent-headed households,” says Michele Thomas, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance’s director of policy and advocacy. “If someone goes out with a voucher and a landlord says, ‘I don’t want to rent to you’ because of stereotypes they have in their head, not only is it extremely unfair, it just makes our ability to use the for-profit rental market really inefficient.”


Two Bills for People Living With Disabilities



Previously, the state’s Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) program gave rental assistance only to people with temporary disabilities, according to the article. If a person’s temporarily disabled status were upgraded to permanent, the recipient would lose their rental assistance. Now, a new bill, House Bill 2667 - 2017-18, expands HEN to include people with permanent disabilities, protecting such people from homelessness.

Thanks to another new bill, people with disabilities will have an easier time getting their hands on medical records when applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If an SSI or SSDI applicant wants to apply for benefits or appeal a denial, they must obtain a copy of medical records that prove their disability. Washington House Bill 1239 - 2017-18, waves a $26 fee for obtaining medical records; a cost that some low-income individuals could not cover.

“If we continue to make this level of progress in next session and the one after that, that’s how Washington is going to back out of our crisis and make sure everyone has a chance to live in safe and affordable homes,” says Thomas, who hopes that the passing of new laws is just the beginning of the effort to end the crisis.


SSDI and SSI Attorney



Finding affordable housing can be difficult in every state and it will be interesting to follow this story line to see if other states consider such legislation. If the SSA denied your application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or you are applying for benefits for the first time, The Driscoll Law Corporation can help. Attorney Stephanie Merritt Driscoll can help you or a loved one appeal the SSA’s decision and get the benefits you require. Please contact our office today.

1 comment:

  1. pleasant post, stay aware of this fascinating work. It truly regards realize that this subject is being secured likewise on this site so cheers for setting aside time to talk about this! Website

    ReplyDelete