May 2020 Newsletter
A Father’s Concerns Over Medical Rationing
After reading a story that medical rationing was occurring in other parts of the country due to Covid-19, a concerned father called P&A. Although everyone in the family was currently healthy, he has a son with cognitive disabilities and wanted to know how he could prevent his child from being denied top quality health care if he were to get ill. This is a concern that many people have during this uncertain time, but is especially worrisome for those with loved ones whose disabilities prevent them from understanding their medical care or making medical decisions.
The information and referral team at P&A was there to help. They informed him of what is currently going on in South Carolina, what policies and laws exist and educated him on his right to request accommodations in a hospital if needed. His reply was simple and meaningful “Thank you for taking the time to send this out….Knowledge is power.” Knowing your rights is very important and indeed can be very powerful. If you have questions or concerns about your rights during Covid-19, visit our new resource page or call our information and referral team for help.
Do You Know About “PUA”? Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Attention part-time and gig workers, self-employed, new employees, laid-off and furloughed employees, independent contractors . . . .
If you are NOT eligible for state unemployment benefits in SC, you MAY BE eligible for federal PUA benefits. If you are unemployed or underemployed (have fewer hours) as a result of COVID-19, PUA can provide a portion of SC’s weekly unemployment benefit PLUS the $600 per week made available through the federal CARES Act.
SC Department of Workforce and Employment began accepting applications for PUA on April 25. PUA benefits are retroactive to the week ending February 8. Go to https://dew.sc.gov to see PUA FAQ sheet on COVID-19 Resource Hub (click on “INDIVIDUAL”); or call 866-831-1724.
(Note: If you get SSI, unemployment benefits are “unearned income” for SSI purposes and may reduce your SSI check. Consult with your benefits specialist to learn how to address the effect of PUA on your SSI payment and Medicaid.)
Absentee voting by mail can be a safe way to protect your right to vote. Voters may request an absentee ballot in person, by phone, by mail, or by contacting your county voter registration office in the county in which you are registered. Go to: https://www.scvotes.org/absentee-voting for more information.
Are Residential Facilities Safe?
People are appropriately worried about the safety of their loved ones living in residential settings during the Covid-19 pandemic. So far P&A has surveyed over 40 residential facilities to find out what policies and procedures they have in place to keep both staff and residents safe as well as find out what equipment needs they have. We are reporting this information back to state agencies so they can make sure providers have the information and equipment they need. If you work for a residential facility you can take our survey online.
If you are worried about a loved one in a facility you can report your concerns to P&A firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-275-7273 or file a complaint through one of the agencies below:
• SC Department of Health and Environmental Control
• Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
• SC Long Term Care Ombudsmen
It might be the last thing on your mind right now, but hurricane season officially starts June 1. Now more than ever, it is important for us to be prepared. Evacuations during Covid-19 will cause new challenges and people need to review and update their hurricane plan. Here are some great resources for you.
Thank you so much for all the support we received during Midlands Gives! P&A raised a total of $6,748. This money will enhance our ongoing advocacy for services protecting the rights of people with disabilities in South Carolina.