President Obama unveiled his proposed budget for 2015 on March 4, 2014. The proposed budget serves as a starting point for negotiations as Congress works toward passing an appropriations bill to fund government activities in 2015. The president’s proposal includes:
- $400 million in increased funding to the Social Security Administration for pilot programs to help people with disabilities remain in the workforce: These may include supported employment services for people with mental disabilities, employer incentive programs, and assistance to states in coordinating services to workers with disabilities.
- Creation of a Disability Innovation Fund within the Department of Education that would support projects to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities: Projects would include improving access to postsecondary education and employment, improving services for people with disabilities already in the workforce system, and supporting the Promoting Readiness for Minors in Supplemental Security Income (PROMISE) pilot program. The PROMISE program, which began in 2012, provides grants to four states and one regional collaborative of states to operate demonstration projects aimed at improving education and employment programs of children with disabilities enrolled in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. In addition, the Administration for Community Living would receive funding to develop best practices in supporting youth and young adults in areas such as health, community living, and employment.
- An increase in mandatory funding for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to $20 million each year for the next five years: These centers help streamline access to communityMARCH 26, 2014 POLICY UPDATE - Employment, Health Care & Disability | MARCH 26, 2014 2 based long-term supports and services for aging adults and people with disabilities. These services are often vital in order to enable people with disabilities to find and retain employment.
- A $4 million increase in funding to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), which would go toward strengthening research on improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
- Expanding the Money Follows the Person program, which helps people with disabilities transition from institutional settings to supported living in the community: Under this program, people with disabilities may access community-based supports and services using state funding that otherwise would have funded their placement in a nursing home or intermediate care facility.
The White House has published a fact sheet on the impact of its budget on its web site. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2015/assets/fact_sheets/expanding-opportunities-for-people-with-disabilities.pdf