CBS News: The cuts to a major disability program in Trump’s budget (6/1/2017) The Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposes to cut $72 billion from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) over the next ten years. SSDI provides benefits to American workers with a life-altering illness or disability. SSI provides basic support to low income seniors, low income children, and adults with disabilities. Justice in Aging’s Kate Lang said, “I feel like there’s a lot of language being used that reflects attitudes that somehow people with disabilities are faking it or are slackers or just don’t have the right attitude. Unfortunately there is a certain lack of sympathy or understanding of what life is like for people with disabilities, it seems.”
Medicaid is under attack from all directions. From the proposal to impose cap Medicaid funding in American Healthcare Act (AHCA) and the drastic cuts proposed to Medicaid in the Trump Administration’s budget proposal, the threats to Medicaid are widespread. For older adults, Medicaid is a lifeline that ensures access to critical medical care and long-term services and supports. Slashing Medicaid would impact the entire health care system, including for those who have Medicare.
Title III of the Older Americans Act (OAA) vests the Legal Assistance Developer (LAD) with a big job: to develop a statewide vision for the delivery of legal assistance to older adults with the greatest social and economic needs, and then implement it.
California has the highest rate of senior poverty in the nation; increasingly more older Californians struggle to make ends meet and stay in their homes, and senior homelessness is on the rise. Over a million California seniors and people with disabilities rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help them meet their basic needs. There are people who depend on SSI to survive in every community in the state. The majority of SSI recipients are women, and the program is critical for many people of color and people with limited English proficiency. It’s also an essential safety net for nearly 300,000 California retired older adults who receive some Social Security, but not enough, because they worked in low-wage or seasonal jobs, or stayed home from work to care for family members.
Please use this new Justice in Aging SSI fact sheet for California that shows who relies on SSI, why it’s important, and the dangers cuts to the program would pose for low-income individuals, families, and communities.
With leaders in Congress intent on cutting benefits like SSI, it’s critical that advocates proactively educate lawmakers, the media, and fellow advocates about the important role SSI plays in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in our state can meet their basic needs for shelter, food, and other necessities. Given the significant number of low-income older adults in California, Justice in Aging recently launched two new projects to improve access to and utilization of SSI benefits among older adults across the state. We are building a strong coalition of statewide advocates who are informed about and trained in the details of the SSI program, including how SSI reduces homelessness, and working toward systemic improvements of the program.
Justice in Aging seeks a litigation attorney with five to ten years of experience to join our Washington, D.C. office. The successful candidate will work closely with the Litigation Director and the Litigation Team in developing and pursuing high impact cases that defend the rights of older adults. The litigation attorney will work closely with attorneys in our three offices (Washington, DC, Oakland and Los Angeles) on issues related to health, economic security and preserving the social safety net for seniors.
Justice in Aging (formerly known as the National Senior Citizens Law Center) uses the power of law and our expertise in safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to fight senior poverty. We have a rich tradition of successful, high-impact, strategic advocacy on behalf of the more than 6 million seniors living in poverty in America. Our litigation program has a reputation for successfully using the courts to protect the rights of older adults. We partner with advocates on the ground to monitor legal issues that impact our clients and advance litigation to address problems that arise. In the last decade, Justice in Aging’s litigation team has returned or preserved more than two billion dollars in safety net benefits for seniors and people with disabilities living in poverty. This position presents an excellent opportunity to contribute to this impactful work in a time when the challenges to the safety net seniors rely on could not be greater.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidate review will begin on June 26, 2017. Questions about the position can be directed to Regan Bailey at email@example.com.
The litigation attorney will handle litigation in federal and state courts, with a focus on federal litigation.
The attorney will have responsibility for the development and prosecution of cases, including research, investigation, discovery, motions practice, trial and appeal. In addition, the attorney will participate in negotiating possible settlements in lieu of trial.
The attorney will work closely with the Litigation Director and members of the Litigation Team, as well as partnering advocates in multiple jurisdictions.
The attorney will work with other Justice in Aging team members to advance other Justice in Aging policy objectives.
As needed, the attorney will supervise other attorneys, pro bono attorneys, fellows and law clerks.
Some travel may be required.
- Juris Doctorate, with admission in the DC Bar (or eligibility for admission).
- Five to ten years of hands-on litigation experience (may be partially fulfilled with other relevant experience). Experience in the federal bar, in complex system reform litigation and/or a judicial clerkship are highly desirable.
- Familiarity and passion for civil rights protections and public entitlements applicable to older adults (e.g. Medicaid, Social Security, or the Americans with Disabilities Act).
- Commitment to advocating on behalf of marginalized communities.
- Collegial, collaborative approach. Ability to provide technical assistance and legal advice to advocates with competence and generosity of spirit.
- Strong legal writing, analytical and advocacy skills.
- Ability to work independently and meet deadlines with a high quality work product.
Salary for this position will range from $75,000 to $94,000, based on a fixed salary scale. Justice in Aging also offers a competitive benefits package, including health, dental and life insurance; flexible reimbursement plan; 403(b) retirement savings plan; and generous vacation policy.
Please submit the following to Katrina Cohens, firstname.lastname@example.org: cover letter that describes your interest in this particular position, résumé, one writing sample, and three professional references. In your cover letter, please address the following in order for your application to be considered:
At Justice in Aging we advocate for older adults, particularly those in populations that have traditionally lacked legal protection, such as women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. To promote social justice and best achieve our mission, Justice in Aging is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How do you think your personal or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion?
Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff and we particularly encourage applications from members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.
La Opinion: Piden que gobernador restaure cobertura completa de Denti-Cal (5/24/2017) Justice in Aging’s Amber Christ is quoted in this article regarding decreased Denti-Cal funding in California. The program, which covers about one-third of adults in California, suffered deep cuts amid a fiscal deficit in 2009. Many treatments required by adults are not covered. “It only includes complete dentures that really encourage providers to pull all the teeth out of someone’s mouth, even those teeth that are healthy, so that people can have the benefits that dentures cover,” said Amber Christ of Justice in Aging.
California Healthline: CMS Gives States Until 2022 To Meet Medicaid Standards Of Care (5/24/2017) The Trump administration has extended the deadline that requires states to meet Medicaid standards of care from 2019 to 2022. Justice in Aging’s Eric Carlson says that even with the extension there is still a lot of work to be done to bring states into compliance. “The state is going to have to pick up the pace to meet the even more relaxed deadlines. Even the current timeline doesn’t give us much margin for error.” The federal standards require states to provide beneficiaries with access to community life participation and ensure they have more housing options besides a nursing home.
Money.com: 5 Things to Know About Trump’s New Budget Plan (5/23/2017) President Trump’s budget proposal cuts an additional $610 billion from Medicaid along with the $839 billion in cuts under the American Health Care Act. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, a program for American with significant disabilities that prevent them from working, will also be reduced. Additional proposed changes to SSDI include testing “new approaches to increase labor force participation.” Justice in Aging’s Kate Lang said that, “beneficiaries already get regular re-evaluations to maintain eligibility.”
–Advocates Oppose Key Provisions in the American Health Care Act–
Washington, DC—More than 75 national organizations sent a letter to Senate leadership today, urging them to reject the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and to engage in a transparent, bipartisan dialogue on needed reforms to enhance health care access and affordability. The letter voices opposition to provisions in the AHCA that undermine Medicare’s financing and risk access to essential care for people with Medicare and Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act imposed a small tax increase on the highest earners that helped put Medicare on stronger financial footing. The AHCA’s repeal of this tax will result in lost revenues, causing the Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) Trust Fund to become insolvent two years earlier than anticipated. The letter expresses alarm that Congress would knowingly vote to undercut the Trust Fund.