Thank you for all your advocacy efforts to date helping to push for some form of financial relief to help avoid long term closures of employment and day services for adults with disabilities. We are asking you to reach out again as we near the end of the current Special Session at the Minnesota Legislature.
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It is best to address an e-mail individually to each of the individuals instead of one e-mail to them all:
1. Speaker of the House Rep. Melissa Hortman: firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winker: email@example.com
3. Rep. Tina Liebling: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Rep. Lyndon Carlson: email@example.com
For Minnesotans with disabilities to have access to meaningful employment and day enrichment services in communities around our state, we need a system of quality service providers to provide those supports. Our state is currently in danger of losing those quality disability employment and day enrichment service providers and I am reaching out to ask you to partner with the Senate to advance their bipartisan proposal for one-time financial relief to avoid the loss of employment and day enrichment services for adults with disabilities.
With the majority of providers of disability employment and day enrichment services having to close most of our services down in mid-March to help avoid the spread of COVID, we have now gone roughly three months without reimbursement for those closed services. Some recent progress has been made with providers and MN DHS working together to operationalize the details of how to provide day time supports, both employment and life enrichment focused, to Minnesotans with disabilities in alternative ways during this pandemic. However even with these new options for services to be provided in alternative ways in limited situations, organizations are still running out of financial resources to weather these past months of lost reimbursement.
Achieve was forced to suspend services for our 195 participants on March 19. As a result, we have lost MA revenue at the rate of about $20,000 per day. To date, we’ve lost nearly $1 million in revenue that we cannot make up. Meanwhile, we’ve continued to incur our fixed costs like rent, insurance, utilities, and vehicle leases, etc. Like other disability service providers across the state, closing down as a result of COVID-19 has caused us financial distress, and we desperately need financial support from the state. Without it, the future of services for people with disabilities is in serious jeopardy.
I am reaching out to ask for your help. Please partner with the Senate to advance their bipartisan proposal for one-time financial relief in the form of disability employment and day enrichment services retention grants to avoid the loss of access to employment and day enrichment services for adults with disabilities.