2020 Kansas Disability Caucus

Categorized: Independent Living

The 2020 Kansas Disability Caucus has been cancelled due to concerns about the Coronavirus.  However, plans are being made to hold some caucus sessions virtually.  More information on that will be released soon.  Please see this cancellation announcement for more complete details.

SNAP Program Benefits & Eligibility Update

Categorized: Independent Living

All households participating in SNAP will get the maximum benefit per their size beyond May. Emergency allotments for SNAP food assistance are extended on a month-by-month basis. For example, a household of one will now automatically get their monthly food benefits increased to $194. Families of four will get $646 per month.

Now is the time to apply for SNAP food assistance. More Kansans will get more food benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, many Kansans were not accessing SNAP. Two in three eligible seniors did not participate last year. The emergency allotments will also boost the food budgets of many working families and individuals with disabilities who receive small amounts of benefits per month.

By applying for SNAP, you’re also helping your community and local economy. Participation numbers help your school district qualify for universal free meal programs (i.e. CEP). In times of economic hardship, food benefits keep our local grocery stores afloat. SNAP participants pumped $265 million into the Kansas economy last year. These pandemic-related SNAP provisions will add well over $100 million more benefits this year. For every $1 of SNAP food benefits you spend at the store, you will be generating $1.70 of economic activity.

How to apply:

  • DCF’s self-service portal at: cssp.kees.ks.gov
  • Paper applications are available outside DCF service centers. You can leave your completed application(s) in drop boxes outside the centers.
  • Harvesters Community Food Network can help you apply via phone: (877) 653-9522
    More information: harvesters.org/Get-Help/Snap

You can see the State’s Emergency Food Assistance Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Don’t miss the Shawnee County Research & Extension’s event on Monday, April 27, at 3 p.m. with Harvesters and Wesley House for a LIVE SNAP application walk-through and updates on SNAP during COVID-19: https://www.facebook.com/events/711941599548949/

Stimulus Checks for SSI Recipients

Categorized: Independent Living

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that individuals receiving SSDI and/or SSI will automatically be sent stimulus funds.   However, those who have who have qualifying children under age 17 must enter information as soon as possible to receive the $500 per dependent rebate.  Those who have dependents should visit the IRS website and complete the steps listed there.

Here’s the information you will need to have ready:

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one (otherwise you will be sent a check)
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one (If you don’t have one, leave it blank)
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse

Local COVID-19 Resources and Services

Categorized: Independent Living

We have started a list of localized resources, services, and changes to businesses, agencies, and other organizations on our resource page.  Remember to check it often as the information changes quickly. If you know of a resource in your area please share it with us by commenting here or emailing us with the details at info@rcilinc.org

 

Travel to Provide HCBS

Categorized: Independent Living

RCIL has received some phone calls from concerned Direct Support Workers regarding the need for travel documents while they are working for their consumer during “stay at home” ordered periods. RCIL has received official direction from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services that Home and Community Based Services (HCBA) are considered essential healthcare. KDADS said, “We are being assured by the Emergency Operations Center that there will be no widespread efforts to stop folks to ensure they are out and about for an “essential” reason. We have seen the letters that other industries have been issuing to their employees and we have been told those will not be necessary. At this time, I would just assure consumers and DSWs that they can perform their essential travel/duties. If something changes, we will let everyone know.”

Consumers and Direct Support Workers – here’s an important list of Self-Direction-Preparation tasks to keep in mind to prepare and protect yourselves during this COVID-19 health crisis.

Do you have an issue or a goal that you need some assistance to achieve? Perhaps you can’t afford that piece of medical equipment you need? Is your goal is to make a cake, learn how to budget, or find a job? RCIL’s Independent Living Specialists work with people with disabilities to help them resolve their issues or achieve goals by developing an independent living plan (ILP). The ILP involves individuals identifying their goal and steps to take to achieve that goal.

Why should you develop a plan? Having a plan written down with a set date for accomplishment can gives you something to plan and work towards. It can also help you to stay focused, motivated, and it can be a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish. When the plan is accomplished, it can build your self-confidence as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you have set.

How do you develop a plan? First you will need to identify your number one issue or a goal you want to achieve. Then write your SMART goal on paper. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Oriented. For example, instead of saying “find a new place to live” as a goal, use SMART goal to make it more powerful such as “I want to live in an apartment within walking distance to a grocery store by March 31, 2020.” When a SMART goal is written, list all of the steps you need to take along with target dates to complete them. Next, make a list of things that may interfere with your plan and how to overcome those barriers. When your plan is developed, place it where you will see it daily as a reminder and motivation. You can share your plan with your family and friends who will give you support and assist you when needed. They can also help your accountability to follow through with your plan.

What should you do when you accomplish your goal? When you have achieved your goal, take the time to enjoy and celebrate what you have accomplished!

If you are a person with a disability and need assistance to achieve your goal, contact RCIL at 1-800-580-7245 and an Independent Living Specialist will assist you.

The Kansas Disability Caucus, Inc. Board has five positions up for election each beginning January 1, 2020 for a two year term. They are seeking individuals who want to join the group to organize and coordinate activities that promote independent living of all people with disabilities through collaboration, networking, education, planning, and peer-to-peer interaction, including the Disability Caucus held during even numbered years. The Kansas Disability Caucus supports and encourages successful outcomes for people with all types of disabilities of all ages, especially encouraging the involvement of young adults.

For more information or if you would like to apply, view the application here. The deadline to submit the application is December 1, 2019.

Do you have a mobility – related disability and are looking to lose weight?  You may be eligible for the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Study.

This weight management program provides diet guidance, physical activity and social interaction without leaving your home!

All participants must be over the age of 18 with a mobility related disability, and open to:

  1. Being randomized to either individual home visits or group participation via video conferencing
  2. Recording food and beverage intake, and participate in physical activity eithter self monitored or via group video

Participants will learn behavioral strategies from a trained health educator with compensation for their participation in the study.  No travel required.

This program is 18 months and takes place in the home.  Individuals must live within 50 miles of Kansas City or Lawrence.

For more information contact Trish Smith at mighty@ku.edu or call 785-764-1312 or visit www.ebl.ku.edu/mighty.

Mobility Impaired Get Healthy Together (MIGHTY) flyer

 

 

 

The 2019 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15th to December 7th.  Medicare Part D is known as Prescription Drug Plan.  Individuals who have Medicare Part D can explore, compare drug plan options, and choose a plan that will meet their needs during annual enrollment.  The plan they choose will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Contact RCIL at 1-800-580-7245 if you need assistance to enroll in Medicare Part D or change your coverage plans.