May 012012

A few months ago, I wrote about the plight of Charles Van Heuveln, a man with a physical disability who had worked for many years as a school aide. He was being forced into retirement and poverty because Minnesota’s Medicaid buy-in program (Medical Assistance for Employed Persons with Disabilities) was not available to anyone over age 65. His story earned a lot of local media attention and it served as a catalyst for legislative efforts to change the law. Yesterday, Governor Dayton signed a human services bill that includes provisions allowing workers with disabilities to remain on the buy-in past age 65 if they choose to keep working. Another provision allows workers with disabilities to keep their retirement savings once they do stop working.

Congratulations to all the advocates–including Van Heuveln–and legislators who worked together to pass this legislation. Little by little, workers with disabilities are beginning to enjoy the same benefits of working as their able-bodied counterparts. I look forward to the day when I can retire without worrying about losing my nest egg.

This post is part of Blogging against Disablism Day.

  2 Responses to “Advocacy Works”

  1. Excellent news! It’s nice to hear some good news for people with disabilities coming out of the US…

  2. Mark that is absolutely great news!

    I can personally attest to the simple fact that advocacy works in the UK. Several years ago I desperately needed help with disability benefits for mental health problems. I was lucky enough to find an extraordinary team in Glasgow who helped me then.

    Sad to say that, with the current UK government’s witch-hunt & vilification of the disabled, they are helping me yet again.

    The message is there in your title – Advocacy Works.

    Thanks for sharing this news with BADD 2012.

    Cheers! 🙂

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