Individuals with Disabilities Assistance program (IDA) provides a small cash benefit to people who have applied for and are awaiting a decision from Social Security. The Social Security application process can take months, leaving some people with disabilities in terrible financial straights. Once an application is granted, the recipient receives Social Security benefits back to the date of application, a portion of which it given to the District to refund the IDA.
We understand from our friends at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless (WLCH) that the IDA program may be cut in the Mayor’s proposal for the 2011 budget. Even if a cut is not in store, recent reductions in funding have left more than 1500 applicants on a waiting list for benefits.
The WLCH is seeking support for this critical safety-net program and urging everyone to email the head of DHS, Clarence Carter at Clarence.firstname.lastname@example.org, the Mayor at Adrian.email@example.com and the City Administrator at Neil.firstname.lastname@example.org. It is important that emails be sent before the budget is finalized on Friday March 19.
At Legal Aid we can attest to the importance of IDA. It provides critical financial support to very vulnerable District residents. Cuts to the program are causing great harm.