Interim Disability Assistance (“IDA”) provides essential temporary cash assistance to the City’s most vulnerable disabled residents while they wait – often months or even years – to be approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). $270 per month from IDA (less than 30% of the federal poverty level) is often the only income individuals with disabilities can rely on to scrape by while waiting for the federal government to rule on their disability claim.
Over the last four years, the District’s budget for IDA has been slashed to the bone. The program has been cut by over 70% from FY 2008 to FY 2011. As a result of these cuts, there are currently over 600 people on a four-month waiting list for the program who are struggling to get by on virtually no income whatsoever.
So Others Might Eat (SOME) and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) have released a two-minute video featuring three District residents who have benefited from the IDA program. With the help of IDA, two of the featured former IDA recipients are now receiving SSI, and another was able to receive treatment that helped him overcome his disability. Their stories put a human face on IDA and demonstrate the necessity of maintaining the program. As Mayor Gray prepares to present his budget on April 1, it is critically important that the voices of those who stand to lose the most from an unbalanced approach to the budget be heard and heeded.
Watch the SOME/DCFPI video here, and make sure to share it with others.
Learn more about – and get involved with – the efforts of Legal Aid and other members of the “Invest in DC” Coalition, which advocates a balanced approach to the FY 2012 budget.