LSA-DN Weekly Update

Disability Network News
Friday, August 14, 2020


Provider Relief Fund Money Still Available

HHS Provider Relief Fund Phase 2 General Distribution Now Accepting Additional Applicants

On July 31, 2020, HHS announced that certain Medicare providers would be given another opportunity to receive additional Provider Relief Fund payments. These are providers who previously missed the June 3, 2020 deadline to apply for additional funding equal to 2 percent of their total patient care revenue from the $20 billion portion of the $50 billion Phase 1 General Distribution, including many Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and dental providers with low Medicare revenues. In addition, certain providers who experienced a change in ownership, making them previously ineligible for Phase 1 funding, will also be given an opportunity to apply for financial relief. As of August 10th, these eligible providers may now submit their application for possible funds by August 28, 2020. This deadline aligns with the extended deadline for other eligible Phase 2 providers, such as Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers.

The Lutheran Services in America Strength & Service Series

Upcoming Series Webinars

Allyship - Fostering Relationships, Lifting Up Voices, Joining In Struggles
Date: August 25, 2020
Time: 1:00–2:30 p.m. EDT
Host: Corey Flournoy, Principal at Creative Outreach Consulting, LLC and Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Groupon

The goal of allyship is to create a relationship in which marginalized people feel valued, supported, and heard. Being an ally is not a label - it is a verb.

Leaders from throughout the Lutheran Services in America network are invited to join an engaging, guided conversation about an important relationship needed for success. Though sometimes difficult to achieve for marginalized employees, allyship can be a dynamic and powerful learning and relationship-building tool. By building meaningful two-way relationships imbued with empathy, allies offer and give each other support and commit to lean on and learn from each other. Allyship can strengthen and change the Lutheran Services in America network for the better across cultural lines. This interactive, 90-minute virtual session will be led by Corey Flournoy, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Groupon and founding partner of Creative Outreach Consulting in Chicago. Register here

A Conversation About the Future of Our Not-for-Profit Senior Living & Care Sector
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Time: 1:00-2:00 EDT
Hosts: Dan Hermann, President and CEO of Ziegler, Lisa McCracken, Director of Senior Living Research of Ziegler

Ziegler, a long-time sponsor of LSA, will outline the key considerations for not-for-profit senior living providers to help balance the demands of the pandemic while staying focused on the big-picture/strategic direction of an organization. In addition, member CEOs David Trost of St. John’s United and Larry Bradshaw of National Lutheran Communities & Services will be present to respond to key discussion points as well as detail how their organizations are positioning for future, long-term viability in spite of COVID-19.

This session is designed for CEOs, CFOs, COOs and Board Members. Register here.

Advocacy Update

The White House and Senate Democrats Fail to Reach Deal on COVID-19 Relief Legislation

Negotiations between the White House and Senate Republicans and Democrats failed to yield a COVID-19 relief legislative package, as the Senate wrapped up its session late last week. The Senate will return if negotiators can strike an agreement, but both sides appear entrenched on major issues, including the overall cost of the package. Republicans will not move beyond a $1 trillion price tag, while Democrats have argued that they have shaved billions off the HEROES Act, the COVID-19 relief bill passed by the House of Representatives in May. There appears to be some bipartisan agreement about the importance of funding for Health and Community-Based Services for inclusion in the Senate legislation, but progress on this funding will not be made without negotiators coming to the table. We continue to urge that the Senate bill address needs most important to health and human services nonprofits or our country’s most vulnerable people as outlined in our key priorities, including forgivable loans for nonprofits of all sizes and additional targeted financial resources for nonprofit front line health and human services providers. We ask that you continue to make our voices heard as negotiations continue. Please join us in sending a message to your Senators by clicking here to use our advocacy tool.

Coronavirus Resources

Lutheran Services in America has compiled a list of COVID-19 news and resources that is regularly updated. In particular, we are tracking philanthropic and federal funding opportunities and requirements for our members and compiling a list of upcoming webinars, meetings, and events. Be sure to check out these pages and feel free to reach out to or with any related questions you have.


Millions Awarded In Rental Assistance For People With Disabilities

Federal officials are sending millions of dollars in rental assistance to help people with disabilities in a dozen states.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said this month that it will distribute $74 million to state housing finance agencies to support about 2,400 housing units for up to five years.

The rental assistance is pegged for extremely low-income individuals with disabilities and is being provided through the agency’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program, officials said.

More from Disability Scoop

COVID-19 Relief talks stumble again as Trump asserts a deal is ‘not going to happen’

A new attempt to restart economic relief negotiations between the White House and Democrats ended just minutes after it began on Wednesday, with President Trump appearing to cast doubt on the whole process by announcing a deal is “not going to happen.”

Just a few days earlier, he had suggested the he was open to a new round of talks.

More from The Washington Post

Standoff over Covid relief could drag into September

White House officials and top Democratic leaders signaled on Wednesday that they can’t agree on what they said to each other, much less forge a compromise, on a Covid-19 relief bill to help the battered U.S. economy or tens of millions of Americans facing financial hardship.

The high-stakes stalemate now appears likely to drag on for weeks, or even into September, according to lawmakers and aides in both parties.

More from Politico

Trump promises permanent cut to payroll tax funding Social Security and Medicare if he’s reelected

President Trump pledged on Saturday to pursue a permanent cut to the payroll taxes that fund Social Security and Medicare if he wins reelection in November, a hard-to-accomplish political gambit that some experts see as a major headache for the future of the country’s entitlement programs. More from The Washington Post

Medicare telehealth expansion could be here to stay. Here’s where things stand

At least 10 million Medicare beneficiaries have used telehealth since early March, compared with about 13,000 weekly appointments pre-pandemic. Lawmakers and regulators are looking at making some of the current expansions permanent.  Among the issues that policymakers would need to address are the cost and quality of remote care, as well as determining which services are appropriate for telemedicine.

More from CNBC


Disability service providers in Minnesota react to emergency funding package

The Minnesota legislature has approved a $30 million relief package for disability service providers after months of asking for help.

Early in the pandemic, the state had shut down programs that serve people with disabilities to slow the spread of COVID-19, and during that time, providers got no financial relief from the state. It took three months of begging state leaders and lawmakers for a lifeboat to come.

More from Channel 5 ABC Witness News

Advocates find ways to protect rights of Ohioans with disabilities during COVID-19

Disability Rights Ohio, a nonprofit designated by the governor, is exercising its legal authority to access facilities across the state, unaccompanied, in order to protect and advocate for Ohioans with disabilities.

More from ABC News 5 Cleveland

Agencies in Colorado adapt amid COVID-19 to deliver services to adults with developmental disabilities

Changes and restrictions to everyday life brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have been especially difficult for those who already face challenging lives.  People with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and the agencies that provide services to them have struggled to adapt to the new normal of social distancing, quarantines and isolation. More from The Coloradoan

Washington Families Say Law Hurts Students With Disabilities

Three families in Washington state have asked a judge to overturn emergency education rules they say have hindered special-education students.

The families say in a complaint that under a new law, the burden of delivering education to special-education students now falls to parents. The request targets new state rules that have relaxed the number of instructional hours schools must provide to students.

More from U.S. News & World Report

Research & Reports

GAO Report on Social Security Disability: Information on Wait Times, Bankruptcies, and Deaths among Applicants Who Appealed Benefit Denials

Individuals who apply for and are denied Social Security Administration disability benefits can appeal the decision. Most applicants who appeal wait more than a year to receive a final disability benefits determination.  GAO finds that:

  • about 48,000 individuals, or 1.3% of applicants, filed for bankruptcy while awaiting a final decision about their disability appeals from FYs 2014 through 2019
  • 109,725 individuals, or 1.2% of applicants, died prior to receiving a final decision about their appeal from FYs 2008 through 2019

More from U.S. Government Accountability Office

Hispanic, Black children at higher risk of coronavirus-related hospitalization, CDC finds

Hispanic children are approximately eight times more likely and Black children five times more likely to be hospitalized with covid-19 than their White peers, according to a study released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report — which used hospitalization data collected in 14 states including California, Georgia, New York and Ohio from March 1 through July 25 — acknowledged that most pediatric cases of covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, are asymptomatic or mild and that hospitalization rates among children remain relatively low. But like covid-19 in adults, Black and Hispanic children are far more likely to experience symptoms warranting hospitalization.

More from The Washington Post

Exclusive: Over 900 Health Workers Have Died of COVID-19. And the Toll Is Rising

More than 900 front-line health care workers have died of COVID-19, according to an interactive database unveiled Tuesday by The Guardian and KHN. Lost on the Frontline is a partnership between the two newsrooms that aims to count, verify and memorialize every U.S. health care worker who dies during the pandemic.

More from Kaiser Health News

Resources, Opinions & Opportunities

It’s time for business to fix the ‘disability inequality crisis’: Activist and entrepreneur

Disability activist, social entrepreneur and founder of The Valuable 500 initiative, Caroline Casey, has told CNBC that business needs to be at the forefront of accelerating change to end the “disability inequality crisis,” as the world emerges from the coronavirus crisis.

More from CNBC

It’s time to end the law that lets businesses pay less to people with disabilities

The continued struggles of women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities to achieve equality in the workplace are partly the result of societal and cultural forces, but they differ in at least one key respect: The law explicitly enables employers to pay workers with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In other words, under the law, individuals with disabilities may earn less than their colleagues who are not disabled due to a trait they cannot change.

More from Fast Company

A persistent New Jersey advocate helped get personal protective equipment for himself and others with disabilities

Tom Spadaro is an advocate not only for himself but for others in the disability community — and his persistence has helped dozens of his neighbors and may end up helping many more across the country.

More from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Lutheran Services in America's Front Line Heroes

Each day, Lutheran Services in America posts a story about heroes working on the front lines. Those posts are meant to celebrate the extraordinary work of Lutheran social ministries, and elevate the commitment to serving communities throughout crises. Read front line hero stories here.

To submit stories front line hero stories, email Caitlyn Gudmudsen at

Upcoming Events

LSA-DN 2021 Winter Meeting
February 2021
Details TBD


For more information on our topic specific work groups, please email Doug Walter at

  • Policy & Advocacy Team
  • Culture and Engagement Workgroup
  • Administrative Cost Survey Working Group

Keep in Touch

Lisa Morgan
DN Convener
Chief Operating Officer, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Mary Mulliet
DN Treasurer
Vice President of Community Services, Samaritas

Doug Walter
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Disability Network, Lutheran Services in America