The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is a civil rights bill currently in both the House and Senate that addresses the needs of individuals with disabilities who require long-term care. It intends to keep the civil rights of those individuals intact by keeping them from institutions and strengthening the Olmstead requirements. The bill contains multiple components:
- State/local governments and insurance providers cannot refuse community-based services to people with disabilities
- State/local governments and insurance providers cannot engage in discriminatory behavior with regards to community-based services such as cuts or caps, waitlists, eligibility criteria, or payment structures; neglecting to provide certain services; or requiring service delivery in a disability-specific setting
- States/local governments are required to analyze the accessibility of integrated settings with regards to employment and transportation
- Regulations must be issued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on housing and community-based-long-term services
- Requirements for all states to be in compliance within 12 years, incentives for the ability to request increased funding for states in compliance
- Enforcement by the DOJ and the ability to file a civil suit if the statute is violated
In the Senate, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for review. In the House, the bill has been referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. The committees have not yet taken any further action on the bill, but there is a chance it will die in committee and it is important that you contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the bill! Be sure to check out this DIA fact sheet too!