Covid-19 Disability Call-In Day: #WhatWeNeed is HCBS Funding


August 4, 2020 | by Jerome Palliser

Covid-19 Disability Call-In Day: #WhatWeNeed is HCBS Funding

Today, we’d like to share the below critical action alert from the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL). Access Living is a member of the NCIL network.

Action Alert from the National Council on Independent Living:

Today, August 4, 2020, NCIL is joining other disability organizations to host a disability community call-in day to urge the Senate to include funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) in the coronavirus relief bill being negotiated.

Targeted funding for HCBS is critical to keeping disabled people out of congregate settings where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. Last week the Senate introduced their new COVID-19 relief package, the HEALS Act. Unlike the HEROES Act, which the House passed back in May, the HEALS Act does not include ANY HCBS funding. Read more in last week’s alert.

Take Action

Contact your Senators to tell them #WhatWeNeed is #HCBS funding! Even if you have already contacted your Senators, they need to hear from you again. Make sure to tell them why Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) funding is critical, and that it MUST be included in the next COVID-19 package! It’s urgent that they hear from as many of us as possible, as soon as possible, to ensure that dedicated HCBS funding gets included in the final bill.

Participate in the Call-In Day! Find out more information at the Facebook event. RSVP and share widely!
Email and tweet your Senators directly.
Call your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and asking to be connected to your Senators.
Get your Senators’ direct phone number, email and social media handles at

A sample script and sample tweets are below. See additional sample materials.

Please also consider contacting Senate leadership and Senate Finance Committee leadership as well.

Senate Leadership is:

Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader (R-KY)
Chuck Schumer, Minority Leader (D-NY)

Senate Finance Committee Leadership is:

Chuck Grassley, Chairman (R-IA)
Ron Wyden, Ranking Member (D-OR)

We especially need people from the states whose Senators are on the Finance Committee to spread the word:


Easy Call or Email Script:

Hi, my name is (NAME), and I’m from (CITY, STATE).

I am (calling / writing) as your constituent to urge you to include funding for home and community based services in the COVID-19 relief bill. The need for dedicated HCBS funding is more urgent than ever. We have seen rampant rates of infection and death in nursing facilities and other congregate settings. Many disabled people rely on HCBS to live in their own homes, but people are struggling to stay in the community. Without more funding, many more people will be forced into congregate settings, where they will be at much greater risk of catching COVID-19. HCBS funding is desperately needed to ensure we can stay safe in our own homes. The House included funding for HCBS in the HEROES Act, but the Senate did not include it in the HEALS Act. It is critical that the Senate include dedicated HCBS funding in the final package.

Thank you for your time, and I hope I can count on you to protect your disabled constituents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Your name)

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL OR EMAILING: please leave your full street address and zip code to ensure your call or email is tallied]

Sample Tweets:

[Your Senator’s Twitter Handle] #WhatWeNeed is dedicated #HCBS funding in the HEALS Act so disabled people can access the services we need safely at home, not in institutions with severe #COVID19 outbreaks.

[Your Senator’s Twitter Handle] #WhatWeNeed is dedicated #HCBS funding. HCBS gives me the power to [your story here]

The original action alert can be viewed at this link. Please share this action alert with fellow advocates. Thank you.