United Spinal Assn

 

AbleRoad – the website and smartphone app that connects people with accessible places is looking for 100 enthusiastic reviewers from the United States interested in telling others about their positive and negative accessibility experiences at restaurants, stores, theaters, hotels, airports, sports facilities, professional offices, and just about any place.

If you’re interested in sharing information about the accessibility of your community or places you travel with wheelchair users and others with disabilities while advocating for more access and exposing wrongdoing with the possibility of a financial reward, email AbleRoad’s CEO Kevin McGuire at kmcguire@mcguireassociatesinc.com.

Imagine a reliable source for access information before you step out your door.

  • Financial rewards are available to those who care about access to public facilities
  • AbleRoad is website and app which posts your reviews on the accessibility of any public space or business
  • The app is available is available for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle
  • AbleRoad makes Yelp and AbleRoad ratings available on the same screen

Kevin McGuire, a wheelchair user himself, wants you to help him help others with disabilities by acknowledging businesses that provide excellent service and access and alerts you to those that don’t.

Sincerely,

James Weisman
EVP & General Counsel
United Spinal Association

http://www.silcga.org/2063/

Resources for Families Who Have Children With Special Needs

pfc

Resources for Families Who Have Children With Special Needs

 

PFC works exclusively with families who have children with special needs such as Autism, ADHD, Emotional/Behavioral Disorders, Physical Disabilities, and Developmental Disorders. Our goal is to make the process of locating, hiring, and retaining specialized care for families who have children with special needs as easy and stress-free as possible. We provide unparalleled personalized attention to each family and take the pain out of screening, scheduling, and vetting potential candidates. All candidates have specialized degrees and experience working with children who have special needs undergo an extensive screening process to ensure only the best possible matches for families. Our staff will also personally meet with families in the Metro Atlanta area for a more in-depth understanding of the needs of the family. To learn more, check out our website www.professionalfamilyconsultants.com

Proxy Caregiving Information

There was a bill passed a few years ago through the Georgia State Legislature that allows for proxy caregivers to be trained to carry out things like bowel, bladder and trach care.  To find out more about this very important issue, click here.

How to protect vulnerable children from credit reporting problems

In an effort to better protect children in foster care from credit reporting problems that could compromise their future credit, we’re publishing action letters for child welfare caseworkers to use if they find errors on the credit reports of the children in their care. The letters apply to both minors and older youth over 18 who remain in foster care.
Check out the action letters:

consumerfinance.gov/blog/how-to-protect-vulnerable-children-from-identity-theft

We’re also publishing tip sheets for parents and foster care caseworkers to help young people start and maintain good credit. For caseworkers, it provides instructions on how to check the credit records of youth in foster care and respond to errors or evidence of identity theft. For parents, the tip sheet explains how they can check to see if their children have a credit report and what to do if their children’s credit has been compromised.

Check out the tip sheets:
consumerfinance.gov/blog/how-to-protect-vulnerable-children-from-identity-theft

We hope you’ll find these materials useful and that you will share these with your colleagues.

Thank you,
Sarah Bainton Kahn
Office of Financial Empowerment
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Letter from labor and other “progressives” undercut disability rights community

During the action, ADAPT met with the Department of Labor and personally urged them to delay implementation of the FLSA companionship rules because states had not gotten the guidance they needed to assess the cost, much less figure out how to pay for it. On May 12th, shortly after the action, NCD also issued a letter urging DOL to delay implementation of the rules.

http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2014/05122014/

 

On May 13th, labor and progressive groups issued their own letter which said, “there is no evidence to support the fear that guaranteeing minimum wage and overtime for home care workers will result in higher rates of institutionalization”. In fancy-speak, that’s labor, PHA, Hand-in-Hand, Caring Across Generations and La Raza saying that the concerns being raised by the disability community are just some “irrational fear”.

Frankly, that’s offensive and smacks of disempowering ableism.

This is a perfect example as to why ADAPT “visited” the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights during the action. The disability rights community will never be a valued and equal member in the broader civil rights community as long as other civil rights and progressive groups feel empowered to undercut us like this. We look forward to the Leadership Conference helping to bridge this divide and clarify that disability rights are civil rights.

Back to the letter from labor and the progressives… so WHO are the “disability and consumer advocates” represented on the letter? As far as we can tell, NONE of them are authentic, credible, disability-led organizations.

If you are or know of someone who may be affected by this ruling, you are urged to write your own letter to Secretary Perez.  His address is as follows:

The Honorable Thomas E. Perez
Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210

 

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU STUDY FINDS MEDICAL DEBT OVERLY PENALIZES CONSUMER CREDIT SCORES

Study Finds Credit Scores Underestimate Creditworthiness for Consumers Who Owe and Repay Medical Debt

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a research report that found consumers’ credit scores may be overly penalized for medical debt that goes into collections and shows up on their credit report. According to the study, credit scoring models may underestimate the creditworthiness of consumers who owe medical debt in collections. The scoring models also may not be crediting consumers who repay medical debt that has gone to collections.

“Getting sick or injured can put all sorts of burdens on a family, including unexpected medical costs. Those costs should not be compounded by overly penalizing a consumer’s credit score,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Given the role that credit scores play in consumers’ lives, it’s important that they predict the creditworthiness of a consumer as precisely as possible.”

The study, “CFPB Data Point: Medical Debt and Credit Scores,” can be found at: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/reports/data-point-medical-debt-and-credit-scores/

Consumers’ three-digit credit scores are based on information in their credit reports, compiled by credit reporting agencies, also called credit bureaus. These scores play an increasingly important role in the lives of American consumers because most lenders decide to grant credit and set interest rates based on them. When overdue debt goes to collections and ends up on a consumer’s credit report, it decreases a consumer’s score. This means lenders are likely to take more caution when lending money because the consumer is perceived as less likely to pay it back on time.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Board, over half of all collections on credit reports are associated with medical bills. The vast majority of medical debt reflected on credit records is reported by third-party collection agencies. In some instances, the consumer may not even be aware of a debt that has been sent to collections or that it is on their credit record. A collection account generally can stay on a report for up to seven years.

Many current credit scoring models do not differentiate between medical and non-medical debt in collections. This is true even though medical debt is different than other unpaid bills reported by collection agencies, such as unpaid phone or utility bills. Medical debt can result from an event that is unpredictable and costly. Sometimes the debt is caused by billing issues with medical providers or insurers. Complaints to the CFPB indicate that many consumers do not even know they have a medical debt in collections until they get a call from the collections agency or they discover the debt on their credit report.

Today’s study considered 5 million anonymized credit records from September 2011 to September 2013 to assess how well a common credit score predicted a consumer’s future likelihood of paying back debt. To do that, the study looked at the credit histories and scores of consumers in September 2011 and then examined their actual loan payment patterns over the next two years.

The study found that credit scoring models have not been considering medical debt as well as they could be. It found that if the credit scoring models accounted differently for medical debt in collection and medical debt that is repaid by the borrower, the models could be more precise. Specifically:

• Credit scores may underestimate creditworthiness by ten points for consumers who owe medical debt: Treating medical and non-medical debt that goes to collections the same overly penalizes some consumers by giving them lower credit scores. Specifically, the study found that consumers with medical debt generally paid back their loans or bills on par with consumers with scores about ten points higher. Allowing for different treatment of medical and non-medical collections in credit scoring models may increase the scores of consumers with medical collections and improve credit scoring.

• Credit scores may underestimate creditworthiness by up to 22 points after paying off medical debt: Traditionally, credit scoring models have not accounted for repayment of medical debts in collections. The study found that consumers who subsequently paid medical debt that had gone into collections were more likely to pay back their debts, on par with consumers with scores 16 to 22 points higher. Allowing for different treatment of paid and unpaid medical collections would likely result in increased scores for consumers who have paid their medical collections in full.

For consumers with lower credit scores, especially those on the brink of what is considered subprime, a ten- to 22-point difference can affect their interest rates and ability to borrow credit. Over time, the score difference could end up costing a consumer tens of thousands of dollars on large loans like home mortgages.

In 2012, the CFPB released a study examining credit scores that compared credit scores sold to creditors and those sold to consumers. Later that same year, the CFPB released a report on the consumer experience with the three largest nationwide credit reporting companies. The CFPB accepts consumer complaints about credit reporting.

The CFPB is the first federal government agency that supervises consumer reporting companies.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov.