Appleseed 2012 Year in Review – Expanding Opportunities for Nebraska’s Low-Income Families

This is part of a series looking back on Nebraska Appleseed’s work in 2012.

Protecting right to treatment for young children with developmental disabilities

lawsuit_gavel-150x150In May, Nebraska Appleseed filed a lawsuit on behalf of two children with developmental disabilities who were denied Medicaid coverage of medical treatments despite the treatments being deemed medically necessary by their doctors.

Read the petition here

The suit, filed against Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service officials, alleges that these denials violate the federal Medicaid Act’s Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) provisions and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The suit requests that the court strike down HHS’s policy of denying necessary behavioral health treatment to children with autism and developmental disabilities.

ACCESS Nebraska

AccessNELogoSmIn 2012, Nebraska Appleseed continued to work on policies that allow all Nebraskans to have a real chance at the American Dream.

During the Legislative session, Appleseed remained engaged in the discussion on the need for improvements to ACCESS Nebraska, the state’s new system to distribute public benefits. Many problems arose when the state reduced the number of caseworkers and moved to an online and phone-bank system.

In October, Nebraska Appleseed attorney James Goddard testified at a legislative hearing urging the need to improve ACCESS Nebraska.  Many other Nebraskans offered stories of their difficulties with ACCESS Nebraska as well.

Appleseed will continue to work with our legislators for meaningful reform to ACCESS Nebraska during the upcoming, 2013 Legislative session.

Bridge Programs

Pages-from-NE-Appleseed-Bridge-Program-Booklet_smAppleseed believes education is the best ladder for people to climb out of poverty.  Better education means better, higher-paying jobs that can support families and allow hard-working Nebraskans to be self-sufficient.  With that in mind, Appleseed worked with the Legislature on the passage of LB1079 which set aside money to create “Bridge Programs.”

Bridge Programs include accelerated degree programs or professional certification programs for working adults with low incomes and offers supportive services to help them achieve these degrees.  By getting more professional skills, these Nebraskans will be qualified for better, higher-paying jobs that lead to self sufficiency and stronger families.

Appleseed put together a Bridge Program Blueprint for Nebraska to guide educational institutions and non-profit organizations to work together to create these new Bridge Programs.

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