Feb 27 2003

Federal Grant Aids Disabled Workers

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced South Carolina will receive a $500,000 grant to increase services for workers with disabilities and help others return to work without risking the loss of their health benefits. The funds are part of a $2.5 million package the Department of Health and Human Services awarded to five states, including Indiana, Maryland, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The funds can be used to build programs that allow people with disabilities to purchase affordable health coverage through Medicaid, support programs that provide personal assistance in the home or office, train workers, improve transportation for people with disabilities, or aid other programs that facilitate integrating people with disabilities into the workforce. “We have a responsibility to ensure that every South Carolinian who wants to work has the opportunity to do so, and is not penalized for contributing to the economy,” Graham said. “I think this demonstrates a commitment from the Bush Administration and the Congress to assist every American and ensure people are given every opportunity to succeed.” The grants support President Bush's New Freedom Initiative to eliminate barriers for people with disabilities. It also helps advance the goals of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 to ensure people with disabilities can retain their Medicare, Medicaid or similar health benefits if they return to work.