Dallas Area Interfaith

 
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SW IAF Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress

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SW IAF Draft Letter to President Obama and Members of Congress, July 21, 2014Clergy and institutional leaders of Dallas Area Interfaith and other SW IAF affiliate organizations throughout the United States are preparing to deliver a letter to President Obama and Members of Congress calling for specific actions regarding the mothers, children and adolsecents now detained under terrible considtions at our southern borders. You may DOWNLOAD a copy of the draft letter in PDF, and the full text of the letter is quoted below. If you are a clergy member or institutional leader of any SW IAF affiliate organization like DAI, you are invited to add your name as a signatory to that letter by completing the linked FORM.

The full text of the draft letter is quoted below, and will be printed on the letterhead of the SW IAF.  Logos or other identifiers of SW IAF affiliate organizations may be added for those whose clergy become signatories.

July 21, 2014

Dear President Obama and Members of Congress,

We are distressed by the cries of the young mothers, children and adolescents now detained under terrible conditions at our southern borders. Moreover, we suffer with them. We remember that in many ways, our own government policies have contributed to the untenable conditions now driving the refugees to our gates. They are refugees fleeing the drug and gang wars in homelands that currently boast the highest murder rates in the world.

Our current treatment of these children violates our integrity as a nation and as people of faith: "... show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart." (Zechariah 7:9-10.)

Instead, we strongly urge the following three measures:

1. That the existing law, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008, which applies to children who arrive at our borders, not be weakened or abrogated. Those who come to us seeking refuge should not be returned to their home countries without being given due process which would assure that they will not be returned to child traffickers or to the hands of those who would murder them. Once deemed safe, the refugees could return to their homes.

2. Anyone under the age of eighteen who has survived the perilous trip north must have an attorney, and must never be subjected to expedited processing. These children know they can be killed for speaking out against the gangs, and they have no familiarity with our legal system. To permit the expedited deportation of unrepresented children is unconscionable.

3. Those who would meet the religious needs of the children and families must be allowed access to the U.S. Border Patrol detention facilities and religious, human rights and civic groups must be allowed access to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters for unaccompanied minors. Community leaders can and should provide humanitarian support to the overwhelmed detention centers and shelters.

We take seriously our government's concerns for national security and the orderly control of immigration affairs. However, the solution does not lie in punishing the children.

We must welcome our brothers and sisters.

Respectfully,

 

Skill QUEST $500,000 ACE Grant Award Press Conference

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Skill QUEST ACE Grant Award Press Conference

On Tuesday, May 27, Skill QUEST Exeuctive Director and DAI Leader, Dr. Priscilla Kimery, announced that Skill QUEST was the recipient of a $500,000.00 matching grant from the State of Texas ACE Fund, providing Skill QUEST its single largest grant to date. Watch the 22 minute press conference on Vimeo or link through to the coverage by WFAA, Dallas TV Channel 8.  DAI Leaders have worked for years to create and sustain this local workforce intermediary that moves citizens earning less than 200% of the federal poverty level into highly skilled, in-demand jobs with quality local employers offering career advancement opportunties and meaningful benefits.  With year-on-year persistency rates approaching 90%, students completing the Skill QUEST program have moved from average earnings below $10,000 per year to greater than $43,400, establishing a level of financial security for their families many had thought unattainable. The success of the Skill QUEST program  is due in large measure to longer term training and its comprehensive wrap around services that address almost every possible contingency, for students willing to put forth the effort to succeed.   

Skill QUEST is a separate 501(c)(3) designated, Texas registered nonprofit corporation. For more information about Skill QUEST and its program, visit http://www.SkillQUESTntx.org

 

ACA First Open Enrollment Period Ends

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The First Open Enrollment Period for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act closed on March 31, 2014; and the next Open Enrollment Period will begin November 15, 2014.  If you began your enrollment before March 31, 2014 but were unable to complete that enrollment for qualifying reasons, you may be able to continue your enrollment process on the HealthCare.gov website.

If you did not apply for coverage by March 31, 2014, you will either have to wait for the next Open Enrollment Period or you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period of 60 days following certain life events that typically involve a change in family status (for example, marriage or birth of a child) or loss of other health coverage (such as if you lose your job which provided insurance coverage or your Cobra coverage expires).  Examples of qualifying life events include:

  • Marriage
  • Having a baby
  • Adopting a child or placing a child for adoption or foster care
  • Moving outside your insurer’s coverage area
  • Losing other health coverage—due to losing job-based coverage, divorce, the death of a spouse, the end of an individual policy plan year in 2014, COBRA expiration, aging off a parent’s plan, losing eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP, and similar circumstances. Important: Voluntarily ending coverage doesn’t qualify you for a special enrollment period. Neither does losing coverage that doesn’t qualify as minimum essential coverage.
  • Gaining citizenship
  • Leaving incarceration
  • Gaining status as member of an Indian tribe. Members of federally recognized Indian tribes can sign up for or change plans once per month throughout the year.
  • For people already enrolled in Marketplace coverage: Having a change in income or household status that affects eligibility for premium tax credits or cost-sharing reductions

Other Complicated Cases that may quality for a Special Enrollment Period:

  • You faced a serious medical condition or natural disaster that kept you from enrolling. For example:An unexpected hospitalization or temporary cognitive disability
  • A natural disaster, such as an earthquake, massive flooding, or hurricaneA planned Marketplace system outage, such as Social Security Administration system outage
  • Misinformation or misrepresentation
  • Misconduct by a non-Marketplace enrollment assister (like an insurance company, navigator, certified application counselor, or agent or broker) resulted in you:
    • Not getting enrolled in a plan
    • Being enrolled in the wrong plan
    • Not getting the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction you were eligible for
    • Enrollment error
  • Your application may have been rejected by the insurance company’s system because of errors in reading the data, or some of the data was missing or inaccurate.
  • System errors related to immigration status
  • An error in the processing of applications or system caused you to get an incorrect immigration eligibility result when you tried to apply for coverage.
  • Display errors on HealthCare.gov
  • Incorrect plan data was displayed at the time that you selected your health plan, such as benefit or cost-sharing information. This includes issues where some consumers were allowed to enroll in plans offered in a different area, or enroll in plans that don’t allow certain categories of family relationships to enroll together.
  • Medicaid/Marketplace transfers:  If you applied for Medicaid through your state, or were sent to Medicaid from the Marketplace, but you weren’t eligible for Medicaid.
  • Your state transferred your information to the Marketplace but you didn’t get an answer about your eligibility and/or didn’t get enrolled before March 31, 2014.

If you able to continue enrollment begun prior to March 31, 2014, or you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period, you'll need the following documents and information:

  • Proof of Citizenship  (SS card or passport)
  • Proof of State Residency  (Driver's License, copy of lease, or utility bill)
  • Proof of Income  (tax return, W-2, or pay stub)
  • A completed Employer Coverage Tool to determine if your employer's coverage is affordable and meets minimum standards  (https://www.healthcare.gov/downloads/ECT_Application_508_130615.pdf)
  • Proof of Legal Residence/Immigration Status  (Green Card)
  • Method of Payment  (How you will pay for the insurance plan.  No payment is required at signup.)
  • Applicant's Alien Registration Card (I551) if not an American Citizen

DAI Leaders have developed a number of helpful aids for anyone seeking to understand the insurance options available in the Marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, many of which are used by area Navigators and Certified Application Counselors. View or download them below.

 

 

President Obama Thanks DAI Leaders in Dallas

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On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, President Barack Obama traveled to Dallas and met at Temple Emanu-El with leaders of Dallas Area Interfaith to recognize and thank them for their hard work and creative and diligent efforts educating Dallas area residents about the new health care insurance exchanges available under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka "Obamacare". The President encouraged DAI leaders to continue their organizing efforts and pledged to continue working to provide affordable, quality health care for all citizens. The pictures and links to articles and videos below are a work in progress, and we encourage you to submit additional pictures and links as you find them to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



       




President Obama Thanks DAI in Dallas, November 6, 2013, for its work for the ACA from Pool Feed on Vimeo.

 

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