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What People With Disabilities Need to Know About Covid-19

COVID 19 is a serious threat to everyone but those with disabilities face unique challenges.

What is COVID-19 and how can I be affected if I am disabled?

Author: Attorney Lonnie Roach


COVID 19 is a serious threat to everyone, disrupting normal life for the entire population, but people with disabilities face unique challenges. We at Bemis, Roach & Reed hope that the following information will help you navigate these unsettling times.


What is COVID-19?

Covid 19 Disabled

The COVID 19 virus is a serious threat to everyone, disrupting normal life for the entire population, but people with disabilities face unique challenges.

COVID-19 is a highly infection respiratory virus.

The virus spreads predominantly between people in close contact with each other through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms are mild to critical, including fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Severe cases can develop into pneumonia, cause multi-organ failure, and death. While some individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, they can spread the virus and the elderly and individuals with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and immune system disorders are particularly vulnerable. Those with disabilities can certainly be at heightened risk, so they, and those who care for them need to take extra precautions to avoid contact with the virus.


How can I prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19?

The guidelines to prevent contracting COVID-19 are the same for everyone, but they are especially important to people whose health is compromised and rely on others, such as a caretaker, for assistance in daily life:

  •    Stay home as much as possible and limit necessary trips to grocery stores, banks, the post office, etc. as much as possible
  •   Practice social distancing (keep 6 feet away from other people)
  •   If you are sick, stay home
  •   Avoid contact with people who are sick
  •   Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  •    Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If this is not possible, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
  •   Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  •   Ask visitors to wash their hands
  •   Wipe down and disinfect surfaces and devices like an iPhone or iPad


If you have symptoms of COVID-19, and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19, call your health care provider or local public health department before seeking medical care so that appropriate measures can be taken.

CDC Covid19 factsheet – >


If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.


What can I do to make sure I have the support I need?

A person with a disability can feel isolated even under normal circumstances.

While social distancing is recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are some preparations you can make to stay safe and make sure you get the support you need.

  •   Sign up for emergency warnings in your city or county
  •    Know who to call if you feel sick
  •   Identify people in your community who can provide you with support if you need it and know their contact information
  •   Find out what remote services are being offered by your doctor, such as video appointments
  •   Have medications and other medical equipment delivered to your home
  •   Find out what services your caregiver will provide during a quarantine event
  •   If your caregiver is unable to come, find out who to call to receive services and other resources available to receive the support you need


Where else can I find help?

Cities have closed schools, libraries and other public services temporarily in an effort to contain the spread of the virus, but many organizations, though closed to the public, are still operating.

Disability Rights Texas, a federally designated agency that advocates for people with disabilities in Texas, has created a special webpage on their website with information regarding COVID-19. Go here -> Their offices with be closed to the public, but staff members may be reached during normal business hours by phone.

Applying for our legal services: 1-800-252-9108 or intake.DRTx.org
Clients who have open cases: 1-800-315-3876
Public events, presentations, other issues: (512) 454-4816


Meals on Wheels of Central Texas plans to continue delivering meals to their clients and can provide clients with shelf-stable meals in the event of a region-wide quarantine.
Meals on Wheels Covid19 Information ->


HEB grocery stores offer home delivery of foods and other products which may be of use.

There is a small cost for delivery of around $4.00 for a purchase of $35.00 or more. Everyone needs to have enough food and household supplies and home delivery is a great way to avoid possible exposure to the virus.


If you are sick and do not have health insurance, CommUnityCare Texas can provide guidance and care. See their website Go here -> or call them at 512-978-9015.


Additionally, the City of Austin Public Library is still serving residents through its Virtual Library providing access to e-books, audiobooks, e-learning, entertainment, magazines and newspapers, homework help, and research and databases.
Covid19 Austin Library Information ->


Even though we all need to practice social distancing now, perhaps more than ever, it is important not to isolate yourself from friends, family and colleagues.

If meeting in person is prohibitive, stay in touch with others through email, phone and Skype.


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Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you are not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.


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-Amy K.


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