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FEDERAL COMMISSION FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED
TUESDAY, JULY 12, 1949
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SPECIAL SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Augustine B. Kelley (chairman) presiding:
Mr. KELLEY. The committee will please be in order. The committee this morning begins hearings on H. R. 3095, to establish a Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped, to define its duties, and for other purposes.
A copy of the bill will be made a part of the record at this point. TITLE II–ORGANIZATION
[H. R. 3095, 81 st Cong., 1st sess.)
A BILL To establish a Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped,
to define its duties, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created and established an agency of the United States, to be known as the Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped, which shall administer the provisions of this Act, and all activities outlined under the following titles:
Sec. 101. The purposes of this Act, in furtherance of the general welfare of the United States, are (a) to provide for maximum extension of medical services, education and training, vocational guidance, and full employment opportunities to citizens handicapped by physical or mental disability; (b) to provide for a more effective coordination of the functions of the Federal Government relating to the rehabilitation and employment of the handicapped; (c) to establish a Federal Interagency Committee on Rehabilitation and Employment of Handicapped; (d) to establish a National Commission on Employment of Handicapped, composed of organizations and individuals outside of Government, to encourage employment of handicapped; (e) to provide for cooperative enterprises for the handicapped ; (f) to provide financial grants to handicapped who are totally and permanently disabled ; (g) to provide educational grants to handicapped who require home or special training; to establish the Federal Services to Handicapped Revolving Loan Fund, from which fund States may borrow money at such times as their own funds for vocational rehabilitation is exhausted, and to appropriate an initial sum of $10,000,000 for such revolving loan fund; (h) to establish a Division for Handicapped in the United States Civil Service Commission; (i) to promote public-safety programs designed to eliminate and prevent conditions which tend to promote injuries and disease in public buildings, institutions, parks, and so forth; (j) to provide for reports on the handicapped from the United States Public Health Service, United States Bureau of Mines, United States Coast Guard, Interstate Commerce Commission, and Civil Aeronautics Administration, and other Federal agencies which may now receive, as a part of their functions, reports upon persons disabled through accidents or disease, and for other purposes.
SEC. 201. The Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped (hereafter termed the Commission) shall be headed by an Administrator, who shall be appointed for a term of four years by the President, by and with advice and consent of the Senate. The Administrator shall be paid a salary of $15,000 per annum, and, after consultation with the Advisory Committee on Affairs of the Handicapped (hereinafter described), is hereby authorized and directed to perform all duties, functions, and powers vested in him by this Act. He shall have power to issue such rules and regulations as he may deem necessary to effectuate the purposes of this Act, and to fix the pay of officials and employees in accordance with the Classification Act of 1923, as amended. He may also employ such specialists and consultants as may be required, without reference to civil-service laws. Whenever practicable, persons appointed shall be drawn from otherwise qualified, but physically handicapped applicants.
SEC. 202. The functions of the Federal Security Administrator, relating to vocational rehabilitation, and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation are hereby transferred to the Commission, together with all funds, personnel, and records. Hereafter, the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation shall be abolished, and the Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped shall administer the Federal Vocational Training Acts heretofore administered by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, retaining the present personnel of that agency, and maintaining the present relation with the States, with such additional functions as may be granted by this Act.
Sec. 203. There is hereby established an Advisory Council on Affairs of the Handicapped, to be responsible to the Administrator in the formulation of administrative policies, and to advise him on any matters relating to promoting the purposes of this Act. The Council shall consist of nine members, who shall be selected by the Administrator, as follows: Two to be chosen as representatives of the public; two, as representatives of employers; two, as representatives of bona fide labor organizations; and three who are, themselves, physically handicapped, from bona fide organizations of the physically handicapped. The Administrator shall be ex officio Chairman of the Advisory Council, which shall act in an advisory capacity to the Commission, and shall meet not less than twice yearly, or oftener, on call of the Chairman. Appointed members shall serve for à period of three years and shall be paid traveling and other necessary expenses, and a per diem of $50 per day for each day of actual service.
Sec. 204. There is hereby established a Federal Interagency Committee on Rehabilitation and Employment of Handicapped, which shall comprise qualified representatives to be chosen by the heads of all Federal departments or agencies which now or in future may have a substantial and significant participation in activities dealing with problems of the handicapped.
SEC. 205. (a) The Administrator shall serve as Chairman of the Federal Interagency Committee; shall prepare agencies therefor; and shall effectuate, insofar as may be possible, the programs and policies developed by the Committee.
(b) The purpose of this Committee shall be to develop and effectuate more economical and efficient methods for the administration of activities relating to the handicapped, and to perform and coordinate functions, including research, to develop advanced programs for the blind, deaf, hard of hearing, cardiacs, tuberculous, arthritics, epileptics, poliomyelitics, cerebral palsied, amputees, diabetics, and any other large or distinct group of handicapped, such programs to comprehend the following activities :
(2) To collect, tabulate, and make public statistics pertaining to the physically, handicapped.
(3) To ascertain what fields of employment are available to the physically handicapped and make such information public at least once yearly.
(4) To acquaint employers in private industry with the special capabilities, of the physically handicapped, and encourage their employment, where feasible and practicable, on an equal footing with the nonhandicapped.
;(5) To cooperate with public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals, in the medical and vocational rehabilitation and placement in suitable employment of handicapped persons.
SEC. 206. There is hereby established a National Commission on Employ. ment of Handicapped, to consist of organizations and individuals outside of the Federal Government, representing industry, business, labor, veterans, farm, women, welfare, educational, religious, civic, fraternal, scientific and professional, and other groups and individuals, which, upon invitation of the Administrator, acting for the President of the United States, may voluntarily cooperate in advancing employment of handicapped persons.
SEC. 205. (a) This Commission shall have the right to establish its own rules of procedure and to designate, by proper election, its Chairman and other officers, and the small staff required to carry on its work, as well as quarters, equipment, and so forth, shall be furnished by the Administrator.
(b) The sum of $250,000, or such part as may be necessary, is hereby authorized to be appropriated, each year, out of the Treasury, from moneys not otherwise appropriated, to carry on the work of this Commission on Employment of the Handicapped, and all funds shall be cleared through the Administrator of the Federal Commission on Services for the Physically Handicapped, upon proper certification by the duly elected head of the National Commission for Employment of the Handicapped.
TITLE III–COOPERATIVE ENTERPRISES FOR HANDICAPPED
SEC. 301. The sum of $10,000,000 is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the fiscal year 1950, and $5,000,000 annually for each of the five years thereafter, for establishing and maintaining special industries for physically handicapped per sons.
SEC. 302. Out of the foregoing sums, the Commission is authorized and empowered to make loans, through its State agencies and affiliates, to persons, corporations, States, Territories, or subdivisions or agencies thereof, and to limited dividend associate organizations organized under the laws of any State or Territory, for the purpose of financing work projects for physically handicapped persons, primarily drawn from the group regarded as "unfeasible for rehabilitation” who require special conditions of employment and training, such as is now afforded in a very limited way by various so-called handicapped persons industries, sheltered workshops, and so forth. No single loan shall exceed $20,000, and not less than 25 per centum in amount of all loans shall be granted in rural areas.
SEC. 303. Such loans shall be made on such terms and conditions as the Commission shall determine: Provided, That, except as provided in section 304, all loans shall be self-liquidating in not to exceed twenty-five years, and shall bear interest at a rate equal to the average rate payable by the United States on its obligations having maturity in ten years or more after the dates thereof, issued during the last preceding fiscal year in which any such obligations were issued : Provided further, That no loans for the purchase, construction, enlargement, or operation of any plan shall be made without the consent of the State authority having jurisdiction in the premises first being obtained.
SEC. 304. The Commission is hereby authorized to make loans to finance projects which are not self-liquidating as provided in section 303, upon receiving the written findings of the Administrator that (1) such project cannot be operated at a profit, (2) any loss will be caused by the physical handicaps of the persons employed on the project, (3) such loss will not exceed per centum of the gross income of the project, (4) the persons employed on the project will derive substantial nonmonetary benefit therefrom, and (5) no other project has been found which is feasible for such person or persons and which will contribute to their well-being.
TITLE IV–GRANTS TO STATES FOR AID TO THE TOTALLY DISABLED,
UNFEASIBLE FOR REHABILITATION
SEO. 401. APPROPRIATION.--For the purpose of enabling each State to furnish financial assistance to needy individuals who are physically or mentally handicapped to such a degree that they are certified by the State agency representing the Commission as being unfeasible for rehabilitation, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1950, the sum of $ and there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal vear thereafter a sum sufficient to carry out the purposes of sections 401–405 of this Act. The sums made available under this section shall be used for making payments to States which have submitted, and had approved by the Commission, State plans for aid to the totally disabled.
SEC. 402. STATE PLANS FOR AID TO THE TOTALLY DISABLED.—(a) A State plan or aid to the totally disabled must (1) provide that it shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State, and, if administered by them, bé mandatory upon them; (2) either provide for the designation or establishment of a single State agency to administer the plan, utilizing present State agencies for vocational rehabilitation, as provided for in section 202 of this Act, or provide for the designation of a single State agency to supervise administration of the plan; (3) to provide for payment of $60 per month to each individual certified by the State as totally and permanently disabled, unfeasible for rehabilitation, and without means of livelihood and support; (4) provide that the State, through appropriate agencies, subject to the regulations of the Commission shall at least once each year make a thorough medical examination of all nonfeasible cases to determine whether they are capable of rehabilitation; make a report of all cases found to be capable of rehabilitation to the Commission, discontinue payments to such cases and apply to them the regular processes of rehabilitation, pursuant to the Act of June 2, 1920 (ch. 219, 41 Stat. 735), as amended: Provided, That if any of such cases, determine to be potentially capable of rehabilitation, after treatment or training are found to be incapable of taking care of themselves or earning their own living, then, upon examination and certification by the State agency or agencies representing the Commission, the State shall reenter such unfeasible cases upon its registers and the monthly payment of $60 shall be immediately issued; (5) provide for granting to any individual whose claim for aid is denied an opportunity for a fair hearing before such State agency; (6) provide such methods of administration (including methods relating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit basis, except that the Commission shall exercise no authority with respect to the selection, tenure of office, and compensation of any individual employed in accordance with such methods) as are found by the Commission to be necessary for the proper and efficient operation of the plan; (7) provide that the State agency will make such reports in such form and containing such information as the Commission may, from time to time, require, and comply with such provisions as the Commission may, from time to time, find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports; (8) provide that the State agency shall, in determining need, take into consideration any other income and resources of an individual claiming aid to the totally disabled ; (9) provide safeguards which restrict the use or disclosure of information concerning applicants and recipients to purposes directly connected with the administration of aid to the totally disabled.
(b) The Commission shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in subsection (a), except that it shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a condition of eligibility for aid to the totally disabled under the plan
(1) any residence requirement which excludes any resident of the State, who has resided there for one year immediately preceding the application; or
(2) any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United States. (c) The lack of requirement in this title for financial participation by the States in plans for aid to the totally disabled shall not preclude individual States from paying additional benefits to such persons, nor shall applicants for such aid to the totally disabled be debarred from applying for, or receiving other benefits, if such are necessary and justified to provide living expenses, medical costs, care by attendants, and so forth.
SEC. 403. PAYMENTS TO STATES.—(a) From the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treasury shall pay to each State which has an approved plan for aid to the totally disabled, for each quarter, beginning with the quarter commencing
(1) an amount, which shall be used exclusively as aid to the totally disabled, equal to the multiple of $60 times the number of monthly payments made during each quarter to individuals certified by the State agency representing the Commission, pursuant to section 402 (not including any individual who had been reported by the State to the Commission as capable of rehabilitation unless such individual has been subsequently found to be incapable of rehabilitation) and (2) an amount equal to the total of the sums expended during such quarter as found necessary by the Commission for the proper and efficient administration of the State plan, which shall be used for paying the costs of administering the State plan or for aid to the totally disabled, or both, and for no other purposes.
(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows:
(1) The Commission shall, prior to the beginning of each quarter, estimate the amount to be paid to the State for such quarter under the provisions of subsection (a), such estimate to be based on (A) a report filed by the State containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in accordance with the provisions of such subsection, and stating the amount appropriated or made available by the State and its political subdivisions for such expenditure in such quarter, and if such amount is less than the State's proportionate share of the total sum of such estimated expenditures, the source or sources from which the difference is expected to be derived, (B) records showing the number of handicapped individuals in the State, and (C) such other investigation as the Administrator may find necessary.
(2) The Commission shall then certify to the Secretary of the Treasury, the amount estimated by the Commission, (A) reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any sum which he finds that his estimate for any prior quarter was greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the State under subsection (a) for such quarter, and (B) reduced by a sum equivalent to the pro rata share to which the United States is equitably entitled, as determined by the Commission, of the net amount recovered during a prior quarter by the State or any political subdivision thereof with respect to aid to the totally disabled furnished under the State plan; except that such increase or reduction shall not be made to the extent that such sums have been applied to make the amount certified for any prior quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Commission for such prior quarter: Provided, That any part of the amount recovered from the estate of a deceased recipient which is not in excess of the amount expended by the State or any political subdivision thereof for the funeral expenses of the deceased shall not be considered as a basis for reduction under the clause (B) of this paragraph.
(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall, thereupon, through the Fiscal Service of the Treasury Department, and prior to audit or settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the State, at the time or times fixed by the Administrator, the amount so certified.
Sec. 404. CHANGE IN OR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH PLANS; STOPPING PAYMENTS.—In the case of any State plan for aid to the totally disabled which has been approved by the Commission, if the Commission, after reasonable notice and opportunity for hearing to the State agency administering or supervising the administration of such plan, finds that in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply substantially with any provisions required by section 402 of this Act to be included in the plan, or that the plan has been so changed or administered as to impose any residence or citizenship requirement prohibited by section 402 (b). The Commission shall notify such State agency that further payments will not be made to the State until the Commission is satisfied that such prohibited requirement is no longer so imposed, and there is no longer any such failure to comply. Until he is so satisfied, the Administrator of the Commission shall make no further certification to the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to such State.
SEC. 405. The Commission, upon compilation of reports received from State agencies administering this program, shall report to the President, and to the Congress, each year, upon the number and type of unfeasible cases, and the disposition made thereof.
TITLE V-EDUCATIONAL GRANTS FOR UNFEASIBLE CASES SEC. 501. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated, out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $5,000,000 for the fiscal year 1950, and $2,000,000 annually, thereafter, and from the amounts hereunder appropriated, the Commission is authorized and empowered, through its State agencies, to make outright grants to local nonprofit educational groups, including local school boards providing special services to handicapped, organized with the objective of affording a means of teaching and training physically handicapped persons, commonly known as shut-ins, whose disabilities confine them to their homes or beds. Grants shall be made pro rata on the basis of population : Provided, That not less than 25 per centum of all grants in any fiscal year shall be made to groups located in rural areas.
TITLE VI-FEDERAL SERVICES TO HANDICAPPED REVOLVING LOAN
SEC. 601. There is hereby established the Federal Services to Handicapped Revolving Loan Fund, which, upon application by States, shall provide loans to States at such times as State funds for vocational rehabilitation are exhausted,