Director of The Arc’s Public Policy Office to be Honored by the Social Security Administration

Washington, DC – Today, The Arc’s Marty Ford, will be honored by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for her years of leadership and commitment to SSA’s disability programs.  Ford serves as the Director of The Arc’s Public Policy office, driving the organization’s public policy agenda.

In her current role, she leads the five person team representing The Arc on Capitol Hill and before federal agencies. With nearly 30 years of experience, Ford is a recognized leader in federal public policy affecting people with disabilities, particularly the Social Security disability system, long term services and supports, and Medicaid, and has testified numerous times before Congress.  She served three years as Chairperson of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of over 110 national organizations, and continues as its Immediate Past Chairperson.  She also serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance and Advance CLASS.

The award will be presented by Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, on Capitol Hill on Thursday, December 6.  During the event, Commissioner Astrue will also announce the expansion of the list of conditions that qualify under SSA’s Compassionate Allowances program.  The Compassionate Allowances program is designed to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s strict standards for disability benefits.  Since its inception, the initiative has helped ensure that Americans with the most severe disabilities receive their benefit decision within days instead of months or years.

“I’m honored to be receiving this award, and I want to thank Commissioner Astrue for his years of service at the Social Security Administration and his efforts to improve the agency’s services to people with disabilities, including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  As he wraps up his term, the expansion of the Compassionate Allowances program will be an important part of his legacy,” said Ford.