President Signs New Relief PackageMonday, March 15, 2021
This week, Congress passed and President Biden signed a $1.9 TRILLION package to help respond to the economic impact of COVID-19. The following information is from the Center for Public Representation:
American Rescue Plan Act and Disability Priorities
Last updated: March 11, 2021
On March 10, Congress passed new coronavirus relief legislation, the American Rescue Plan Act. The bill is slightly different than the version that the House passed on February 27. A comparison of the final version of the bill and the original version can be found here. Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list that will continue to be updated as the legislation is reviewed. You can find additional information on the American Rescue Plan Act here.
What’s in the bill?
- Dedicated funding for home and community based services (HCBS) - federal funding for HCBS will increase by 10% until March 31, 2022.
- Additional federal Medicaid funding for mobile crisis intervention services.
- Additional federal Medicaid funding for states that have not yet expanded Medicaid that choose to do so.
- Medicaid coverage of COVID-19 vaccines, testing, and treatment.
- Funding for infection control in nursing facilities, including funding for strike teams.
- Additional nutrition assistance.
- Additional education funding.
- Includes dedicated funding for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
- Emergency rental assistance and aid to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
- Funding for substance use prevention and treatment, suicide prevention, and community mental health services, and homelessness services.
- $1400 “recovery rebate” payments, which are direct payments meant to provide financial assistance to people during the crisis. Adults with disabilities who are claimed as dependents are eligible to receive these recovery rebates. However, they were not eligible for recovery rebate payments included in prior coronavirus relief packages and will not receive retroactive eligibility for those payments.
- Expansion of income-based subsidies to purchase qualifying health insurance through Affordable Care Act marketplaces.
- Extension of supplemental unemployment compensation.
- This bill provides an additional $300 per week in unemployment compensation until September 6, 2021.
- Funding for state and local governments to help with crisis response.
- Additional general federal funding for states’ Medicaid programs.
- Inclusive paid sick and family and medical leave. Instead, the bill extends tax credits to employers who voluntarily provide leave through September of 2021.
- Increased funding for Social Security and SSI.
- Hazard pay for direct care workers.
- Data collection on demographics for testing, infections, and death from both federal agencies and states that includes disability status.
- 90-day refills of prescriptions and medical supplies - The CARES Act did include this for Medicare, but not for Medicaid, CHIP, or private insurance or people with disabilities who rely on controlled substances and this bill does not expand on that coverage.
- Disaster relief that is responsive to the needs of the disability community, which will be disproportionately impacting by additional disaster events that occur during the COVID19 pandemic, as in the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion (REAADI) for Disasters Act (S. 1755) and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) (HR. 3215/S. 1754)
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