CDC COVID-19 image Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)

Monday, April 27, 2020

Congress and the administration are responding to the COVID-19 crisis in a variety of ways. It is important in the fast-moving decision process that the various relief and safety efforts meet the needs of people with disabilities. The latest congressional COVID-19 response addressed many of those needs, but more work is needed!

Congressional Efforts:

 Bill

 Status

What it means for People with Disabilities

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations ActBecame Law on
March 6, 2020
The bill requires that agencies “pay back” money that was moved from programs like NIDILRR and emergency heat funding when the crisis began.
Families First Coronavirus
Response Act
Became law on March 19, 2020Free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured. Increased paid leave. Enhanced Unemployment Insurance to people unable to work. Increased funding for food security programs.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (or CARES Act)

 

 

Became law on March 27, 2020
  • Allows state Medicaid programs to pay for direct support professionals to assist disabled individuals in the hospital
  • $13.5 billion available for formula grants to States, which will then distribute 90 percent of funds to local educational agencies to meet needs of all students, including students with disabilities
  • $85 million for Centers for Independent Living
  • $50 million for Aging and Disability Resource Centers
  • Extension of Money Follows the Person and Spousal Impoverishment through November 30, 2020
  • Waives nutrition requirements for Older Americans Act (OAA) meal programs during the public health emergency related to COVID-19 to ensure seniors can get meals in case certain food options are not available
Paycheck Protection Program and Heath Care Enhancement ActBecame law on April 24, 2020
  • $321 billion to refill the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • $60 billion in economic disaster loans for small businesses
  • $75 billion to help hospitals treat COVID-19 patients and address drops in revenue
  • $25 billion for states to increase testing capabilities

What happened last week:

  • Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act — or “Package 3.5” — to address assistance to small businesses and health systems. They continue to work on a larger Package 4 to meet the growing needs of Americans.