The United States government is working in response to COVID-19 to help the American population with different bills and acts. Of these acts, there are some that might specifically help our neuromuscular community. One of these being the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the other being the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?
On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This provides a temporary 6.2 % increase to each qualifying state and territory’s Medicaid funding.
How can the increased funding be used?
This can be used to help cover increased Medicaid care, equipment, services, and therapies that are provided during the COVID-19 emergency. The services that can help be covered include telehealth visits, private duty nursing (if needed), and COVID-19 testing itself can be covered (however, only get tested if you believe your child may have the disease).
However, states have the discretion on how and when to use the federal funding. You may reach out to your state Deputy Secretary of Medicaid to request the use of the emergency authorities to expand eligibility, availability, and scope of Medicaid waiver services if you believe your child is missing a necessity due to COVID-19.
How will the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act affect my family?
The Recovery Rebate Checks will be a one-time cash payment, adjusted for gross income plus $500 per dependent child. This payment will be based off your last filed taxes, whether that be 2018 or 2019. These checks will not be counted against the asset limits faced b people with disabilities if spent within 12 months of receipt.
Within the CARES Act there is a section for Emergency Education Relief, this will provide grants to help teachers and students to make the transition to online teaching and virtual classrooms.
Under the Administrative on Community Living, your family may be eligible for nutrition programs, this includes food deliveries plus direct support for family caregivers.