Senate Action Needed on Developing a Fourth Coronavirus Package

The Senate must act to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional workforce in a new Coronavirus package. In May, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800) with a vote of 208-199.

This package includes:

  • Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid
  • Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments
  • Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents

See The Arc’s statement. We urge you to contact your Senators now.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on 2020 Filing Season and IRS COVID-19 Recovery

On June 30, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing titled “2020 Filing Season and IRS COVID-19 Recovery.” The sole witness was Charles P. Rettig, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Commissioner Rettig stated at the hearing that the IRS would send corrective payments to all non-filers who used the IRS non-filer portal before May 17 but did not receive their economic impact payments. However, non-filers who didn’t use the form will not receive payments. Visit the Committee website for more information or to view archived video of the hearing.

Income Support: Senate to Hold Hearing on Unemployment Insurance During COVID-19

On June 9, the Senate Committee on Finance will hold a hearing titled Unemployment “Insurance During COVID-19: The CARES Act and the Role of Unemployment Insurance During the Pandemic.” Witnesses will be Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia; Michele Evermore, Senior Policy Analyst, National Employment Law Project; Les Neilly, President, Neilly Canvas Goods Company; State Senator José Javier Rodríguez (D-FL); Scott Sanders, Executive Director National Association of State Workforce Agencies; and Beth Townsend, Director, Iowa Workforce Development. Visit the committee website for more information or to access live video on the day of the hearing.

House Passes Fourth Coronavirus Package

On May 15, the House passed its fourth coronavirus package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R.6800) with a vote of 208-199.

This package includes:

  • Increased federal funding for home and community based services (HCBS) under Medicaid
  • Expanded eligibility for economic impact payments to adult dependents and another round of payments
  • Paid leave eligibility for family caregivers of adults with disabilities, including siblings and grandparents

See The Arc’s statement. Now we need the Senate to pass legislation that includes the critical needs of people with disabilities, their families, and the direct support professional workforce. Contact your Senators now.

Fourth Coronavirus Package Under Development

Congressional leaders continue work on another COVID-19 package that could be voted on this month. House Democrats are expected to release a package soon that will provide funding for state and local governments to address revenue shortfalls. It is also expected to include an additional round of direct payments and more funding for Medicaid, nutritional benefits, and unemployment insurance. The Arc’s priorities for that measure are:

  • Grants to support access to home and community-based services (to minimize the risk of people with disabilities being forced into institutions) and to support the direct support professional (DSP) workforce
  • Personal protective equipment for DSPs
  • Paid leave and sick days for family caregivers of adults with disabilities
  • Economic impact payments for all people with disabilities, including adult dependents

IRS Announces Economic Impact Payments Deceased Individuals Should Be Returned

On May 6, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that deceased individuals are not eligible for economic impact payments authorized in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The IRS states: “A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions in the Q&A about repayments. This is not consistent with IRS practice regarding previous stimulus payments. Read The Arc’s updated fact sheet on economic impact payments.

Interim Coronavirus Bill Enacted; Other Package Under Development

On April 24, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill includes $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, $50 billion for disaster loans, $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for testing. Meanwhile, Congressional leaders continue work on another package that could be voted on some time in May. The Arc’s priorities for that measure include:

  • Grants to support access to home and community-based services (to minimize the risk of people with disabilities being forced into institutions) and to support the direct support professional (DSP) workforce
  • Personal Protective Equipment for DSPs
  • Paid leave and sick days for family caregivers of adults with disabilities
  • Economic impact payments for all people with disabilities, including adult dependents

Income Support: Bill to Improve Unemployment Insurance Benefits Introduced

On May 1, Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI) introduced the Strengthening UI for Coronavirus Impacted Workers and Students Act (H.R.6680). This bill would make several improvements to unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, including exempting them from income for all means-tested programs. This would allow people with disabilities to receive UI benefits without complicating eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or the Supplemental Nutrition Insurance Program (SNAP). The Arc supports this bill. See The Arc’s fact sheet on unemployment insurance.

Income Support: IRS Sets May 5 Deadline for Stimulus Payments for Dependents of SSI Recipients

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) set a deadline of May 5 for SSI recipients who do not file taxes to register their dependent children to receive $500 payments authorized in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. SSI recipients who do not have dependents do not need to take any further action. Read The Arc’s statement and see the updated fact sheet.

Treasury Department Announces Automatic Stimulus Payments for SSI Recipients

On April 15, the Treasury Department announced that people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will automatically receive stimulus payments authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Treasury Department’s initial plan was to require individuals receiving SSI to file or have filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019. Payments will be made via the same method by which an individual receives SSI. Read The Arc’s statement and see the updated fact sheet.