On Wednesday, March 10th, Congress passed the American Rescue Act, which finally includes funding targeted to people with disabilities. This includes $12.7 billion dedicated funding for one year to strengthen and expand access to Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). These funds can be used to address waiting lists for services, hire and retain direct support professionals, provide respite, and get vaccines, tests, and personal protective equipment to people with autism living at homes or in group homes. For the first time, education funding includes $3 billion targeted for special education, including for pre-school and early interventions.
In addition to the community-based services and special education funding, other critical provisions in the bill include:
- Including all people with disabilities, including "adult dependents" in receiving stimulus payments
- Extension and expansion of tax credits to cover COVID leave, so that families can support loved ones while care is interrupted.
- Extension and expansion of unemployment, housing, and nutrition support.
This is an incredible victory, thanks to you! Advocates all across America from the Autism Society sent over 700 letters to members of Congress advocating for funding for HCBS and Special Education. Please use this action alert to thank your members of Congress for passing this legislation.