Coronavirus Preparedenss and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act 

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (P.L.116-123) became law on March 6, 2020 and provided $8.3 billion in funds for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the funds went to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for response efforts. The Act also included a waiver removing restrictions on telehealth access for Medicare providers. 


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L.116-127) was signed into law on March 19, 2020. It provided funding for free COVID-19 testing for everyone who needs a test, including the uninsured; increased paid leave for individuals who test positive for COVID-19; enhanced Unemployment Insurance for people who lost their jobs or were unable to work due to COVID-19; and increased funding for food security programs.


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act (P.L.116-136) became law on March 27, 2020 and provided $2 trillion in economic stimulus in response to the ongoing economic fallout of COVID-19. Of interest to the disability community, the Act included:


  • $13.5 billion for formula grants to State Educational Agencies (SEAs) to meet the needs of students, including those with disabilities; 
  • $85 million for the 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;
  • Waivers for nutrition requirements for Older Americans Act (OAA) meal programs during the pandemic to ensure seniors can get steady access to meals; and
  • Allowed state Medicaid programs to pay for direct support professionals to assist disabled individuals in the hospital.


Paycheck Protection Program and Heatlhcare Enhancement Act

The Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act (P.L.116-139) was signed into law on April 24, 2020. It provided additional supplemental funding to small business loans (PPP), healthcare providers experiencing budget shortfalls due to the pandemic, and to states for COVID-19 testing.


American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act (P.L.117-2) was signed into law on March 11, 2021 and provided $1.9 trillion in in additional COVID-19 relief to address the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals and businesses. Provisions of interest to the disability community include: 

  • Home- and Community-Based Services (HCBS): a 10% FMAP increase for HCBS for one year.
  • Economic Impact Payments: Adult dependents who qualify for the $1,400 economic impact payments will receive this payment.
  • Funding tied to Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA): 
    • $2.58 billion for grants to states under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act;
    • $200 million for preschool grants under Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act; 
    • $250 million for programs for infants and toddlers with disabilities under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.


The American Jobs Plan

The American Jobs Plan is a framework for infrastructure reform and economic recovery proposed by the Biden-Harris Administration in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the economy. While much of the plan focuses on investment in traditional infrastructure, such as repairs for bridges and updating public buildings, it also includes a plan for modernizing the care economy. The proposal specifically includes a call for $400 billion in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services over ten years, an end to subminimum wages for workers with disabilities, and employment support services for competitive integrated employment. The Plan is currently only a proposal and not translated into legislative text.



Icon of COVID19 The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the health and daily lives of individuals with disabilities. Throughout the crisis, AUCD's national network has proven to be an invaluable resource in amplifying the voices of and providing support to the disability community.