American Rescue Plan Provides Long Sought-After Relief to Autism Community

Home and Community Based Services Receives Billions From New Relief Package 

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law earlier this month by President Joe Biden.  The plan provides additional economic relief to weary American citizens hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Since the disability community was largely ignored by last spring’s CARES Act and last December’s $900 billion stimulus relief package, a recent advocacy campaign was sparked which urged lawmakers to include more financial assistance to this fragile population. The advocacy campaign proved successful. The new relief package will dispense billions of dollars to special education and home- and community-based services (HCBS). The plan will also deliver stimulus payments for many with disabilities who were previously overlooked. Specifically, the American Rescue Plan will provide the disability community with $12.6 billion for Medicaid HCBS, $3 billion for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) programs, and $1400 stimulus checks for dependents over the age of 16. Previously, only dependents under the age of 17 were eligible for stimulus payments. For more information on the American Rescue Plan’s effect on the disability community,  check out the Center for Public Representation’s comprehensive list of what the legislation does and does not include. 

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