The new law grants patients with ALS and their families immediate access to the Social Security disability insurance benefits they have earned.
WASHINGTON, DC, USA – On December 22, Arkansas US Senator Tom Cotton and Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse issued a press release applauding the enactment of the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act ., which was passed by the Senate by a vote of 96 to 1 and cleared the House unanimously.
Biparty legislation eliminates the five-month waiting period before patients with ALS can receive Social Security disability insurance benefits they earned by contributing to Social Security.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the brain’s ability to control muscle movement. People with ALS gradually lose the ability to speak, walk and breathe.
The goal of a five-month waiting period is to allow temporary conditions to reverse, but there is currently no cure or treatment to stop or reverse the effects of ALS, and some patients with ALS ALS lose their battle with disease even before receiving benefits.
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“Americans with ALS shouldn’t have to wait for help, especially given their tragically short life expectancy, and now they won’t have to,” Cotton said.. “By removing the statutory waiting period for disability benefits, our bill makes helping people with this terrible disease much faster. I am grateful to my colleagues in Congress and to the President for helping to provide relief to Americans living with ALS.
The legislation builds on previous steps by Congress and the Social Security Administration to account for the difficult prognosis for those diagnosed with ALS.
Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of the ALS Association, said she was grateful to Cotton, Whitehouse and all the Congressional Champions who have worked alongside the ALS community for years to achieve this victory. .
“This legislation removes an unnecessary burden placed on the shoulders of those facing a cruel, costly and burdensome illness,” Balas said. “It is a testament to the tenacity and perseverance of ALS advocates who laid the groundwork for victory through the hard work of building a coalition of legislative champions across partisan lines.”
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The law will help alleviate some of the financial hardships that accompany a diagnosis of ALS and support people living with ALS and their families.
“It represents a simple act of humanity for Americans battling a disease that often progresses too quickly for the current system,” Whitehouse said. “Allowing patients and their families to immediately access the benefits they have earned will provide comfort to them when faced with a difficult diagnosis. Thank you to the tireless advocates and allies across the country who have joined our fight to make this happen. ”
Cotton and Whitehouse first introduced the ALS Disability Insurance Act in 2016.
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