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Caregiving Legislation and Advocacy — Federal Legislation

Summaries of pending legislation are for informational purposes only and do not necessarily indicate support by United Way Caregivers Coalition. Readers who would like to support or comment on a bill should contact their Senators and Representatives.  

Every effort will be made to update information on a quarterly basis. However, it remains the responsibility of the reader to confirm information status.

Click on the links below for information about federal legislation related to caregiving.

For all legislative summaries and status updates, visit Congress.gov and GovTrack.us

Adult Day Programs
Adult Day Center Enhancement Act (HR325)
This bill expands and enhances existing adult day programs for younger people with neurological diseases or conditions (such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, or other similar diseases or conditions) to support and improve access to respite services for family caregivers who are taking care of such people, and for other purposes.

Status: Introduced on 1/5/2017; Referred to the subcommittee on Health on 1/25/2017 

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Caregiving, Resources to Help Keep Loved Ones at Home
In-Home Caregiver Assessment Resources and Education (CARE) Act (S1606)
The bill would improve the ability of unpaid caregivers to care for individuals in the home, increase opportunities for individuals who are in need of care to remain at home, and reduce or postpone the need for such individuals to receive care at an institution. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to require the Administration for Community Living to award grants to carry out home visiting programs providing unpaid caregivers with the following:

  • caregiver education and training regarding medication management, food preparation, falls prevention and other subjects; 
  • services or referrals for services related to home care, such as transportation, home modification, or respite care; and
  • assessment and referral for physical and mental health services for the caregiver or person receiving care from the caregiver.

Status: Introduced in Senate on 7/20/17; Read twice in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

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Caregiving, Social Security Credits                                                                                        Social Security Caregiver Credit Act (S1255)                                                                Provides a social security credit to be added to a person’s total career earnings and used to calculate future social security benefits. This is a progressive benefit for caregivers who spend at least 80 hours a month providing care. This includes caregivers of a parent, aunt, uncle, grandchild, niece, nephew, spouse, or domestic partner.

Status: Introduced 5/25/2017.

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Caregiving, Volunteers
Care Corps Demonstration Act (HR3493)
This Act is designed to provide support for family caregivers and help meet the growing demand for the care of aging and disabled Americans. The Care Corps Demonstration Act will place volunteers in communities to work with seniors and individuals with disabilities who need extra support to live independently. In exchange, volunteers will receive health insurance and other benefits, such as tuition assistance.  

Status: Introduced on 7/27/17; Referred to the subcommittee on Health on 7/28/2017 

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Family and Medical Insurance Leave                                                                                   Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (HR 947/S337)                                Provides workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take time for their own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth recovery; the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner; the birth or adoption of a child; and/or for military caregiving and leave purposes. The benefit would be administered through a new Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration. Payroll contributions would cover both insurance benefits and administrative costs. 

Status:  Introduced in House on 2/22/17

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Lifespan Respite Care                                                                                                            Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act (HR2523/S1188)                                                The Lifespan Respite Care Program provides competitive grants to state agencies working in concert with Aging and Disability Resource Centers and non-profit state respite organizations to make quality respite available and accessible to family caregivers. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $15 million a year for five years.

Status: Introduced in House on 5/19/2017

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RAISE Family Caregivers                                                                                                  Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (HR3759/S1028)                                                                                                                Senator Collins and Senator Baldwin instructed this bill, which requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. It brings together relevant federal agencies and other from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations regarding the national strategy.

Status: Introduced in House on 9/13/2017. Passed/agreed to in Senate, Passed Senate with amendment SA 1102 and an amendment to the Title by Unanimous Consent on Aging on 9/26/2017.

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Veterans                                                                                                                                 Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act of 2017 (HR1472/S591)         This bill expands eligibility for the family caregiver program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to include members of the Armed Forces or veterans who are seriously injured or who became ill on active duty prior to September 11, 2001 (currently, limited to service after September 11, 2001). Services to caregivers of veterans under such program are expanded to include child care services, financial planning services, and legal services.

Status: Introduced on 3/9/2017. Hearing held in Senate Special Committee on Aging on 6/14/2017.

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