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United Way Caregivers Coalition

Caregivers Toolbox

Toolbox Home  |  Federal Legislation  |  NJ Legislation  |  Other Advocacy News

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 in House 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, Read twice in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on 7/20/2017.

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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 in Senate; Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance on 5/25/2017.

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Caregiving, Volunteers
Care Corps Demonstration Act of 2017 (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 in House 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 (HR947/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 Senate on 2/7/2017; Read twice and referred to the Senate on Finance on 2/7/2017; Introduced in House on 2/22/17; Referred to the Subcommittee on Human Resources on 2/22/2017.

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Lifespan Respite Care                                                                                                            Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2017 (HR2535/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 and Senate on 5/18/2017.

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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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Passed Legislation United Way Supports 

RAISE Family Caregivers                                                                                                  Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (HR3759/S1028)                                                                                                                    This bill directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. The bill also calls on HHS to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise it on recognizing and supporting family caregivers. This Council will be comprised of relevant federal agency representatives as well as family caregivers, older adults with long-term services and support needs, health care providers, and other key players in the caregiving community.

Status: Introduced in House on 9/13/2017; Passed/agreed to in Senate with amendments on 9/26/2017; Amendments received in the House on 9/27/2017; Referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on 9/27/2017; Passed/agreed to in House by voice vote on 12/18/2017; Revised bill was received in Senate, read twice, and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension on 12/19/2017. Signed into law by President Trump on 1/22/2018.

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