December 08, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act by voice vote. This bipartisan legislation will eliminate the five-month waiting period before ALS patients can receive the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits they earned by contributing into Social Security. Cosponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME), this legislation will build on previous steps by Congress and the Social Security Administration to accommodate the difficult prognosis for those diagnosed with ALS. Last week, the Senate passed the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act by a vote of 96 to 1. The bipartisan bill now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.
“Americans living with ALS, as well as the family members that care for them, should not have to wait to access important benefits that can help mitigate the financial burden that often accompanies this heartbreaking disease,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This bipartisan legislation will help to ensure that those with ALS have the immediate support they need, and we look forward to seeing this bill become law. ”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the ability of the brain to control muscle movements. Individuals with ALS progressively lose the ability to speak, walk, and breathe. The intended purpose of a five-month waiting period is to allow temporary conditions to reverse. However, there is currently no cure or treatment to halt or undo the effects of ALS, and some ALS patients lose their fight with the disease before ever receiving benefits. The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act will help alleviate some of the financial hardship that accompanies an ALS diagnosis and support those living with ALS and their families.
The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act was cosponsored by 67 Senators, and the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives was cosponsored by 305 members.