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CARES Act Signed into Law and Federal Resources Information

March 30, 2020

Click here for a comprehensive list of resources and relief available through legislation passed by Congress and work done through the administration. 

On Friday, March 27th, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law. This is the third in a series of bills that have been signed into law in response to the public health and economic impact of coronavirus on the U.S. These new laws have provided additional funding, policies, and resources for people with MS. The new package includes the following provisions that MS Activists specifically advocated for through nearly 7,000 messages sent to Congress last week:
  1. COVID-19 testing is available at no cost share regardless of insurance type.
  2. $16 billion has been allocated to the Strategic National Stockpile to increase availability of equipment, including personal protective equipment for health care professionals, ventilators and masks.
  3. Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans will allow for a 90 day supply of prescriptions re-fills without restrictions, in accordance with CDC recommended guidelines.
  4. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will allow individuals who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to receive an additional $600 per week for up to four months on top of the normal state payments. The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program covers gig workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment due to restrictions. 
  5. Allows taxpayers that do not itemize to deduct up to $300 of charitable donations to non-profits.
  6. Assistance for mid-sized businesses includes nonprofits between 500 and 10,000 employees. These loans are subject to an interest rate not higher than 2%. For the first six months, the Secretary may determine that no interest or principle is due. 
The list above is not an exhaustive list of resources and relief set by Congress and the administration. Please click here to learn more about resources available for people with MS in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 3548), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), and through the administration. The Society will continue to monitor legislation moving through Congress as it related to COVID-19. Stay up-to-date on the latest information on COVID-19 from the National MS Society here

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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