March 23, 2021 
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager

NAELA Celebrates Passage of American Rescue Plan Act

Washington, DC — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) celebrates the passage of the latest COVID-19 relief package, "The American Rescue Plan Act," that was signed by President Biden on Thursday, March 11. The package will aid in two of NAELA's public policy priorities for 2021, including ending the institutional bias in Medicaid and supporting older adults and people with disabilities during COVID-19.

“NAELA member attorneys support legislation that acts in the best interest of older adults and persons with disabilities, as well as their caregivers,” said NAELA President Wendy Shparago Cappelletto, Esq., CAP. 

Provides additional funding for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). With such high death rates in nursing homes during COVID-19, additional funding for HCBS is needed now more than ever because HCBS allows older adults and people with disabilities to receive services at home. The American Rescue Plan Act  provides $12.67 billion in extra funding for HCBS across states due to the Act including a 10 percent increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for HCBS through March 2022. This additional funding could allow states to reduce their HCBS waiting lists or add new services and programs for older adults or people with disabilities that use HCBS. 

Ensures adult dependents qualify for the latest stimulus payments. Earlier rounds of stimulus payments did not include adult dependents as eligible for a stimulus payment. This third stimulus payment, included in the American Rescue Plan Act, ensures that families who list an older adult or a person with a disability as a dependent would receive an additional $1,400. This additional stimulus payment could support families serving as caregivers during the pandemic who may be struggling to cover essential needs or care of a loved one.

Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is to educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit

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