A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act last week to make it easier for ALS patients to receive benefits in a more timely manner. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter King (R-NY) aims to waive the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) five-month waiting period for patients. A Senate version of the bill was introduced by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
According to Congressman Moulton, Congress waived the 24-month Medicare waiting period for people with ALS in 2000, ensuring that ALS patients could receive their Medicare benefit more quickly. However, under current law, people with ALS cannot receive their Medicare benefit until they are eligible to receive SSDI, which is subject to a five month wait period.
“The cruel and unforgiving nature of ALS makes it imperative that we provide the best possible care for people living with the disease,” said Congressman Moulton. “I join millions of people in Massachusetts and around the world who have been inspired by my friend, Pete Frates. In the face of tremendous adversity, Pete and his family have focused their efforts on raising awareness and advocating for research towards finding a cure. You only need to spend a few minutes with Pete to appreciate his resilience, and we owe it to Pete, his family, and all Americans impacted by ALS to provide top quality care. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to provide critical Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits that people living with ALS and their families need and deserve.”