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CARES Act Grants support older adults and disabled

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced $955 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), to help meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities, as communities implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The grants will fund home-delivered meals, care services in the home, respite care, and other support to families and caregivers, information about, and referral to, supports, and more.

Wisconsin will receive grants in the amount of $16,491,782. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was signed into law by Pres. Donald Trump March 27.

The CARES Act provides supplemental funding for programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

Through these programs, a network of community-based organizations, such as Area Agencies on Aging, Centers for Independent Living, senior centers, faith-based organizations, and other non-profits, provide a vast array of resources and services, to help older adults and people with disabilities stay healthy and live independently in their communities across the United States.

Additionally, $50 million for Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) will be divided among, and distributed to, states and territories by the end of April. This allocation will fund programs that both connect people at greatest risk to COVID-19, to services needed to practice social distancing and seek to mitigate issues created by it, such as social isolation. ADRCs across the country are reporting unprecedented demand for assistance with applications for services, care coordination, services that support people in returning home following hospitalization and the like.

“Area agencies on aging, Centers for Independent Living and other community-based organizations are working hard to expand capacity to meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities during this extraordinary time,” said ACL administrator Lance Robertson. “These additional funds will allow for an incredible response at the state and local level, to meet the needs of people who are facing some of the greatest risks during the COVID-19 emergency.”

Older adults who need assistance can contact the Eldercare Locator to find services available in their community, at 1-800-677-1116. People with disabilities can find their local Center for Independent Living at