Reed Announces over $5 Million to Help RI Seniors, Disabled Cope With Coronavirus Challenges

PROVIDENCE, RI – Today, in an effort to help seniors and people with disabilities and their caregivers cope with the spread of coronavirus, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) announced over $5 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help fund home-delivered meals, care services in the home, respite care, information about and referrals to support providers, and other services for families and caregivers across Rhode Island.  

Rhode Island will be awarded funding in multiple categories of care and support, including: $1 million for supportive services, $2.4 million for home-delivered meals services, $500,000 for caregiver support, $100,000 for ombudsman services (prevention of maladministration or violations of rights), $88,920 for local tribal communities, and $941,295 for Centers for Individual Living (CILs).  

“We live in unprecedented times, and new ways to manage care and ensure our vulnerable populations and their caregivers can handle the effects of the coronavirus are desperately needed,” said Senator Reed.  “These federal funds will help to ensure that Rhode Island seniors and those with disabilities are able to access supportive services, meals, safe places to live, protection from maladministration, and much more.  I’m glad to see these funds coming to Rhode Island and I pledge to continue to do all I can to support these individuals and their caregivers to whom we all owe so much.”

The funds are part of a larger, nationwide distribution from HHS of $955 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to help meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities nationwide as communities implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The funding is made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was supported by Senator Reed and was signed into law by President Trump in March.

The CARES Act provides supplemental funding for programs authorized by the Older Americans Act (OAA) 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.  In March of this year, Senator Reed joined colleagues on a unanimous vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act with the passage of the Supporting Older Americans Act.

Senator Reed has long taken efforts to ensure Rhode Island seniors and those with disabilities have access to needed resources and support, and has continued to fight throughout the coronavirus pandemic to protect their access to Medicaid, Social Security benefits, heating assistance, and more.