Congress recently passed a law ending the 5-month waiting period for people with ALS to access Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. The ALS Disability Insurance Access Act now awaits the President’s signature, a media release from The ALS Association reports.

“People living with ALS, along with their families and supporters, created the momentum and support for this bill. We are grateful to all the members from both parties who voted to help people living with ALS and their families. Support for people with ALS is truly bipartisan.”

— Tommy May, who is living with ALS and serves on the Board of Trustees of The ALS Association

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that is 100 percent fatal. It takes about a year to confirm a diagnosis and there is no cure. Average life expectancy is 2 to 5 years following diagnosis. People with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. As a result, they lose their jobs and employer-based insurance during the most challenging periods of their lives. Recognizing the devastating nature of ALS, Congress passed bipartisan legislation in 2000 that waived the 2-year waiting period for Medicare, the release continues.

“This victory would not have been possible without the ALS community’s countless letters, calls and virtual and in-person visits urging action by Congress. We are grateful to the entire community, and especially those people with ALS who worked on this issue and who have since passed.

“Because of its degenerative and often aggressive nature, some people living with ALS lose their fight with the disease before the five-month waiting period is over. It is essential that we eliminate this harmful waiting period and allow immediate access to disability benefits for those who have received an ALS diagnosis.”

— Calaneet Balas, President and CEO of The ALS Association

[Source(s): The ALS Association, PR Newswire]

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