The National Alliance for Caregiving Calls on White House to Prioritize Family Caregivers When Developing Economic Recovery Policies

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NAC Joins Forces with UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and The Arc To Urge the Biden Administration to Support Family Caregivers Across the Lifespan Through Paid Family and Medical Leave

“We would like to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for including family caregivers in the American Families Plan and the plan for a comprehensive national paid family medical leave program."

On April 26, 2021 The National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC), The Arc, and UsAgainstAlzheimer's joined forces alongside nearly 60 state and national disability rights and patient advocacy organizations in a letter urging the White House to prioritize unpaid caregivers when developing additional economic recovery policies, including a permanent paid family and medical leave policy inclusive of all family caregivers across the lifespan. The letter is attached to this press release. On April 27, 2021 the White House released the American Families Plan, an investment in our nation's kids, families, and economic future. The plan details how it will address the paid family and medical leave needs of our nation's families and caregivers through a comprehensive national paid family medical leave program.

According to the White House factsheet, "The program will ensure workers receive partial wage replacement to take time to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one, deal with a loved one’s military deployment, find safety from sexual assault, stalking, or domestic violence, heal from their own serious illness, or take time to deal with the death of a loved one. It will guarantee twelve weeks of paid parental, family, and personal illness/safe leave by year 10 of the program, and also ensure workers get three days of bereavement leave per year starting in year one. The program will provide workers up to $4,000 a month, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages replaced, rising to 80 percent for the lowest wage workers. We estimate this program will cost $225 billion over a decade."

“We would like to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris for including family caregivers in the American Families Plan and the plan for a comprehensive national paid family medical leave program,” said Mike Wittke, Vice President of Research and Advocacy at the National Alliance for Caregiving. “Paid leave is a crucial job support that enables family caregivers to fully participate in the workforce and the new paid family and medical leave program outlined in the American Families Plan truly meets the needs of all working people and meets basic standards that protect and support all types of caregivers, including those standards identified in our letter to the White House. We are also encouraged by commitments from House Ways and Means and Senate Finance leadership to work with the White House to ensure significant investment in paid leave for America’s working families."

At a glance, these basic standards include:

  • Providing medical, parental and caregiving leave.
  • Covering all workers, including part-time workers and self-employed workers, regardless of employer size, regardless of their job or employer, and allowing leave for all Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) covered events.
  • Including workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
  • Guaranteeing that people can take the time off they need without fear of retribution or having to worry if their job will still be there for them when they return.
  • Affordably and sustainably funded to not create an undue burden on either employees or employers.
  • Having sufficient administrative resources to not burden the agency from which it is

administered and should be created with new funding sources and not be carved out of or borrowed from funds dedicated to Social Security or other crucial federal safety net programs.

  • Having a broadly inclusive definition of family and must expand the list of those eligible under FMLA to, at a minimum, include siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, grandchildren, and domestic partners.

This letter amplifies NAC’s mission to improve quality of life for friend and family caregivers, and those in their care, and to enhance the capacity of the caregiving movement by calling for a comprehensive paid and family medical leave program. NAC, on behalf its community of caregiving partners and advocates, thanks the President and Vice President for prioritizing caregivers across the lifespan in its economic recovery policies.

About the National Alliance for Caregiving
Established in 1996, the National Alliance for Caregiving envisions a society that values, supports, and empowers family caregivers to thrive at home, work, and life. NAC’s mission is to build partnerships in research, advocacy, and innovation to make life better for family caregivers. Working in coalition with national and international organizations and advocates, NAC provides thought-leadership, builds strategic alliances, and convenes stakeholders and advocates. Learn more about our work at Follow on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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Patrice Heinz
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