Press Room (7)
Issue Background

Epilepsy Foundation Seeks Support for People with Epilepsy in COVID-19 Relief Packages

Congress is working on an economic stimulus package — the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) — given the COVID-19 pandemic. The Epilepsy Foundation has been advocating in coordination with the patient and disability communities for provisions to be included that help ensure access to health care and medications and other critical support like meaningful paid leave during these challenging times. 

On March 14th, the Foundation joined the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities in a letter that was sent to Senate leadership outlining critical support needed for people with disabilities and the programs they rely on. On March 16th, 29 national patient and consumer organizations, including the Foundation, released a statement urging the U.S. Senate to immediately pass H.R. 6201 and sent an accompanying letter to Senate leadership.

H.R. 6201 contains important provisions that expand the ability of patients to get tested for COVID-19 and encourage “social distancing” that could reduce transmission. These steps include:

  • Extending no-cost coronavirus testing to all patients, regardless of insurance type or status.
  • Increasing federal support for Medicaid spending to ease financial strain on state budgets during this crisis.
  • Providing opportunities for paid time off to allow some symptomatic workers to stay home without suffering financially.
  • Suspending work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in order to facilitate social distancing and reflect economic realities during this crisis.

Congress passed and the president signed H.R. 6201 on March 18. Further economic stimulus packages are already under discussion, which will provide further opportunity to include provisions that support the epilepsy community. 

The Foundation continues to advocate for policies that will ensure people with epilepsy can follow CDC guidelines on social distancing, including access to extra supplies of medications, ensuring that people with disabilities have the services and supports they need in the community, and paid leave. 

Stay up to date by reading the Foundation’s FAQ on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Epilepsy, which will be updated as information becomes available.  

Click here to learn more about the Foundation's advocacy efforts on COVID-19.