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U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is continuing to push for increased support and expanded relief for Iowa’s family caregivers, who are tending to some of our most at-risk individuals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Iowa senator sent a letter to the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), calling for adult caregivers to be able to receive the additional $500 direct payments provided through the CARES Act. She is also reiterating a call for a version of her bipartisan Credit for Caring Act to be included in the next COVID-19 relief package to help address the financial challenges facing caregivers in Iowa.

In her letter, Ernst writes: “As Congress works to provide further relief to Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, I ask that you consider expanding relief for caregivers, who play a critical role in ensuring the safety of some of our nation’s most vulnerable individuals. […] Family caregiver shortages existed prior to the onset of COVID-19, and this crisis is only amplifying the critical work of caregivers who support the daily needs of those who may be at greater risk to this virus and who require greater support at home.”


The CARES Act currently provides an additional $500 in relief to those receiving Economic Impact Payments with dependents aged 16 or under. Unfortunately, this denies adult caregivers from receiving much needed relief. In Senator Ernst’s letter, she is requesting that future COVID-19 relief legislation extend eligibility for the additional $500 in relief to those with adult dependents.

Senator Ernst’s bipartisan Credit for Caring Act would provide a non-refundable federal tax credit of up to $3,000 to eligible family caregivers to help address the financial challenges of caregiving. Earlier this month, the Senator pushed for lawmakers to support her bill and to include, at a minimum, a modified or temporary version of this bill in the next relief package.