Federal actions affecting human service programs
President signs Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
March 27, 2020 — President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. This legislation is the third stimulus package developed by Congress to combat COVID-19. Some congressional leaders have already signaled their intent to develop a fourth package in the foreseeable future.
DHS Commissioner letter to federal legislators
March 20, 2020 — Commissioner Jodi Harpstead writes to Minnesota's delegation to Congress to offer suggestions needed to help prevent the pandemic from disproportionately impacting the health and economic security of Minnesota's most vulnerable residents.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
March 18, 2020 — The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law to provide emergency assistance related to COVID-19. The legislation includes several provisions to increase access to food assistance through SNAP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) as well as expanded coverage for diagnostic testing and treatment.
National emergency declared March 13
March 13, 2020 — President Trump declared a national emergency due to COVID-19. According to his remarks, the declaration will “open up access” to $50 billion additional dollars to help states prepare for and combat the pandemic. President Trump also announced that he will allow HHS to waive certain regulations and laws to expedite the delivery of testing and medical services.
Public charge determinations
U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that testing, treatment, and preventive care related to COVID-19 will not be included in public charge determinations. USCIS issued the notice to “address the possibility that some aliens impacted by COVID-19 may be hesitant to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services.” USCIS also plans to include vaccines (if one is developed) in its definition of “preventive care.”