Capitol Correspondence - 03.30.21

ACL Grant Opportunities: COVID-19 Vaccination and “No Wrong Door” Grants

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We share two opportunities from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) for which our members may be eligible. The first grant pertains to implementing Medicaid “No Wrong Door” policies, which seek to streamline access to long-term supports and services, including for people with disabilities. The second grant is to expand COVID-19 vaccine access for people with disabilities and older adults. Before sharing the details of those grants below, we also encourage our members to visit the ACL’s COVID-19 resources page, as they have updated the content – including adding webinars such as addressing transportation challenges to vaccination sites.

1. New Funding Opportunity on No Wrong Door Community Infrastructure Grants: Scaling Network Lead Entities

Through this funding opportunity, the Administration for Community Living plans to award approximately 10 cooperative agreements to domestic public or private non-profit entities.

The intent of these awards is to provide funding directly to community-based organizations (CBOs) either serving or interested in serving as a Network Lead Entity to develop Community Integrated Health Networks that contract with health care sector entities (e.g., accountable care organizations, health plans, managed care organizations, hospitals, health systems, and more) for coordinated access and delivery of services that address social determinant of health. This is further encouraged in the National Strategy for COVID Response and Pandemic Preparedness which highlights the need to facilitate linkages between clinical and social services given the increased need for social services during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the need to work with community-based, multi-sector organizations to align health and social interventions.

View more details and application instructions.

Please visit the link above for more details about the grant opportunity and application process. This grant opportunity closes on June 1, 2021.

An informational conference call will be held on April 22 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm ET.

Toll Free Number: 877-918-1346

Passcode: 7115063#”

2. “Partnership with CDC to Increase Access to COVID-19 Vaccines

President Biden announced several actions to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines, including an exciting partnership between ACL and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase vaccine access for people with disabilities and older adults.

Because they are significantly more likely to have a severe illness, be hospitalized, or die from COVID-19, vaccination is critical for older adults and many people with disabilities. However, even if they meet their state’s criteria to receive the vaccine, many face significant barriers to getting vaccinated. With funding from CDC, ACL will issue nearly $100 million in grants to the aging and disability networks to provide critical services to help overcome those barriers.

Throughout the pandemic, ACL has advocated alongside the aging and disability networks and advocates, and with partners across HHS and the federal government, to ensure equal access to care for older adults and people with disabilities. We are excited to partner with CDC to make vaccines equally accessible, as well. 

These grants will provide assistance with scheduling vaccine appointments, transportation to vaccine sites, direct support services needed to attend vaccine appointments, connection to in-home vaccination options, and education about the importance of receiving the vaccine to older adults and people with disabilities. In addition, these grants will enable the aging and disability networks to identify people who are unable to independently travel to vaccination sites and to provide technical assistance to local health departments on improving access to vaccines for people with disabilities and older adults.

Approximately $5 million will fund national hotlines to connect older adults and people with disabilities with local disability and aging agencies that can assist with vaccine registration and provide services and supports necessary to get the vaccine. This funding will increase the capacity of the Eldercare Locator, a nationwide service funded by ACL that connects older Americans and their caregivers with trustworthy local support resources. It also will leverage the infrastructure of the Eldercare Locator to provide, for the first time, a similar service for people with disabilities. 

An additional $93 million will be distributed as follows:

  • State Units on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging ($50 million)
  • Aging and Disability Resource Centers (S26 million)
  • Centers for Independent Living that receive federal funding directly from ACL. ($5 million)
  • University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities ($4 million)
  • Protection and Advocacy systems ($4 million)
  • State Councils on Developmental Disabilities ($4 million)

This partnership was established to further the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, which includes protecting those most at risk and advancing equity as one of its goals.”