Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY
There have been several opportunities for LCSWs who are Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP providers to access additional funds if our income has been affected by COVID-19. Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES-donation) Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPCHE-loan), and the Provider Relief Fund (PRF-donation), the federal government has allocated $175 billion in payments to be distributed through HHS (administered by Optum).
Yesterday the fourth option was announced, the Provider Relief Fund Phase 2, which includes funding for LCSWs, and is detailed below. This is called the Phase 2 General Distribution funding. This is a way to make up lost income, not a loan. To apply for these funds go to https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/cares-act-provider-relief-fund/for-providers/index.html#key-facts-providersand complete the 6-step application process.
To date only a fraction of the $175 billion in funds has been claimed. Therefore, CMS is extending access to these funds, which was supposed to end on August 9 for all behavioral health providers and other health care providers, including for LCSWs, until August 28, 2020. The funds distributed will be up to 2% of all income fromMedicare, Medicaid or CHIP in tax years 2017, 2018, or 2019 (not all three, just the highest one).
HHS will host a webinar on Thursday, August 13, at 3PM EDT. Register here to learn more about the application process, which is somewhat cumbersome.
You need to be able to document lost income due to COVID-19 and provide the income that you received from Medicare, Medicaid or CHIP per your tax returns for one of three previous years to 2020.
I hope this will be somewhat helpful to members who work in these areas and help give some relief for those who have seen a decline in revenue during these difficult times.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and PracticeClinical Social Work Association
PO Box 10Garrisonville, Virginia 22463