The American Rescue Plan: Help Is Here for Maryland Seniors

May 4, 2021

Dear Friend,

In May, we celebrate Older Americans Month and highlight the tremendous contributions of our nation’s seniors, who help strengthen the fabric of our society, enrich our civic life, boost our economy and enliven our communities.

As we continue to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control, we must pay special attention to the needs of our seniors and ensure that we provide them with the health care, food security, retirement benefits and financial resources they have earned.

That’s why I recently voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which delivers significant support and resources for our seniors. Some highlights include:

  • Speeding Up COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution for Seniors: The American Rescue Plan helps ramp up the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for our nation’s seniors.
  • Boosting Economic Security for Older Americans: The American Rescue Plan sends $1,400 in direct payments to older adults earning $75,000 or less per year, and couples earning $150,000 or less per year. It also extends $300 in expanded unemployment insurance benefits for seniors who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and invests $86 billion to protect underfunded multiemployer pension plans, which will help guarantee that workers and retirees receive the full pension benefits they have earned.
  • Providing Affordable Health Care for Seniors: The American Rescue Plan increases federal matching funds for Medicaid to help more seniors and people with disabilities receive home-based and community-based care services.
  • Helping Older Americans Afford Housing and Utilities: The American Rescue Plan delivers $27.4 billion in emergency rental assistance, $10 billion to avoid mortgage foreclosures, $5 billion to assist with utility payments and $4.5 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help seniors and American families keep roofs over their heads and cover utility costs during this difficult time.
  • Strengthening Food and Nutrition Programs for Seniors: The American Rescue Plan increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent through September and includes $37 million for nutritious food boxes through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program to fight food insecurity. It also invests $750 million in nutrition services, such as home-delivered meals.
  • Delivering Additional Services for Older Americans: The American Rescue Plan provides $460 million to address social isolation and increase vaccination outreach, $145 million for caregiver counseling and respite care and $10 million for the long-term care Ombudsman program.

See here for more information about how the American Rescue Plan benefits Marylanders.

See here for senior-specific coronavirus resources.

My office is always available to help you and your families navigate federal agencies and access important federal benefits, like Social Security and Medicare. If you need assistance, please send me an email or call (410) 832-8890 during normal business hours.


Congressman John Sarbanes
Maryland’s Third Congressional District