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H.R. 1171 will eliminate unnecessary waiting period for patients with ALS

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) signed on as a cosponsor of the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act (H.R. 1171) which will waive the five-month waiting period for people disabled with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and enable them to immediately begin to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

“I am proud to sign on as a cosponsor of this critically important legislation,” said Congressman Emmer. “People suffering from ALS, like my constituent Pete Klinkhammer, should not have to wait to receive the care they deserve. Congress must come together and send this bill to the President's desk with the utmost urgency. Every day we wait is a day too long.”

“I am greatly appreciative of Congressman Emmer and his staff for seeing the importance of this legislation,” said Pete Klinkhammer, a constituent of Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District who suffers from ALS. “I agree with the Congressman’s characterization of this being an urgent need, because I’ve seen the devastation ALS has caused families. This is how members of Congress serve their constituents, by listening to their concerns and following through.” 

"We greatly appreciate Representative Emmer's co-sponsorship and support of this bill," said Jennifer Hjelle, Executive Director of The ALS Association's Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Chapter. “ALS is a disease of ongoing physical, emotional and financial loss, and the families we serve cannot afford to wait five months for access to their disability benefits. Hopefully, with additional support from Rep. Emmer's colleagues in Washington, we'll see this bill written into law in the near future.” 

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, leading to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. ALS usually strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, and some 20,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. There is no known cause or cure.