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United Way of Northern New Jersey, LIVE UNITED
United Way of Northern New Jersey-HEALTH Advocacy

ADvocate » Health Advocacy


Healthy Families

HealthHaving attainable, affordable health care is not just a health issue – it is a critical component for individuals and families to remain financially stable and for local economies to thrive. In addition, the majority of long-term care – 80 percent – is provided in the home by unpaid family caregivers who put their own physical, mental, and financial health at risk to care for a loved one. Family caregivers have high rates of depression and those 50 or older who reduce their hours or leave the workforce due to caregiving lose an estimated $300,000 in income and benefits. The following are the policy changes United Way is fighting to change for ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and all in our community:

  • Support a broader definition of family members who are eligible for paid family leave. Expand the definition to allow caregivers to access this support when caring for a loved one who is related by blood or affinity and whose close association is the equivalent of a family relationship. 
  • Support tax credits for expenses incurred by family members caring for loved ones across the lifespan.
  • Preserve and expand funding for quality respite for family caregivers regardless of age or disability.
  • Support a New Jersey Caregiver Task Force to evaluate caregiver support services and provide recommendations for the improvement and expansion of such services.
  • Promote the development and maintenance of family caregiving strategies at the national, state, and local levels.
  • Support the establishment of a Caregiver Corps program that would provide caregivers with a respite volunteer from community-based organizations to address the shortage of assistance available for family caregivers.
  • Support giving caregivers credits within Social Security for up to five years of unpaid care for a loved one. 

United Way Stands Up For ALICE

United Way is advocating for policy changes that would make a meaningful difference for those earning incomes below the ALICE Threshold and all in our community. See below for examples.

Wrote a letter to U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez that call for improvements to the existing health care law.
PDF Icon PDF  Download Letter

N.J. General Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee December 15 Hearing

CEO John Franklin and Director of Health Impact Area Carol DeGraw testified about the importance of improving New Jersey’s paid family leave program for unpaid caregivers.
PDF Icon PDF  Download Testimony

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