State lawmakers in New York want to help the thousands of families whose relatives died after contracting COVID-19 in nursing homes in a big way.
The lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill that will provide $4 billion for nursing home victims’ compensation to these people.
The much-needed legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens) will allow families to submit applications to a nursing home victims’ compensation board and receive payments from the state.
Based on the pending bill, families will be eligible for a minimum payout of $250,000 for every loved one who died of the virus, and spouses and dependents will each be able to receive a minimum payment of $100,000.
“The Justice for Nursing Home Victims Act will make it very expensive for our state and the nursing home industry to commit eldercide. At the peak of the pandemic, it is abundantly clear that our state government’s only motivating factor was protecting industry profits over people’s lives,” Kim said.
“We must make it prohibitively costly for others to harm older adults. To do otherwise would be to normalize ‘eldercide’ and enable the complete abandonment and neglect of older adults for ‘productive members’ of society,” Kim added.
Kim added that separately, the bill would extend the statute of limitations for civil claims and causes of actions for personal injury or death of nursing home residents tied to COVID-19, according to the bill memo.
“This bill puts forth regulations to prevent future constraints on liability for nursing homes, ensuring that injustices of this nature will not happen on such a massive scale ever again in this state,” Kim explained.
At the moment there is no clear answer to where the fund for the bill is sourced, but Kim said he plans to meet with Assembly leadership within the next month to discuss the bill.