Policy Updates

Latest Updates

Apr 28, 2022

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released clarifying information about Part 2 of the No Surprises Act, Good Faith Estimates (GFEs), which focuses on services provided to uninsured or self-pay patients who receive services provided by clinical social workers in independent practice. The frequently asked questions (FAQs) answer many of the questions that social workers asked when the No Surprises Act was implemented in January 2022. The new NASW FAQs answer many additional questions asked by social workers since the initial NASW FAQs were published in January 2022.

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Apr 26, 2022

Improving access to essential mental health and behavioral health services for Medicare beneficiaries remains a top NASW policy priority. Medicare payment policy is routinely looked to as a minimum standard that guides both commercial and Medicaid payers as it relates to quality and reimbursement standards. Medicare sets provider reimbursement trends across the U.S. health care system, so disparities in its rate-setting process, which tend to undervalue mental health, behavioral health and substance use disorder services, are unfortunately replicated elsewhere. NASW continues to advocate for improved access to mental health and behavioral health services in Medicare.

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Apr 22, 2022

On April 19, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it will bring student loan borrowers closer to public service loan and income-driven repayment (IDR) forgiveness by addressing historical failures in the administration of the federal student loan programs.

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Apr 13, 2022

On April 6, 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration Extended the Student Loan Payment Pause Through August 31, 2022. Borrowers do not have to pay their student loans during this period, and they will not accrue interest or be referred to collections. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education is moving to pull millions of federal student loan borrowers out of default status and mark their accounts as current, giving borrowers a “fresh start” on repayment.

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Mar 18, 2022

NASW strongly opposes legislative and public policy efforts across multiple states that are harmful to and restrict human rights and freedoms of LGBTQ+ people. Since the start of 2022, there has been an exponential rise in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the U.S. to include efforts to ban trans kids from playing sports, to eliminate access to LGBTQ+ inclusive educational curricula, and to criminalize the provision of life-saving gender affirming health and mental health care.

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Feb 10, 2022

Waiver Expires October 31, 2022

For a limited time, current student borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment on student loans that would otherwise not qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness through a temporary limited waiver to the PSLF program. The PSLF Coalition, of which NASW is an active member, developed a fact sheet on the PSLF temporary waiver.

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Jan 31, 2022

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has joined as an official partner of the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). The guiding principles of the PPC include a commitment to the preservation of democracy, to lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism and institutionalized oppression, and to elevating up the essential needs of individuals and communities affected by systemic poverty.

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Dec 16, 2021

200+ Organizations Including NASW National and 50 NASW Chapters Tell President Biden to Delay Restarting Student Loan Payments in February

NASW National and 50 NASW chapters signed on to a Student Borrower Protection Center coalition letter urging President Biden to extend the current pause on student loan payments that is set to expire on January 31, 2022.

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Dec 09, 2021

NASW Provides Input to Inform Forthcoming Mental Health Packages in the U.S. House and Senate

Both the U.S. House and Senate are developing comprehensive mental health legislation, partly because of COVID-19’s resulting spotlight on mental health. NASW has long worked to educate policymakers about the importance of mental health care for individuals, families, and communities. Recently,

  • NASW submitted comments to Sens. Bennet (D-CO) and Cornyn (R-TX) in response to their call for comments to Reimagine America’s Mental and Behavioral Health Care Systems.
  • NASW submitted comments to the Senate Finance Committee in response to their solicitation led by Sens. Wyden (D-OR) and Crapo (R-ID) for policy proposals to address unmet mental health needs.
  • NASW submitted comments to Sens. Murphy (D-CT) and Cassidy (R-LA) in response to their request for input on federal mental health and substance use disorder programs.

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Dec 02, 2021

Internapalooza Spring 2022 is a free orientation and welcome event for new and/or prospective congressional interns. Internapalooza will be held virtually on January 13, 14, and 21, 2022 and provides an in-depth introduction to congressional internships and how they can be a rewarding experience and open doors for careers in public policy.

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NASW Members who attended NASW's 2023 Advocacy Day

NASW Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill

Nearly 100 social workers from 44 states and two U.S. territories attended 143 meetings with Congressional offices in the U.S. House and Senate on June 28, 2023

Read about their advocacy work on behalf of social workers and those they serve

Pioneers at 2023 event

Social Work Pioneers Learn about New Challenges and Community Building

The 2023 NASW Social Work Pioneers program honored members who contributed to the evolution and enrichment of the social work profession.

Learn more about the Pioneer program and the social workers who transformed our profession.

Sarah Butts in front of the Capitol

How NASW Advocates for the Profession

Learn how NASW advocates for social work