The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday extended until Sept. 21 the deadline for assisted living providers to begin their applications for funding under the Provider Relief Fund phase 2 general distribution allocation.

That’s the day by which providers must submit a tax identification number for validation. The deadline originally was Sept. 13. The funding is made possible through the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, HHS previously said.

Trade associations representing operators expressed appreciation for the additional time.

“We appreciate HHS’ efforts and working with us to extend the deadline for applications,” Argentum President and CEO James Balda said. “Argentum requested this extension to be sure all qualified assisted living providers had the opportunity to apply for much-needed funding. The funds will go a long way in helping providers who’ve seen skyrocketing costs as a result of COVID-19.” 

David Schless, president of the American Seniors Housing Association, told McKnight’s Senior Living that the association also was pleased. 

“It is important that all eligible operators have ample time to navigate the HHS portal, have their questions addressed and submit their applications with confidence,” he said.

But assisted living providers need additional funding as well as testing assistance, Schless said.

“While we are appreciative for the financial relief, we continue to impress upon HHS that this current allocation of 2% of revenues will not even come close to covering the additional costs and revenue loss suffered by this industry due to COVID-19,” he said. “ASHA also extends its calls to HHS for prioritization and distribution of rapid testing kits to senior living communities, including independent living, assisted living and memory care.”

A LeadingAge spokeswoman told McKnight’s Senior Living that the extension was welcome.

“COVID-19 has not spared older adults in assisted living, who have been largely overlooked by the federal government throughout this pandemic,” she said. “Providers are managing a multitude of challenges as a results of this healthcare crisis, so additional time to apply is welcome.”

HHS has posted resources to help providers with the application process, including a CARES Act Provider Relief Fund provider page, instructions for completing the application form, and answers to frequently asked questions about the phase 2 general distribution. Argentum also has posted FAQs.