ALS patient behind ice bucket craze backs benefits change

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2014, file photo, two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square to raise funds and awareness for ALS. The ALS Association says money raised through the challenge helped fund a project that has discovered a gene linked to the disease. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

BEVERLY, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts man who inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge that has raised more than $200 million for ALS research is backing an effort in Congress to help others with the disease.

Pete Frates was joined at his home in Beverly on Saturday by Democratic U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, a sponsor of the bill known as the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act.

Moulton says the legislation would speed up federal benefits for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis by waiving the normal five-month waiting period for receiving Social Security disability insurance.

Frates was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease in 2012. The former Boston College baseball captain was recently awarded the NCAA’s Inspiration Award.

In the Ice Bucket Challenge, people dump ice water over their heads and nominate others to do the same.

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