After months of conversation, The Senate and House Leadership have signed an agreement on a second stimulus package. With aid of $ 900 billion, aid in relief provided by the Coronavirus Virus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security Act, or less than $ 2.2 trillion, or Cars act. It is only one-third of the proposed $ 3 trillion in legislation that was passed by the House earlier this year but never taken up in the Senate.
“Clearly, (the current agreement) is politically possible,” says Rob Fisher, an associate professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandell School of Applied Social Sciences. Case western reserve university. While the agreement does not provide direct assistance to state and local governments, when it comes to families, Fisher says “it is absolutely helpful.”
The new incentive agreement, announced on Sunday evening, is expected to be included in a larger spending bill, more details of which are still to come. However, according to House and Senate leaders, the incentive agreement includes the following provisions to help workers and families:
- $ 600 direct payment to eligible people.
- $ 300 per week in supplemental unemployment payments.
- Extended unemployment coverage and benefits for freelance workers.
- $ 284 billion for paycheck protection program loans.
- $ 13 billion in nutritional support.
- Extended eviction moratorium and emergency rental assistance.
- $ 10 billion for child care assistance.
“It is a relief to know that the package helps to keep food on the table, pay the rent, and avoid eviction for millions of families,” says Angelo McClain, chief executive of the National Association of Social Workers. However, he says that this is only a first step. “Hopefully, all members of Congress understand that this relief package is inadequate and should be seen as a down payment.”
Here is a close look at the key provisions affecting American families.
$ 600 direct payment
Comprise of Direct payment to american families Some legislative leaders insisted on including only targeted aid to all residents rather than checks. Finally, the incentive payment included it in the final settlement, although this amount is only $ 1,200 given by the CARES Act.
According to the statement released, all individuals earning less than $ 75,000 per year will receive a $ 600 direct payment. Less will be paid to those who made $ 75,000 to $ 99,000 in 2019. Dependent children will also be eligible for this payment, but adult dependents are excluded. This means that a married couple with two minor children should receive a $ 2,400 incentive payment, assuming they make less than $ 150,000 a year.
The timing of when these payments should hit bank accounts has not been announced. However, in the spring, incentive pay The CARES Act began to be delivered within two weeks of the signing.
While this means people may have money around the beginning of the year, the government missed the opportunity to have more impact, says Paul Miller, managing partner of Miller & Co. LLP, a New York City-based accounting firm. “It should have been just last week so that people could feel good going on holidays,” he says. Passing the first incentive agreement could have increased consumer confidence before Christmas and led to more sales for restaurants and businesses.
$ 300 per week supplemental unemployment payment
The CARES Act provided an additional $ 600 per week Unemployment benefits to eligible workers. That aid expired in July, but the incentive agreement includes a new round of additional payments. All unemployed workers will receive $ 300 per week in additional federal benefits through March 14, 2021.
According to Fisher, this money can be more beneficial than direct payment. “You can do so much with only $ 600,” he says. However, the increased unemployment benefit provides weeks of steady support.
The new agreement also includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program. These provide increased benefits to workers even after exhausting their state benefits and will cover 50 weeks. Expanding these programs, the 14 million workers slating to receive benefits this week should continue to receive unemployment checks.
Extended unemployment coverage and benefits for freelancers
Those who are self-employed, gig workers or who have other informal employment are also eligible for unemployment benefits through the Extended Epidemic Unemployment Assistance Program. Some workers who have both wage income and self-employment may be eligible for an additional $ 100 per week in unemployment benefits.
$ 284 billion for paycheck protection program loan
The $ 284 billion infusion in the Paycheck Protection Program can help families by hiring people. The program provides eligible loans to eligible employers to cover their payroll. The new incentive agreement extends eligibility for the program to nonprofits, tourism marketing groups and local media outlets.
“There is no doubt that the paycheck protection program has helped protect workers from losing their jobs, at least for part of the year,” says Brock Blake, founder and CEO of Lendio, a small business loan marketplace. “While there can be little business owners who have been disproportionately affected in specific industries and communities, any amount of relief is good.”
$ 13 billion in nutritional support
Families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can see a 15% increase in their benefits as a result of the $ 13 billion included in the agreement for nutritional support. Known as SNAP, The program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.
With more people out of work this year, many families may depend on SNAP for the first time. “Demand has been on a large scale,” Fisher says. The additional funds can help families further their benefits.
Extended Eviction Moratorium and Emergency Rental Assistance
In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a temporary Eviction prohibition For those who met the income limit and could not pay their full rent due to substantial loss of income. That protection expired on December 31, 2020, but the incentive agreement extends the moratorium through 31, 2021.
The agreement also includes $ 25 billion for the federal rental assistance program. This money will be disbursed by the state and local governments to help tenants affected by COVID-19. Cash can be used to pay past and future rents as well as utility bills.
$ 10 billion for child care support
The House and Senate agreement includes $ 10 billion in child care assistance. It will be distributed to states for use in programs that provide stability for caregivers and families. States will have flexibility in how they spend money, and they can use it to help families or to reduce costs for child care providers.
While the incentive agreement provides much-needed relief for American families, some say it is only a beginning. “I hope this is not the end of the bill,” Blake says. “We need business leaders and government officials to sit down and really think.”