UPDATE: SECOND COVID STIMULUS PACKAGE
Information as of December 28, 2020
On Monday, December 22, 2020, Congress approved a new $900 billion pandemic relief package, House Bill 133. On December 27, 2020, from his Florida golf course, President Trump signed the Bill into law. Below are some highlights from that legislation:
• $600 check for every American making up to $75,000 per year ($1,200 for couple making up to $150,000 per year); no information yet on how quickly the money will be dispersed
• $600 payment for each dependent child • $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits for an additional 11 weeks (through March 14) to those still receiving state unemployment benefits (EB)
• $20 billion to buy additional vaccines
• $8 billion to distribute vaccines
• $22 billion to the states for COVID testing, tracing and mitigation programs
• The eviction moratorium is extended until January 31, 2021
• Those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation will have another 11 weeks of benefits, for a total of 24 extra weeks of coverage, on top of what each state provides.
The legislation also extends employment benefits (PUA) to self-employed individuals who have exhausted their state benefits. Those workers, whose benefits were scheduled to end on December 26, will continue to be eligible for another 11 weeks (though March 14).
The legislation also allocates $284 billion toward forgivable loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), allowing small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to receive the loans to cover payroll, rent and utilities. Businesses which applied for the first round of PPP will be allowed to apply again for assistance from this new pool of money. However, this additional funding through PPP requires the business to show evidence of revenue decline to qualify (> 25%).
Many of the federal aid programs expired on December 26, 2020. There is no information yet on the effect that the President’s waiting to sign the law will have on now-expired benefits.
Notably, however, the benefits for workers under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act, both of which became law by Congressional action earlier this year, will expire December 31, 2020, are not extended by House Bill 133. Those benefits end this week.
Information provided by Widman & Franklin, LLC