After what seems like months and months of congress working towards another stimulus package, there is finally more aid on the way for Americans and businesses. On Monday, the new $900 billion economic relief package was announced.
Here is what is included in this package:
Another round of stimulus checks
There is $166 billion to be allocated in direct checks, similar to the $1,200 checks that were sent back in the spring. This time, however, the check will be $600 for individuals making $75,000 or less, and couples making $150,000 or less will receive $1,200. Those with children will receive $600 per child as well. These checks will be distributed similarly to the first round, using your tax information to send checks. Those who have direct deposit set up for. their refunds will receive checks first.
Extra unemployment help
Those who are jobless will receive $300 in federal enhancement benefits until March 14, 2021, in addition to their normal unemployment benefits. This also extends employment benefits to self-employed individuals and gig workers.
PPP loans for small businesses
There is $325 billion allocated for small businesses, with $284 billion specific for the Paycheck Protection Program, $20 billion for businesses in low-income communities, $15 billion for struggling venues, movie theaters, and museums, and $12 billion designated for minority-owned and very small businesses.
Totaling Tax Breaks
This legislation allows businesses to deduct expenses associated with their forgiven PPP loans, in addition to expanding the employee retention credit intended to prevent layoffs. It includes a tax break for business meals and rolls over a variety of temporary tax breaks. It also includes a payroll tax subsidy for employers offering workers paid sick leave and boosts the Earned Income Tax Credit.
This extends eviction protection until January 31st, which was originally set to end with the end of 2020. There is $25 billion allocated to rental assistance for individuals who have lost. Their source of income due to the pandemic, and $800 million for Native American housing entities.
Broadband connection expansion
The package will invest $7 billion to expand broadband access for students, families, and unemployed workers, including $300 million for rural broadband and $250 million for telehealth.
This raises SNAP benefits by 15% for six months, but it does not expand eligibility. The package also expands the Pandemic-EBT program to families with children under the age of 6, which automatically enrolls them in child care and benefits. It will provide money to low-income families with school-age children in lieu of the free and reduced-price meals they would have received in school.
There will also be $400 million allocated to food banks and food pantries through the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
It provides $175 million for nutrition services for seniors, throughout programs like Meals on Wheels, and $13 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
Vaccine, testing, and tracing funding
The package includes $20 billion for the purchase of vaccines, $9 billion for vaccine distribution, and roughly $22 billion to help states with testing, tracing, and COVID-19 mitigation programs.
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