The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021. The Rescue Plan is the sixth major coronavirus relief package passed by Congress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a total of $1.9 trillion in aid.
The Rescue Plan provides relief in a multitude of ways, including:
$20 billion to establish a national COVID-19 vaccination program
$1,400 payments to individuals (single filers with incomes up to $75,000.00, head of households filers with incomes up to $112,500.00 and joint filers with incomes up to $150,000.00 will receive the full $1,400.00, but the payments completely phase out at $80,000.00, $120,000.00, and $160,000.00, respectively)
Extending the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit through September 6, 2021, while keeping the benefit at the current $300.00 per week
Approximately $130 billion for states and school districts to assist in safely re-opening
Approximately $40 billion for institutions of higher education
Making any student loan forgiveness passed between December 2020 and January 2026 not taxable income
$7.1 billion to reimburse schools for internet connectivity purchases, such as hotspots, internet service, and computers
Making changes to health care costs and coverage
Creating a new incentive for states who have not already expanded Medicaid
Creating a 100% subsidy for individuals who lose their jobs and choose to use COBRA to continue their existing employer-sponsored health coverage
Providing billions of dollars for increase and supporting the public health workforce
$700 million for assisting skilled nursing facilities
$4 billion for expanding behavioral and mental health services
Expanding Medicare by allowing reimbursement for ambulances responding to 911 calls if patient would have been transported to a medical facility, but was not because of COVID-19 protocols
$750 million for COVID-19 research
$8.7 billion for Global Health Funding to combat the spread of COVID-19 and slow the threat of mutations
Over $30 billion in various housing assistance
$5 billion for utility assistance
Financial support for SNAP, WIC, and other food assistance programs
$39 billion through the Child Care and Development Block Grant for child care providers (along with changes to the Dependent Care Tax Credit)
$1 billion to cover additional cash assistance needed by TANF recipients
$1 billion to establish a Pandemic Emergency Fund
Providing additional support for small businesses and non-profits
$362 billion to state and local governments to help respond to COVID-19 pandemic
Financial assistance for farmers
Financial assistance for transit and airline workers
Notably, the Rescue Plan does not include an increase to the federal minimum wage (the House of Representatives proposed a $15 minimum wage, but this provision was removed by the Senate).
The nearly 650-page bill is available here.
This Employment Law Alert may provide an overview of specific federal and/or state laws and regulations. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular situation or individual.
Copyright © 2021 Stefanik Iosue & Associates, LLC. All rights reserved.