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Summary of the American Rescue Plan

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.

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