Update on Federal COVID-19 Relief Bill
Congress has arrived at a new $900 billion Covid-19 relief bill. The status of the bill has changed frequently over several days, but as of December 21, 2020 the bill appears ready to pass through both houses of Congress today. The bill includes several items that will be helpful for many people with disabilities, such as $25 billion in rental assistance and an extension of the federal eviction moratorium till January 31, as well as $13 billion in food stamps funding (details below). The federal supplement to unemployment benefits would also be renewed for 10 weeks at $300 per week, from Dec. 26 through March 14.
About the Stimulus Checks
With this bill, one-time stimulus checks would be available to adults for up to $600 each, plus $600 for each child under 17. There is a phaseout based on income level; you would receive the checks only if you make less than $75,000 a year for individual filers, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
- The payments do not go all out at once.
- Those whose bank information is on file with the IRS will likely get the money first because it will be directly deposited into their account.
- Others will receive paper checks or prepaid debit cards in the mail.
- It could take, at the very least, two weeks from when the bill fully passes for the checks to be distributed, possibly longer.
The full details of what will be in the relief package have yet to be released but here are the key provisions, according to a release Sunday evening from House and Senate Democratic leaders:
- Direct payment checks of up to $600 per adult and child
- Aid for struggling small businesses, including more than $284 billion for forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans and $15 billion “in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions”
- $300 per week for enhanced unemployment insurance benefits
- $25 billion for rental assistance and an eviction moratorium extension
- $82 billion for education providers like schools and colleges, including aid to help reopen classrooms safely
- $10 billion to help with child care assistance
- $13 billion in increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and child nutrition benefits
- $7 billion to bolster broadband access to help Americans connect remotely during the pandemic
- Funding totaling in the billions of dollars to support coronavirus vaccine distribution, testing and contract tracing efforts and health care workers
- A tax credit “to support employers offering paid sick leave”
For more updates, you can check out CNN’s Politics page.