checks for $ 1,400, bonus of $ 300 for federal unemployment benefits
Congress is set to adopt President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan this week after the Senate narrowly approved the package over the weekend.
After weeks of roadblocks and marathon debates, the bill is set to become law by March 14, when the federal unemployment benefit increase expires for millions of Americans.
Under this plan, millions of Americans would receive checks for $ 1,400. The assistance program would extend much needed unemployment assistance until September 6 and continue to provide recipients with an additional $ 300. The measure includes funding for state and local governments and tax credits for families, and it would increase government spending for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.
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Here’s what’s in the package:
Who is entitled to another check?
Payments would be $ 1,400 for a single person or $ 2,800 for a married couple filing jointly. People earning up to $ 75,000 would get full payments, as would married couples with incomes of up to $ 150,000. Payments would decrease for incomes above these thresholds, gradually rising above $ 80,000 for individuals and $ 160,000 for married couples.
When would the checks be sent?
If the bill is enacted by March 14, the first direct deposits could start hitting bank accounts the week of March 22 and paper checks could be sent out the week of March 29, based on the back-up plans. earlier.
If a taxpayer doesn’t file 2020 tax returns before Congress passes the relief bill, experts say the IRS will likely rely on the 2019 tax return to calculate the payment.
Are unemployment benefits extended?
Yes. The package would extend two temporary federal programs until September 6: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides assistance to the self-employed, temporary workers and concert workers; and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program, which provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond the typical 26 weeks states provide to unemployed workers.
As part of the emergency plan adopted in December, these programs were extended until March 14. Workers who had not exhausted their benefit allowance by that date could continue to receive benefits until April 11.
Will the improved unemployment benefits continue?
Yes, the bill would extend and improve unemployment benefits that would last until September 6 and continue to include a $ 300 per week increase in benefits. The first $ 10,200 in unemployment benefits would be tax exempt for the first time to avoid surprise bills for unemployed people at the end of the year. This provision applies to households with incomes less than $ 150,000.
Is the Child Tax Credit Expanded?
Yes, the package would include a temporary increase in the child tax credit for 2021.
The credit is $ 2,000 per child under 17 who can be claimed as a dependent.
The bill would temporarily increase the credit to $ 3,000 per child, or $ 3,600 per child under the age of 6. It would allow 17-year-olds to be eligible for the first time.
The credit would start to disappear for those earning more than $ 75,000 a year, or $ 150,000 for married people filing jointly. The IRS would review the previous year’s tax returns to determine who is entitled to the highest credit. If a 2020 return has not yet been filed, the agency will look to 2019 returns.
Families that do not qualify for the higher child credit can still claim a credit of $ 2,000 per child.
Will the federal minimum wage be raised to $ 15 an hour?
A minimum wage provision of $ 15 will not be included in the package. Late last month, the Senate parliamentarian said the provision was not allowed under the safeguards of budget reconciliation, a process that requires every provision of the bill to follow strict rules.
The attempt by Senate Democrats to reinsert the provision on Friday failed when eight members of the Democratic caucus voted with all Senate Republicans against the proposal by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
The federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 an hour, and Congress hasn’t raised it for over a decade.
Are there forbearance and foreclosure measures?
In February, the Biden administration extended forbearance and foreclosure relief programs on federally guaranteed mortgages. It extended the foreclosure ban until June and allowed homeowners to sign up for mortgage forbearance programs until that date. Mortgages held by private lenders are not included in the relief.
Are the moratoriums on evictions extended?
There is no extension of the national ban on evictions, which is due to expire on March 31. The bill does not extend the moratorium as it is passed through a Senate budget reconciliation, which sets limits on the measures lawmakers can include. .
In January, Biden issued an executive order extending eviction protections until the end of the month and called on Congress to keep the moratorium in place until September. Lawyers are calling on the president to extend protection through another executive order.
Some states have issued their own deportation bans.
Will Student Loan Forbearance Continue?
In January, the Education Department extended the hiatus on federal student loan payments and collections until the end of September.
What else in the bill?
The relief plan would set aside $ 20 billion in rent assistance and improved food benefits.
It would provide assistance to help low-income households cover their rents and utility bills. Benefits under the SNAP, or Supplementary Nutritional Assistance Program, were increased by 15% for all beneficiaries until June as part of the relief program adopted in December. The latest bill would extend the boost until September.