President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill, which he signed into effect today, will provide more than just much-needed cash to struggling families.
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March 11, 2021 3 min read
The coronavirus relief package, however, also provides a number of other benefits that most recipients are probably unaware of, as Tax Foundation policy analyst Garrett Watson recently told CNBC. Here are some things to keep in mind as the federal government prepares to roll out the massive initiative:
- The bill will extend unemployment benefits. Individuals receiving a weekly payment of $300 will continue to see that amount until, at the very latest, Labor Day. The bill will also extend two CARES Act programs until early September: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The package will additionally extend Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (which provides an extra $100 in aid to select workers with W-2 and 1099 income) until Sept. 6.
- There will be a larger distribution of the vaccine, which will hopefully accelerate the timeline for school reopenings. With Johnson & Johnson’s assistance, the Biden administration hopes to provide enough of the vaccine so that schools can safely reopen five days a week by the end of Biden’s first 100 days in office. To help meet that ambitious goal, the president recently announced that he would order 100 million more doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is unlikely, however, that those doses will be delivered to adults by the end of spring.
- The bill has several provisions intended to help small businesses. Under the package, the administration has authorized an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Still, it is important to note that the bill does not extend the program, which is set to expire on March 31. Via the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the legislation also sets aside $10 billion for state governments so that they can make low-interest loans and other investments. Businesses in underserved communities should also expect to reap some benefits following the bill’s passage— the stimulus will provide $15 billion in assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan grants program. Moreover, the package will offer over $40 billion in financial help to restaurants, museums, theaters and concert venues — many of which were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
- Parents will get more financial support. The bill will expand the child tax credit, giving tax relief for every child a parent has under the age of 17. The credit can be refunded in cash if it is more than what the parent owes. The tax credit will also jump from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six. That’s not all — qualifying parents will receive the full $1,400 for young children and get payouts for older dependents.
- Far more workers with no children will benefit from the expansion of the earned income tax credit. Depending on income and filing status, the credit for low to middle-income adults without children will now range between $543 and $1,502. This will especially help those who are earning low wages.
For more information about what the stimulus bill means for you, check out our coverage below:
You can also find a roundup of stimulus-related news here.