President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law on March 27, 2020, to address the effects of the novel Coronavirus on the American economy. Below is a brief outline of critical categories in the bill.
- Individuals (non-dependents) who make an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) up to $75,000, and filed 2019 or 2018 taxes, will receive a one-time payment of up to $1,200
- Couples who make a total AGI of up to $150,000, and filed 2019 or 2018 taxes, will receive a one-time payment of up to $2,400
- Parents will receive an additional $500 per child that is age 16 and under.
- Individuals who make an AGI between $75,000 and $99,999 or couples who make an AGI between $150,000 and $198,000 will receive a smaller payment, with a phase-out rate of $5 per $100 of income.
- The CARES Act offers expands unemployment eligibility to independent contractors, the gig economy workers, and self-employed workers and stretches unemployment benefits through December 31.
- This includes taxi drivers and hair braiders.
- It adds $250 billion to the unemployment insurance program.
- It gives workers an additional $600 per week for four months, in addition to what state programs already offer.
Small business relief:
- The CARES Act dedicates $350 billion to help small businesses prevent layoffs and business closures while employees have to stay sheltered at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- It provides up to eight (8) weeks of cash-flow assistance for companies that have 500 or fewer employees and maintain payroll.
- It forgives mortgage interests, payroll maintenance fees, rent, and utilities for employers that maintain payroll.
- The Inspector-General of the Treasury will oversee about $500 billion allocated to give loans, loan guarantees, and other investments to large corporations.
Hospitals and health administration
- The CARES Act contributes about $100 billion directly to hospitals out of over $140 billion in funds allocated to support the U.S. health system.
- It allocates the remaining $40 billion towards providing personal and protective equipment, training, and testing equipment for health care workers. It also expedites Medicare payments and supports other health expenditures.
- It covers all COVID-19 testing and potential vaccines at no cost to patients.
- It allocates an additional $4.3 billion, through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to support the response of federal, state, and local governments to COVID-19.
States and local governments
- The CARES Act provides $150 billion for state, local and tribal governments.
- It provides $30 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, school districts and institutions of higher education, $45 billion for disaster relief, and $25 billion for transportation programs for expenses associated with the coronavirus.
- It allocates $400 million for election security grants to anticipate for, arrange for, and respond to coronavirus in the 2020 federal election cycle. States are required to present an expense report to the Election Assistance Commission of how the funds were spent within 20 days of any 2020 election.
- It provides a $1.4 billion funding for deployments of up to 20,000 members of the National Guard for the next six months.