UWP Provides COVID-19 Stimulus Information

UPDATED: December 23, 2020

What is in the COVID-19 stimulus?

On Monday, December 21, 2020, Congress approved the Omnibus Appropriations and Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act, which includes a $900 billion stimulus package. The bill provides $1.4 trillion in government funding through September 2021 and much-needed assistance to struggling individuals and families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

It is important to note that President Trump has signaled concerns regarding proposed stimulus payments to Americans and he has asked Congress to amend the legislation.

This summary only provides an analysis of specific stimulus benefits and is not an overview of all the benefits, programs, and allocations in H.R.133. For a full overview go to  H.R.133 – 116th Congress (2019-2020) as amended by U.S. Senate.

As approved by the House and Senate, H.R. 133 includes:

  • Unemployment Benefits
    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Program (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are extended 11 weeks with no retroactivity  
    • Enhanced unemployment benefits of $300 per week have been extended for 11 weeks
    • Provides a new federal benefit of $100 per week for individuals who earned at least $5000 in self-employed income but are disqualified from receiving PUA
  • Rental Assistance/Evictions
    • Extends the eviction moratorium to January 31, 2021
    • $25 billion in emergency rental assistance
      • Pennsylvania will receive approximately $852 million
  • Stimulus checks
    • $600 per individual with earnings up to $75,000 and $1,200 for couples earning up to $150,000 combined
    • $600 per dependent (17 years of age and under), up to four children
    • Maximum stimulus would be $3,600
    • On December 22, President Trump released a statement chastising Congress for the reduced amount of stimulus payments
      • He requested the legislation be amended to provide a $2000 payment for individuals and $4000 for joint filers
  • Childcare and Early Childhood Education
    • $10 billion for childcare, which will be appropriated through a CCDBG supplemental – same as the CARES Act
    • $250 million for Head Start
    • $4 billion for the Governors Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund and $54B for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund that states can use for school-age childcare/out of school time programs
  • Universal Charitable Deduction
    • Extends deduction to Tax Year 2021
    • The CARES Act provided a tax deduction of up to $300 for donations to qualifying charities in 2020
  • The tax deduction is up to $300 for single filers and $600 for joint filers who make donations to qualifying charities in 2021
    • United Way was advocating for this deduction to be increased to $600 for individuals and $1200 for couples and for the deadline to be extended beyond Tax Year 2020
    • Extends the previous stimulus law’s increased limits on deductible charitable contributions for individuals who itemize and for corporations
    • For corporate giving/donations:
      • The annual limit would stay at 25 percent of taxable income in 2021 instead of reverting to 10 percent
      • The cap on deductibility of food donations from corporations would stay at 25 percent of taxable income instead of reverting to 15 percent
  • Earned Income Tax Credit/Child Tax Credit “Lookback”
    • Includes a special “lookback” for the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for Tax Year 2020
    • Allows eligible filers to use their 2019 earned income to claim the credits
    • This was a United Way priority
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit
    • Increases the refundable payroll tax credit by reducing the amount of required year-over-year decline in gross receipts from 50 percent to 20 percent
      • Increases the credit from 50 percent to 70 percent of workers’ “creditable wages” up to$14,000 per worker
    • Under the CARES Act, the option was PPP or ERTC, however the new stimulus permits the use of both
  • Paid Leave Credits
    • Extends the refundable payroll tax credits for paid sick and family leave, which were established in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, through March 31, 2021
  • Unemployment Insurance Reimbursement
    • For employers who are required to “self-insure” for state unemployment claims
    • Extends a CARES Act provision that provided 50% reimbursement through April 2021
  • Food Insecurity and Assistance
    • $13 billion in increased benefits and expanded eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
      • Benefits increase by 15% through June 30, 2021
      • Expands SNAP eligibility to college students
      • Excludes unemployment benefits from income calculations for SNAP
    • Expands food access for children under the Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) program
      • P-EBT provides families with a voucher to purchase groceries to replace the breakfasts and lunches their children miss when schools and child-care centers are closed or only offering remote learning
    • $400 million for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
    • $175 million for nutrition services for seniors such as Meals on Wheels
  • Community and Business Assistance
    • $284 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program
    • $12 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI)
      • Aids the creation of the Neighborhood Capital Investment program to support CDFI and Minority Development Institutions (MDI)
      • CDFI/MDI will provide funding via the Neighborhood Capital Investment program to help low-income and minority communities with the financial impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • $7 billion for broadband –
      • $3.2 billion in emergency funds for low-income families to access broadband through an FCC fund
      • $1 billion tribal broadband fund
      • $250 million dollars in telehealth funding
      • $65 million to complete the broadband maps
      • $2 billion to small telecommunication providers to remove and replace Huawei/ZTE equipment
      • $300 million grant program to fund broadband in rural areas
  • Paycheck Protection Program
    • Simplifies the forgiveness process for 1st round PPP loans under $150,000
    • Creates a second round of PPP loans via $284 billion appropriation
    • To qualify for the second round of loans, recipients must show they have had at least a 25% drop in revenue
    • Reduces the cap on the number of employees for businesses/nonprofits from 500 to 300 employees
    • Loans limits reduced to $2 million per organization
      • Down from $10 million under the CARES Act
    • Expands the list of eligible loan expenses to include:
      • Personal protective equipment
      • Facilities modifications; and
      • Certain other worker-protection expenditures
    • Simplifies the forgiveness application process for loans up to $150,000
  • Vaccine Distribution
    • $8 billion for COVID-19 vaccine distribution
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
    • Fully funded in the amount of $30 million

Please note, this document was compiled using a variety of sources. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Phil Falvo at pfalvo@uwp.org.

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