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Program: American Rescue Plan March 2021/Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act")

Agency: Coronavirus 2020 - 2021

Resource Number: 67406597
3/12/2021 Update - American Rescue Plan/Economic Relief Package:
The federal government passed, and President Biden signed, the $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Economic Relief Package or the American Rescue Plan. Some of what is in this package includes:
Stimulus Payments: Direct payments to households worth up to $1,400 per person that will reach about 90% of households. Families will receive an additional $1,400 per child. A married couple with two children, for example, could receive up to $5,600. Individuals earning less than $75,000 of adjusted gross income, heads of households (i.e. single parents) earning less than $112,500 and married couples earning less than $150,000. Payments begin to phase out as income goes up and faster than in previous stimulus payments. Individuals who earn at least $80,000 a year, heads of households who earn at least $120,000 and married couples who earn at least $160,000 will be completely cut off from this round of stimulus payments, regardless of how many children they have. Stimulus checks will begin arriving to households over the weekend of March 13, 2021. Undocumented immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers remain ineligible for these payments, but their spouses and children are eligible as long as they have Social Security numbers. More information can be found on the Internal Revenue Service Economic Impact Payment Information Center website.
Unemployment Assistance: Provides a $300 weekly boost to payments and extending two key pandemic unemployment benefits programs through September 6, 2021.
              Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides benefits to freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors and certain people affected by the pandemic
              Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program increases the duration of payments for those in the traditional state unemployment system.
More information can be found on the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits website.
Nutrition Assistance: Extends the 15% increase in food stamp benefits through September. Additional funding for the WIC program helps to increase participation and temporarily improve benefits and will allow states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program (provides families whose children’s schools are closed with funding to replace free and reduced-price meals through the summer).
Housing Assistance: Funding to help low-income households cover back rent, rent assistance, and utility bills. Funding to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, utilities and property taxes.
Child Tax Credit: The monthly Child Tax Tax Credit begins in July 2021. The IRS is in the process of mailing letters to individuals eligible for this. Individuals were identified either through their 2019 or 2020 tax returns or by using the Non-Filers tool last year to get their COVID-19 stimulus checks. A second, personalized letter will let parents know the estimated amount they will receive per month. Eligible families who have not filed their 2019 or 2020 returns should do so right away in order to get the payment. This may include people who are homeless or the rural poor. The maximum Child Tax Credit will be available for those with the following Adjusted Gross Incomes:
  • $75,000 for less for singles
  • $112,500 or less for heads of household
  • $150,000 or less for married couples filing a joint return, and qualified widows and widowers
Individuals with qualifying children will get an advance on the Child Tax Credit they normally receive at tax time (it was $2,000 for the 2020 tax year, but has been expanded). Starting Thursday, July 15, 2021, the monthly payment will be $300 for each child under age 6 (or $3,600 for the year) and $250 for each child ages 6 - 17 (or $3,000 for the year). Half the money will come via monthly payments through December and half will come when taxes are filed in 2022. The monthly payments will be sent to eligible families by direct deposit or check on the following dates:
  • Thursday, July 15, 2021
  • Friday, August 13, 2021
  • Wednesday, September 15, 2021
  • Friday, October 15, 2021
  • Monday, November 15, 2021
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Parents will have the option to opt out of the monthly advance and just take it all at tax time. An online portal for that is expected on Thursday, July 1, 2021 and there wil be a version in Spanish. This monthly payment only lasts through 2021. Under his American Families Plan, President Joe Biden is calling for it to be extended through 2025. The Child Tax Credit is not new. Eligible parents this tax season received $2,000 from the government for each qualifying child. What's new is the monthly payment and the increased total amount.

Earned Income Tax Credit: The earned income tax credit for workers without children has been expanded by nearly tripling the maximum credit and extending eligibility to more people. The minimum age to claim the childless credit will be reduced to 19, from 25, and the upper age limit will be eliminated.Optional Paid Sick and Family Leave: Will continue to provide tax credits to employers who voluntarily choose to offer the benefit through October 1, 2021.
Education and Child Care: Funding to help public K-12 students return to the classroom. Funding for colleges for financial aid grants to students, and funding to child care providers to help with operating expenses, help families with cost, and to purchase PPE and other supplies.
Health Insurance Subsidies and Medicaid: Funding will make federal premium subsidies for Affordable Care Act policies more generous and would eliminate the maximum income cap for two years. States that have yet to expand Medicaid to low-income adults will be enticed to do so by boosting the states federal Medicaid matching funds by 5 percentage points for two years.
Small Business: Funding for the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides long-term, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration, funding for a new grant program specifically for bars and restaurants, funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and makes more non-profit organizations eligible. For more information, visit the SBA Coronavirus: Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources website or the Minnesota Small Business Administration's Minnesota District Office website.
Vaccines and Testing: Funding for research, development, distributing, administering, and strengthening confidence in vaccines
Rural Hospital Assistance: Funding to help struggling rural hospitals and health care providers

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Last Verified On: 6/9/2021

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