President Biden signed the latest measure to help mitigate the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans on Thursday, March 11, 2021. The bill is robust in scope, seeking to further vaccination efforts and also allocating funds to boost unemployment and reopen schools, among many provisions. The American Rescue Plan includes:

  • Direct payments of $1,400 per eligible individual
    • Singles earning up to $75,000 with a full phase out at $80,000; and
    • Couples earning up to $150,000 will get $2,800 with a full phase out at $160,000
    • Children and adult dependents in those households are also eligible for $1,400 payments.
  • $160 billion for vaccine and testing programs, creating a national vaccine distribution program offering free shots to all U.S. residents regardless of immigration status. This portion of the legislation includes funds to create community vaccine centers and the deployment of mobile vaccine units. The testing funds allocation provides for the purchase of rapid-result tests, expanding lab capacity, and helping local governments implement testing
  • $360 billion for state, local, and territorial governments, including $10 billion for critical infrastructure (including broadband internet) and $8.5 billion for rural hospitals
  • Extended supplemental unemployment benefits of $300 a week, running through September 6, 2021. It also includes tax relief for the first $10,200 in unemployment earnings for workers in households that earn up to $150,000 a year
  • Coverage of 100% of continuing health insurance costs through September 2021 for workers laid-off due to the pandemic
  • Provision of paid-leave benefits for as much as $1,400 per week and tax credits for employers with fewer than 500 employees as reimbursement for sick time costs. This bill does not mandate that employers offer paid leave
  • Expansion of tax credits for low-and middle-income families, including making them refundable for 2021
    • The child tax credit expands to $3,000 from $2,000 for each child ages six to 17;
    • Children ages five and younger will be eligible for $3,600; and
    • These tax credits will be allocated to households monthly, starting in July 2021
  • $25 billion for a stabilization fund to help open childcare centers, and $15 billion in grants to support essential workers in meeting childcare costs
  • $170 billion to help schools shuttered by the pandemic to reopen
    • Approximately $130 billion will go to K-12 schools to hire additional staff to reduce class size and purchase resources to help students.
    • About $40 billion will go to colleges and universities.
    • Schools must submit a plan within 30 days explaining how they plan to reopen safely
  • Tax-free student loan forgiveness—but the bill doesn’t include provisions to forgive student loans, just the tax benefit
  • Extension of the eviction and foreclosure moratorium through September 2021, including $45 billion to support those low-income households who have lost jobs pay rent, mortgages, and utility bills. The bill also provides $5 billion to states and localities to offer emergency housing for families facing homelessness
  • Allocation of $14 billion for eligible airlines and $1 billion for contractors to air carriers, extending a payroll support program initially set to expire on March 31, 2021. The plan also includes $8 billion for airports to make facilities changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • $25 billion in aid to restaurants struggling from the pandemic and $1.25 billion for venue operators. The bill also includes $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loans and an additional $7.25 billion for forgivable loans in the Paycheck Protection Program.

As always, CRI remains vigilant over the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts individuals and businesses. Check back often for further updates and reach out to your CRI professional with any questions regarding the American Rescue Plan that pertain to your own personal situation.