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Brief Summary: The Corona Virus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The bill provides financial relief for the American public and American businesses while also providing additional public health funding to combat the virus. 

Income for American Families: The bill provides individuals and families with a one-time tax rebate check (details below) and provides for expanded unemployment insurance to cover gig workers, self-employed workers, and non-profit employees. 

  • The rebate checks amount to $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per eligible child. •The amount is not reduced for lower income Americans. 
  • They are reduced for higher income earners, starting at $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples. 
  • Phases out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples filing jointly. 

Small Business Assistance: The federal government will forgive 8 weeks of cash flow, rent and utilities at 100% and up to 2.5x average monthly payroll at a cap of $10 million. The bill creates a new Small Business Association (SBA)-backed loan program to help small businesses (up to 500 employees) pay for expenses. 

  • Loans taken by small businesses to keep employees on payroll may be forgiven if workforce is retained for a set period. 
  • 501 (c)(3)s (non-profits) will also be eligible for this program. 
  • Allows the Department of Treasury to establish a process by which lending institutions that are not currently authorized to offer SBA loans will be able to participate during the declared national emergency.

Assistance to Large Businesses: The bill allows for loans, loan guarantees, and investment authority totaling $529 billion, with $454 billion to be used by Treasury, working with the Federal Reserve, for all sectors and $75 billion in loans, guarantees and grants for passenger airlines, cargo carriers, and businesses critical to national security. 

  • The bill creates an independent panel to audit this fund. Members of Congress and the Administration, their families and other relatives are barred from accessing this fund.
  • Ensuring Access to Care For All Americans: The bill included provisions that would improve access to care for Americans with COVID-19.
  • Increase in Medicare reimbursement rate to assist providers caring for our most vulnerable population. 
  • Increases access to testing by allowing the Strategic National Stockpile to stockpile swabs necessary for test kits. 
  • Allows the FDA to quickly approve the use of new medication and treatments. 
  • Facilitates the use of new and innovative telemedicine technology to protect and contain the spread of COVID-19 through a $200 million allocation to the Federal Communications Commission. 

Direct Funding to Combat the Pandemic: The bill provides $340 billion in supplemental funding to directly combat the pandemic.

  • $150 billion for states, cities, localities to fight pandemic.
  • Support for health care workers and hospitals.
  • Funding for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Support for our local responders.
  • Funding for the research of new treatments and vaccines.
  • Support for local colleges and universities.
  • Support for veteran health care.
  • Support for DOD response to COVID-19.

For up-to-date information, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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