As a result of the coronavirus (“COVID19”), the state and federal governments have been taking significant steps to enact laws to assist with relief efforts, particularly in relation to the economic strain that many individuals, families, and businesses are facing as a result of widespread closures, business limitations, and stay-at-home orders.
The federal government previously passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provides emergency relief in relation to job protection and paid leave. Now Congress is working on a new stimulus bill which would provide $2 trillion in relief aid through several different avenues. This bill has not yet been passed and therefore is still subject to change at this point. However, it appears that several core areas are likely to remain and be ultimately signed into law.
This includes: unemployment assistance, rebates to individuals (relief checks), tax credits to businesses which were closed or significantly effected by COVID-19 and continued to pay employees, bailout loans for major companies such as airlines and hotels (this is perhaps the area most disputed in Congress and therefore most subject to change), and funding to hospitals and health care facilities.
Again, the law has not been finalized at this point. However, in relation to the unemployment assistance, the law is expected to provide temporary relief (through December of 2020) for unemployment to those who otherwise would likely fall through the cracks of state unemployment benefits. For instance, this would provide benefits to independent contractors and self-employed individuals. It would also provide benefits supplementing unemployment up to an additional $600 for four months and would continue unemployment benefits beyond the state’s benefit time period for up to an additional 13 weeks.
The law would also provide rebates or relief checks to certain individuals. All United States residents with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 (or $150,000 is married, filing jointly) may receive $1,200 in a relief check. Individuals are eligible for an additional $500 per minor child. The rebate amount would be reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold. For instance, the amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
As set forth above, approximately $500 billion will be made available to provide emergency loans to large businesses which were hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will be managed by the Treasury Department and will likely exclude businesses owned by President Trump to avoid self-dealing concerns.
Further, approximately $130 billion will be provided to hospitals and health systems and $150 billion to assist in funding state and local government relief programs.
These are all new provisions which may be further clarified, updated, interpreted, and amended as the bill proceeds through Congress. The attorneys at McLaughlin & Nardi, LLC are experienced with assisting employers, employees, businesses and individuals and advising them on their rights and responsibilities. We are and will continue to be here for you during these particularly difficult times to assist in navigating these new laws as they develop. To learn more about what we may be able to do to help, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone at (973) 890-0004.