On March 10, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed the final draft of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and President Joe Biden is scheduled to sign off on it on March 12, 2021.
The package addresses many pandemic-relief items such as money for vaccines, schools, small businesses, and anti-poverty programs. The ARPA will be including some of the following.
The bill includes funds for a third economic impact payment to qualifying Americans. Individuals that earn up to $75,000 and couples that earn up to $150,000 would receive a payment of $1,400 per person and an additional $1,400 for each dependent claimed on their tax returns.
Supplemental unemployment insurance payments will remain at $300 per week and will extend through September 6th, 2021. It also makes the first $10,200 in unemployment payments nontaxable for households with incomes under $150,000.
Child Tax Credit
The bill would temporarily expand the Child Tax Credit and increase the amount to $3,000 for children between the ages of 6-17 and $3,600 for children under age 6.
The amount is being reduced gradually for couples that earn over $150,000 and for individuals over $75,000 per year. If eligible for the full credit, parents would get payments of up to $300 per child, per month, from July 2021 through December 2021.
Paycheck Protection Program
$7.25 billion is included for the small-business loan program (PPP) and allows for more nonprofits to apply.
COBRA Payments Subsidy
A provision included will cover COBRA premiums for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic through September 30, 2021. Employers would obtain a subsidy that would be passed to the COBRA enrollees, through a payroll tax credit against employers’ quarterly taxes.
$25 billion is allocated for emergency rental assistance which includes $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for people experiencing homelessness, victims of human trafficking, and domestic violence.
The Small Business Administration has been allocated $25 billion for a new grant program for “restaurants and other food drinking establishments.” $5 billion of that is to be set aside specifically for businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019.
Additionally, $30 billion has been allocated for the transportation sector to help with costs including payroll and PPE equipment.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is set to receive $7.5 billion to track, administer and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. They would also receive a separate $48 billion for diagnosing and tracing infections and buying and distributing various testing supplies and PPE.
Low-Income Family Support
$4.5 billion is included for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known as LIHEAP, which helps families with home cooling and heating costs. Additionally, there is a provision included which allows the agriculture secretary the authority and funding to temporarily boost the value of cash vouchers for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to $35 a month, for a fourth-month period during the ongoing pandemic.
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This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as legal or HR advice. Since employment laws may change over time and can vary by location and industry, please consult a lawyer or HR expert for advice specific to your business. You can also contact Payroll Systems to inquire about our HR support services.