CARES Act and Family First Act
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. READ FULL DETAILS
Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act
Relief Bill breakdown:
- Cash Payments:
- A one-time cash payment of $1,200 for most individuals earning less than $75,000 plus $500 per child. Smaller checks will be sent to individuals earning between $75,000 – $99,000.
- The cash payments are based on either 2018 or 2019 tax filings.
- Those who receive Social Security benefits but don’t file tax returns are still eligible – their checks will be based on information provided by the Social Security Administration.
- Four months of weekly payments boosted by $600
- 13 weeks of unemployment insurance added to current length of time (set state by state)
- New Pandemic Unemployment assistance will support gig and freelance workers who lose work due to the emergency
- Tax deadlines are extended until July 15
- People can expect to receive their returns if they are owed one
- Student Loans
- Employers can provide up to $5,250 in tax-free student loan repayment benefits.
- Insurance Coverage
- The bill requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and makes all coronavirus tests free.
- All federally owned student loan and interest payments will be deferred through Sept. 30 without penalty to the borrower.
- Schools will be allowed to shift unused work-study funds into supplemental grants and continue paying work-study wages while schools are suspended.
- Students who drop out of school as a result of the coronavirus won’t have that time away from school deducted from their lifetime limits on subsidized loan and Pell Grant eligibility. Those students would also not be asked to pay back any grants or other aid they’ve already received.
- $8.8 billion to give schools more flexibility to provide meals for students.
- $15.5 billion is going to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
- American Indian reservations, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa to get additional funds and access to federal nutrition programs.
- $450 million more for food banks and other community food distribution programs.
- $274 billion toward specific COVID-19 response efforts, including $150 billion in direct aid for those state and local governments running out of cash because of a high number of cases.
- $5 billion for Community Development Block Grants
- $13 billion for K-12 schools
- $14 billion for higher education
- $5.3 billion for programs for children and families, including immediate assistance to child care centers.
The bill establishes a fully refundable tax credit for businesses of all sizes that are closed or distressed to help them keep workers on the payroll. The goal is to get employees hired back or put on paid furlough to make sure they have jobs to return to.
- Small Businesses:
- The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs.
- Small Business Administration will provide loans of up to $10 million per business.
- Small businesses already using SBA loans are provided 6 months of payment relief on those loans.
- Large Businesses:
- Approx. $500 billion in loans and other money for big corporations. These companies will have to pay the government back and will be subject to public disclosures and other requirements.
- About $58 billion is allocated to help airlines stay open.
- Any company receiving a loan under the program is barred from making stock buybacks for the term of the loan plus one year.
- All loans, their terms and any investments or other assistance provided by the government must be publicly disclosed.
- The bill creates a special inspector general to oversee pandemic recovery.
- The president, vice president, members of the Cabinet and members of Congress are barred from benefiting from the money carved out for corporations.
- $100 billion for hospitals responding to the coronavirus.
- $1.32 billion in immediate additional funding for select community centers that provide health care services.
- $11 billion for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
- $80 million for the Food and Drug Administration to prioritize and expedite approval of new drugs.
- $20 billion set aside for veterans.
- Reauthorizes a telehealth program to extend the reach of virtual doctors appointments.
- $16 billion to the Strategic National Stockpile to increase the availability of equipment, including ventilators and masks.
- $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
- $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
- $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
- $50 million for the Institute of Library and Museum Sciences
- $25 million for the Kennedy Center
- $7.5 million for the Smithsonian