How will President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Affect You?

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law after narrow passages in both the House and Senate.



It’s an early policy victory for the President and his administration, and is the first prong of a two-part effort to boost the economy and help Americans who have felt the financial burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic for the past year.



It is one of the first and biggest initiatives President Biden and his administration promised to undertake after his inauguration. The President will also roll out part two – an economic recovery plan that would focus on job creation as well as climate change – later in 2021.



The American Rescue Plan will use $1.9 trillion to provide more aid for the unemployed, provide larger stimulus checks for Americans, find rental relief for renters facing eviction once moratoriums end, increase funding for vaccinations and testing for the coronavirus, and provide needed support for small businesses.



Learn more about the benefits of this plan below:



PAYMENTS TO INDIVIDUALS

Larger Stimulus Checks: The Plan calls for another $1,400 in stimulus money to be sent to eligible taxpayers. Unlike the first stimulus last summer, adult dependents will also receive a check, as will families with mixed immigration, as spouses of undocumented immigrants were left without a check last summer.



Greater Unemployment Assistance: Those without jobs will get a federal boost of $400 a week in their unemployment checks, an increase from the $300 boost approved by Congress in December. In addition, individuals in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and those in the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program who have ran out of state money, will be eligible for this weekly boost.



Aid for the Hungry: The Plan calls for the extension of the 15% food stamp benefit increase from June through September. Additionally, there is $3 billion in aid that would go to helping women, infants and children (WIC) purchase more food and an additional $1 billion in nutrition assistance for U.S. Territories. The Plan also calls for a public/private partnership between the federal government and restaurant owners to provide food for Americans in need and jobs for restaurant workers who have been laid off during the pandemic.



 Child Care Assistance: The Plan earmarks Congress to create a $25 billion emergency fund and add $15 billion to an existing grant program to help childcare providers pay for rent, utilities, and payroll, and other increased costs associated with the pandemic such as personal protective equipment.



HOUSING

Rental Assistance: The Plan will allocate an additional $25 billion on top of the $25 billion approved in December, to provide funding for low- and moderate-income households who lost their jobs during the pandemic and who are struggling to pay the rent. Additionally, it will provide another $5 billion in funding to help renters-in-need to pay their utility bills and $5 billion to stop those on the brink of homelessness from losing their home.



Eviction Moratorium: The Plan extends the federal eviction moratorium through the end of September and allows for mortgage forbearance applications to be applied for through September 30 as well, as long as the mortgage is federally guaranteed.



TAXES

Increase in Child Tax credits: The Plan will increase the childcare tax credit for one year so that families will get back up to 50 percent of the money spent on childcare for any child under the age of 13. Additionally, there is going to be a temporary increase in the Child Tax Credit to $3,600 for children six-years-old or younger and $3,000 for children between the ages of six and 17 for one year. The credit is also fully refundable.



Increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit: The Plan raises the maximum Earned income Tax Credit to $1,500 for one year for adults without children, increase the income limit for the credit to $21,000 and expand the eligible age to help cover older workers.



HEALTH

Subsidize Health Insurance Premiums: The Plan compels Congress to subsidize the premiums for individuals who lost their work-based health insurance through the end of September. Additionally, it expands the premium subsidies of the Affordable Care Act where those enrolled wouldn’t have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for coverage. It also requires Congress to fund $4 billion for mental health and substance use disorder services while adding an additional $20 billion for veteran health care needs.



Bringing Back Emergency Paid Leave: The Plan is reinstating paid sick and family leave benefits that expired in December, through September 30. This benefit will also be extended to large businesses (more than 500 employees) and small businesses (fewer than 50) and add federal workers who were ineligible with the original program. The Plan provides 14 weeks of paid leave for individuals who are sick, quarantining, or caring for a child whose school is closed. Businesses with fewer than 500 employees would receive a 100 percent reimbursement from the government.



More support for vaccines and testing: The Plan provides a $20 billion investment in a national vaccination program that would create vaccination centers in communities across the country and provide mobile units in areas that are harder to reach. An additional investment of $50 billion will go toward testing, providing funds for rapid testing, expanded lab space and have regular testing implemented at schools so they can reopen sooner and safer. This should create 100,000 new public health jobs, which, if it comes to fruition, would practically triple the current workforce. This investment also expands community health centers and health services on tribal land and supports long-term care facilities and prisons to prevent outbreaks.



ECONOMY

Grants for Small Businesses: The Plan provides $15 billion to create a new grant program for small businesses that is separate from the Paycheck Protection Program. It also invests $35 billion in state, local, tribal and non-profit programs to provide low-interest loans and venture capital for those looking to start a business or invest in one.



Provide assistance for states and schools: The Plan will send $350 billion to state and local governments to keep frontline workers employed, distribute the vaccine more rapidly, continue to increase testing and get schools reopened. Additionally, $20 billion is be appropriated for hard-hit public transit agencies to prevent layoffs and route elimination. Meanwhile, $170 billion is earmarked for elementary, high schools and colleges and universities to help them reopen safely or continue to facilitate remote learning.



Increase Minimum Wage: The Plan will have Congress approve a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour, eliminate tipped minimum wage and the sub-minimum wage for individuals with disabilities.