What the COVID-19 relief bill update means for your finances
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan was signed into law. This bill is designed to help American families struggling to get by during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Its goal is to help make unemployment benefits more generous, health insurance more affordable and having children less expensive. Unlike the previous COVID-19 bill that primarily focused on assisting large businesses, this recent COVID-19 relief bill update focuses on assisting middle-class Americans, low-income homeowners, people with student loans, state and local governments, school systems, and homeless people
Who is receiving a check from this COVID-19 relief bill?
The biggest news about the COVID-19 relief bill update is undoubtedly the $1,400 checks that are being sent out to citizens across the country. However, there is an eligibility clause, so not everybody will be receiving one. Single people with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $75,000 or below and married households with an AGI of $150,000 or below qualify for the total amount.
Those who are single with an AGI of between $75,001 and $80,000 (and married households between $150,001 and $160,000) qualify for a partial amount. Anyone earning over those thresholds is considered ineligible for the relief check.
COVID-19 relief bill updates besides the checks
Besides the checks helping individuals increase funds for individuals and families, the COVID-19 relief bill update includes:
- An extension of unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021, with a $300 per week supplemental benefit. The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits are tax-free for those who report less than $150,000 income.
- Under COBRA, people who are laid off from their jobs continue paying for health insurance through their former employers, but they pay the full price rather than the subsidized price for employees. Under this new relief bill, the government pays the entire COBRA premium through September 30, which helps laid-off employees get by during these hard times.
- Families with children receive additional benefits for those who qualify for the $1,400 checks. The child tax credit rose from $2,000 to $3,000 ($3,600 for children aged 5 and under). The age limit for qualifying children is increased to 17.
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