New $1.9T Relief Package Signed


Even though it is good news that many people are signing up to get vaccinated, it is also true that this crisis is very much still with us. Even though a lot of cities are beginning to scale back their restrictions, the economy is going to lag behind. Therefore, there are a lot of individuals, families, and small businesses that continue to struggle on a daily basis. Fortunately, a massive relief package was recently signed. What does this mean for the average American? Does this mean there are resources available that can help out individuals and families that are still struggling to make ends meet? 

Quick Highlights of the Package

Before diving into details, there are a few quick highlights people need to know. These include: 

  • The government has passed a $1.9 trillion relief package that is designed to help individuals, families, and small businesses.
  • Extra unemployment benefits at a rate of $300 per week have been extended. This is an insurance policy designed to help those who are currently out of work. 
  • Direct payments of up to $1,400 are being sent out to families who qualify. 
  • Massive funding is being put towards vaccinations, which will help the country rebound.
  • The child tax credit is also extended, providing families with children some relief on their taxes. 

Now, it is important for people to understand if they qualify for certain types of relief. 

What Is the Child Tax Credit?

The legislation includes a tax credit for families with children. This means that families with children will have a deduction from the amount of money they owe in taxes. This is different from a tax deduction, which is deducted from someone’s gross taxable income. A tax credit is applied directly to the amount of money someone owes in taxes.

The child tax credit is $3,000 annually per child ages 6 to 17. This tax credit is $3,600 annually for children under the age of 6. Anyone who is curious about applying the tax credit to their taxes this coming year should reach out to a professional accountant to learn more. 

Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits?

Anyone who has been laid off from work and does not currently have another source of income may qualify for unemployment benefits. These are usually benefits that people access directly through the state. The federal government has added $300 per week to the current unemployment benefits that the states already provide. Even though unemployment benefits usually run out after a certain number of months, it is possible to benefits may remain in place as the economy continues to recover. It is important for everyone to take a look at their specific unemployment application in their state to make sure they know when the benefits run out.

Who Gets the Stimulus Check?

There is a stimulus check of up to $1,400 that is being sent out to people who qualify. Individuals earning up to $75,000 per year in adjusted gross income, heads of household with up to $112,500, and married couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000 will receive the full $1,400 per person. Individuals who have direct deposit from the IRS may start to see their checks hitting sooner than those waiting for a physical check to come in the mail.

Benefits Are Included for Renters and Homeowners

The economic fallout from the global crisis has taken a significant toll on homeowners and renters as well, in particular people who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. With 10 percent of homeowners behind on payments, there are several provisions that will help homeowners keep their homes, including:

  • $10 billion are made available to states and territories
  • $50 million is going to each state and $30 million is going to each territory
  • There is a mandate in the package to prioritize relief for those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds

The money will be used to make up for delinquent mortgage payments, allowing Americans to stay on track and remain in their homes. The goal is to minimize foreclosures and keep people out of emergency shelters as much as possible.

In addition, another $21.6 billion is being made available to help those who are struggling to pay rent and utilities. This funding is coming through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program. Examples of funding include:

  • $152 million will be going to each state
  • $2.5 billion is going to high-need individuals
  • $305 million are going toward the US territories

The goal is to use this money to help those who are most vulnerable cover rent payments and utility bills to prevent people from getting evicted. By keeping people in their homes, families can keep their households stable and avoid being placed in emergency shelters or living on the streets, where serious health risks still exist.

Relief Is On the Way

These are just a few of the most important points that people should keep in mind when it comes to relief during these hard times. Even though there is a light at the end of the tunnel, everyone should know about the resources available to them.