For many, aof is the star of the next economic rescue package currently under debate in Washington. But there are far more provisions in the bill, besides another check, that will directly and indirectly affect millions of Americans.
Lawmakers haven’t appeared to come any closer in reaching an agreement, with the state ofas a main sticking point. The proposes to cut the $600 weekly benefit to $200 per week at first, and later adjust it to a percentage based on your previous salary. The Democrats consider that figure dangerously low to keep Americans going through the .
Here are the major benefits that could be part of a final bill, and how likely they are to pass given the current circumstances. This story updates frequently.
Second stimulus check: Designed to spur spending
What it is: Aand families, based on annual income, age, number of dependents and other factors. The authorized under the CARES Act have gone out to over 160 million Americans — either as a check, a prepaid credit card or direct deposit. But not without a hitch and after three months .
How it could help you: The payment is not taxable and you can use it however you want to pay for food, housing, clothing and so on. The idea is that spending the checks will help the economy recover faster.
Why we think a second check will pass: The CARES act authorized payments of up to $1,200 per eligible adult and so does the HEALS Act. The House of Representatives’ HEROES Act, meanwhile, called for $1,200 stimulus checks, but for more people. The White House also supports another round of checks, which makes this a likely part of the final bill.
More unemployment benefits for Americans out of work
What it is: Anfor people who applied for unemployment for the first time or were already collecting unemployment. The program initially granted by the CARES Act provided an extra $600 per week and , but lawmakers are looking into another unemployment boost now.
How it could help you: An extra weekly payment on top of the ordinary unemployment benefit gives individuals and families a leg up and cutting it off or reducing it could be devastating for both unemployed workers and the economy.
Why we think it could happen: Republicans support the extension, though at a reduced rate, saying $600 a week is too generous. “We have learned what we knew at the time,” Sen. Chuck Grassley said Monday, “That when you pay people more not to work than they would get working, what do you expect? People will not work. And what this country needs is more workers.”
Democrats support an extension at the current $600 rate and balk at the Senate proposal, which would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $200 a week and over time increasing to $500 a week, with state assistance. With no agreement on a larger second package close and benefits expiring, the two sides may decide on a short-term extenion of the benefits while they hammer out the details of the bill.
Payroll Protection Program to help businesses keep people employed
What it is: Intended to help you retain your job, the Paycheck Protection Program provides forgivable loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll.
How it could help you: The program is designed to fund workers employed who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program got off to a rocky start and it’s not clear the PPP met the goals Congress set for it.
“Overall PPP hasn’t preserved many paychecks,” wrote Joshua Gotbaum, a guest scholar of economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “A careful study found that PPP-eligible small businesses laid people off just as quickly as other businesses,” he said.
Why we think it could get extended: The Republican proposal will target the hardest-hit small businesses, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said during the rollout of the bill, including those with revenue losses of 50% or more over last year.
Employee retention tax credit would help pay workers
What it is: Under the program, an employer can receive refundable tax credits for wages paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to subtract from — and even receive a refund over — taxes they owe.
How it could help you: Again, it’s not a direct payment to you, but the program encourages businesses to keep workers on the payroll.
Why we think it could happen: Grassley said the HEALS Act includes further tax relief for business who for hire and rehire workers and the Democrat-backed HEROES Act also builds on the tax credits that were part of the initial CARES Act. And there’s additional bipartisan support besides.
Return-to-work payment of up to $450 each week
What it is: A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are rehired, on top of their wages. As proposed by Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $450 a week.
How it could help you: Under Portman’s plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.
Why we think it may not happen: The White House in May expressed interest in the bonus and Portman continues to support the idea, but it’s not part of the proposal McConnell and the other Senate presented on Monday.
Rental assistance to help keep people in their homes
What it is: This plan would help renters pay rent and assist landlords with expenses with less rent money coming in, especially as the US faces a potential “.”
How it could help you: The rental assistance program would temporarily help you pay rent if you qualify, put a hold on evictions for a year and help cover costs of rental property owners because of rental payment shortfalls..
Why we think it could happen: House Democrats included an eviction moratorium in its proposed HEROES Act. It wasn’t part of the Senate proposal, but President Donald Trump this week said eviction protections would part of the package.
Payroll tax cut to give you more take-home pay
What it is: Trump has for months pushed the idea of including temporary payroll tax cuts in the next stimulus package. The proposal could include cutting both the employer and employee share of payroll taxes.
How it could help you: If you have a job, a payroll tax cut would let you keep more of your earnings each check. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and don’t receive a paycheck. As of July 4, the nearly 32 million people who were claiming unemployment insurance would not benefit.
Why we don’t think it’ll happen: Neither the HEROES Act nor the current Senate plan includes a payroll tax cut. Even Trump seems to have given up on the plan.
Until we know for sure what the finalized stimulus bill will bring, there are some resources to help you through the financial crisis, includingand ; ; and ; how to ; and .