Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
Posted December 22, 2020

Congress' $900 billion COVID relief package - what you need to know

Congress approved a $900 billion COVID relief package. What does this mean to workers, and what does it include?
Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
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Congress' $900 billion COVID relief package - what you need to know
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Updated December 28: Second stimulus passed

After a lot of debate and uncertainty, Congress has announced a $900 billion Coronavirus relief stimulus package that was signed into law by President Trump on December 27, 2020. This second round of COVID relief provides some assistance to small businesses, unemployed workers, public transportation, schools, and vaccination distribution. Here's how the bill will impact you most likely:

Stimulus checks

This relief package will send out $600 direct stimulus payments to individuals. These checks will be provided to taxpayers living in households that earn $75,000 or less.

Eligible families will receive an additional $600 per dependent child, $100 more than what was given in the first round of relief.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced the payments will start to go out before the new year, but the exact date has not been announced. Direct deposit payments will arrive fastest, while checks sent by mail could take until late January to start arriving.

Unemployment benefits

Those who are unemployed will receive an additional $300 weekly beginning at the end of December and continuing through March 14. However, Trump's delay in signing the bill means it will take a few days for government agencies and states to organize, minimizing the bonus unemployment benefit window from the original 11 weeks to 10 weeks. There's no language in the bill that would make payments retroactive.

This new agreement also extends two other pandemic unemployment programs that were created in the March 2020 CARES act. These programs will close to new applicants mid-March and phase out in early April for existing claimants.

  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program

    This program expands unemployment benefits to freelancers, gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed workers affected by the Coronavirus.

  • The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

    This program provides an additional 13 weeks of payments for those who have used up their regular state benefits.

  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

    Individuals who earned at least $5,000 per year in self-employment income now receive an additional $100 weekly benefit, in addition to the benefit amounts they otherwise would be entitled to receive from traditional employment under state law.

Small businesses loans

The Paycheck Protection Program will reopen so that small businesses can apply for a second loan. This new bill designates $12 billion for minority-owned and small businesses and $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters, nonprofits, and cultural institutions.

School and child care funding

$82 billion in aid for K-12 schools and colleges, plus an additional $10 billion to support child care providers that have struggled due to the pandemic have been added to this bill.

Rental and nutrition assistance

Under this bill, eviction protections are set to extend through January 31. It also provides $25 billion in rental assistance for those who lost their source of income during the pandemic.

SNAP benefits will be raised by 15% for six months and the Pandemic-EBT program to families with children under the age of 6 will expand. It will now provide money to eligible families with school-age children instead of the free and reduced-price meals they would have received in school. $400 million will be sent to food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program and $175 million will be used for nutrition services for seniors.

Vaccine funding

$20 billion for the purchasing of vaccines and $8 billion for distribution costs is included in the bill. This allows the COVID-19 vaccine to be available at no charge to those who need it. It will also includes $20 billion to assist states with testing.

What does the January 15 cutoff mean?

This stimulus bill puts a deadline on the delivery of second-round payments. The IRS cannot send any second stimulus checks after January 15. If you do not receive your payment by then, you'll have to claim the amount owed to you as a "recovery rebate" credit on your 2020 federal income tax return.


Do you think this second round of relief will be enough? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Elyssa Duncan
Community Specialist
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Garry Burnett

I did not receive my first check nor did I receive my second check why?

45w
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Francis Winebrenner

The 600 was a slap in the face..i work in a restaurant and are buisness is so slow...my rent is 700 month...that 600 is already gone..and now i am living paycheck to paycheck...i have a kid to support and another stimlus would be nice so i can buy my son some shoes

45w
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Charlotte stevens

I entered my information on the get my rebate 600 stimulus check irs website it keeps saying that I have entered my information wrong but I didn't it's all correct how will I know if the irs sent my stimulus check out ????

45w
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Jennifer King

This is all such crap honestly. Received a text saying check was mailed out on the 6th. It’s now the 16 and no check? Unemployment is all messed up. I have no income coming in and I am drowning. What’s going on

45w
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Marlen Melo

my situation is very difficult I don't have any income looking for a job is almost impoposible is no openings I don't know what to do?

45w
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1
pauline germello

This disgusting and I been out of work since 2019 and looking for work and I paid in alot of taxes when I was working and giving it to people that already have an stable income and which is bull shit and the government doesn't care about the American people and everybody should be entitled to that money that we work for

44w
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Amanda Somma

600 dollars was not even enough to pay my bills and to by food for my family.I hope this year gets better for all of us it as been so bad fore are family.I hope thay send us all more money to help us out with Are familys and are other bills thank you.

44w
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e embom

Didnt any body here learn how to knock on doors and offer thier labor to do anything and figure it out if you dont know how. I started my first biz at age 11 making $80 an hr cleaning gutters. Anyone can still do that job and never run out of work. Im a self taught engineer in multiple fields and dont work for less then $135 an hour dinking around. Not many things i cant do thanks to the non fiction section of the library and youtube. Workers always work the other people are lazy dumb ass bums

44w
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1
Lottie j Miller

Greatly appreciated 🙏

41w
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Julie Robbins

Yes a Blessing from God

19w
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