Who CARES? What the CARES Act Means for You

In March, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion coronavirus response bill in an effort to quickly provide some relief to the American economy. Where is that $2 trillion going and what does it mean for you? Here’s the breakdown:

There are five key ways this Act supports individuals:

Cash Payment

This Act provides for Economic Impact Payments, which means cash payment by direct deposit or check. If you make less than $75,000, you will receive a $1,200 check or direct deposit. If you have children, you’ll receive an additional $500 per child. 

Many have already received their direct deposit via the account they set up when filing their 2018 or 2019 taxes. If you didn’t set up a direct deposit when you did your taxes or through social security, you’ll receive a paper check in the mail in the coming months. If you’re wondering where your stimulus check is, you can track the status with the IRS’ Get My Payment app.

Insurance Coverage

COVID-19 testing is free and private insurers are required to cover treatments and vaccination. (Note: This still leaves a big question mark around what you’ll have to pay if you don’t have insurance. While the CARES Act will reimburse a portion of the costs to hospitals and providers, it’s still unclear if and how much will fall back to the patients when all is said and done.)

Unemployment

Your state determines how much you receive and the number of weeks you receive unemployment payments (which was the case even prior to COVID-19). Under the CARES Act, those who qualify for unemployment will receive $600 extra on top of what the state gives, and an additional 13 weeks of payment. At the moment, these benefits are scheduled to expire sometime in July, but that date could vary depending on how things are looking in the next few months.

Freelancers

Typically, freelancers don’t qualify for unemployment, but this bill offers temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance through the end of the year. Freelancers and contract workers can file with their state at any time.

Tax Returns

Missed the April 15 tax deadline? No need to panic, the deadline has been extended to July 15th.

Sources:

https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares

https://taxfoundation.org/cares-act-senate-coronavirus-bill-economic-relief-plan

Post Your Thoughts