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A Brief Synopsis of the CARES Act

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

In the USA, an estimated $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill - H.R. 748, the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act" (CARES Act) - was signed into law approximately 2 weeks ago. This bill is going to have a tremendous impact on the U.S. economy for many years to come especially to businesses who are eligible for the stimulus relief funds. It also permit individuals directly impacted by COVID-19, which falls under 'coronavirus-related' distributions, to access up to $100,000 of their retirement funds without being subjected to any penalty taxes and/or the 20% tax withholding; however, this is entirely dependent on plan sponsors and administrators.

The CARES Act represents a significant step in the right direction in order to help the US economy move forward; however, it neglects America's most vulnerable population. It fails to ensure assistance to ALL individuals and/or families regardless of immigration status. Luckily for individuals who falls under 'unprotected immigration status', there are health centers that anyone can visit to get tested and receive treatment for COVID-19. The location of these health centers can be found by clicking this link. 

Here are the important bullet points of the CARES Act:

$454 billion - support the Federal Reserve's lending capabilities to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities.

$377 billion - provide loan programs and grants for small businesses and non-profits which can be found here.

$260 billion - dedicated for Unemployment Insurance which waives the traditional waiting period, increases the maximum unemployment benefit by $600/week for 4 months, and extends coverage to part-time, self-employed, independent contractors, and 'gig economy' workers who would ordinarily not be covered by unemployment insurance

$250 billion - provide direct payments to all tax payers

$100 billion - allocated to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to provide immediate financial relief to eligible health care facilities, physicians, and health systems by covering non-reimbursable expenses caused by COVID-19

$45 billion - reserved for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund

$32 billion - federal grants for the aviation industry to be used for employee wages/salaries and benefits including contractors for air carriers

$30.75 billion - grants for local school systems and higher education institutions

$25 billion - food assistance including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

$4.3 billion - set aside for the Centers for Disease Control to combat COVID-19

You can find the entire bill and its provisions by clicking here.

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