What You Need To Know About The American Rescue Plan

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The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things for people all over the country in the past year. More than 9 million workers lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and we are still recovering from the financial impact. On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) was signed into action. This act is designed to support workers across the United States who need extra support during this difficult time.

What Does The American Rescue Plan Do?

The goal of the ARP is to provide direct relief to Americans in the wake of the pandemic. The American Rescue Plan gives relief to many workers, such as:

  • Extended Unemployment Benefits

  • Support for Small Businesses

  • Providing Assistance to Families

  • Extended Unemployment Insurance

  • Safety for Workers & Schools

  • Lowered or Eliminated Health Insurance Premiums

Extended Unemployment Benefits

One of the most important parts of this plan is the way it can help those who are currently still unemployed. Even with the economy starting to build back up, about 4 million people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic have experienced unemployment for at least six months. ARP extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance from the original 50 weeks to 73 weeks. This means unemployment benefits are extended through September 6, 2021. In addition to this, Emergency Unemployment Compensation has also been extended from 24 weeks to 53 weeks.

Support for Small Businesses

Many communities are still struggling with the financial side effects of COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan will assist small businesses by providing emergency grants and funding so they can rehire workers. These grants can also be used to purchase health and sanitation equipment, so employees and patrons can continue to stay safe. There is also a Small Business Opportunity Fund, which can be used by main street businesses in disadvantaged areas.

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families

The American Rescue Plan delivers immediate relief to families across the country. In fact, because families are bearing the brunt of the impacts of COVID-19, much of this plan is dedicated to helping them get back on their feet. The goal is to build a bridge to a fuller economic recovery for families. This plan will:

  • Increase the value of benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • Increase the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,000

  • Provide families with extra tax credits help by cutting child care costs

  • Expand child care assistance by increasing tax credits to help cover the costs

  • Increase the earned income tax credit for workers across the country by up to $1,000

Safety for Workers & Schools

The American Rescue Plan is dedicated to keeping workers safe. The ARP is providing additional funding to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to help keep vulnerable workers healthy. This is done in part through the national vaccination program. Included in the ARP is $160 billion that will provide supplies, testing, and public health workforce to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Assistance with Health Insurance Premiums

Many workers who lost their jobs are not able to pay steep health insurance premiums. Whether people lost all of their guaranteed income or are working reduced hours, this is a difficult expense for many Americans to afford right now. ARP will be fully subsiding COBRA premiums for those who are eligible. This will be in effect from April 1, 2021 until September 30, 2021.

American Rescue Plan | Bennett CPA

The American Rescue plan is dedicated to helping American workers get back on their feet after enduring a devastating year. While COVID-19 has impacted many, together we can recover. At Bennett CPA, we know new tax legislations can be confusing to understand. Our dedicated team strives to provide you with the best resources and information available. Contact us today to further discuss how we can help you achieve your best financial future.