After a mere ninth months of economic decay and political gridlock, Congress has finally passed a second stimulus package. At $900 billion, it is significantly smaller than the $2 trillion CARES Act, but it comes just in time to replace certain programs set to expire in December.
Let’s take a look at what the second stimulus bill includes and how it may help you.
Stimulus Checks and Rental Assistance
The stimulus checks in this bill are $600, which is only half of what the checks were in March. However, children also receive $600, which is $100 more than the last round. Additionally, the spouses and children of undocumented immigrants are now eligible for checks (so long as they have Social Security numbers).
The bill also extends the eviction moratorium through January 31st, and it includes $25 billion in rental assistance for those who experienced a loss of income because of the pandemic.
The stimulus package:
- Increases SNAP benefits by 15% for six months
- Expands the Pandemic-EBT program
- Provides food banks and food pantries with $400 million
- Allocates $175 million in nutrition services for seniors
- Provides $13 million in funding for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program
Visit your local government website to learn which programs may be able to help you and your family.
Qualifying unemployed Americans will receive $300 per week in addition to state benefits. As with the stimulus checks, this boost is only half of what it was under the CARES Act. The new benefits will last through March 14, 2021.
The second stimulus package also provides 11-week extensions for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
Loans and Grants for Small Businesses, Schools, & Childcare
The Paycheck Protection Program stopped accepting loan applications from small businesses in August, but the second stimulus package has reopened the program. Unfortunately, it has limited the potential pool of applicants and decreased the total amount a business may receive. That said, it provides businesses with more flexibility regarding how they can use the loan money, and it simplifies the forgiveness process for smaller loans.
Live venues (e.g., theaters, museums, etc.) might also qualify for grants of up to $10 million each. Venues that have lost the most revenue will have the highest priority in the disbursement of funds.
Schools and childcare providers will also benefit from $92 billion in federal aid.
Are You Struggling to Make Ends Meet?
Hopefully, we will continue to see legislation that helps Americans endure this severe economic downturn. But you may not be in a position to wait around and see whether the government pulls through. If, like millions of other people, you are struggling with unmanageable debt and lost income, you may want to consider other forms of financial relief. One such method is bankruptcy, which hundreds of thousands of Americans use each year to achieve freedom from overwhelming debt.
At Lam Law Firm, our attorney can take the time to help you understand bankruptcy and determine whether it may improve your situation. She can also discuss bankruptcy alternatives with you, and her goal will be to develop the best possible legal and financial strategy for you and your loved ones.