The passing of the COVID-19 Relief Bill by the House, is aimed at providing relief to millions of Americans directly affected. This gives some peace of mind for families affected.
Previously an emergency spending bill of $8.3 billion had already been approved to help stop the spread of this disease.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, or H.R. 6201, was passed by the House with a vote of 363 to 40 (I wonder who was opposed to this idea?), includes measures such as;
- COVID-19 testing for all who need it, this includes those with/without insurance.
- Up to two weeks of paid emergency sick leave.
- 90 days of paid family and medical leave.
- Medical leave and unemployment insurance for furloughed (granted leave of absence or temporary release) workers.
- Increased money for Medicaid, health insurance for state, local governments and indigenous peoples.
- Enhanced unemployment for employees who have lost employment secondary to the outbreak.
- Strengthen SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is the program formerly known as food stamps), helping to keep hunger at bay.
- Setting up relief centers, assistance
Employers receive a refundable tax credit to help offset their costs of providing workers with paid leave.
Employees who function in the role of caregivers or who must care for their children due to school and day care closures could receive a daily total amount of $200 per day.
Employees on sick leave can receive a daily total capped at $511 per day.
Self-employed workers would also qualify for the refundable tax credit.
The bill makes allowances of $15 million for the Internal Revenue Service to implement the tax credits for paid sick and paid family and medical leave, so remember to claim on your tax returns.
The government intends to propose another COVID-19 Bill that could include tax incentives to stimulate the economy and assist the working class.
I am slightly relieved that there will be at least some assistance for those who need it. It is my prayer that this bill lives up to its name and provides some much needed relief ….