Last month, we were excited to see the United States congress pass two bills to provide COVID-19 relief: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. There’s a lot of information out there on these bills, so we pulled together a few points we thought you’d be most interested in. Here are the highlights:
COVID-19 tests are free to most people covered by private health insurance, Medicare, TRICARE, and the Veterans Administration (VA).
Two weeks paid sick leave
You may be eligible for up to 80 hours of paid sick time if you’re officially quarantined and/or have been medically diagnosed with coronavirus.
Paid family leave
You might qualify for partially-paid-leave if you’re:
- Taking care of someone in quarantine or with coronavirus, or
- Caring for a child that can’t go to school or childcare right now
How much time off you can get depends on your situation.
The piece everyone is talking about. You may receive a $1,200 stimulus payment from the government if you have a Social Security number and earned less than $75,000 (as reported on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns). Married couples who earned up to $150,000 are eligible for a $2,400 stimulus payment. And if you have kids, you’ll get an additional $500 per child.
A few notes here. If you filed faxes and the IRS already has your banking information, you’ll get your funds via direct deposit. You can check your payment status using this online tool from the IRS. If you didn’t file federal taxes for 2018 or 2019, you can register for the stimulus payments online. And keep an eye out for scams—the IRS has issued a warning about them with notes about what to look out for.
Expanded unemployment benefits
Unemployment benefits are being expanded to provide an extra $600 to your weekly payment. The amount of time you can collect benefits has also been extended. Each state handles unemployment benefits differently, but CareerOneStop has made it easy to find the information for your state.
As everything changes, the government will likely be passing more bills in response to the pandemic. We’ll keep this post updated with helpful information for you.
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