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Congressional CARES ACT Provides Economic Relief to Employees

March 29, 2020

By Stephanie West

Washington, DC – In its latest response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, Congress has passed the third package of emergency relief legislation, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act. This bill will provide immediate economic relief for workers across the United States, many of whom found themselves out of work overnight due to COVID-19 related shutdown of businesses.

Highlights:

·        Provides an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four (4) months.

·        Provides an additional thirteen (13) weeks of unemployment benefits to help those who remain unemployed after weeks of state unemployment are no longer available.

·        Provides one-time direct payments of $1,200 for all individuals making up to $75,000; $112,500 for the head of household. Married couples making up to $150,000 who file a joint return are eligible for $2,400. Those amounts increase by $500 for every child. The check amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for the head of household filers, and $198,000 for joint filers.

·        Waives the 10-percent early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes.

Employees or gig professionals who are now out-of-work will benefit immediately. Current state unemployment insurance benefits may be insufficient for most families but it’s expected that it will be supplemented with additional economic assistance… The program includes payments to many not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits.

March 29, 2020

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