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CAIR COMMUNITY ADVISORY: Congress Passes, White House Signs Coronavirus Aid Package Providing Economic Relief, Direct Payments, Expanded Unemployment Benefits

  • Find out if you qualify for a direct payment or from expanded unemployment benefits

    (WASHINGTON, DC., 3/30/20) – On Friday, the White House signed into law third coronavirus aid package to help keep American businesses and individuals afloat amid the nationwide pandemic that has temporarily closed thousands of business across the country and left millions more furloughed or unemployed.

    Breaking down the $2 trillion Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020, it provides: $560 billion in direct payments to qualifying Americans, $500 billion to businesses, $377 billion to small businesses, $339.8 billion to state and local governments, $153 billion to hospitals and public health institutions, $47.3 billion to aid educational institutions (and authorizes relief to those with college loan payments), and 26 billion towards food security programs (in addition to previous funds made available from prior aid packages).

    How This Aid Package Directly Benefits Individuals That Qualify:
  • Eligibility:
    • One must have a Social Security Number to be eligible.
    • People who are currently receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments are eligible.
    • People receiving unemployment payments are eligible.
    • Veterans are eligible.
  • Direct payments of $1,200 to most individuals making up to $75,000, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Each dependent child age 16 years or under increases the amount by an additional $500. The amount decreases for individuals with incomes above $75,000, and payments cut off for those above $99,000.
    • Even as an adult, you are not eligible to receive payment if you are claimed by someone as a dependent. Payment for any claimed dependent will be received by the Head of Household, in accordance with IRS guidelines.
    • Individual and Joint adjusted gross income will be determined by one’s 2019 tax return filing. If someone has not prepared a 2019 tax return, it will be determined by the 2018 tax return. If someone has not prepared a 2018 tax return, a 2019 Social Security statement may be used to determine your income based on what an employer reported to the IRS.
    • There is no application process for payment.
      • The IRS will disburse payments vis direct deposit based on bank account information that you have provided to them.
    • Payments will be disbursed within 3 weeks of bill signing, followed by a mail notice notifying individuals of their disbursement within 2 weeks.
    • Disbursements will not be subject to income taxes.
  • Expanded unemployment benefits that boost the maximum benefit by $600 per week and provide laid-off workers their full pay for four months. Eligibility is extended to independent contractors and the self-employed.
    • Coverage:
      • People normally eligible for unemployment benefits;
      • Self-employed people;
      • Part-time workers; and
      • Unemployed due to COVID-19 related reasons. 
      • People who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to diagnosis of, experienced symptoms of, or seeking diagnosis for COVID-19. 
      • People who must care for family or household members who have received diagnosis. 
      • People who have been immediately laid off from a new job as a result of COVID-19, and don’t have sufficient work history necessary to qualify for normal unemployment benefits. 
      • People who must self-quarantine, as a result of the outbreak. 
      • People who rely on school, day care, or other facilities to care for children, elderly parents or other members of their household – and that facility is shut down due to COVID-19. 
      • People whose head of household passed away as a result of COVID-19.
    • Received Benefits:
      • Based on state unemployment benefit packages. 
      • Eligible workers will receive $600 per week, in addition to state benefits. 
      • Workers who are unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to diagnosis of, experienced symptoms of, or seeking diagnosis for COVID-19 are covered. 
      • Workers who must care for family or household members who have received diagnosis are covered.
    • Duration of benefits:
      • In addition to the 26-week unemployment benefit package provided by many states, this bill with add 13 weeks – totaling at a maximum possibility of 39 weeks.

CAIR also notes that this aid package would:

  • Create an oversight board and inspector general to oversee loans to large companies
  • Stipulate that companies owned by President Trump and his family, Congress or other federal employees from receiving federal relief
  • Provide $400 million for election security grants
  • Offer various forms of financial assistance to large and small businesses.

    Related News

    Last week, CAIR joined fellow members of the Policy Committee of National Muslim COVID-19 Taskforce in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership calling on Congress to take action to finalize “Phase 3” legislation responding to the novel coronavirus

    CAIR has also joined committee members in a pair of letters to Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar calling on the Trump administration to “increase the production and availability of testing kits nationwide and provide more medical resources and personal protective equipment (PPE) for our hospitals and healthcare workforce” by “immediately invok[ing] the DPA​​to its full potential​ to direct American companies to mass manufacture medical supplies.”

    Two weeks ago, CAIR joined the National Muslim Task Force on COVID-19, a broad coalition of 34 American Muslim organizations, in releasing a joint statement strongly recommending that Muslims in North America make every effort to support self-quarantine and social distancing as advised by local, regional, state, and national public health or government authorities.

    CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

    La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

    END

    CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com; CAIR Government Affairs Department Director Robert McCaw, 202-999-8292, rmccaw@cair.com
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