This evening, President Trump finally signed the Pandemic Relief Bill, clearing the way for long-overdue help to start reaching the American people. This happened Sunday evening around 8pm Eastern time after a full week of uncertainty as to whether he would sign this law.
📌 We now have a free stimulus calculator and tracker on the Skip app, along with a vaccination tracker and an EIDL tracker coming Wednesday.
Earlier this week, after both Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly supported and passed the Bill, Trump called it "a disgrace". He said the stimulus checks should be higher even though many economists have disagreed with this, and polls show American people just want relief now.
Yesterday, additional unemployment benefits expired because the new bill wasn't signed into law and both Republicans and Democrats continued to pressure Trump to sign the Bill. On Sunday evening, he finally signed the Bill.
The signing clears the way for millions of Americans to get enhanced unemployment benefits the first week of January and for individual stimulus checks to start to get distributed. This also clears the way for a new round of PPP and EIDL funding for small businesses, to be implemented by the SBA.
Here is our post from last week that outlines the complete details as it relates to relief for individuals and small businesses.
$600 Direct Payments To Individuals
Stimulus checks are back, albeit in an amount half of what they were in March. This has caused many memes to the affect of "too little, too late". Nevertheless, the Treasury Secretary says direct payments could begin to be sent next week.
The qualifications for this direct payment stimulus check are similar to the original stimulus check. Based on your 2019 tax returns, if your gross income was $75,000 or less, or if it was less that $150,000 if you filed jointly, you're eligible for the full $600 or $1,200 respectively. If you have dependent children, you will also get $600 per dependent child.
If you earned more than these amounts, then you'll get $5 less for every additional $100 you made in gross income.
Another Round of PPP Funding For Businesses
Small businesses with less than 300 employees can apply again for PPP forgivable loans if your Q4 gross income this year is at least 25% less than your Q4 gross income in 2019.
In addition, there is clarification in the bill that expenses paid with PPP loans are tax deductible. There are also a few other clarifications made on eligibility and timing of funds. We did a full post on PPP qualifications and commonly asked questions here.
Additional EIDL Grants for Select Individuals
For small businesses in low-income communities, as defined by the IRS, who've lost 30% or more of revenue over an 8-week timeframe, are eligible for a full $10,000 EIDL grant, whether you've already received an EIDL advance or not.
People who didn't receive EIDL grants in the first go around will be eligible to apply again. EIDL information is subject to change based on the SBA rules, so we will update this information as more becomes available.
The below video talks about how to determine if you meet the "low-income" location eligibility for your small business, which is the primary qualifier for the new EIDL grant funding.
A 3-Month Unemployment Supplement of $300
Also in this Bill is the all-important unemployment boost. This time around it is half of the previous boost of $600. The $300 federal unemployment supplement would be extended through mid-March.
The plan also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.
Funding For Vaccines and Vaccine Distribution
The Bill provides $8 billion for vaccine distribution for the 2 currently FDA-approved vaccines. In addition, it provides $20 billion to make sure that Americans get the shot(s) for free. Finally, it directs $20 billion to states for testing and contact tracing efforts.
Extension of the Eviction Moratorium Through Jan.
The Bill extends the federal eviction moratorium through January 31. It would put $25 billion into a rental assistance fund, which state and local governments would allocate to people to use for past due and future rent or utilities payments.
Funding For Food Assistance Programs
The Bill has $13 billion set aside to boost the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits by 15% and funding food banks, among other programs. We wrote up a guide to SNAP food assistance qualifications and how to apply here.
Funding for Transportation and Airlines
The Bill puts $45 billion in transportation, including at least $15 billion for airline payroll assistance, $14 billion for transit systems and $10 billion for state highways.
Funding for Education
The Bill puts $82 billion into eduction, including $54 billion for K-12 public schools and $23 billion for higher education. These funds will go to additional resources required for schools to remain open safely, like PPE.
Funding for Child Care
The Bill puts $10 billion into child care assistance.
Funding for Live Venues and Theaters
The Bill puts $15 billion aside to aid live event venues, movie theaters, and cultural museums.
Funding for Broadband Access
The Bill sets aside $7 billion to increase broadband access to help communities and individuals that aren't as connected. As most work and school has moved online, communities with less access to Wi-Fi have struggled.
What's Not Included In this Bill?
No Funding for Local Governments, Student Loan Deferment
There are two notable things missing from the bill: funding for local and regional governments and continued deferment of student loan payments. Both had been on the table during negotiations, but eventually scrapped. Student loan payments have been paused, without interest, since the beginning of the crisis, but if no other action is taken about 42 million people will need to begin paying again in a little over a month.
Meanwhile, many city and local governments are struggling to balance their budgets and provide for their residents, without relief on the way. Local government funding and student loan assistance were both major priorities for Democrats, but in order to pass the bill they agreed to remove them.
Updates on the Skip App Trackers Related to the Pandemic Relief Bill
After the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March 2020, we helped hundreds of thousands of individuals and small businesses track relative stimulus progress, EIDL progress, and PPP progress. This was largely based on self-reported data and application numbers.
We will have these trackers once again however they will primarily be based on the Skip App. This will give you a more customized experience and allow you to more quickly track and see progress and get notified of any changes.
Currently, our vaccination distribution tracker is live on the app. In the next few days we will have our stimulus, EIDL, and PPP trackers live as well. Download the Skip App here so you're ready when these features go live.