The CARES Act
Relief and Economic Security
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) has been passed and signed into law. The package is meant to provide support to families and businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Please see below for details on major pieces of the legislation to see how it can support you, your family, or your business.
Updated: April 21, 2020
Direct Cash Payments (Stimulus Checks)
The CARES Act authorizes the government to send a single direct cash payments to taxpayers. This is being called an Economic Impact payment.
-Track your stimulus payment or enter your banking information for direct deposit via the IRS website here.
-Individuals who filed taxes in 2018 are eligible to receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for couples filing jointly), and an additional $500 for children age 16 and under.
-To receive the full $1,200 you adjusted gross income must be under $75,000. For couples filing jointly to receive the full $2,400 their adjusted gross income must be under $150,000. If you already filed your 2019 tax return, your 2019 figures will be used. If you have not yet filed, your 2018 figures will be used.
-If you did not file taxes in 2018 you must file now in order to receive the Economic Impact Payment.
-If you are a Social Security recipient and have not filed taxes because you are not required to, you will not need to file anything and you will receive an Economic Impact Payment.
-If the IRS has your direct deposit information based on your 218 filing they have indicated they will deposit your Economic Impact Payment automatically into your account in the next three weeks.
-If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, they have indicated they will establish and online portal to allow you to enter your direct deposit information.
-You can calculate your payment using this calculator from the Washington Post here.
-For more information visit the IRS website here.
Changes to Unemployment
The CARES Act authorizes states to enter into agreements with the Federal Government to expand unemployment benefits in a number of ways.
The Office of Unemployment Assistance has issued the following updates regarding implementation of the CARES Act.
-For traditional unemployment filers: Massachusetts has started applying the additional $600 federal benefit to weekly benefits. There is no action needed to receive the additional benefit. The benefit will be retroactive to March 29. New filers are also eligible.
-As of today self employed individuals, gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors and others who are not eligible for traditional unemployment insurance can now apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) in Massachusetts.
-Apply online for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance here: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-pandemic-unemployment-assistance?fbclid=IwAR0Xw_9OBt5vJM_DhQDm9gZTGYGNoOxa-hcQ8OIGFepqQTzhoyChMnL0AdY
-Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a COVID-19-related reason but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits.
-For those who have exhausted their previous unemployment benefits: The CARES Act has indicated an additional 13 weeks of benefits may be extended, however, the state has indicated they are still awaiting guidance from the federal government on implementing this. Continue to check for updates at mass.gov/unemployment/covid-19 .
As always I am available to provide constituent services at (413) 285-3041 or JLederman@springfieldcityhall.com
Check the Massachusetts Unemployment Benefits Website for updated info on implementation of changes to Unemployment here: mass.gov/unemployment/covid-19
Support for Small Businesses
The CARES Act includes several provisions designed to support Small Businesses. Learn more about the resources through this guide from the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship.