Help is on the way. That was the message repeated often by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Wednesday after Congress finally approved the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.
Those sentiments were echoed by President Joe Biden who tweeted “Help is here,” moments after the roll call ended. But what exactly does that mean for you and your family? How much money can you expect to receive and when will you receive it? And beyond the one-time check what other measures are in the bill that will directly affect you and your loved ones?
For starters, the bill will send an estimated 89% of tax filers a third direct payment worth up to $1,400 for each individual and his or her dependents. The bill provides $350 billion for state aid, $34 billion to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies and $14 billion for vaccine distribution. It also extends $300 per week federal unemployment insurance benefits through Sept. 6, 2021, and increases the current child tax credit for 2021, among many other provisions.
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So how much will you get? According to CNBC single filers earning an adjusted gross income (AGI) up to $75,000 and heads of household earning up to $112,500 will receive $1,400, and married couples earning up to $150,000 are eligible for $2,800. Those taxpayers will also receive $1,400 for each dependent.
After that, there is a steep income phase out: The payments decrease to zero for single filers at $80,000, for heads of household at $120,000 and for married couples at $160,000 AGI. Taxpayers will receive the same amount for each dependent.
A dominant feature of the 628-page bill are initiatives making it one of the biggest federal efforts in years to assist lower- and middle-income families. Included are expanded tax credits over the next year for children, child care and family leave — some of them credits that Democrats have signaled they’d like to make permanent — plus spending for renters, feeding programs and people’s utility bills.
Besides the direct payments and jobless-benefit extension, the measure has hundreds of billions for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, schools, state and local governments and ailing industries from airlines to concert halls. There is aid for farmers of color, pension systems and student borrowers, and subsidies for consumers buying health insurance and states expanding Medicaid coverage for lower earners.
President Biden is expected to sign the bill later this week. After that, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin sending payments to eligible households.
The Associated Press contributed to the report.