On March 6, the Senate approved a $1.9 trillion relief package that some analysts believe could cut child poverty in half in the United States.
Below are several provisions relevant to children and families:
Education: Schools will receive $128 billion towards efforts to safely reopen. An additional $39 billion in funding will be provided to institutes of higher education to provide students up to $1,700 in additional financial assistance from their college. Any student loan forgiveness passed between December 1, 2020 and January 1st, 2026 will be tax free, rather than considered taxable income.
Employment: An additional $300 weekly supplement ($1200 per month) will be implemented for unemployment insurance and would extend through September 6th, 2021. Additionally, the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits are tax exempt for households making less than $150,000 AGI.
Stimulus: An additional $1,400 per person will be distributed in stimulus checks, with . expanded eligibility to adult dependents and other mixed status households. Single tax filers who made $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax year 2019 or 2020 are eligible, and head of households are eligible if they made $112, 500 or less. Additionally, if a couple filed jointly, they will receive $2,800 if their AGI was $150,000 or less. The new stimulus payment may also include adult dependents, such as students, disabled individuals, or the elderly.
Child Care: An Emergency Stabilization Fund will provide $15 billion to support childcare providers and ensure child-care centers can safely remain open during the pandemic.
Child Tax Credit: The Child Tax Credit will be made fully refundable for the year, in addition to being increased to $3,000 annually per child age 6 and over and $3,600 annually per child under age 6. 17-year-olds will qualify as children under the tax credit. A fully refundable credit allows families to be eligible for the full $3,000 or $3,600, even if their tax credit exceeds their taxes owed. The IRS will work towards implementing a payment plan for the tax credit so that families can begin receiving up to $300 per child, per month from July to December 2021, and families will be able to claim the remaining credit on their 2021 tax returns. Individuals are eligible if they make up to $75,000 annually, or $150,000 for married couples filing jointly.
Food and Nutrition Programs: The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program will increase benefits by up to $35 per month for four months. $1.4 billion in funding is available for programs for low-income seniors, including the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the National Family Caregiver Support Program.
Housing: The act includes $27 billion for rental housing assistance, including emergency rental assistance, emergency vouchers, tribal housing needs and rural housing. $5 billion will be allotted to assist those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence or human trafficking Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will receive $4.5 billion to help families cover heating and cooling costs.
Read about this legislation and more on our bill tracker!