December 7, 2021

Volume XI, Number 341

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December 06, 2021

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COVID-19: Congress Passes Stimulus Measure with Relief for Individuals, Families, and Workers

On Monday, December 21, Congress enacted a $900 billion stimulus package to support American workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bill awaits President Trump’s signature, which as of this writing is uncertain. This summary provides an overview of the individual, family, and worker relief measures contained in the stimulus package.

Direct Stimulus Checks to Individuals and Families

  • Similar to the stimulus checks issued this spring, individuals and joint filers earning under $75,000 and $150,000 respectively will receive $600, respectively. This amount is the key point of contention for the President, who has called for a $2,000 payment instead. Taxpayers earning above those thresholds would receive a reduced or no stimulus check depending on taxable income.

    Enhanced and Extended Unemployment Compensation Benefits

    • Unemployed workers will receive an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021. Additionally, individuals who have both wage and self-employment income but whose base UI benefit calculation doesn’t take their self-employment into account will be eligible for an additional $100 per week.

    • Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program which provides unemployment benefits to self-employed and “gig economy” workers and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides additional weeks of federal benefits to workers who have exhausted their state benefits. Both programs, which currently support roughly 13 million Americans, were set to expire on December 26, 2020, but will now extend through March 14, 2021.

    • Increases to 50 weeks the total number of weeks that an individual may receive unemployment assistance.

      • HUD can grant loans to cover the mortgages of hospitals and nursing homes under the National Housing Act if those institutions were financially sound prior to COVID-19 and have exhausted all other sources of assistance. The loans are designed to cover one year of loan expenses and obligations.

      • $25 billion is allocated for residential rent, utility payment, and housing cost assistance to be distributed by state and local governments.

      • The eviction moratorium instituted by the Centers for Disease Control for residential tenants was extended by one month, and now runs through January 2021.

©2021 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 358
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About this Author

James Erwin Employment Lawyer Pierce Atwood Law Firm
Partner

Jim Erwin leads Pierce Atwood's Employment Group. He has extensive state and federal litigation experience in a wide range of substantive areas at the trial, appellate, administrative and arbitration levels. His practice involves the defense at agencies and in court of all types of employment claims, including sex, race, religious and national origin discrimination; sexual and racial harassment; disability discrimination under the ADA; FMLA; retaliation and whistleblower claims; restrictive covenant and trade secrets enforcement; wage-hour claims and class actions; defamation; and labor...

(207) 791-1237
Suzanne King, Employment Lawyer, Pierce Atwood
Partner

An experienced management-side employment lawyer, Suzanne King counsels employers on a wide range of employment practices, including: hiring, managing employee performance and discipline, terminations, reductions in force, complaints about sexual and other harassment, reasonable accommodations under the ADA, leave under the FMLA and various state laws, wage and hour practices, including employee classification issues and pay equity, and data privacy and security.  Suzanne also has extensive experience drafting a variety of employment agreements (including executive employment, non-...

(617) 488-8159
Katherine Rand, Pierce Atwood, Employment lawyer
Partner

Having worked in human resources and management in the private sector, Katy Rand brings hands-on experience to her practice.  Her client work primarily involves employment law, with a focus on discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage / hour issues.   Katy helps employers avoid litigation, counseling them on compliance and employee relations issues and, where appropriate, negotiating early resolution of disputes.  She also has an active litigation practice, routinely advocating on behalf of employers in state and federal court, as well as before administrative agencies such as the ...

(207) 791-1267
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