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COVID-19 von Briesen Task Force Resource: Initial Outline of Key Provisions in the CARES Act

Last night the Senate passed a $2 trillion economic recovery bill by a vote of 96-0 called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or "CARES Act". The bill is expected to pass the House of Representatives quickly and be signed into law. The bill provides benefits for individuals and businesses, support for the health care system, and funding for local governments and schools.

The following are some key provisions in the bill:

  • A tax credit of $1200 to most adults or $2400 for married persons. The payment is reduced for individuals making more than $75,000 per year or $150,000 for married persons, depending on their income. Families with children will receive a payment $500 for each child, subject to the income limitations.

  • $500 billion for loans and loan guarantees for businesses, states, and municipalities, including $25 billion for passenger airlines, $17 billion for businesses essential to national security, and $4 billion for cargo carriers. The remaining $454 billion is for loan guarantees and other investments in programs established by the Federal Reserve System to provide liquidity to the financial system that supports lending to businesses, states, and municipalities.

  • A separate $349 billion loan program for small businesses (up to 500 employees) to continue making payroll. A portion of the small business loan can be forgiven depending on how many employees the employer retains.

  • A $150 billion fund for payments to state, tribal, and local governments responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • $100 billion for a Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for grants for health care providers treating coronavirus patients.

  • An Education Stabilization Fund of approximately $30 billion, for grants for elementary and secondary education, and for higher education.

  • $25 billion for emergency Transit Infrastructure Grants administered through the Federal Transit Administration.

  • An additional $15.8 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

  • $9.5 billion in support for agricultural producers impacted by coronavirus, to be administered by the US Department of Agriculture.

  • An increase in unemployment benefits of $600 per week, in addition to the base amount paid by each state, for four months, and an extension of the time period that a person can receive benefits. Under some circumstances, self-employed people and gig economy workers who normally would not qualify for unemployment benefits, can receive benefits under a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

  • A waiver of the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions of up to $100,000 from retirement funds for coronavirus-related purposes.

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About this Author

Terri Boxer, Trusts and Estates Attorney, von Briesen Law Firm, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Terri Boxer is the co-chair of the Trusts and Estates Section. She practices in the areas of marital property, estate planning, and probate and trust administration. She advises clients on business succession planning and tax planning to minimize estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes. She provides services in the drafting of estate plans and other documents including wills, trusts, marital property agreements, premarital agreements and powers of attorney.

She was admitted to the Wisconsin and Illinois Bars in 1982 and is also a member of...

(414) 287-1299
Lyndsey K. Bley, Von Briesen Roper Law Firm, Madison, Labor and Employment Law Attorney

Lyndsey Bley focuses her practice on labor and employment law, worker’s compensation litigation, general corporate matters and protection of intellectual property.

During law school, Lyndsey was Managing Editor and Symposium Editor of Wisconsin Law Review, Treasurer and Coach of the Moot Court Board, and served as a judicial intern for Justice Shirley Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Prior to law school, Lyndsey worked in the Human Resources Department at Epic where she focused on FMLA and employee benefit issues.

She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, Defense Research Institute (DRI) Employment Law Section and Downtown Madison Inc.

608-287-3935