What The Latest COVID Relief Bill Includes

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This week, congress agreed to pass another COVID relief bill. Here’s what the bill entails for SNAP, Unemployment, Stimulus Payments, and Housing Assistance.

If you are being threatened with eviction, you must fill out this form, certifying you cannot pay rent due to the pandemic and give the completed form to your landlord or to the magistrate.

Increases in SNAP Benefits And Food Access

  • Provides a 15% increase in SNAP benefits for 6 months (through June 30, 2021) for all SNAP participants.
  • Provides $5 million to add additional retailers to online SNAP, including for farmers markets and direct to consumer sales.
  • Provides $100 million for SNAP state administrative expenses
  • Provides $400 million for food banks through the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) with up to 20 percent for distribution of commodities.
  • Provides $175 million for nutrition services for seniors under the Older Americans Act, such as Meals on Wheels
  • Expands food access for children
  • Includes improvement to Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) that will expand access to food benefits for children by allowing all children under age 6 to be deemed “enrolled” in child care, so they will be eligible for P-EBT benefit. The bill also clarifies what constitutes a “closure”  making it easier to reach school-aged children with P-EBT assistance when schools are shifting between in-person, virtual and hybrid schooling.

Unemployment insurance and stimulus:

  • Provides an additional $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021.
  • Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs, which provides additional weeks of federally-funded unemployment benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular state benefits.
  • Increases the maximum number of weeks an individual may claim benefits through regular state unemployment plus the PEUC program, or through the PUA program, to 50 weeks.
  • Provides an extra benefit of $100 per week for certain workers who have both wage and self-employment income but whose base UI benefit calculation doesn’t take their self-employment into account.

Stimulus Payments:

  • $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year.
  • $600 payment for each child dependent.
  • Direct payments have also been expanded to mixed-status households, importantly providing immigrant families across the country with access to financial relief.

Rental Assistance:

  • Extends the existing CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021
  • Establishes the first-ever emergency federal rent assistance program to be distributed by state and local governments.
  • These funds will be targeted to families impacted by COVID that are struggling to make the rent and may have past due rent compounding on itself.
  • Families will be able to use this assistance for
    • Past due rent,
    • Future rent payments,
    • Paying utility and energy bills and preventing shutoffs.

If you are being threatened with eviction, you must fill out this form, certifying you cannot pay rent due to the pandemic and give the completed form to your landlord or to the magistrate.