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Next incentive package: HEALS Act benefits go far beyond a second payment



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Proposals being considered in Washington could provide financial support during the pandemic.

Angela Lang / CNET

Visit the WHO website for the latest updates and information on the coronavirus pandemic.

Another stimulus control of up to $ 1,200 can grab the headlines, but a new financial stimulus package – whether it is based on Senate HEALS Act or House’s HEROES Act – can give you much more financial support in addition to a one-time payment for those who qualify. For example, the Republican-backed HEALS proposal wants to be expanded improved unemployment benefits (albeit at a slower pace than before), provide over $ 100 billion to open schools this fall and provide financial support to small businesses to keep workers employed.

With the White House and congressional negotiators ending the week by finding some common ground for the next stimulus proposal, there are a host of suggestions on the table that can – or could not – significantly help you pay rent, buy food, find or keep a job and do it through the ongoing pandemic recession.

Here are the key elements that Democrats, Republicans and White House officials are pushing to include in the next stimulus package – and how likely we are to get them. This story is often updated with new information.

Second stimulus control: Designed to stimulate spending

What it is: A payment is sent to qualified individuals and families, based on annual income, age, number of dependents and other factors. The first stimulus checks approved under the CARES Act has gone out to over 160 million Americans – either as a check, prepaid credit card or direct deposit. But not without problems and after three months some are still waiting for their incentive payment.

How it can help you: The payment is not taxable and you can use it but you want to pay for food, housing, clothes and so on. The idea is that spending checks will help the economy recover faster.

Why we think a second check will pass: CARES makes approved payments of up to $ 1,200 per eligible adult and so does the HEALS Act. The House of Representatives HEROES Act meanwhile demanded a $ 1,200 stimulus check, but for more people. The White House also supports another round of checks, making this a likely part of the final bill.

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The HEALS Act proposes giving eligible Americans stimulus checks the same size as those issued in March.

James Martin / CNET

More unemployment benefits for unemployed Americans

What it is: One additional weekly check for persons who applied for unemployment for the first time or who had already collected unemployment. The program originally approved by the CARES Act provided an additional $ 600 per week and went out on Saturday, but legislators are investigating a new increase in unemployment now.

How it can help you: An extra weekly payment in addition to the regular unemployment benefit gives individuals and families a leg up and cutting it off or reducing it can be devastating for both unemployed workers and the economy.

Why we think it can happen: Republicans support the extension, but at a reduced rate, saying $ 600 a week is too generous. “We learned what we knew then,” Senator Chuck Grassley said on Monday, “that when you pay more for not working than they should be allowed to work, what do you expect? People will not work. And what this country needs are more workers. ”

Democrats support a $ 600 rate hike and oppose the Senate proposal, which would extend benefits based on 70% to 75% of lost wages, starting at $ 200 a week and eventually increasing to $ 500 a week, with the state support. Since no agreement on a major second package is closed and the benefits expire, the two sides can decide on a short-term extension of the benefits while inhibiting the details of the bill.

Wage protection programs to help companies keep people employed

What it is: Intended to help you keep your job, the Paycheck Protection program provides small loans to small businesses as an incentive to keep employees on the payroll.

How it can help you: The program is designed to fund employees who would otherwise have lost their jobs during the pandemic. The program began with a rocky start and it is not clear PPP met the goals set by Congress for it.

“Overall PPPs have not retained many paychecks,” wrote Joshua Gotbaum, a guest researcher in economic studies at the Brookings Institution. “A thorough study found that small business owners eligible for PPP fired people as quickly as other companies,” he said.

Why we think it could be extended“The Republican bill will target the hardest hit small businesses,” said Maine Senator Susan Collins during the rollout of the bill, including those with revenue losses of 50% or more last year.

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A tax credit would help with your salary.

Angela Lang / CNET

Tax breaks for employee livelihoods would help pay workers

What it is: Under the program, an employer can receive a refundable tax credit for salary paid to an employee during the pandemic. The employer can then use the credits to deduct – and even get a refund of – taxes they owe.

How it can help you: Again, it is not a direct payment to you, but the program encourages companies to keep workers on the payroll.

Why we think it can happen: Grassley said the HEALS Act includes additional tax breaks for companies such as employees and rehire workers and the democratically supported HEROES Act is also based on the tax credits that were part of the original CARES Act. And there is additional bipartisan support besides.






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Reimbursement for work up to $ 450 each week

What it is: A temporary weekly bonus for unemployed workers who secure a new job or are exercised on top of their wages. As suggested by Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, the bonus would be $ 450 per week.

How it can help you: According to Portman’s plan, the weekly bonus would go to laid-off workers who return to work.

Why we think it might not happen: The White House in May expressed interest in the bonus and Portman continues to support the idea, but it is not part of the proposal McConnell and the other Senate presented on Monday.

Rental assistance to help keep people in their homes

What it is: This plan would help tenants pay rents and help landlords with expenses with less rent money coming in, especially since the United States faces a potential. “tsunami of ejaculations“.

How it can help you: The rental assistance program would temporarily help you pay the rent if you are eligible, put a stop to evictions for a year and help cover costs for rental property owners due to lack of rent payments. Current protection has expired.

Why we think it can happen: The House Democrats included an eviction moratorium in their proposed HEROES Act. It was not part of the Senate proposal, but President Donald Trump said this week that security protection would be part of the package.

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Payroll tax cuts may not make the cut in the next coronavirus settlement, currently known as CARES Act 2.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Payroll tax cut to give you more home pay

What it is: For several months, Trump has been pushing for the idea of ​​including temporary tax breaks in his salary in the next stimulus package. The proposal may include a reduction in both the employer’s and employees’ share of the payroll tax.

How it can help you: If you have a job, a payroll tax cut would allow you to keep more of your income each check. The plan would not help those who are unemployed and do not receive a paycheck. As of July 4, the nearly 32 million people claiming unemployment insurance would not benefit.

Why we do not think it will happen: Neither the HEROES Act nor the current Senate plan includes a payroll tax cut. Even Trump seems to have given up the plan.

Until we know for sure what the final stimulus bill will provide, there are some resources to help you through the financial crisis, including coronavirus difficulties and unemployment insurance; what you can do if you have lost your job; what to know about drafts and late car payments; how Take control of your budget; and if you can get two refund checks from the IRS.




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