Agreement Reached on COVID-19 Stimulus Package

Posted By Mike Meyer, Monday, December 21, 2020

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By Patrick O'Brien, JD, Legal Coordinator, American Med Spa Association

Over the weekend, congressional leaders announced that they had agreed on a new stimulus package to aid people and businesses effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please note, an official version of the bill has not yet been released, and Congress has not yet formally passed it, so the details and provisions could potentially change. Congressional leaders announced their intentions to vote on this and send it to the president's desk as soon as possible. Here are some of the current main provisions of this agreement.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was created in the first round of stimulus, receives additional funding and some modifications. Originally, the PPP allowed businesses to receive loans equal to 2.5 months of their payroll. The loans were fully forgivable, provided they were spent on approved expenses. Congressional leaders indicate that an additional $284 billion will be made available in the program, with some borrowers having the option of applying for a second loan. Additionally, the application process will be simplified for loans up to $150,000, and a wider variety of small businesses will be eligible for these loans.

Direct Stimulus Checks

The current deal contains direct payments equal to $600 per adult and child. The funds begin to phase out for persons who earned more than $75,000, or $150,000 if married and filing jointly last year.

Supplemental Unemployment Payments

Those who are currently unemployed and collecting unemployment benefits may be eligible to collect additional funds for a longer period. The pandemic unemployment insurance program would be extended an additional 11 weeks. Unemployment payments would be supplemented by $300 per week under this agreement.

Other Assistance

The current agreement also contains provisions for increasing the SNAP benefit and other food and nutrition programs. The halt on evictions would also be extended to the end of January, with funds being made available to pay for utilities, back rent and other housing expenses. Borrowers with federal student loans currently are not required to make payments until the end of January; this agreement would extend that time further, but it is currently unknown when the new extension would end.

We will continue to monitor this situation as it develops and provide updates once the official language of the agreement is known.

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