Biden 2021 American Rescue Plan Passed in Congress – $1400 Stimulus Checks Payment Updates and Extra Weeks of Unemployment Benefits Extensions

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This article was last updated on March 12

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal called the American Rescue Plan (ARP) has now been passed into law as of March 11, 2021. Two cornerstones of the Biden stimulus ARP package fulfill campaign promises around additional economic impact payments (a.k.a stimulus checks) and extended unemployment benefits until Labor day. Democrats are aiming to get the final Biden stimulus bill passed and signed into law before March 14th, 2021, the date when the current stimulus funding (under the CAA COVID relief bill) for enhanced unemployment benefits expire.

Third Round of Stimulus Checks

Direct economic impact payments of $1,400 to single adult making less than $75,000 and couples earning less than $150,000. The $1400 payment will bringing the total relief in 2021 to $2,000 when including the $600 payments made in January. This third round of stimulus checks will also include another round of $1400 dependent payments and expand eligibility to a broader range of dependents.

Unemployment Benefit Insurance Extensions and Extra Payments

There are provisions for extending COVID related enhanced unemployment benefit programs like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to the end of August 2021. The final bill kept the supplementary weekly unemployment benefit (FPUC) at $300 and pays it for an extra 25 weeks. You can see this article for a graphical representation of the latest extension and coverage period of all the enhanced unemployment programs to date.

The ARP also provides additional unemployment income tax breaks for those households earning less than $150,000 whereby the first $10,200 worth of benefit payments would be tax-free in 2020.

A Biden administration would also maximize work-sharing, a form of “employment insurance” to keep more workers on the job by subsidizing employers to keep employee’s on their payroll.

Extended Unemployment Benefit Programs Coverage Summary

Student Loan Forgiveness

Forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person of federal student loans of offset impacts of COVID related economic losses to impacted students and their families

Increasing Minimum Wage

Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, this would be a 20 to 40% jump in many states. Some like California and Washington are already at this level. However this provision was scrapped in the Senate and will NOT be in the final bill.

Housing Aid, Foreclosure and Eviction

Extending the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums until the end of September 2021. There is also roughly $20 billion of aid to help low-income households cover back rent, rent assistance and utility bills. Around $10 billion has been authorized to help struggling homeowners pay their mortgages, utilities and property taxes. $5 billion has also been provided to help states and localities assist those at risk of experiencing homelessness and another $5 billion for emergency housing vouchers for those who are homeless.

Health Care Relief

Provisions have been added to provide relief for many Americans to save on private health Insurance if they are out of a job, and on COBRA benefit from their employer or getting insurance via Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) through a health exchange. The government would pay the entire COBRA premium from April 1 through Sept. 30. Those who bought health insurance via a government exchange would also get relief through lower premiums that would cost no more than 8.5% of their income (MAGI). See more in this article.

Food Stamps/SNAP Program Extension

The final stimulus plan includes extending the currently approved 15% increase in monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to the end of September 2021. The plan also covers a $3 billion investment in Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Expansion to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

The proposal also includes expanding the current CTC to $3,000 annually per child (or $250 monthly) between the ages of 6 and 17, while increasing it to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 (infants), equivalent to $300 monthly. The IRS will make these payments on a monthly basis versus eligible recipients having to claim the credit via their tax return on an annual basis. A similar increase is also proposed to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

There are hundreds of billions of dollars of funding for COVID testing/vaccination, small business, local and state governments in the bill which I will cover in another article soon.

16 thoughts on “Biden 2021 American Rescue Plan Passed in Congress – $1400 Stimulus Checks Payment Updates and Extra Weeks of Unemployment Benefits Extensions

  1. I want to include my youngest daughter on my application. I finally got her CIB number and enrolled.

  2. Let’s not forget about the Greedy landlords and property managers who are now demanding 5 to 6 times the rent and lead some people on only to reveal this bombshell at the last minute and scumbag people who because they were not affected by this as much, insult and persecute the misfortunate ones.

  3. Can we finally answer for SURE, now that the $1.9 Trillion Relief bill passed the House today, if the “extended jobless benefits” included in that bill will be given to those of us PUA recipients in Illinois (and I assume other states with relatively low unemployment rates now) whose last weeks of PUA were CUT OFF because their state reached a “non-qualifying” unemployment rate?
    I.e., those of who heard from IDES that our PUA benefits reached a MAXIMUM of 50 weeks worth of payments, and the remainder of weeks balance in our IDES account would NOT be paid to us because our state no longer qualified for the extra weeks of benefits BEYOND the “50 week maximum, due to our “lower” Unemployment rate now. Doesn’t something have to be done now to CHANGE that rule about “unemployment rate,” or else we will NOT get those extra weeks of PUA?

  4. When are reporters & journalists going to point out the fact that Pelosi, Schumer & Biden are ignoring RETROACTIVE unemployment FPUC for the months between September and December 2020?! People unemployed then were told once a deal was done it would be retroactive. They are silent, four months without any enhanced benefits is unacceptable. Now they control the Senate what’s the hold up!

    1. Exactly! Nancy wouldn’t accept the $400wk in the Heroes Act bc it wasn’t $600 but but now ZERO is okay?!?! Nancy, Joe & Schumer said they would get this retro! It needs to be fixed for those of us that lost sooo much while they all bickered for months! It’s Nancy’s fault, Joe promised to fix it in his transition papers! They all know better!!! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE TO MAKE THIS FAIR!!! Maybe instead of going forward so many months they should cut it down so they can give the retro that is needed & PROMISED!!!

    2. We desperately need retroactive Fpuc! Those laid off after August got nothing! Now we’re maxed out on credit cards with no way to pay anything! This is totally wrong! Take out the things that have nothing to do with helping people and fix it! We waited and are still waiting! Late fees etc! My garbage man won’t even pick up my garbage because I’m behind on my payments along with everything else! This is uncalled for! Keep you word!

  5. Andy,
    Again, thank you so much for what you do for all of us!! Your the best!! I was hoping you could clarify something to the best of your knowledge. With this new proposal of the American Rescue Plan, I realize that it is still in its infancy stage, isnt approved, and hasnt even yet been brought up for a vote or language even finalized. With that being said, I know everything that I’ve read thus far, states “extended unemployment benefits” would be included and I know that as of now that extension means $400 fpuc until September(extended from march) tentatively from what I’ve read. What I don’t know, and hoping you could give me your best educated guess, has it been mentioned or possible that for those of us who have exhausted everything(regular ui, peuc, extended benefits, and now supposedly 11 additional weeks of peuc whenever states get around to giving it(here in Illinois still nothing yet), is it possible or even probable that benefits could possibly even be extended further via something like peuc being extended past the current 24 weeks, or when they say “extended unemployment” are they simply referring to extending the fpuc($300 a week now/$400 what Biden is proposing until September) just for people who already have remaining weeks left? Or is it possible they would extend peuc past the current 24 weeks so we that have exhausted everything could also receive the additional $400 fpuc that biden is proposing? I hope what I wrote is clear enough that you understand what I’m asking. If not I apologize as I realize it’s a bit convoluted but didn’t know how else to explain it. You have no idea how much your expertise and your knowledge and opinion would mean!! Thank you in advance my dear friend and hope you and your family are well!!

    1. From what I understand..
      Once you’ve exhausted reg UI and PEUC you will be eligible for additional weeks through the federal PUA program until sometime in Sept. you will also get the $400 extra in addition to the PUA

  6. Joe Biden originally promised $600.00 a week in FPUC plus it would be retro active back to July 25th 2020 at $600.00 a week = $12,000.00

    $400.00 a week in FPUC is a joke!

    What’s going on here!
    What’s with the bait and switch?

    1. Exactly!!! I would understand if they don’t retro at $600 week but if they are going to set FPUC at $400 week they need to retro pay us all the weeks we got screwed because it was never supposed to be ZERO!!!!!!

    2. Totally agree! Where’s the retroactive unemployment FPUC Pelosi & Schumer held up negotiations for in October? Unemployed people during Sept-Dec still need it to pay past bills & rent, Biden is letting it slip through the cracks?

  7. What if you have been unemployed since March and your earnings are 85,000 last year will I see a full stimulus check amount in 2021 due to fact I have nothing coming in and I only received $81.50 from the first $1200 stimulus check

  8. Andy, I’m exhausted all 59 weeks as of month ago, my travel agency never came back. Since the new enhancement doesn’t include retro, am I able to get 11 weeks going forward, or am I toast?

    1. Hi Mike,

      I’m in a similar boat. I also work in the travel industry, and after being laid off in February thinking I’d go back to my same employer (who has now closed) after a few months, here we are end of December and I’ve exausted 26 weeks standard UI, 13 weeks PECU, and 13 weeks extended benefits. I’m not wanting to be out of a job any longer, but realistically the industry I am in isn’t going to bounce back right away.

      What does one do? I’ve applied for equally paying jobs outside of the industry (some with less pay, too), but I’m not qualified because I have no experience in those particular fields. I can temporarily get a job as a barista, but that’s not going to cover my expenses. I’m at a loss and hoping to get some answers. However, January isn’t going to give us much in the way of answers.

      Someone mentioned reapplying after benefits are exausted. I’m looking into that. Have you heard any details about that? I’m guessing every state handles this different.

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