What the CARES Act Means For Workers

40 Coworkers Flirting

Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees.

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act into law. 

This bill includes provisions to help industries, small businesses, and American workers through the hardships of COVID-19. 

We’d like to explain a few of the provisions that could affect small businesses and employees. 

Direct payments to individuals

Through the CARES Act, individuals can receive direct payments depending on their income levels. Individuals with a gross income of $75,000 or less will receive $1,200, and couples with a gross income of $150,000 or less will receive $2,400. The amounts will be reduced for those with incomes above the threshold, and the assistance will phase out completely for individuals making more than $99,000 and couples making more than $198,000.

Unemployment expansion

This bill also expands unemployment insurance, enhancing and broadening the benefits.

Under the CARES Act, unemployment benefits will increase up to an additional $600 each week for four months and extend up to 13 weeks past the typical 12-28 weeks. 

The bill also expands benefit eligibility so individuals who wouldn’t typically be eligible, such as contractors or self-employed workers, those who are partially unemployed, and people who have exhausted benefits, can now receive unemployment benefits.

You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if:

  • You or someone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Your child’s daycare or school is closed
  • Your workplace is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Unemployment benefits will not be available for those who can telework with pay or are receiving paid sick or family leave. 

Here are other important details of the bill:

  • There’s no longer a one week waiting period 
  • The federal government will cover 100% of the cost 
  • These provisions are in effect from January 27 to December 31, 2020 

This is simply a highlight of the unemployment expansion. For more info about eligibility and benefits, be sure to reach out to your HR business partner. 

There are a few other provisions in the CARES Act to help offset the burden of COVID-19 for individuals, including delayed mortgage payments for federally backed loans and student loan deferment, just to name a few.

For more info on the small business loan provision in the CARES Act, read our blog post.

If you have questions about how this bill could impact you or your company, contact your HR business partner or call us at 888.811.5150. We’re happy to help! 

To find more resources on COVID-19, check out our resources page.

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