Congress is debating how Americans could get more financial relief.
6 Ways the Government May Give You Free Money During COVID-19
How would you like to get $2,000 from the government for six months?
What about months of canceled mortgage and rent payments? Or seven paid sick days per year?
Congress is back in session on July 3 and will debate several bills that may add some needed aid to Americans struggling due to COVID-19. Experts predict most won’t pass in their current form. But those bills will influence future laws as soon as November.
Click or swipe through to see what coronavirus aid is up for debate.
1. Emergency Money for the People Act
Sponsor: Tim Ryan (D-OH)
If you like the stimulus check you got before, imagine getting more than 10 times that amount spread out over six months.
That’s what the Emergency Money for the People Act proposes – and it also wants to include dependents. The CARES Act, which gave Americans a series of sweeping benefits like unemployment checks and student loan breaks, only gave stimulus checks to non-dependants.
The Emergency Money for the People Act outlines:
- $2,000 per month to everyone ages 16 and older earning less than $130,000 annually
- $4,000 to married couples whose annual income is below $260,000
- $500 per child, capped at three children
That means the average American family with two children would get $5,000 a month if the kids are 16 years old and younger.
2. Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act of 2020
Sponsor: Ilhan Omar (D-MN)
The Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act doesn’t just want to postpone your payments – it wants to get rid of them entirely.
Under this act, all rent and mortgage payments would be permanently canceled. It would last 30 days after the government says the pandemic is over.
Other benefits include:
- No fees or additional interest for nonpayment
- No eviction because of nonpayment
- No negative credit scores due to nonpayment
Renters could also apply for an unspecified amount of money from a Lender Relief Fund, but only once.
3. Automatic Boost to Communities Act
Sponsor: Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)
The Automatic Boost to Communities Act would give money to Americans, but it also wants to give checks to undocumented residents and other groups.
Under this act, the following would receive $2,000:
- Citizens and non-citizens
- People in territories like Puerto Rico
- Anyone without a bank account, social security number or permanent address
The money would come in a state-issued U.S. Debit card, and the card would be loaded with an additional $1,000 monthly after the first payout. The payments would continue until employment numbers improve.
4. Paid Sick Days for Public Health Emergencies and Personal and Family Care Act
Sponsor: Patty Murray (D-WA)
Depending on your state and profession, the amount of paid sick time you get can vary wildly. But the Paid Sick Days Act would be the great equalizer.
Under the act, every employer must give employees one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a cap at 56 hours. The employee will be paid either their regular rate or one above their state’s minimum wage.
During a public health emergency, employees also get two weeks of paid sick time in addition to their earnings.
5. Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act
Sponsor(s): Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT)
Under the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act from Bernie Sanders, you could get up to $10,000 – and this amount would come in every month.
Under this act:
- Every American and resident alien with an income under $120,000 receive $2,000 per month
- Married couples who file jointly and make under $200,000 receive $4,000
- People receive $2,000 per child, capped at three children
The payments continue until three months after the government ends the COVID-19 emergency order.
6. The Worker Relief and Security Act
Sponsor: Don Beyer (D-VA)
If you’re unemployed, you may be getting an extra $600 a week under the CARES Act. But that ends on July 31, and predictions say that unemployment levels could still be double digits by 2021.
That’s why the Worker Relief and Security Act, which has been outlined but not submitted to Congress yet, wants to extend those payments until a month after COVID-19 ends.
The $50 billion bill would also establish benefits after the pandemic is over. These payments change based on your state’s unemployment rate – the higher the unemployment, the more money you can get.
The most you could receive is $450 a week, and the government could keep paying you for 65 weeks at most.
7. Will the bills pass?
Like the HEROES Act, these bills probably won’t pass as written, economic analyst Dennis Shirshikov at Fit Small Business said. But they are proposing ideas that could be used in future legislation, such as stimulus checks going to dependents and resident aliens.
It’s all about timing, he said – the committees have to research the bills’ possible impact, and national COVID-19 data is still being disputed.
“Everybody realizes that it's a political win to release something like this, but nobody wants to be too trigger-happy,” Shirshikov said. “They want to make sure that there's not a big national effort before it's necessary.”
But Shirshikov believes the chance of more aid coming by November is high, especially because political parties want to influence voters for the upcoming presidential election.
“Nothing says ‘Vote for me!’ like $1,200 in the mail,” he said.
This article by Hope Dean was originally published on Debt.com.
Published by Debt.com, LLC