The third stimulus bill is undergoing modifications with a Senate vote pending. While the next stimulus bill has yet to become law, there are dozens of ways it could improve your quality of life.

As the nation continues to suffer the effects of COVID-19’s economic losses, many look forward to the next stimulus bill’s passage. Here’s what could be included in the new stimulus bill.

Stimulus Bill Overview

At this stage of the bill’s development, some of the most important provisions are:

  • $1,400 direct payments for individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples that earn up to $150,000 
  • $20 billion for a national COVID-19 vaccination program
  • $170 billion for colleges, schools, and universities to reopen
  • $350 billion for local governments, state governments, and tribal governments
  • A $400 per week unemployment insurance supplement through August 29
  • A gradual federal minimum wage increase to $15 an hour by 2025
  • An extension to pandemic-era programs that would expand jobless benefits to gig workers and self-employed people 
  • Relief to households of up to $3,600 per year

The next stimulus bill also features provisions with money allocated for: 

  • Agriculture
  • Education and Labor
  • Energy and Commerce
  • Financial Services
  • Oversight
  • Small Business
  • Veterans Affairs
  • Ways and Means

Stimulus Bill Details

Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in the new stimulus bill:

Agriculture

The stimulus bill has three critical details for agriculture:

  • The stimulus bill allocates $3.6 billion to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
  • A total of $500 million in grants would provide farmers and ranchers, particularly those who’ve experienced discrimination by the USDA.
  • There’s also a 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 30, 2021. Funding would also help create technological improvements for the program.

Education and Labor

Education and labor may be the most detailed portion of the bill. 

  • $1.4 billion would help bolster Older Americans Act investments to further help with disease prevention programs, nutrition programs, and support services.
  • $130 billion to support school reopenings to provide PPE, reduce class sizes, and ventilation system upgrades. 
  • $40 billion would operate as grants for higher education. Colleges and universities must use half of this money as emergency financial aid. 
    • For-profit colleges and universities must use all of this money received for student aid. 

Child care is the second issue addressed in this portion of the stimulus bill: 

  • $39 billion would form a grant program. Child care providers would use the grant money received to pay for child care tuition costs. 
  • An additional $1 billion would go to the Head Start program.

Food assistance is another cornerstone of the education and labor problems the bill addresses: 

  • $4.5 billion would allow families using the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to pay for cooling and heating costs.
  • $5 billion would go to a Pandemic-EBT program for low-income families to receive food assistance. The bill would also provide additional funding for WIC.
  • Emergency homeless shelters would also see an increase in eligibility for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. 

Finally, health care would undergo essential changes. COBRA subsidies would have a premium reduction of 85% through September. Provisions would also improve health coverage subsidies with the Affordable Care Act.

Energy and Commerce

The new stimulus bill features several allocations for different departments to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response.

  • $46 billion would go to the Department of Health and Human Services. This is so the department would detect, monitor, and trace COVID-19.
    • $5.3 billion would allow the HHS to conduct more research about the vaccines available and manufacture it.
    • $1 billion would go to the CDC to monitor and track COVID-19 vaccines.
    • $500 million would help the CDC track COVID-19 hot spots. 
    • An additional $750 million would help the CDC combat COVID-19 worldwide.
  • $6 billion would allow tribal health programs to continue. 
  • $7.6 billion would help HHS with the public health workforce; an additional $100 million would allow the Medical Reserve Corps to improve emergency response efforts.
  • $7.6 billion would allow community health centers to invest in COVID-19 related testing, PPE, and vaccinations. 

This portion of the bill also has two sections for energy use: 

  • $4.5 billion would allow HHS to help those affected by COVID-19 economically to pay their energy bill and water bill. 
  • $7.6 billion would form an Emergency Connectivity Fund. The FCC would use this fund to expand internet connectivity to students and teachers.

Finally, $3.5 billion would provide block grant programs for both mental health and substance abuse treatment. 

Financial Services

The new stimulus bill has provisions to increase the Defense Production Act, homelessness funding, rental assistance, and small business credits:

  • $5 billion would further aid communities providing shelter to those who are homeless.
  • $5 billion would 
  • $10 billion would increase spending under the Defense Production Act to allow private companies to make materials to respond to COVID-19. 
  • $10 billion would go to the State Small Business Credit Initiative. This initiative would finance small businesses through state, territorial, and tribal programs. 
    • Some of the money allocated to the State Small Business Credit Initiative would be directed to economically disadvantaged business owners, minority-owned businesses, and tribal government programs.
  • $25 billion would be available as emergency rental assistance: 
    • $5 billion would fund emergency housing for domestic violence survivors, human trafficking victims, and people at risk of homelessness.
    • A provision within the bill would help people living on USDA-subsidized property. 
    • A second provision would help Alaska Natives, Native Americans, and Native Hawaiians with housing.
    • The Treasury Department would receive $19 billion for rental and utility assistance. This funding would be available for cities, counties, states, and territories.
  • Almost $10 billion would assist states, territories, and tribes with mortgage payments and property taxes.

Oversight

The new stimulus bill has several improvements for local, state, territorial, and tribal communities:

  • $350 billion would be used in two portions: 60 percent would go to states, and 40 percent for states, territories, and tribal communities.
    • $25.5 billion would be divided among the 50 states.
    • $169 billion would be split corresponding to each state’s amount of unemployed workers.
    • States and Washington, DC would receive almost $200 billion. 
  • Local governments would receive $130 billion to split among cities and counties:
    • $65 billion would go to cities as community development block grants. 
    • $65 billion would go to counties based on populations. 
  • Territories would receive $4.5 billion. 
  • Tribal governments would receive $20 billion.

The bill also features funds for oversight money and postal workers:

  • $570 million would go to federal employees, and postal workers for emergency paid leave. 
  • Two oversight entities, the Government Accountability Office and The Pandemic Response and Accountability Committee, would receive $117 million to oversee pandemic relief funds.

Small Business

The new stimulus bill also has funding for small businesses:

  • The stimulus bill allows for easier enrollment for PPP Loans:
    • An additional $7.25 billion would fund future PPP Loans, bringing total investments for small businesses up to $813.7 billion.
    • Online-only news publications with more than one physical location but with less than 500 employees per location can apply for PPP Loans.
    • Nonprofit organizations can also apply for PPP Loans.
  • The bill provides $15 billion towards the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. $1.25 billion of this amount would extend the Shuttered Venue Operator grant.
  • Finally, the bill includes $25 billion for restaurant revitalization. The Small Business Administration would use $5 billion to help businesses with a gross revenue of under $500,000.

Transportation and Infrastructure 

There are two portions of the bill that address disaster relief and public transportation:

  • $50 billion would reimburse local, state, territorial, and tribal governments for COVID-19 response expenses. This includes National Guard deployment, PPE, and vaccinations.
  • $30 billion would fund public transit: 
    • $8 billion would go to airports. 
    • $3 billion would go to aerospace manufacturing for payroll support. 
    • $3 billion would go towards the Economic Development Administration for grants
    • $1.5 billion would go to Amtrak for payroll and reinstating long-distance service. 

Veterans Affairs

The stimulus bill also features funding for Veterans Affairs:

  • The bill provides $272 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which would help appeals backlogs and COVID-19 benefit claims.
  • Second, the bill provides money for State veterans’ homes, facilities used to provide care for veterans.
    • The VA would use $500 million to enhance and upgrade state veterans’ homes.
    • $250 million would fund one-time emergency payments to support facilities.
  • Third, the bill allocates $13.5 billion for health care services and medical care to help veterans experiencing delays in care or more costly care.  
  • Fourth, additional funds are in place for VA improvements:
    • $100 million would go towards the VA’s supply chain modernization.
    • $10 million would go towards the VA’s inspector general office for oversight purposes.
    • Nearly $400 million would assist veterans who experienced job losses because of COVID-19. This would allow the VA to waive copays for veterans through September 30.

Ways and Means

Federal Unemployment Benefits

An additional $400 in federal unemployment benefits would continue until August 29, 2021, which would increase from $300  and expire on March 14. Contractors and self-employed individuals would have access to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program through August 29, 2021.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program would also continue through August 29, 2021.

The bill also directs $2 billion to the Department of Labor to improve the state’s unemployment systems.

Stimulus Checks

Individuals earning up to $75,000 could receive a third stimulus check worth up to $1,400. The stimulus check would phase out for individuals earning more than $100,000 and more than $200,000 for couples.

Unlike previous stimulus checks, adult and child dependents are eligible for this payment.

Pensions

Multi-employer pensions, pensions created through agreements between two employers and a union, would be bailed out. 

Subsidies for the Affordable Care Act would increase for 2021 and 2022 for low-income and middle-income families. People making more than 400 percent of the poverty level would pay no more than 8.5 percent of their income for coverage.

Child Tax Credit 

The child tax credit would undergo changes and increases for 2021: 

  • The child tax credit would increase to $3,600 per child for children under age 6.
  • The child tax credit would increase to $3,000 per child for up to age 17.
  • The child dependent tax credit would change so that families can claim up to half of their related care expenses. 

Earned Income Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit would change for people without children as the minimum age to claim the credit would decrease from 25 to 19. The tax credit would almost triple the maximum credit from $543 to $1,402.

Child Care 

Funding will increase for Child Care Entitlement to States, which provides funding for child care for low-income families. The funding would grow to over $3.5 billion. This bill would suspend the state match requirements for new funds for the current and next fiscal years.

Stay Updated With the New Stimulus Bill

As we learn more about the stimulus bill, it’s crucial to understand how it can affect you. Follow 1-800Accountant for coronavirus legislation updates and to learn more about the new stimulus bill

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Written by Rudy Robles

Rudy Robles is the Bookkeeping and Payroll Supervisor for the Eastern Team at 1-800Accountant. Prior to 1-800Accountant, he worked in variou...