Congress passes massive COVID relief and government funding bill


The new nine hundred billion dollar coronavirus relief package includes a range of measures to help the country through the pandemic among them. A second round of stimulus payments for american households treasury secretary steven mnuchin said that we should start seeing payments in bank accounts early next week but it seems like this is on track to happen relatively quickly even faster than Than last time. Coming up our tax reporter. Richard rubin will explain what's changed since the last round of checks went out plus our reporter andrew dern. We'll take us through the parts of the aid package benefiting unemployed workers and those facing possible eviction. It's after the break. Us households along jobless americans and renters struggling to make payments are all in line for some relief. The nine hundred billion dollar corona virus aid package. We'll talk about unemployment and rental assistance with a reporter andrew during later in the show. But first let's bring in our tax reporter. Richard rubin from more on the new random direct payments that. Come with the package richard. Thanks for being with us. Happy to do it. So first of all. Who's in line to get a check this time. So the checks are going to largely the same group as got checks the first time around in the spring. There's some slight changes in eligibility with the basics are the same. It's anyone who's got income for an individual up to seventy five thousand. Get the full payment for married couples. One hundred and fifty thousand have to have a social security number Children are eligible but there are no payments for non child dependence so in college students or elderly adults who are dependents. You can get a payment even if you have no income and if you're or if you have social security or veteran's benefits or any of those kinds of things you're eligible. The one big eligibility change is what we call mixed status families household where one spouse has a social security number in the other spouses maybe unauthorized immigrant and doesn't Social security number in the first round they were ineligible and this time they are actually retroactively eligible for the payment. Just for the one spouse in any children who have social security numbers so you report. The stimulus checks could go out next week. That seems like a faster turnaround than the last time right. Yeah and somebody's because of the work they did. Last may have the file basically the computer files load up with the right number six hundred dollars per adult six hundred dollars per child and send the money to bank accounts and they've got more bank information than they had in the spring because of people who don't typically filed tax returns but updated their information with the irs treasury secretary. Steve mnuchin said that we should start seeing payments in bank accounts early next week but it seems like this is on track to happen relatively quickly even faster than Than last time. Now how about people who prefer to receive a paper check so they would get it a little bit later. We're still trying to figure out exactly how long that would take. The legislative text of the bill seems to suggest that payments will be done by january fifteenth. And then any one who hasn't received one by then basically can claim it as part of their twenty twenty tax return. So that's one thing that we're kind of looking for some additional clarity on as we go forward here is exactly how this would work for people who might need a paper jacket. Might be that end up getting it on your As part of your tax return okay. So you report. The checks are based on household data from two thousand nineteen. But what if someone's family size change since. The last checks went out in the spring. So that's where the fact that all gets reconciled them. The twenty twenty tax return is important. But it's a one way reconcilable so if you had a child anytime in two thousand and twenty. They wouldn't have been reflected on the first payment or the second one. And so you would get eleven hundred extra as part of your tax refund or lowering your tax payment when you file your twenty twenty tax return the other reason you might see some people changes is if your income went down say you earned one hundred thousand twenty nine thousand nine but then your income went down so you qualify for more for the full payment for twenty twenty. Then you'd be able to claim that on on your tax return but the keeping it doesn't go the other way if your income went up to go out of the rain or any payment the you don't have to pay that back any payment you got. You don't have to pay back if you're if you're eligibility either. In terms of income dependence changes between the time of the payment of the time you value tax return. All right. That's tax reporter richard rubin. The relief package also includes measures to assist jobless. Americans and renters could be facing eviction of the end of the month for more on that we've got reporter. Andrew durham on the line from washington andrew. Thanks for taking the time to be with us. Yeah thanks for having me so this is definitely good. News for people receiving unemployment benefits. How do the numbers stack up for them. So yeah there. There's a few measures in this bill. That will help folks who are on unemployment insurance the probably the biggest one is that people who are receiving unemployment insurance right now. We'll get an additional three hundred dollars per week from the federal government so it will just increase the size of the assistance for for people who are receiving State unemployment payments other measures in. There is that it extends to other unemployment programs by eleven weeks so one of the things that are two of the things that congress did earlier this year when they first started passing relief legislation for covid nineteen is they expanded the number of people who can claim unemployment benefits to include a gig workers contract workers and freelance workers folks like that who don't typically qualify and then they also extended the timeline for state unemployment benefits so that they lasted an additional set a time and so the total time line for folks who could for receiving state unemployment benefits now Thirty nine weeks and so this bill adds onto that even further so that that that number thirty nine weeks now becomes fifty so folks who were facing the possibility of having their unemployment benefits ending In the coming week here we'll now have another eleven weeks to to draw from those benefits and the clock's ticking from any renters. A lot of them have been struggling to make payments and faced possible eviction at the end of the month when some federal protections expire head. Us a covid bill address that so it does too big things for renters in the bill. First of all it gives a twenty five billion dollars in rental assistance. That's that's aimed at kind of low income americans to help them try and cover rent in the first place but then on top of that it extends conviction moratorium which has been in place for much twenty twenty-eight it extends out for another month so that will now last it was it was set to end at the end of this month but it will now end and at the end of january so those are the two those are the two main things got folks who are worried about paying. Rents will be able to count on now

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