As the United States overtakes the rest of the world’s nations in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump signed a historic $2 trillion stimulus package Friday that will offer $1,200 checks to many Americans, among other relief measures.
Trump signed the bipartisan plan, known as the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act,” or “CARES Act,” just hours after the House’s voice vote. The Senate’s unanimous vote was cast late Wednesday.
The legislation is considered the most expensive and largest emergency aid package in the nation’s history, as well as the most critical for “providing emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families and businesses affected by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic,” the bill reads.
The vote comes a day after the U.S. recorded the highest number of confirmed cases across the world, with a tally of more than 94,200, according to the John Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering, as well as a record 3.28 million workers who applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending March 21, the Department of Labor reported.
The stimulus package aims to help those affected one way or the other by the COVID-19 coronavirus, including sending a one-time payment of $1,200 to most Americans and unemployment benefits that will give workers an extra $600 weekly for four months.
“The stimulus bill passed today will provide critical support for California to fight COVID-19 and strengthen our hospitals and health care system,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a prepared statement. “It means an additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance for the many Californians who have already lost jobs and the many more who will during this crisis, provide emergency loans and grants to help small businesses and nonprofits keep people employed, and it provides direct aid to state and local governments so that we can respond to this emergency and aid communities and families during this time.”
Here’s the breakdown:
Who can receive the checks?
Individuals who make up to $75,000 a year can expect a check of up to $1,200, while couples who make up to $150,000 can receive $2,400, as well as $500 per child.
A payment cap would be placed for those who make $99,000 or $198,000 for couples.
Payments would be based on 2018 and 2019 tax returns.
When can you expect to receive a check?
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a previous White House briefing that, “Our expectation is within three weeks we will have direct payments out where we have depository information.”
Those who have set up a direct deposit with the IRS can expect to receive their share of the stimulus checks quicker than those who are expected to receive them by mail.
The package is also expected to set aside $500 billion in aid for distressed corporations, $367 billion in loans for small businesses’ coverage of salaries and wages, $150 billion to states and local governments, and $130 billion for hospitals and medical needs.