PLANNING AHEAD: The Biden emergency coronavirus plan — a abstract [Column] | Enterprise

On January 14, 2021, the Washington Post published a summary of Joe Biden’s proposed emergency coronavirus plan (“What’s in Biden’s 1.9 Trillion Emergency Coronavirus Plan”). While ambitious, there is no question about the multiple crises the plan represents, which is expected to be daunting as well. Note that this is a plan the budget of which would have to be reviewed and approved by Congress.

Here is a summary of the key provisions reported by the post along with some of my comments.

Vaccination program. Twenty billion dollars would be invested in a vaccination program that would link the federal government in partnership with states, places, tribes and territories. Plans to support community vaccination centers and mobile vaccination units for rural areas would be included. It is worth noting that access has been a particularly difficult issue and it appears that the new administration intends to address this issue.

Paid emergency leave. The plan provides expanded access to paid emergency leave, including paid sickness, as well as family and medical leave for parents with childcare responsibilities.

School funding. Distance and hybrid learning was particularly difficult during this period, and parents, students and school administrators have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to reopen. According to the executive summary, the proposal would allocate $ 130 billion to reopen schools, which could include reducing class size and changing rooms for social distancing, improved ventilation, and PPE.

Health care workers. 100,000 public health workers would be funded to ensure vaccine reach and contact tracing.

Help for struggling families. This category includes stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits, evacuation protection, fighting the hunger crisis, minimum wage and expanding tax credits for children.

Stimulus checks. This would include $ 2,000 stimulus checks, which is $ 1,400 on top of the $ 600 previously paid. As we may recall, the amount of the next stimulus payment almost dropped from the previous stimulus package as it went through Congress, as Democrats and President Donald Trump rarely agreed to increase payments from $ 600.

Extended unemployment benefits. According to the Post article, the Biden plan would increase the benefit paid by the federal government to $ 400 per week, extending the timeframe through September. This is an acknowledgment that many workers are still unemployed and include self-employed and “gig” workers (like Uber drivers, etc.) who are not normally included in state-provided unemployment benefits.

Evacuation protection. The plan would extend the eviction and foreclosure moratoria to the end of September 2021. Additional rental support would also be included. An additional $ 5 billion would be allocated to help skilled people meet energy and water bills at home, and $ 5 billion in emergency aid to find housing for people affected by homelessness.

Hunger crisis. A portion of the funds allocated to families in difficulty would be used for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, which were approved by the end of September, and for $ 3 billion for the WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program) for women, infants and children). .

Minimum wage. The proposal would also ask Congress to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.

Expand child tax credits. There are currently tax credits for children in the federal tax code. The proposal would increase credit and get 17-year-old kids to qualify for the year.

Support for communities and small businesses. This part of the proposal would include help to small businesses, help to local governments, help to transit systems, and help to tribal governments.

Small business support. This part of the plan would provide $ 15 billion in grants for small businesses and seek to use $ 35 billion to $ 175 billion for small business loans.

Help to local government. Those who followed the previous budget negotiations will recall that a sticking point was support from local governments, which the majority of Republicans felt would be rejected if it were not tied to legal corporate liability protection . Aid to local governments would include $ 350 billion in emergency funding to state, local and territorial governments to pay frontline workers, distribute vaccines, increase testing and reopen schools.

Whether or not these proposals will become law is for the future, but at least drawing up a plan is a first step in solving what are perhaps the toughest problems of our lives.

Janet Colliton, Esq. is a certified senior law attorney limited to senior law, retirement and estate planning, Medicaid, Medicare, life care and special needs at 790 East Market St., Suite 250, West Chester, PA, 19382, USA. 610-436-6674, [email protected]. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and, along with Jeffrey Jones, CSA, co-founder of Life Transition Services LLC, a service for families in need of care. Tune in to WCHE 1520 “50+ Planning Ahead” Wednesdays at 4:00 pm with Janet Colliton, Colliton Elder Law Associates, and Phil McFadden, Senior Care Senior Care.

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