Coronavirus Relief Bill Detailed


On Friday, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion coronavirus virus relief bill. This bill had both sides of the aisle working together to get funds and support out to Americans.

“In this morass of bad news, it is good news that Congress can come together to pass three necessary and bipartisan relief packages ¬– that should be a welcome development to all Americans. Last week, the House of Representatives passed, and President Trump signed into law, the most recent of that legislation, a $2 trillion package to provide direct relief for individuals and families hurting economically, help for health care workers and hospitals on the front lines, relief for small businesses and assistance to states and cities,” said Congressman Adam Schiff. “I was proud to vote yes.”

The bill does provide help in some areas, but questions remain of what it provides in a variety of other areas. CVW received specific questions from readers about this newly signed bill.

During this time of stress that many families are experiencing, dealing with loved ones who have tested positive for COVID-19 and those who are grieving people they have lost, there is ongoing fear as the numbers continue to rise and many have lost their jobs. During this time there is a need for mental health support.

“The bill provides $425 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], including $250 million to Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics [CCBHCs],” Schiff said.

Some states do not have CCBHCs and they may not be available statewide in states that have this program, he added.

The bill also includes $50 million for suicide prevention programs, $100 million for emergency response spending that can target support where it is most needed, such as outreach to those experiencing homelessness, and $15 million for tribal communities, Schiff said.

There was also a concern that unemployment insurance would not be available for those working for companies with fewer than 50 employees; however, Schiff said there is no connection between unemployment insurance and the size of a business.

The bill includes checks that will be sent to individuals and couples. Single people with incomes below $75,000 will receive as much as $1,200. Couples with incomes up to $150,000 will get $2,400 and will receive $500 for children under 17 years old.

When the checks arrive is not certain. If a taxpayer has already set up their bank accounts with the IRS, the funds will be directly deposited; if not, the checks will be mailed. The IRS is working on getting the funds out, but no timeline has been established.

“If you did not file tax returns this year or last, you will need to file a tax return in order to receive the payment,” Schiff said.

Medical staff across LA County and the nation have voiced concerns about having enough PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] as well as equipment, like ventilators, to help their patients.

“The bill includes $100 billion in funding to cover non-reimbursable expenses attributed to COVID-19. All health care entities that provide health care, diagnoses or testing are eligible for funding,” he said.

Unfortunately, according to modeling by medical experts, it appears the numbers of those affected by COVID-19 will be increasing greatly in the next two weeks. This means that social distancing and guidelines like LA County’s Safer at Home will remain in place at least through April 30. This also means Americans will need more help as this pandemic takes an even deeper hold on society. The recent COVID-19 relief bill is just the beginning of what Congress will need to do to help Americans.

“Congressional leadership is considering what will comprise the next piece of funding legislation. Last week, Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi outlined: ‘Next, we’ll go from emergency mitigation to recovery…to grow the economy and create more jobs,” he said.

In Congressman Schiff’s most recent email survey to constituents, over 22% of respondents hoped to see more support for health care workers in the next bill. Other important issues under consideration are helping with rent and mortgages, providing help for the homeless, increasing direct payments and assisting with student loans.

Anyone who has questions concerning COVID-19 – medical, schools, finances or any subject – can email at CVW and we will do our best to get the answers you need.