What is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act?

By March 30, 2020May 1st, 2020COVID-19

Downloadable PDF: CARES ACT

THOMAS & COMPANY’S GUIDE TO HR748


WHAT IS THE CARES ACT?

The President signed the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security ) Act on March 27, 2020. This bill provides support to employees through an economic relief package, which includes a significant investment of $2 trillion, to expand unemployment  benefits.

This bill is completely funded by the federal government. Also, this bill provides assistance to employees who may not typically be eligible for benefits such as those who have exhausted regular/extended benefits or those who are self-employed or do not have sufficient work history. Benefits will run from January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020 but employees may not exceed 39 weeks. Employees in all US states and territories are eligible for these benefits. Please review this bulletin for more detailed information on this new bill.

HELPS THOSE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR REGULAR BENEFITS.

  • Creates a new pandemic unemployment assistance program to help those not traditionally eligible for benefits such as self-employed, independent contractors, and those who are unable to work as a result of COVID-19.
  • Pays 50% of the unemployment insurance costs incurred by state, local, and tribal governments, and non-profit organizations (not part of the unemployment insurance system).

PROVIDES AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT TO EACH RECIPIENT

  • Pays an additional $600 per week to benefit recipients for 3 months.

SUPPORTS STATES WHO PAY INDIVIDUALS QUICKLY

  • Provides funding for the first week of benefits for states to waive the traditional week before
    benefits begin.

ALLOWS FOR ADDITIONAL WEEKS OF BENEFITS WHEN NEEDED

  • Provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits to help those who remain unemployed after weeks
    of benefits are no longer available.

ASSISTS STATES TO MEET CRITICAL STAFFING NEEDS

  • Provides states with temporary, limited flexibility to hire temporary staff, or re-hire former
    staff, to quickly process unemployment claims.

HELPS STATES MAINTAIN & ESTABLISH PROGRAMS TO PREVENT LAYOFFS IN A DOWN-TURN

  • Provides funding to states to help them maintain short-time compensation programs to prevent layoffs, as well as expand these programs in the future (i.e. Shared Work programs).

The bill and its funding, plus the $500 million in administrative funds Congress provided to state agencies in the first stimulus package, will make a tremendous difference to help American employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, please remember that these provisions are temporary and are only valid through 2020.

Our office will be monitoring COVID-19 updates closely and will sending out additional announcements on our website as we become aware of new developments: http://covid19.thomas-and-company.com/covid-19/.

Please reach out to your representative with any questions.

Mike Parker

Author Mike Parker

Mike has 30 years of experience in unemployment cost control management, and has been with Thomas & Company for 25 years. He is the primary contact with state agencies building strong relationships, lobbying for opportunities that increase quality of service and efficiencies, and insuring compliance with state specific requirements. He works with the client service team, answering technical questions related to the unemployment insurance programs administered by the individual states and oversees the processes associated with wage audits and fraudulent claim inquiries. Mike is a member of the SIDES Operations Committee and currently sits on four Operations Committee subcommittees.

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