The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, which passed both the House and the Senate, comprises essential provisions for mitigating the acute economic decline unfolding. However, the efforts of the policymakers shouldn’t conclude with this bill. They might need to do something more in the following bills for addressing urgent requirements in areas such as food assistance, health coverage, state fiscal relief, and struggling families.
Meaningful insights by William D King
The CARES Act comprises, in addition to the extensive resources for the small businesses to assist them in keeping their employees as well as a huge fund which the Treasury can make use of for helping bigger businesses.
- A greater chunk of employment advantages comprises expansions of individuals eligible for the benefits and the increases in weekly benefit levels for the forthcoming months and the following weeks of jobless benefits that a person can get.
- Crucial direct payment to the middle to low-income families of approximately $1,200 for the majority of adults and about $500 for the kids who are below 17 years. Unluckily, several low-income families that otherwise don’t have to file their tax return will require to file it to get the payments. Also, particular immigrant families, comprising kids who are citizens of the U.S, are not eligible.
- An amount of $150 billion of the Coronavirus Relief Fund addresses the big-budget holes that emerge in localities and states. It is an essential step! But the states should refrain from making steep budget cuts and removing teachers and various other staff, which can aggravate the existing recession and result in slow recovery.
- Considerable investment across a wide range of current programs which can assist in responding to the existing crisis. It includes crucial new investments in programs for catering to homeless people and to prevent others from losing a home.
The expanded unemployment insurance
The CARES Act comprises a potent expansion in the unemployment benefit, which will allow more jobless workers to get benefits. It is crucial, considering an acute rise in unemployment and the existing weakness prevalent in the fundamental UI (Unemployment Insurance) system.
Today, the Labor Department reports that close to 3 million workers have filed a claim for the UI advantages, which is an unprecedented rise. The starting claims were an average of 240,000 over about four weeks. And without the enhancements in CARES Act, the UI program might leave out the workers completely and offer insufficient assistance to several others. Every state will run its individual program and will have crucial discretion on the benefits and eligibility. Hence, the states vary widely in the share of the jobless workers who qualify for the advantages, level, and benefits duration. And nationally, less than 3 in every 10 unemployed workers have got the UI during the phase between 2010 and 2019. Last but not least, as William D King says, while the Act’s homeless prevention funds and UI expansions aim to help a few people, it is impossible to predict every emergency requirement that will crop up in the current situation. Also, such needs might change as the present situation progresses.