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American Rescue Plan: COVID-19 Relief & Resources

Congressman Cartwright is committed to helping Northeastern Pennsylvanians access the resources to help them recover from COVID-19.

Through the American Rescue Plan, Congressman Cartwright has helped secure $11.7 million for NEPA's community health centers and $270 million to help NEPA schools reopen safely. Check out the resources below for you and your business.

Quick Resources:

  1. Department of Health: Vaccine Dashboard
  2. Small Business Administration: Business Relief 
  3. Center for Disease Control: COVID-19 Prevention Information 
  4. Department of Health: COVID-19 Testing Information 

On this Page:

  1. Vaccine Resources
  2. Resources for you:
    1. Unemployment Compensation 
    2. Stimulus Checks 
    3. Food Assistance 
    4. Housing Assistance 
    5. Emergency and Family Medical Leave 
    6. Health Care Coverage 
    7. Child Tax Credit 
  3. Resources for your business: 
    1. Paycheck Protection Program 
    2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans 
    3. Shuttered Venue Assistance 
    4. Restaurant Revitalization Assistance 

Vaccine Resources: 

The American Rescue Plan provides over $20 billion for a national COVID-19 vaccination program and to improve the administration and distribution of vaccines.
These resources will be put toward:

  1. Research, development, manufacturing, production, and purchase of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics to ensure we have enough vaccines for all Americans;
  2. Community vaccination centers, mobile vaccination units and more to ensure all Americans can get the vaccine; and
  3. Better communication so all Americans know when, where and how to get the vaccine.
To receive a vaccine, follow these steps:
  1. All adults 16 years and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
  2. Find a provider near you
  3. To schedule an appointment, visit the provider's website or call 877-PA-HEALTH to connect to a provider via phone. 
  4. Visit the Health Department's FAQ page for more information 

Resources for you: 

Unemployment Compensation

The American Rescue Plan extends unemployment benefits of $300 per week for individuals laid off due to the pandemic until September 6, 2021.

  1. To apply for pandemic unemployment assistance, visit the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation 
  2. For more information, visit the Unemployment Compensation Program webpage. 

Stimulus Checks

The American Rescue Plan delivers $1,400 stimulus checks (economic impact payments) to Americans. 86 percent of Pennsylvanian adults and 84% of Pennsylvanian children are eligible to receive a stimulus check.  As of April 28, 2021, 163 million payments had been disbursed to Americans. 

  1. Eligible Recipients: Single adults who reported $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income on their 2019 or 2020 tax return will receive the full $1,400 payments,
    as will heads of household who reported $112,500 or less. Couples filing jointly who earned $150,000 or less in adjusted gross income will receive the full $2,800.
  2. Ineligible Recipients: Single filers who earned more than $80,000 in adjusted gross income, heads of household who earned more than $120,000, and couples filing jointly
    with more than $160,000 in income will not receive stimulus payments in the third round.
  3. For more information, visit the IRS Coronavirus FAQ webpage.

Food Assistance

The American Rescue Plan increases and extends benefits to ensure Americans have consistent access to food.

  1. The Plan increases maximum SNAP benefits by 15% through September 30, 2021, allowing Americans to receive more assistance for longer. 
  2. The Plan invests $5 billion in the Pandemic EBT program so that low-income families have access to school meals and food assistance during the school year and summer.
  3. If you need food assistance, visit the Pandemic EBT webpage or the PA SNAP page.

Housing Assistance

The American Rescue Plan ensures Americans can keep a roof over their head and small landlords receive support to stay in business:

  1. The Plan provides a total of $27.5 billion in rental assistance, including 22.5 billion for emergency rental and utility grants and $100 million for rural housing.
  2. The Plan allocates $10 billion to the Homeowner Assistance Fund for individuals struggling to afford their home as a result of the pandemic.
  3. The Commonwealth received a total of $847 million to support renters and landlords. 
  4. If you need assistance paying rent or utilities, visit the Emergency Rental Assistance webpage. 

Emergency Family and Medical Leave 

The American Rescue Plan extends the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through September 2021, giving an extension of credits for paid sick and family leave.

Under this legislation, some employees are required to be paid if they are not able to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this law, employees may receive full or partial pay if:

  1. An employee is quarantining based on a law or the advice of health care provider or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis,
  2. An employee is caring for someone who is quarantining based on a law or the advice of a healthcare provider, or
  3. An employee is caring for a child whose school or child care provider is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Health Care Coverage

The American Rescue Plan ensures that every American has access to affordable coverage throughout the pandemic

  1. Individuals can enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance through August 15, 2021.
  2. No one will have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for a silver plan in the ACA marketplaces.
  3. Individuals below 150% of the poverty level pay will pay no premiums.  
  4. Individuals who receive unemployment at any point in 2021 will be able to purchase an ACA silver plan for zero premium.
  5. Individuals who lose their job and choose to use COBRA to continue their existing employer-sponsored health care will receive a 100% subsidy.
  6. Click here to learn more about ACA special coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Expanded Child Tax Credit, Combatting Child Poverty

The American Rescue Plan makes the child tax credit fully refundable for 2021 and increases the annual amount from the current $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for a child under age 6)

  1. Under the Plan, the Secretary of the Treasury will issue advance payments of the child tax credit, based on parents’ 2019 or 2020 tax returns.
    Parents could receive regular periodic monthly advance payment of the tax credit to ensure families have access to assistance throughout the year, rather than just at tax time.
    The advance payments are slated to begin on July 1, 2021. 
  2. Those receiving the full advance payment of the child tax credit would be single filers earning up to $75,000, head of household filers earning up to $112,500,
    and joint filers earning up to $150,000. Above these thresholds, the advance payments are phased down.
  3. For more information on child & dependent tax credits, visit this IRS webpage.  

Resources for your business:

Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The American Rescue Plan allots $7.25 billion in additional funds for the PPP loan program and allows more nonprofits to apply.  

  1. Applications will be accepted through May 31, 2021.
  2. For more information and to apply visit the Small Business Administration PPP webpage.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The American Rescue Plan provides up to $10,000 loans for small businesses in low-income communities that have been most affected by the pandemic.

  1. Eligibility: must have no more than 300 employees and suffered a loss of gross receipts of more than 30 percent during an eight-week period
    between March 2, 2020 and December 31, 2021. 
  2. For more information and to apply visit the Small Business Administration EIDL webpage.

Shuttered Venue Loans

The American Rescue Plan allocates $16 billion to help shuttered arts venues across the nation.

  1. Eligible businesses may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million
  2. Eligibility: Must be an arts venue that was fully operational prior to February 2019. View full eligibility requirements here. 
  3. To apply or find additional information, visit the Small Business Administration SVA webpage.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The American Rescue Plan allocated $28.6 billion to revitalize the restaurant industry. 

  1. The application opens May 3 at 12:00 p.m. Register and apply through the Small Business Administration
  2. Eligible businesses can receive up to $10 million in relief. 
  3. The relief doesn't have to be repaid, provided that it is put towards eligible uses by March 11, 2023.
  4. During the first 21 days, applications from restaurants owned and operated by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals will receive priority.
  5. Entities eligible to apply: 
  • Restaurants 
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products