Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act became law on March 27, 2020. It is the third package enacted by Congress in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

 

DIVISION A—KEEPING WORKERS PAID AND EMPLOYED, HEALTH CARE SYSTEM ENHANCEMENTS, AND ECONOMIC STABILIZATION

TITLE I—KEEPING AMERICAN WORKERS PAID AND EMPLOYED ACT

This title outlines financial assistance programs for small businesses and other entities substantially affected by COVID-19. 

 

Paycheck Protection Program 

Small employers with 500 or fewer employees (including non-profits and churches) are eligible for the loans through the Payroll Protection Program, which provides eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain payroll throughout the emergency. If the employer maintains payroll, then the portion of the loan used to cover payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.

 

Loan Repayment and Forgiveness

Repayments of the loan are eligible for deferral for at least six months but not more than one year. The interest rate is capped at 4% and prepayment penalties are waived. The total loan amount spent on payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utility payments between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020 is eligible for forgiveness. For loan forgiveness, you must submit a request to the lender that is servicing the loan and submit adequate documentation.

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants

Provides an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

 

Small Business Debt Relief Program 

Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. SBA will cover all loan payments on these loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.

 

TITLE II—ASSISTANCE FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, FAMILIES, AND BUSINESSES

Subtitle A—Unemployment Insurance Provisions

Unemployment 

Those who are unemployed, are partly unemployed or cannot work for a wide variety of coronavirus-related reasons are eligible to receive benefits. Under this plan, workers may also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit through July 31, 2020. 

If you received a diagnosis, are experiencing symptoms or are seeking a diagnosis — you’re eligible. If you rely on a school, daycare or another facility to care for a child — and that facility has been shut down because of coronavirus — you are eligible. People who must self-quarantine are covered. Individuals who are unable to get to work because of an imposed quarantine as a result of the outbreak are eligible. If your employer shut down due to coronavirus, you’re also covered. 

In addition to those eligible under typical unemployment circumstances, self-employed and part-time workers are also eligible for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. 

 

Subtitle B—Rebates And Other Individual Provisions

This title includes one-time stimulus payments, special rules for use of retirement funds, modifications to charitable contributions, and exclusions for certain employer payments of student loans. 

 

Stimulus Checks

Most adults will receive one-time stimulus checks of $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500. Eligibility determination is based on whether you have a social security number (exception for military members) and your adjusted gross income (AGI). You can’t get a payment if someone claims you as a dependent, even if you’re an adult. Single adults with an AGI of $75,000 or less will get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less will receive a total of $2,400. Taxpayers filing as head of household will get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less.

Subtitle C—Business Provisions

This title modifies limitations on losses and business interest, and it modifies credit for corporate prior year minimum tax liability. 

 

Employee Retention Credit 

Employers are eligible for refundable payroll tax credits for 50 percent of wages paid (up to $10,000) during the COVID-19 crisis. The credit is available to employers, including non-profits, whose operations have been fully or partially suspended due to virus-related shutdowns. The credit is also available to employers who experienced losses of at least 50 percent in quarterly receipts, compared to the same quarter last year. The credit is provided through December 31, 2020. 

 

Employer Payroll Tax Payments Delayed

Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020–with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, and the other at the end of 2022. 

 

TITLE III—SUPPORTING AMERICA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS

Subtitle A—Health Provisions

 

PART I—ADDRESSING SUPPLY SHORTAGES

 

SUBPART A—MEDICAL PRODUCT SUPPLIES

This part requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to enter into agreement with select medical entities in order to examine and report on the security of the national medical product supply within 60 days.  

 

SUBPART B—MITIGATING EMERGENCY DRUG SHORTAGES

This part prioritizes reviews of drug applications, outlines additional manufacturer reporting requirements in response to drug shortages, and amends the Federal, Food and Drug Administration Act. 

 

SUBPART C—PREVENTING MEDICAL DEVICE SHORTAGES

This part amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prevent discontinuance or interruption of medical device production. 

 

PART II—ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE FOR COVID–19 PATIENTS

SUBPART A—COVERAGE OF TESTING AND PREVENTIVE SERVICES

This part requires group health plans or health insurance issuers to provide coverage for COVID-19 testing and qualifying preventative coronavirus services, defined as an item, service, or immunization that is intended to prevent or mitigate coronavirus disease 2019. 

 

SUBPART B—SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

This part authorizes supplemental awards for health centers, and amends grant programs related to telehealth and rural health care services. 

 

SUBPART C—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

This part involves confidentiality and disclosure of medical records, authorizes funding of nutrition services, provides guidance on protected health information, reauthorizes the healthy start program, and emphasizes the importance of the blood supply. 

 

PART III—INNOVATION

This part amends the Public Health Service and Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Acts. 

 

PART IV—HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE

This part enhances health professional workforce (education and training) programs. 

 

Subtitle B—Education Provisions

This title outlines higher education provisions related to community-based aid waivers, adjustments of subsidized loan usage limits, institutional refunds and federal student loan flexibility, national emergency educational waivers, HBCU capital financing. This title also addresses volunteerism and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

 

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants for Emergency Aid

An institution of higher education can determine it’s allocation for emergency financial aid grants to assist undergraduate or graduate students for unexpected expenses and unmet financial need as the result of a qualifying emergency.

 

Federal Work-Study During a Qualifying Emergency

In the event of a qualifying emergency, an education institution participating in the program may make payments to affected work-study students, for the period of time in which affected students were unable to fulfill work-study obligations for all or part of the academic year due to a qualifying emergency. 

 

Temporary Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers

Anyone with federal student loans are suspended (principal and interest payments) without penalty until September 30, 2020. 

 

Workforce Response Activities

Local workforce boards can use a portion of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WOIA) funds to respond to a qualifying emergency. Also, a portion of unobligated 2019 program reserved funds designated for statewide activities can be used by governors for rapid response activities.

 

Subtitle C—Labor Provisions

This title outlines limitations on family and medical leave and emergency paid sick leave and other labor provisions. 

 

Subtitle D—Finance Committee

This title qualifies certain over-the-counter products as qualified medical expenses for Flexible Spending Accounts, increases Medicare telehealth flexibilities and enhances medicare telehealth services for federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics. This section also revises payment rates for durable medical equipment under the Medicare program, amends provisions for home and community-based services in acute care hospitals. 

 

Subtitle E—Health And Human Services Extenders

PART I—MEDICARE PROVISIONS

This part extends certain Medicare provisions and funding outreach and assistance for low-income programs. 

 

PART II—MEDICAID PROVISIONS

This part extends additional programs, protections, and delays some reductions. 

 

PART III—HUMAN SERVICES AND OTHER HEALTH PROGRAMS

This part extends the sexual risk avoidance and personal responsibility education programs, and extends demonstrations projects to address health professions workforce needs. This section also extends the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. 

 

PART IV—PUBLIC HEALTH PROVISIONS

This part extends community health centers, the National Health Service Corps and teaching health centers that operate GME programs. 

 

PART V—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

This part covers miscellaneous provisions for Fiscal Year 2020. 

 

Subtitle F—Over-The-Counter Drugs

PART I—OTC DRUG REVIEW

This part pertains to regulation of certain non-prescription drugs. 

 

PART II—USER FEES

This part authorizes assessment and use of over-the-counter (OTC) monograph fees. 

 

TITLE IV—ECONOMIC STABILIZATION AND ASSISTANCE TO SEVERELY DISTRESSED SECTORS OF THE UNITED STATES ECONOMY

Subtitle A—Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act Of 2020

This title authorizes the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to make loans, loan guarantees, and other investments in support of eligible businesses, states and municipalities that do not, in the aggregate, exceed $500 billion. This section also limits certain employee compensation, suspends some aviation excise taxes, outlines temporary lending limit waivers, provides temporary relief for community banks, and outlines temporary credit union provisions. 

This title also declares a foreclosure moratorium on federally backed mortgage loans and a temporary moratorium on eviction filings. 

 

Subtitle B—Air Carrier Worker Support

This title provides pandemic relief for aviation workers. 

 

TITLE V—CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUNDS

This title outlines appropriation of Coronavirus Relief Funds.

 

TITLE VI—MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

This title approves additional borrowing authority for the United States Postal Service due to COVID-19. 

 

DIVISION B—EMERGENCY APPROPRIATIONS FOR CORONAVIRUS HEALTH RESPONSE AND AGENCY OPERATIONS

This title summarizes emergency appropriations for coronavirus health response and agency operations. 

Sources: 

NY Times U.S. Coronavirus Plan

S. Treasury Paycheck Protection Program

Small Business and Entrepreneurship