Law pg 1 3-19-20

By Linda Lemmon
Town Crier Editor
Assuming the Senate passes and President Donald Trump signs it into law, the Families first Coronavirus Response Act would provide some relief to local families and businesses. The act “sunsets” at the end of 2020.
The original text:
The legislation was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives March 14.
Many local businesses are already closed and all schools are closed. What about workers now required to be at home because schools are closed? What about adults workers who worked for a business now closed?  What about workers who are now unemployed? What about food security? What about those who may fall ill?
Homebound Workers
What is being done for a working parent that is now required to stay home with children because they are out of school? The bill temporarily guarantees 10 paid sick days (80 hours) to full-time workers, prorated for part-time workers. Employers with fewer than 500 employees are required to provide paid sick days to all workers at their regular rate of pay for their own illness and at two-thirds pay to care for a family member.
The Emergency Paid Leave Act of 2020 applies to: those sick with coronavirus, taking care of a sick or quarantined family member, or caregiving because a virus-related closing of a school or other care facility for a child or another unable to provide self-care. This would be paid electronically or by mail for 30-day periods (up to three) for which the eligible individual has filed an application. The amount would be equal to 2/3 of an individual’s monthly earnings, reduced by the amount of paid leave received. The upper limit is $4,000. It is not taxable. The Social Security commissioner is to accept applications online, by phone and by mail.
Food Security:
Although most local schools will continue serving “grab and go” breakfasts and lunch to students, if that program should end, the bill may cover “food security” for low-income families. The bill calls for the Secretary of Agriculture, through the states’ supplemental allotments to households receiving Food & Nutrition Act of 2008, not less than values of meals at the free rate over the course of 5 school days of each eligible child. The state agency may provide assistance through the EBT card system. The WIC program and the SNAP programs will be temporarily expanded to cover poor or jobless workers and to provide emergency food allotments for families suddenly in need of food.
The Emergency Unemployment Insurance Stabilization & Access Act of 2020 sends funds from the federal government to state unemployment insurance (UI) funds so states can meet the increased demand for UI benefits as a result of layoffs related to the coronavirus. The Secretary of Labor must transfer at least 50 percent of these funds no later than 30 days after the legislation goes into law. The application process must include at least two of these three: in person, by phone or online.
Employers can claim a quarterly tax credit against payroll taxes for payments for sick days and family and medical leave up to an amount that does not exceed the business’ total payroll taxes paid in that quarter. Self-employed workers, including independent contractors and gig economy workers, can claim a credit against their self-employment taxes. Payments from general taxes will go to Social Security trust funds equal to the revenue lost to payroll tax credits to insure the solvency of the trust funds and Social Security’s ability to pay workers retirement benefits are not affected.
COVID-19 Testing
Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is free. Health insurance companies are required to cover diagnostic testing and are not allowed to impose any cost-sharing on those tested. Patients do not need to get prior authorization to get tested. State Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, and CHIP programs are required to pay 100 percent of the costs of diagnostic tests. The federal government will reimburse costs for these tests and for testing people with no insurance. The federal government has not offered to cover the costs of care for individuals diagnosed with the disease.
Updates available on Putnam Town Crier & Northeast Ledger Facebook page. Like us on Facebook!


RocketTheme Joomla Templates