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The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

On Dec. 21, 2020, Congress approved a 2,124-page, $2.3 trillion funding package consisting of a $900 billion end-of-the-year COVID-19 stimulus bill attached to a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30, 2021. After a delay, former President Donald Trump signed the bill six days later.1

The CAA stimulus legislation included $300 per week in additional jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 to individuals, $325 billion in small business loans, more than $80 billion for schools, and $69 billion for vaccine development and deployment. Below are the details on what the CAA legislation included.2

The CAA included direct payments of $600 per person including dependents 16 and under, as well as unemployment benefits of $300 per week.
The stimulus package provided small business relief funding totaling $325 billion.
A total of $69 billion was set aside for vaccine development and distribution.
The plan set aside help for schools, renters, welfare recipients, and more.
The CAA preceded the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021, signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021.

Direct Payments, The CAA package included Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year. Married couples who file jointly and earn up to $150,000 per year received $1,200. Dependents 16 and under were also eligible for $600. Payments began within a week after the bill was signed into law. Those whose bank information was already with the IRS were paid first.2

CAA legislation prohibited the IRS from disbursing stimulus payments after Jan. 15, 2021. If you didn’t receive your payment by then, the IRS advised, you would have to claim it as a recovery rebate tax credit when you filed your 2020 taxes.23
Extra Unemployment Benefits, If you were receiving unemployment benefits, you would be eligible for an additional $300 per week through March 14, 2021. This included the self-employed, gig workers, and contract workers under an extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program was also extended so anyone who exhausted benefits would now be eligible for up to 50 weeks of combined state and PUA benefits or 24 weeks of combined state and PEUC benefits.2 These programs expired on Sept. 6, 2021.4

Small Business Relief
Under the broad category of small business relief, the bill provided $325 billion apportioned as follows:

  • $284 billion for forgivable first and second PPP loans
  • $20 billion for new EIDL grants for businesses in low-income areas
  • $3.5 billion for continued SBA debt relief payments
  • $2 billion for enhanced SBA lending
  • $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions

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