Top 6 Benefits You Can Get if the New HEALS Act Passes

The HEALS Act is a relief package to help Americans cope with the economic hardships that Covid-19 has caused. The benefits of the HEALS Act includes a $1,200 stimulus check, extended unemployment benefits, incentives to return to work, and extra funding for education. If Congress passes the bill, the HEALS Act will give needed financial relief to millions.

Demand for a Second Round of Stimulus Payments

The need for a second round of stimulus packages is clear — the coronavirus nightmare refuses to go away. Since the virus hit U.S. shores, millions have lost their jobs, businesses have closed, and the economy is in tatters. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the impact Covid-19 has had on health care. 

For example, the latest figures from the Department of Labor show that around 1 million people a week filed for unemployment in August for the first time. Also, the CDC reports that over 5.5 million people in the U.S. have been infected with Covid-19.

Now, most of the benefits of the CARES Act have expired. Also, the HEROES Act didn’t make any headway. This means that millions of jobless folks are struggling to get by on welfare. With the end to the eviction moratorium, statistics show that 40% of renters face eviction.

What are the top benefits of the HEALS Act? Read on to find out.

What is the Heals Act?

The HEALS Act is the Health, Economy Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act. The proposals in the HEALS Act is a $1 trillion economic stimulus boost to help hard-up Americans and employers. The HEALS Act also aims to provide extra cash for unemployment benefits.

The Top 6 Benefits of the HEALS Act

One of the main benefits of the HEALS Act is a second round of stimulus checks. However, the bill would also top-up unemployment by $200 a week, give extra funding for education, and payroll protection for businesses, and legal protection for companies from the effects of Covid-19.

Let’s look in more detail at the benefits you could get from the HEALS Act. 

The HEALS Act $1,200 Stimulus Check 

The most significant benefit of the HEALS Act is a stimulus check for $1,200. Also, dependents living in the same household get a check for $500 each, regardless of age. To qualify for the free cash, your earnings should be less than $75,000. 

Earners with income above $75,000 would also receive an Economic Impact Payment, but a lower amount. The income limit for receiving the second stimulus check is $99,000. 

How the HEALS Act benefits you: With the new proposals, families could receive a larger cash payout than under the CARES Act because more dependents qualify.

The HEALS Act Boosts Unemployment Benefits 

Under the HEALS Act proposals, anyone claiming unemployment benefits gets an extra $200 a week. From October, a wage replacement scheme would then cover up to 70% of your lost wages. This unemployment enhancement is paid on top of regular unemployment and will help families weather the Covid-19 storm. 

Anyone who received the extra $600 a week under the CARES Act would qualify for the additional unemployment payments. While the HEALS Act isn’t as generous as other proposals, it still helps jobless folks pay the bills.

How the HEALS Act benefits you: An extra $200 a week on top of regular unemployment benefits anyone receiving unemployment — including the self-employed and “gig” workers.

Related reading: What are the unemployment benefits in the HEALS Act?

$100 Billion Funding for Education

The HEALS Act benefits families with school-age children because $100 billion will help schools reopen safely. More funding for K-12 and higher education will help educators put things in place to open schools. To qualify, schools should re-open in the fall with at least 50% attendance.

How the HEALS Act benefits you: If you’re a parent, the education funding in the HEALS Act gives peace of mind about sending kids back to school. You can be sure that all safety measures are in place to prevent learners or teachers from spreading the virus.  

Paycheck Protection Program 

The HEALS Acts gives incentives for employers to keep staff on the payroll. The Paycheck Protection Program may help you keep your job. Incentives for employers are loans to help keep businesses running. Under the scheme, small businesses that have revenue losses of at least 50% would qualify.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a benefit of the CARES Act. Small businesses with fewer than 500 employees can apply for loans up to $10 million. Under the HEALS Act, companies that already received a loan can only apply for up to $2 million the second time around.

How the HEALS Act benefits you: The PPP scheme may help keep you in a job throughout the coronavirus pandemic. However, it depends on whether your employer applies for the money. 

Return to Work Payments Up to $450 Weekly

The HEALS Act could have a proposal to give laid-off workers up to $450 a week to go back to work. This return-to-work stimulus helps boost the economy. It aims to get more people back in the workplace by offering a financial incentive.

Rather than finding it better to claim welfare than return to work, the employment incentive benefits anyone looking for a job. However, there’s no guarantee that this temporary bonus will make it into the final stimulus package.

How the HEALS Act benefits you: You get more money in your paycheck if you take on a new job or your former employer rehires you.

Related reading: What can you do when unemployment runs out?

Tax Deductions for Meals

The HEALS Act proposes a 100% deduction on business meals through 2020. Workers and restaurants would benefit because more people have incentives to dine out. Business people would be able to write off the entire cost of their meals. This stimulus will help many restaurants stay open during the pandemic.

Restaurants and the hospitality industry have been hit the hardest. Already, business people can claim up to 50% of the meal’s value. This proposal may throw a lifeline to many restaurants.

How the HEALS Act benefits you: You can do your bit to help local businesses stay open during the pandemic. Also, the tax deductions for meals offer a small bonus to business people on their tax returns.

If and When the New HEALS Act Passes

No one yet knows what any new round of stimulus packages includes. Most politicians realize that more financial help is vital to stimulate the economy. This could involve a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits, or incentive to return to work and school.

But until the new HEALS Act passes — or any other stimulus package — you may be struggling to get by on welfare. If you’re out of work or are on a low income, please check out these resources for more financial help.