To the editor — Local families will soon receive much needed help from the Biden administration.
The American Rescue Plan Act includes support for families who have experienced hardship during the pandemic.
Adults earning up to $75,000 and married couples earning up to $150,000 will each receive $1,400, plus $1,400 for each dependent.
Families receive $3,600 per child under age 6; and $3,000 per child age 6 to 17; paid out in monthly installments beginning in July for one year.
Unemployment benefits of $300 per week continue until Sept. 6, 2021. The first $10,200 in UI received in 2020 will be non-taxable for incomes under $150,000.
The law adds $15 billion to ensure childcare providers can safely operate, increase pay of childcare workers, and reduce childcare costs for families.
The law expands Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium subsidies so no one will pay more than 8.5% of household income on standard plans.
There is $27.4 billion for rental assistance, $10 billion for homeowner assistance, $5 billion in Section 8 housing vouchers, $5 billion in homelessness assistance, and $5 billion in utility assistance to help families struggling to pay rent, mortgage, or utilities.
The law extends the 15% SNAP benefit increase through Sept. 30, 2021; with $880 million in additional funding for WIC; and extends Pandemic-EBTs through the summer.
The maximum tax credit is increased for childless workers and expands eligibility to young workers, ages 19-24 who are not fulltime students, plus workers over age 65.
This will help some 17 million low-income workers, especially cashiers, food preparers, servers and home health aides.
Rep. Dan Newhouse voted against this when the bill returned from the Senate for final House approval.
Newhouse even voted with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to adjoin and delay passage of the bill for an hour.
Rob Chandler, Sunnyside