US Workers: Are You Eligible for the Coronavirus Stimulus Package?
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The coronavirus pandemic and its devastating impact left the world in ruins— metaphorically and literally. Jobs were cut left and right, everyone had to stay home to contain the spread of the dreaded virus, and time stood still for a little while.
Months have passed, and the world is still in recovery. Those who can keep their jobs and work from home are not getting impacted like those whose jobs are on the field. Retail workers and trade workers felt the biggest hit from the pandemic.
Before working in people’s homes, repairing and restoring homes were common. These days, it’s not as easy as before. Visiting people’s homes is almost taboo, and no one can go out without wearing a mask. A slight fever is a sign of danger, and the pandemic has made it hard for everyone to live their lives.
So how is the US government doing its part to help trade workers in the country?
In March, trade workers of all kinds were considered as essential workers by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
Although trade workers are always needed for emergencies such as a broken pipe or a leak, commercial calls to trade workers might be minimal right now due to the pandemic.
As a result, financial situations can be dire. The stimulus package by the government can be confusing and might seem troublesome. So, let’s break it down to make it a bit easier to understand.
For Small Businesses
The coronavirus stimulus package offers $349 billion in loans to small businesses impacted by the shutdowns. This provides emergency loans to small businesses through community banks and lenders guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
Small businesses are qualified for a loan if they have less than 500 employees, must be in place as of February 15, 2020, have kept their workers, and rehire employees they have laid off.
The package also offers payroll loan forgiveness to small businesses qualified for the loan. This means the company might not need to pay back part or all of the loan, which would be great for struggling plumbing businesses.
The portion of the loan that would be eligible for forgiveness is only for funds used for paying employees, rent or mortgage, and utilities.
For Contractors or Self-Employed
For those who are self-employed or contractors, the package will create a temporary pandemic unemployment assistance program that will last through December 31, 2020.
This will help workers who aren’t usually eligible for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed and contractors.
Contractors have to make sure that they’re up to date with their 2018 or 2019 taxes, have a social security number, cannot be claimed as anyone’s dependent, must fill out a change of address form if they have moved, and sign up for direct deposit if they want to.
For Recently Laid-Off Workers
Those who recently got laid off will receive $600 a week for four months in addition to the state’s unemployment benefits. However, workers cannot quit their jobs to receive these benefits. These benefits are only available if they were laid off.
Unemployed workers must file a tax form, have a social security number, not be noted as a dependent, and make sure their information is up to date to be eligible for this stimulus package.
As long as their 2018-2019 tax filings have been filed and information is updated with the IRS, they won’t have an issue getting a check from this package.
Now that we’ve hashed through what everyone can get from the stimulus package, the next question is, when will they be able to get their checks?
According to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, taxpayers will receive their checks in three weeks, but there have been some claims that it could take months for the paper checks to arrive.
If you’re a small business owner, a contractor, or self-employed, or you recently became unemployed; hopefully, the tips above will help you navigate through the complexities of the coronavirus stimulus package.
The truth is, a little reading will get you a long way, and we are sure that you’ll be able to get the help you need.
Diana R. is the business community manager at Basement Guides, a perfect place for all basement related problems and projects. She helps spread the word about useful and updated guides for anyone interested in basements and restoration.