Congress has passed, and the President signed Friday, the CAREs Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act). Our Congressman Mike Quigley (5th) provided our office with the following summary. The CAREs Act provides:
- Paycheck Protections Program (PPP): This program provides forgiveable loans to businesses that keep employees on the payroll. It is retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.
- PPP can help businesses with up to 500 employees, non-profits, and even some self-employed and independent contractors.
- The PPP requires employers to keep employees on their payroll. Loans may be forgiven if a firm uses the loan for payroll, interest payments on mortgages, rent, and utilities, but will be reduced proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year and a 25 percent or greater reduction in employee compensation.
- Small Business Debt Relief Program - $17 billion for to have SBA step in and make six months of principal and interest payments for SBA backed business loans. This can apply to new loans, too.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) or Grants - $562 million for SBA to administer to businesses that need financial support. The EDIL program will be able to help small businesses across the country.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit - Employers are eligible for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit on wages paid up to $100,000 during the crisis. The credit would be available to employers whose businesses were disrupted due to virus shutdowns and those that had a decrease in gross receipts of 50 percent or more when compared to the same quarter last year. This does not apply to businesses receiving the PPP.
- Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes - Some payroll taxes can be deferred until 2021. Also inapplicable to those participating in the PPP.
- Read the Small Business Guide to the CAREs Act here. (Note: this is a summary, so make sure to review the Guide and consult the law).
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020 to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
- Supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation -The federal government would provide an additional temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. This is on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. The boosted payment will last until July 31, 2020.
- The federal government will provide temporary full funding of the first week of regular unemployment benefits for states and extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks through December 31, 2020.
- The bill includes $360 million for the Department of Labor to invest in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers, and homeless veterans. This also includes funding for DOL agencies to ensure new Paid Leave and UI benefits are implemented swiftly and effectively.
Direct Payments to Americans
- 1 time direct payment $1,200 (individuals), $2,400 (joint filers), and an additional $500 per child depending on income. The amount will be based on 2019 tax returns for those who have filed and 2018 tax return for those who have not filed their returns yet.
- If the Internal Revenue Service already has your bank account information, it will transfer the money to you via direct deposit based on the recent income-tax figures it already has.
- Income eligibility: Full amount for individuals making up to $75,000 (individual) and $150,000 (joint filers) who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible SSN. The direct payment amount begins decreasing and then phases out completely for those making over the full payment income cap. Completely phases out at $99,000 (individuals) and $198,000 (joint filers)
- Until Sept. 30, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government.
- $1.935 billion to allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to keep over 3.2 million Section 8 voucher and public housing households stably housed;
- $1 billion to allow the continuation of housing assistance contracts with private landlords for over 1.2 million Project-Based Section 8 households;
- $65 million for housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities for rental assistance, service coordinators, and support services for the more than 114,000 affordable households for the elderly and over 30,000 affordable households for low-income persons with disabilities; and
- $65 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS in order to maintain rental assistance and expand operational and administrative flexibilities for housing and supportive service providers to assist nearly 61,000 households. Given that this population is particularly vulnerable, the bill includes temporary relocation services to contain and prevent the spread of COVID-19 for these at-risk households.
- $4 billion is included to address the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Eviction prevention activities including rapid rehousing, housing counseling, and rental deposit assistance will mitigate the adverse impacts of the pandemic on working families.
- $5 billion is provided for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to enable nearly 1,240 states, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services.
- $300 million is secured for Native American Programs, which includes $200 million for the Indian Housing Block Grant program and $100 million for imminent threats to health and safety as a result of COVID-19.
- Allows borrowers with a federally-backed mortgage loan (including those purchased by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, insured by HUD, VA or USDA, or directly made by USDA) to request temporary forbearance (delay payment of their loan)
- The Act prohibits foreclosures on all federally-backed mortgage loans for a 60-day period beginning on March 18, 2020 and provides up to 180 days of forbearance for borrowers who have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Credit Protection: The Act requires that lenders who agree to account forbearance, or agree to modified payments with respect to an obligation or account of a consumer that has been impacted by COVID-19, report such obligation or account as “current” or as the status reported prior to the accommodation during the period of accommodation (unless the consumer becomes current) if the consumer complies with the modified agreement.
State and Local Government
- $150 billion in a Coronavirus Relief Fund for state and city government expenditures incurred due to dealing with the coronavirus public health emergency. The fund would be allocated by population proportions, with a minimum of $1.25 billion for each state. This will reimburse Chicago and Illinois for extra expenses due to the pandemic.
- The bill requires all private insurance plans to cover COVID-19 treatments and vaccine and makes all coronavirus tests free.
This summary focuses on the direct benefits to individuals and small businesses. There are other provisions not included here. This summary is also derived from
. Here are some FAQs from the
New York Times
Nursing and Medical Volunteers Needed
Non-Medical Volunteers Needed, Too
The Chicago Medical Corps needs nursing and medical providers to volunteer to help protect Chicago during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In addition, if you are not a nurse of doctor, but are willing to be trained to supply some medically related services, please also sign up.
Social Distancing Means:
- Go for a short walk or run but maintain physical distance from others while doing so, preferably in your own neighborhood.
- Walk your dog, but do not congregate at the dog park or beach.
- Do NOT visit playgrounds or allow your kids to play with others - School Playgrounds are CLOSED.
- Shop at the grocery stores that remain open, as long as you are not sick, and practice social distancing.
- Continue visiting the restaurants that remain open for pick-up and delivery.
- That's It. Stay home except for these activities.
Unemployment Benefits Filing Schedule
Due to the unprecedented number of claims for unemployment benefits, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has implemented a filing schedule. You can file for benefits both online and by phone.
Please note: Part-time employees are permitted to apply for benefits.
New Online Filing Schedule:
Last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
Last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule:
Last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
Last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
Fridays 7:30am – 6pm. will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.
The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits Claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid off or let go from their job due to COVID-19. Please visit
for details and more information.