On Thursday, March 11, 2021, President Biden signed The American Rescue Plan of 2021 into law. This massive $1.9 trillion stimulus relief package is intended to provide support to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. This follows two other Federal stimulus relief acts: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES” Act) enacted in March 2020, and the Consolidated Appropriations Act enacted in December 2020.
There are three key components of The American Rescue Plan of 2021 that impact funeral service:
- Section 4006 – Funeral Assistance Payments from FEMA
- Appropriates an additional $50 billion to remain available until September 30, 2025 for FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund to cover costs associated with major disaster declarations, such as reimbursements for funeral expenses.
- All states have received major disaster declarations for the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, FEMA may offer individuals and households reimbursements for their COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred between January 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
- Section 5001 – Small Business Relief
- Allocates $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) payments, which provides economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
- Allocates an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program’s (“PPP”) forgivable loans.
- It does not extend the PPP’s current application period, which is scheduled to close on March 31, 2021.
- Section 9601 – Individual Stimulus Checks
- Authorizes a one-time, direct payment of $1,400 per person for individuals making under $75,000 and persons filing joint returns making under $150,000.
- The bill also provides $1,400 per dependent.
- Payments will gradually decrease above those income levels and disappear entirely for individuals making over $80,000 and persons filing joint returns making over $160,000.