New COVID-19 Relief Package
In December, Congress passed a new COVID-19 relief bill to provide direct relief to families and small businesses. This bipartisan compromise will send a much-needed boost to Rhode Island in the form of direct cash payments, forgivable small business loans, expanded unemployment insurance, and more.
To learn about how this bill can help, visit the following sites for updated information. You can also contact my office here.
CASH PAYMENTS: Most Americans will receive a one-time cash payment of up to $600 from the federal government. Click here to check the status of your payment.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE: The bill provides an extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits through March 14. It also extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which allows self-employed individuals and independent contractors to access benefits. Here’s what you need to know.
SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAMS: Congress has allocated $285 billion for new loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. In addition, the bill provides $15 billion to support entertainment-related businesses. Click here to learn more.
HEALTH PROTECTIONS: Under this legislation, hospitals will no longer be allowed to slap patients with surprise medical bills. Additional public health funding will go to purchasing vaccines, vaccine distribution, and funds to support test-and-trace programs. Click here for the Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID information portal.
FOOD ASSISTANCE: The legislation provides $13 billion for food banks and programs like Meals on Wheels. It also increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent for 6 months. For more on SNAP and other nutritional assistance resources, click here.
RENTERS: The bill extends the moratorium on evictions through January 31 and provides $25 billion in rental assistance. Learn more about the protections available here.