Coronavirus Stimulus Package FAQsMarch 30, 2020
Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday.
To help Connecticut residents understand the details of the bill and how it can potentially provide assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, Senator Chris Murphy's office has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Addressed below are questions relating to direct payments and unemployment insurance.
For further information on the state's response to the coronavirus, visit ct.gov/coronavirus
How will I know if I am getting a check or not? Do I have to sign up?
- Individuals with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 for joint filers) who are not dependents of another taxpayer are eligible for the full rebate.
- The rebates will be paid out as advance refunds (in the form of checks or direct deposit) based on your 2019 tax returns (or 2018, if a 2019 return has not yet been filed).
- Non-filers will have to file a tax return to qualify, but we are waiting on the IRS to provide more guidance.
- These payments are available to anyone with a Social Security Number (but not an ITIN number), including those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable, means-tested benefit programs, such as Social Security or Social Security Disability Insurance.
- The rebate is treated like other refundable tax credits and not considered income, so it will not be taxed.
How much will I get and when?
- Each eligible adult in a household will receive $1,200 with an additional $500 for each dependent child in the household under 17.
- These payments begin phasing out at a 5% rate for single filers above $75,000, head of household filers above $122,500, and joint filers about $150,000. For example, an individual earning $87,000 per year would receive a payment of $600, and an individual earning $99,000 per year and above would not receive a payment.
The IRS hopes to begin issuing the rebate checks within three weeks.
Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Emergency Leave
Am I eligible for UI?
- You are eligible if you’ve been laid off, are working part-time, if you are self-employed, an independent contractor, and if you’re working in the “gig economy” because of COVID-19.
What is the benefit?
- The exact amount you can receive through unemployment depends on your previous earnings and what you receive from the state, but between now and July 31, an additional $600 will be added to every unemployment compensation check, so no one will receive less than $600 per week. You can apply for unemployment insurance here.
- If you exhaust the weeks of unemployment compensation available to you through CT DOL, you will be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of benefits. These benefits will be federally-funded, but you will still receive them through Connecticut.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provided $500 million for states to increase capacity to deal with unemployment insurance claims, which have been surging in Connecticut since early March.
Which employers must provide paid sick leave and family leave?
- In general, a private employer with fewer than 500 employees is a “covered employer” for both the paid sick leave and paid family leave requirements.
- The Secretary of Labor has additional authority to exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees from the requirement to provide leave for caring for children due to closures of schools or child care, both in the paid sick leave and paid family leave context.
How much paid sick leave are employees eligible to take?
- For paid sick leave, employees are eligible to take up to 80 hours (two weeks) of paid time, depending on the employee’s regular schedule, at 100% of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $511 per day) due to quarantine/isolation order, health-care provider guidance to self-quarantine, or seeking diagnosis for symptoms of COVID-19.
- Sick leave pay is limited to 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $200 per day) for caring for someone who is isolated/quarantined and for taking care of a child due to a closure of school or child care.
How much paid family leave are employees eligible to take?
- For paid family leave, employees are eligible to take up to 10 additional weeks of paid time at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $200 per day) solely to take care of a child due to a closure of school or child care or the unavailability of a child care provider.