In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 14, 2020. Then last week Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act with overwhelming bipartisan support. As expected, it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday, March 27, 2020. While the FFCRA is intended to make it easier for businesses to provide employees with sick leave and family leave, the $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package is intended to lessen the financial and economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on both businesses and individuals.
For medical practices, many of which are now facing partial to full closures for at least another month, it is important to take advantage of every possible type of financial assistance these new pieces of legislation make available. In order to keep our readers informed, this blog will provide a quick summary of the payouts and benefits being provided by the FFCRA and CARES Act.
- Effective Date Range of April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
- FFCRA Paid Leave Provisions apply to leave taken during the Effective Date Range
- Businesses with <500 employees are, as of April 1, 2020, required to provide paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave to both full-time and part-time employees
- Businesses with <50 employees are eligible for a small business exemption if the act of providing sick leave and expanded family and medical leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a growing concern
- All covered employers must post the FFCRA Requirements poster in a conspicuous place on the premises
- For more details, see the Department of Labor Q&A page
CARES Act Highlights:
- Individual Payouts
- Persons with income at or under $75,000/year will receive $1200 payment plus $500 per dependent child
- Persons with income over $75,000/year receive a reduction of $50 for every $100 of income over the threshold
- Persons with income over $99,000/year will not receive payments
- Eligibility will be determined by a review of 2019 taxes, if available, or 2018 taxes (if 2019 taxes are not available)
- Married couples will receive $2400 + $500 per dependent child
- These payments are expected to go out in the next three weeks
- Unemployment benefits have been expanded
- Employees with federal student loans can suspend their monthly loan payments through September 30, 2020
- $349 billion has been set aside to guarantee loans to small businesses
- Small business loans of up to $2 million are available
- Includes a Paycheck Protection Program that offers loans to prevent layoffs and allow business owners with 500 or fewer employees to continue paying them
- Employers are also allowed to defer payroll taxes for 2020
During this public health emergency, many Americans (within the healthcare community and beyond) are being forced to make some difficult financial decisions. However, you can reduce the level of hardship for you, your staff and your practice by taking full advantage of the above listed benefits provided by these new pieces of legislation.
For more detailed guidance on reducing the financial impact of COVID-19 on your practice, check out our on-demand webinar.
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