Minnesota Community Action Partnership (MinnCAP) applauds the passage of the American Rescue Plan, signed today by President Biden. This bill includes key provisions that help support Minnesota’s communities who are most impacted by the negative health and economic outcomes of COVID-19, our communities of color and our neighbors with low incomes. We have outlined some of the key provisions below:
- Stimulus checks - $1,400 for individuals who make up to $75,000 or $2800 for couples who jointly make up to $150,000, with payments phased out for people making over $80,000 or $160,000 respectively. Dependents of all ages are eligible for up to $1,400 each to be included in their household’s payments.
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) – Continues the additional 13 weeks of UI benefits and aid to self-employed and gig workers through September 6. The bill also provides an additional $300 per week of benefits through September 6. The bill allows people to exempt up to $10,200 of 2020 UI benefits from their taxes. We will provide more information about this provision soon.
- Tax Credit Changes for 2021 Taxes - Includes changes to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit that allow people with low incomes to receive the full benefits of these credits and increase the credit amounts for both.
- Housing and Utility Assistance - Provides significant funding to help Minnesotans who have low incomes find housing and stay safely housed during the pandemic. This includes rental and utility assistance, mortgage assistance, and support for people experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness and survivors of domestic violence.
- Childcare Assistance - Minnesota’s childcare providers, especially Greater Minnesota providers, have been gravely impacted by the pandemic, and many have been forced to close. The bill contains necessary funding to keep providers open during the pandemic and support programs for children from families with low-incomes and communities of color.
- Health Insurance - Increases the federal benefits for people with low and middle incomes who purchase their own health insurance to make health insurance more affordable for all.
- Nutrition - Extends the additional 15 percent boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through the end of September and provides families with children who receive free or reduced-price school meals to receive additional funds for food through the summer.
We thank President Joe Biden and the U.S. Congress, especially our Minnesota Congressional Delegation, for including the provisions that support Minnesotans with low incomes during the pandemic, the economic recession and recovery period, and into the future.