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Pennsylvania Residents Would Get $600 Benefit Under COVID-19 Relief Agreement


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PHILADELPHIA, PA- A new coronavirus relief package that includes a second round of stimulus checks has been agreed upon by Washington lawmakers, with a vote on the nearly $900 billion deal expected as early as Monday.

For millions of Pennsylvania residents, it means direct cash payments. It also means expanded and extended federal unemployment benefits, a stay on evictions and help for business and schools.

Here’s what it could mean for you:

Stimulus payments for most residents would be $600, half of what was sent out in the spring. The payments will go to adults who made less than $75,000 individually and less than $150,000 as a couple in 2019. Payments will decrease for people who made over $75,000 and won’t be available for people who earned more than $99,000. Adults will also get $600 for each child they claim as a dependent. It’s unknown when the money will come by, but the CARES Act payments came within two months for most Americans.

Federal unemployment benefits will provide an extra $300 a week and extend coverage to those eligible for another 11 weeks, running through at least March 14. The benefits also extend to self-employed and gig workers who are drawing from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Many federal benefits were set to expire the day after Christmas. The money is half of the $600 per week unemployed people got under the previous relief package. Pennsylvania has faced an unprecedented surge in unemployment throughout the pandemic.

A federal moratorium on evictions would be extended through Jan. 31. The current moratorium was set to expire at the end of the year. Before that, Gov. Tom Wolf initially issued an eviction moratorium on May 7 that went through July 24. The moratorium was eventually extended through Aug. 31.

It’s unclear exactly how much SEPTA and PennDOT will get. SEPTA has been losing roughly $1 million a day due to service cuts and lower ridership.

There would be more than $284 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program, which has been expanded to help a wider array of businesses.

Schools would receive $82 billion for HVAC repairs in an effort to help get children and teachers back into school safely.

What they’re saying:

“It’s been roughly 290 days since Americans received the $1,200 stimulus payments. That’s just $4.14 a day for people to barely survive in the wake of this pandemic,” U.S. Rep Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia) said in a statement. “As Pennsylvanians and Americans alike continue to be adversely impacted by this public health and economic crisis, Congress must do the right thing and issue a second round of direct cash payments to every resident across this nation. Lives depend on it.”

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