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Law Update

American Rescue Plan Updates

Disability Benefits, Health Coverage benefits, Housing Assistance & Subsidized Housing
Written by Legal Aid WV

03/18/2021

On March 11, 2021, a new law called the American Rescue Plan Act was passed to provide more help to people struggling because of COVID-19. This law offers assistance that can help many West Virginians get through this tough time.
Here is some information about parts of the new law that may help you:

  • Stimulus Payments: A $1,400 stimulus payment for an adult who makes up to $75,000 a year, or $2,800 for a couple earning up to $150,000 a year (plus $1,400 for each qualifying child or dependent),
  • Help with Rent and Utilities: Provides more funding for rent and utility help for people who meet certain rules (Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program),
  • Increased Food Stamps: Temporarily increases the amount people receive for food stamps and provides more help to families with children for the summer,
  • Help with Health Insurance Premiums: Provides additional premium assistance to families who purchase health insurance from the ACA marketplace and helps with COBRA premiums if you lost your job,
  • Child Tax Credit: Allows parents to receive a tax credit of up to $3,600 per child under age 6 and $3,000 for children 17 and under, and
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: Expands eligibility for the EITC credit to adults with no children and increases the credit to $1,502 from $543,

Unemployment Benefits:

  • Extended Time: All types of unemployment benefits can now continue through September 6, 2021. This covers:
    • People receiving the initial basic benefit (maximum 26 weeks total); and
    • People receiving “extended” benefits (paid only after the initial basic benefits run out); and
    • People receiving “PUA” benefits for the Self-Employed and/or “Gig workers.”
  • Increased Amount: An extra $300 per week will be added to the benefit amount a person is now receiving through September 6, 2021.
  • Impact on Taxes: Up to $10,200 in unemployment benefits are tax free for the 2020 tax year for individuals making less than $150,000.

This is just a summary of important parts of the new law. There are other parts of the law that may help you too. We are working to update our COVID-19 articles with more information. Please check back soon.
If you have specific questions or need more help, you can apply for help from Legal Aid of West Virginia. Call 1-866-255-4370, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Or apply on our website.

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