What You Should Know About the American Rescue Plan
Be prepared for significant employment changes if it's enacted
One of President Joe Biden's initial signature pieces of legislation - The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 - creates a significant number of changes to or continuations of programs that were available to both businesses and employees during 2020. While there is a wide array of tax and other elements of the new law, three employee benefits matters need to be incorporated into your HR planning.
1. Extension of pandemic unemployment assistance, Section 901(1)
This paragraph will increase the time period that the extended unemployment relief is made available to employees who are laid off or have lost their positions due to COVID-19. Previously set to expire in March, the extension will now run through Sept. 6, 2021. There are two main facets to this section:
- Extends the number of weeks that individuals can receive benefits from 24 to 53
- Provides some safe harbors for accidental overpayments which have already occurred. Enforcement of accidental payments has been done on a state-by-state basis with states having varying approaches and results.
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