CARES Act (Corona Virus Phase III) Passes Congress 

Published: March 27, 2020

Last updated on April 21st, 2020

Here are the key provisions that will impact members in the $2 trillion package the Senate approved on March 25, 2020and the House today on March 27.

Examples of How the Bill Affects Building Trades Members:   Anticipated real-life scenarios of how the CARES Act will impact building trades men and women (Based on examples provided by the North American Building Trades).  

Unemployment Assistance: Details of what is included in the legislation that addresses Unemployment Assistance for members and working families.

Income Assistance : A synopsis of what is in the legislation that affects members looking for information regarding income assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rail Industry: Waiver of the 7-day waiting period for benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. Enhanced benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act ($1,200 in benefits every two-week cycle). Extended unemployment benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. Approx. $1 billion aid for Amtrak.

Private Insurance Coverage: Private insurance plans must cover testing for COVID-19 and any future vaccine without cost sharing.  

Foreclosure Protections: Prohibits foreclosures of federally backed mortgage loans for 60 days, and up to 180 days of forbearance for borrowers of a federally backed mortgage loan who have experienced a financial hardship related to COVID-19. Provides up to 90 days forbearance on multi-family properties with federally backed loans. Borrowers receiving forbearance may not evict or charge late fees to tenants during forbearance period. No protections for mortgages that are not federally assisted (through private lenders).  

Student Debt: This affects members with dependents and requires Secretary of Education to suspend all payments on federal student loans through September 30, 2020, with no accrual of interest.  

OSHA: No provisions regarding OSHA were included in the bill. 

Elections: $400 million for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections. Funding can be used, among other uses, to increase the ability to vote by mail, but includes no requirements that ease access.  

Employer Assistance:  A breakdown of assistance and resources in the bill that are available for private employers.

A House Bill was also introduced this week called the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act) 

For more information about all the recent COVID-19 relief packages, visit: Center for Economic and Policy Research