2021 COVID Stimulus Package

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package designed to speed up the United States’ recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession.  Here are the 12 key details you need to know about the package:

Policy Watch

Stimulus checks

$1,400 checks for individuals making less than $75,000 annually, $150,000 for married couples, and a phased-out amount for people with higher incomes. Payments would phase out at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples. Children and adult dependents would be eligible for the full $1,400.

Unemployment payments

$300 a week through September 6, 2021, with the first $10,200 of the benefits for 2020 nontaxable for those making under $150,000.

Vaccines and testing

$8.75 billion to federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal public health agencies for distributing, administering, and tracking vaccinations, with some funds specially dedicated to making sure the vaccination process reaches underserved communities.

Vaccine development

$20 billion going to federal biomedical research for a vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing and procurement; $3 billion for a strategic national stockpile of vaccines and $25 billion would be spent on testing, contact tracing, and reimbursing hospitals for lost revenue related to the pandemic.

Tax credits for children

For one year only - Increase the $2,000 Child Tax Credit to $3,000, set the credit at $3,600 for parents of children under age 6, and make parents of 17-year-olds eligible. It would also make the credit fully refundable, so low-income households would get the full benefit, no matter how little they earn.

Student loan forgiveness

Student-loan forgiveness free from income taxes for 2021-2025.

Minimum-wage increase

$15/hour minimum wage not included.


$130 billion in funds for K-12 schools to reduce class sizes, improve social distancing, improving ventilation, and provide more PPE.


Expands eligibility for subsidies to purchase insurance to people of all incomes and caps the maximum premium at 8.5% of a person’s income. It also takes steps to lower, or even zero out, premiums for people making less than 150% of the federal poverty line.


Encourages the expansion of Medicaid by having the federal government pay for new recipients. Employees who lose their jobs or lose benefits because of working fewer hours qualify for 100% Cobra health-insurance subsidies.


Federal workers, including postal workers, take as many as 600 hours of emergency paid leave related to Covid-19. The restaurant industry will receive $25 billion in relief targeted at small and midsize restaurants and chains.

"The Road to Economic Recovery"

— State and federal governments continue to pass measures and issue orders to address the medical and economic fallout from the COVID-19 issue.

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