On Dec. 21, Congress finally reached a deal on COVID-19 relief and the annual federal budget. The Alliance has been advocating for our network’s priorities since the spring passage of the CARES Act, pushing for additional relief for human services organizations and supports for our community members who are struggling due to the impact of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 package is much smaller than other proposals out of the House and Senate earlier this year, with a price tag of about $900 billion, as compared to the House-passed HEROES Act which was around $3.5 trillion. A smaller price tag and partisan negotiations meant many priorities were not included. For example, at the last minute, Congress removed funding for states and local government to address revenue shortfalls, in order to secure bipartisan support.

We have more work and advocacy to do in early 2021 to secure additional relief. 

Some of the key provisions secured in this bill include:

  • Extending the universal charitable deduction through 2021 and increasing the maximum amount that can be deducted for married couples filing jointly. 
  • Extending the CARES Act provision that provides a 50% federal reimbursement of unemployment insurance costs for self-insured nonprofits. 
  • Extending and expanding the Employee Retention Tax Credit by expanding both eligibility and credit rates for nonprofit and for-profit organizations (payroll tax credit). It also makes organizations who received a PPP loan eligible for some ERTC credits for employee costs not covered by PPP loan forgiveness. 
  • Including the “Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act,” which has several important investments and regulatory flexibilities for foster youth aging out of care, for kinship caregivers, for home visiting, and more. 
  • Adding $10 billion in child care funding to support providers and families. 
  • Providing $13 billion for a 15% increase in monthly SNAP benefits until June 30, 2021.

There are many other key provisions in this bill. We encourage you to check out the Alliance’s detailed summary for human services organizations here.