Here's What The Federal Coronavirus Relief Act Could Do For You

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi makes a statement late Friday about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 18 at 7:25 p.m.

President Trump signed into law a relief bill Wednesday night aimed at containing the widening effects of the coronavirus on the nation's economy, public health and well-being. It's 110 pages long, so we wanted to pull out key elements that may directly affect your life.

The law:

  • Guarantees sick leave for workers and their families affected by the coronavirus
  • Bolsters food aid for needy families and seniors
  • Injects funds into state unemployment coffers
  • Guarantees free testing for people suspected of being infected.

Here are some of the bill's highlights:

TESTING

Funds testing for the uninsured, veterans, Medicaid recipients and patients of the military and Native American health systems. Requires private health insurers to provide free testing, including the cost of an emergency room or clinic visit to get tested.

SICK LEAVE

Requires employers with less than 500 employees to provide two weeks of paid sick leave for people who become infected with the coronavirus or have to care for someone who is, as well as people who are quarantined or whose place of work or children's school is closed due to coronavirus. It also would provide a tax credit for businesses and self-employed individuals to cover sick leave.

EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

The bill gives government employees and employees of companies with fewer than 500 employees the right to take up to three months of leave from their jobs if they have to quarantine themselves or care for a family member who is quarantined or for a child whose school has been closed.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Provides $1 billion in grant funding for states to expand unemployment benefits for people who lose their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak.

FOOD AID

Provides $1.15 billion for food banks and to expand food aid for seniors and low-income pregnant women and mothers. The bill would also suspend new work requirements for recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. (A judge blocked the requirements from going into effect on Saturday.)

IMPORTANT NOTE

The paid sick leave exemptions for large, and in some cases, small, employers could potentially exclude nearly 20 million workers, The New York Times reported.

House Democrats say they'll introduce additional relief measures in the near future.

Read a summary of the bill below or read the entire bill here:

MORE ON CORONAVIRUS:


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