Prior to the beginning of the pandemic, approximately 30 million children attending almost 100,000 public and non-profit private schools and residential childcare institutions participated in the National School Lunch Program.
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expanded the Child Tax Credit. Eligible families could claim the credit for each qualifying child when submitting their 2021 tax returns. The Internal Revenue Service issued more than 37 million Child Tax Credits totaling nearly $94 billion in 2021. Families can still submit revised tax returns to claim the credit until 2024.
The $10 billion Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is providing financial help to homeowners who missed mortgage, home insurance, and utility bill payments after January 21, 2020. Recently, Treasury released new data on the race, gender, ethnicity, and income of the 168,016 approved applicants out of the 399,276 applicants. The quarterly reporting by the states, District of Columbia, Tribes, and U.S. Territories shows that they have obligated about 21% of the funding. These recipients have until September 30, 2026, to use all the funding to benefit homeowners.
In March 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act provided $28.6 billion to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. In November, 2022, SBA announced that it was distributing $83 million in unobligated RRF money to 169 restaurant operators who had pending RRF applications.
The American Rescue Plan provided $20 billion in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (SLFRF) to assist Tribal governments, communities, businesses, and households. In November 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tribal and Native Affairs released a report highlighting some of the 3,000 projects that Tribes have funded with SLFRF money. The projects are focusing on improving the Tribes’ health, safety, and quality of life. The report noted that more than 2.7 million individuals from 579 Tribes have benefited.
The $10 billion Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) is providing financial help to homeowners who missed mortgage, home insurance, and utility bill payments after January 21, 2020. Recently, Treasury released data on the race, gender, ethnicity, and income of the 94,310 approved applicants out of the 399,276 applicants. The quarterly reporting by the states, District of Columbia, Tribes, and U.S. Territories shows that they have obligated about 10% of the funding. They have until September 30, 2026, to use all the funding to benefit homeowners.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provided $28.5 billion in Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants to 100,700 restaurants and similar businesses to help keep their doors open. Recipients are not required to repay the grant money as long as they spend it for approved uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Some of the larger federal pandemic relief programs, like the Education Stabilization Fund, were created to help schools and students. But state and local governments have also used State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) money to support education projects.
Millions of Americans were out of work during the pandemic, especially in its earliest days. In April 2020, the unemployment rate hit 15 percent. To help people who were unemployed, Congress passed three unemployment assistance programs. Two of the programs increased existing benefits, while the other expanded benefits to people like self-employed and gig workers, who typically aren’t eligible. As of April, 2022, approximately $664 billion had gone out to the states. See how much unemployment insurance your state received.
The spread and uncertainty of the pandemic increased stress and anxiety for many veterans, especially for those who experienced homelessness or mental health issues, such as PTSD. To help, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) received $34.4 billion, much of which was aimed at assisting states, nonprofits, and other organizations build nursing homes and facilities for veterans facing homelessness.