For families without home internet, schools and libraries with the internet have been lifelines for connecting students to their online classes. The Emergency Connectivity Fund, a new program created by the American Rescue Plan Act in March 2021, is providing a total of $7 billion to schools and libraries to pay for laptops, tablets, modems, Wi-fi hotspots, routers, and other broadband devices.
School closures and online learning during the pandemic have led to many students’ falling behind in their schoolwork. To help K-12 schools respond, states received Elementary and Secondary School Emergency (ESSER) grants totaling $189.5 billion. The states are distributing the funding to public, private, and charter schools to address a range of students needs.
While you may have heard them referred to as stimulus checks, the Economic Impact Payments were, for the most part, direct deposited into bank accounts or sent out as bank cards. More than 472 million payments totaling $803 billion in financial relief went to households impacted by the pandemic. The Internal Revenue Service based the amounts that individuals received on income, tax filing status, and number of children (or qualifying dependents, like a relative).
Health care providers have used telehealth, or telemedicine, during the pandemic to deliver care to patients in their homes. The $450 billion COVID-19 Telehealth Program funded telecommunications services, information services, and devices, such as computers, smartphones, or tablets, needed for connecting to home care.
Households struggling to pay rent or utility bills received relief from the December 2020 passage of the $25 billion Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA1) program. State and local governments began receiving ERA1 funding in January 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act added $21 billion more to the program (ERA2)
Homeowners who missed two mortgage payments before December 27, 2021 may be eligible to receive assistance under the Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF).
In response to COVID-19, the federal government authorized an unprecedented $5 trillion in pandemic response spending. The majority of the prime recipients of this funding were located in the United States, however, prime recipients in 177 foreign countries received a total of $6.4 billion. These prime recipients were awarded approximately 4,000 federal contracts and 1,000 federal grants.
States, eligible local governments, Tribal governments, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories who received funding from the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) must report on how they are spending the money.
In order to get pandemic relief funding out the door quickly, federal agencies are primarily using new and existing federal contracts and financial assistance awards to distribute the money. Do you know the difference? Here are the details.
Motorcoach, school bus, passenger vessel, and pilotage companies impacted by the pandemic are eligible to receive up to $2 billion in grants under the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS).