The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is a law passed by the U.S. federal government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides paid sick leave, tax credits, free COVID-19 testing, extra food assistance and unemployment benefits, and more Medicaid funding. Many benefits provided by this law will not be available after the end of the year. Click HERE to read the bill.
FREE COVID-19 TESTING
Private health insurance, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must cover the cost of approved COVID-19 tests and related visits to health care providers. They are not allowed to impose deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments for these tests for the duration of the public health emergency declared on January 31st, 2020. Click HERE to see what is covered.
This law requires certain employers to provide two weeks of paid sick leave when the employee is unable to work due to illness, or when the employee must care for an individual in quarantine. Certain employers must also provide up to 10 additional weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave when an employee is unable to work due to needing to care for a child whose school or child-care provider is closed because of COVID-19. Click HERE for more information.
UNEMPLOYMENT AND FOOD ASSISTANCE
States may have access to funds to administer emergency unemployment programs. Work requirements may be waived for SNAP eligibility, and emergency SNAP benefits are available during a public health emergency due to COVID-19. Schools have access to more funding to continue providing meals and snacks during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click HERE for more information.
FUNDING AND TAX CREDITS
Several government agencies are provided with emergency funds so they can provide the services specified by this law. Credits against payroll taxes for employer-paid sick leave wages are allowed, and employees are allowed a refundable tax credit for covered sick leave. Click HERE for more information.
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