Tags: Coronavirus | Financial Markets | Money | congress | cares | poverty | stimulus

CARES Act Helped Needy Americans Amid Pandemic

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By    |   Sunday, 21 June 2020 06:41 PM

Congress' CARES Act has capped a rise in poverty despite the coronavirus pandemic, and the legislation has resulted in a rise in income among needy Americans in April, according to two studies published Sunday, The New York Times reported.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included nearly $500 billion in direct income transfers for families in the U.S. It also broadened unemployment insurance and added $600 to weekly unemployment checks through July.

According to a study published by Bruce D. Meyer and Jeehoon Han of the University of Chicago and James X. Sullivan of Notre Dame, the poverty rate fell by 2.3 percentage points from 10.9% in the months leading up to the pandemic.

"Our results show that for low-income individuals and families, the government response to the pandemic more than offset the sharp decline in earnings," the authors said in a statement. "Because a bulk of the government response was temporary, it is important that we continue to track poverty in real time to determine what additional support is called for as this pandemic persists."

A study published by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University projects the CARES Act has the potential to return annual poverty rates to pre-crisis levels, but only if an adequate share of families can actually access the benefits.

Without the legislation, poverty levels would have risen to 16.3% as opposed to its current level of 12.7%.

"Right now, the safety net is doing what it's supposed to do for most families — helping them secure a minimally decent life," Zachary Parolin, a member of the Columbia University team forecasting this year's poverty rate, told the Times. "Given the magnitude of the employment loss, this is really remarkable."

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US
Congress' CARES Act has capped a rise in poverty despite the coronavirus pandemic, and the legislation has resulted in a rise in income among needy Americans in April, according to two studies published Sunday, The New York Times reported.
congress, cares, poverty, stimulus, pandemic, impact, payments, unemployment
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2020-41-21
Sunday, 21 June 2020 06:41 PM
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