(The Center Square) – Virginia could be eligible for up to $3.3 billion in federal aid to spend on state efforts designed to combat COVID-19 as part of the U.S. Senate-passed $2 trillion relief package, the Tax Foundation estimated.
The relief package – also known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – makes every state eligible for at least $1.25 billion in aid. Larger states would be eligible for additional funds based on their population.
Fairfax County also would be eligible for federal funds because its population exceeds 500,000 people. Any money received by the county would be subtracted from the amount for which Virginia is eligible.
A government could receive funding for expenditures that are necessary to combat COVID-19. To be eligible the expenditures must be incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30 and not accounted for in the state or local government’s budget.
This legislation also includes direct payments to low- and middle-income Americans, provides $350 billion in forgivable small business loans and boosts unemployment benefits.
“There are a number of individuals whose job was directly affected by the coronavirus,” Nelly Decker, press secretary for U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, told The Center Square.
“To provide financial relief, the package did two big things,” Decker wrote in an email. “First, it expands unemployment benefits payments to individuals by $600 a week. ... Under the package, unemployment insurance also expands the types of workers who are eligible for this type of financial relief – now including part-time, self-employed or gig workers.
"Additionally, the bill will provide a one-time direct payment of $1,200 to most adults making $75,000 or less annually," she wrote. "Households will also receive $500 per qualifying dependent as well.
"Both the tax rebates and expanded unemployment insurance in the legislation will help many of these individuals cover bills and essential payments while they are out of work.”
The CARES Act unanimously passed the Senate on Wednesday. It still requires U.S. House approval before being sent to President Donald Trump to sign.
“For America to get back to work, and for Americans to get past their natural fears and anxieties, we have to be smart from this point forward as we battle this virus,” Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine said in a news release. “All people have a role to play in this by practicing social distancing to protect one another. I have confidence that Virginians and all Americans will meet this challenge.”
The most recent numbers from the Virginia Department of Health show Virginia has 460 confirmed coronavirus cases, 65 hospitalizations and 13 deaths. There are more than 82,179 confirmed cases in the U.S. and at least 1,177 deaths.
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. COVID-19 symptoms appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.
Most people who have it develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually the elderly and those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.