A breakdown of the fiscal and monetary responses to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic, now in its third year, has tremendously impacted the U.S. and global economies. The U.S. government responded to the crisis when it enacted a number of policies to provide fiscal stimulus to the economy and relief to those affected by this global disaster. The Federal Reserve (Fed) also took a series of substantial monetary stimulus measures to complement the fiscal stimulus.

In this article, we divided stimulus and relief efforts into monetary policy, made by the Fed, and fiscal policy, made by Congress and the Trump and Biden presidential administrations. Although the pandemic persists, many of these programs have since been discontinued.

Key Takeaways

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has tremendously impacted the U.S. and global economies.
  • The U.S. government and the Federal Reserve (Fed) have taken steps to mitigate the effects by providing fiscal stimulus and relief.
  • Actions on monetary policy, interest rates, quantitative easing (QE), and lending programs are several examples of how the Fed has tried to help the economy.
  • The government also enacted several laws to provide relief to businesses and individuals, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.
  • Eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, paycheck protection, student loan forbearance, and stimulus checks are a few key elements of these laws.

Impact on the U.S. Economy

The early days of the pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession in February 2020. The COVID-19 crisis pushed the U.S. stock market into bear market territory in March 2020, with the S&P 500 not recovering to pre-pandemic highs until June 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate rose as high as 14.7% in April 2020—the highest since the Great Depression—and up from 3.5% in February 2022. The unemployment rate was 3.8% as of March 2022.

The national economy, as measured by real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP), fell by 3.5% year over year (YOY) in 2020. This was the first time that the economy shrank YOY on an annual basis since 2009.

Following the introduction of unprecedented stimulus measures, the U.S. economy started to rebound later in 2020. The arrival of vaccinations in 2021 helped to boost the economy further. But the pandemic persists as new, highly contagious variants of the virus continue to emerge. Its economic impact is far from over.

U.S. Monetary Policy

The Fed’s stimulus measures have fallen into three basic categories: interest rate cuts, loans and asset purchases, and regulation changes.

The loans and asset purchases come in general purchases made as part of quantitative easing (QE) and repurchase operations where the Fed buys assets directly, specific lines of credit that the Fed creates, and programs where the Fed sets entities called special purpose vehicles (SPVs).

It then lends money to these SPVs, which use the money to purchase assets. All of these efforts were combined to try to ensure that the U.S. would not suffer a liquidity crisis as it did during the Great Recession.

Interest rates

The Fed cut its benchmark interest rate, the federal funds rate, twice during March 2020—first by 0.50%, then by 1.00%.

This lowered the federal funds rate, which is expressed as a range, from 1.50% to 1.75% to 0.00% to 0.25%. This is notable because the Fed did not move interest rates in increments greater than 0.25% since cutting them during the Great Recession. On March 15, 2020, the Fed also cut its discount rate, another key interest rate, by 1.5%, down to 0.25%.

In March 2022, Fed officials rose interest rates—which had remained at rock bottom since the start of the pandemic. The federal funds rate was increased by 25 basis points, putting the new range at 25-50 basis points.

Quantitative easing (QE) and repo operations

One of the simplest asset-purchasing programs has been the QE program, in which the Fed directly buys assets like U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). The Fed, which originally created the program during the Great Recession, restarted it on March 15, 2020. The scale of the program was open-ended, with the Fed saying it would buy “in the amounts needed to support the smooth functioning of markets.”

In late 2021, the Fed started to reduce asset purchases in a process called tapering. Federal Reserve Board (FRB) Chair Jerome Powell announced on Dec. 15, 2021, that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to accelerate its tapering of net new purchases of bonds, in response to a strengthening economy and rising inflation. These purchases had totaled $120 billion per month.

On March 12, 2020, the Fed also enormously expanded its repo operations—by $1.5 trillion, then adding another $500 billion four days later—to ensure enough liquidity in the money markets. Repo operations have effectively allowed the Fed to loan money to banks by purchasing Treasuries from them and selling them back to the banks at a later date.

Discontinued Federal Reserve Programs

Besides direct asset purchases, the Fed set up several new lending programs, both as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (see U.S. Fiscal Policy section below for details) using funds from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF) as seed capital, and entirely on its own. A number were set up as SPVs, separate legal entities that allow the Fed to lend in ways that it normally doesn’t. All of these programs, detailed below, have been discontinued.

Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF)

To help small businesses, the Fed launched the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) on April 9, 2020, in concert with the CARES Act. This program lent money to banks so they could, in turn, lend money to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). On April 30, 2020, the program expanded the types of lenders that could participate in the program. The program ended on July 30, 2021.

Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF)

On March 23, 2020, the Fed created the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) to buy corporate bonds to ensure that corporations could get credit. At the same time, it created the related Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF), which bought up corporate bonds and bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on the secondary market.

The SMCCF started purchasing bond ETFs on May 12, 2020, and said it would begin purchasing individual bonds to create a “broad, diversified market index” of individual U.S. corporate bonds starting on June 16, 2020.

The combined purchase limit for the programs was $750 billion, up from an initial $200 billion. The Treasury Department contributed a total of $75 billion in initial capital to these two programs from the ESF: $50 billion for the PMCCF and $25 billion for the SMCCF. The premise was that these programs made banks more willing to lend to corporations because they knew that they could sell the loans to the Fed. Both programs stopped purchasing bonds on Dec. 31, 2020.

Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF)

On March 23, 2020, the Fed resurrected another Great Recession program: the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). It made up to an initial $100 billion in loans to companies and took asset-backed securities (ABS) as collateral. This included a variety of securities, such as those based on auto loans, commercial mortgages, or student loans.

On April 9, 2020, the Fed expanded the ABS types that could be purchased. The Treasury Department’s ESF made a $10 billion initial equity investment in the SPVs. The program stopped making new loans as of Dec. 31, 2020.

Main Street Lending Program

On March 23, 2020, the Fed announced the Main Street Lending Program, which set up an SPV to purchase up to $600 billion in small- and medium-sized business loans. Under the plan, the Fed purchased a 95% stake of each loan, with the bank keeping 5%. To qualify, businesses needed to have either 10,000 or fewer employees or up to $2.5 billion in 2019 revenue.

On July 17, 2020, the Fed extended the program to nonprofit organizations that didn’t have endowments larger than $3 billion, had either fewer than 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in 2019 revenue, and met a number of other additional requirements. The program purchased stakes in both new loans and loan extensions.

Under the CARES Act, the Treasury Department planned to make a $75 billion equity investment in the SPV. The terms of the loans were five years, with interest deferred for one year and principal payments deferred for two years.

On Oct. 30, 2020, the Fed reduced the minimum size of the loans that the program would purchase. The program ended on Jan. 8, 2021.

Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF)

On April 9, 2020, the Fed launched the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF), which purchased up to $500 billion of short-term notes issued by:

  • The 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Counties with at least 500,000 people
  • Cities with at least 250,000 people
  • Multistate entities (defined by the Fed as an entity created by a compact between two or more states)
  • Up to two revenue bond issuers per state, such as airports or utilities

In addition, smaller states could designate their largest city or county (depending on the size of the state) to qualify for the facility even if it didn’t meet the population requirement.

On Aug. 11, 2020, interest rates for tax-exempt notes were lowered by 0.5 percentage points. The difference in rates between taxable and tax-exempt notes was also lowered. Under the CARES Act, the Treasury Department made an initial equity investment of $35 billion in the SPVs. It stopped purchasing notes on Dec. 31, 2020.

Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) and Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF)

On March 20, 2020, the Fed relaunched a Great Recession-era program: the Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), which has given loans to primary dealers backed by a wide variety of securities as collateral. There was no set limit to the amount of credit issued.

To add more liquidity to money markets, the Fed announced the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) on March 18, 2020. This program lent money to financial institutions so that they could buy money market mutual funds. Like the PDCF, it did not have a specific lending limit, either.

The Treasury Department gave the MMLF $10 billion of debt credit protection for the program. On May 5, 2020, the central bank said that participation in the MMLF wouldn’t affect the liquidity coverage ratio of participating banks.

This program was similar to the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Fund (AMLF) program launched in 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers caused a major money market fund to fail. The AMLF ended on Feb. 1, 2010.

Both the PDCF and the MMLF expired on March 31, 2021.

Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF)

On March 17, 2020, the Fed established the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), which purchased short-term debt known as commercial paper to ensure that those markets stay liquid.

On March 23, 2020, the Fed broadened the variety of commercial paper that it would buy to lower the pricing of the debt. This was actually a relaunch of a program that ran during the Great Recession, when many businesses were hurt as liquidity in the commercial paper markets dried up.

While it had no set limit on the amount it purchased, the CPFF stopped purchasing debt on March 31, 2021, and the SPV will continue to be funded until its assets mature. The Treasury Department made a $10 billion equity investment in the CPFF from its ESF.

Fed’s Regulation Changes and Policy Updates

The Fed made regulation changes to further add liquidity to the markets. For instance, the Fed made a number of technical changes to hold on to less capital so that it could lend more. It temporarily removed the asset restrictions placed on Wells Fargo after its fake-accounts scandal, so that Wells Fargo could lend more.

On Dec. 16, 2020, the Fed announced that its QE policy would continue “until substantial further progress has been made” toward inflation and employment goals. The Fed expects this progress to take years, based on projections it also released that day.

On March 19, 2021, the Fed announced that it was letting its policy of relaxing bank reserve requirements expire on March 31, 2021, as scheduled. The policy, originally announced on May 15, 2020, temporarily allowed banks to exclude Treasuries and deposits with Fed banks from their balance sheets for the purpose of calculating reserve requirements, allowing them to lend more.

On March 25, 2021, the Fed announced that the temporary restrictions on dividends and buybacks that it placed on banks in 2020 would end after June 30, 2021, for banks that meet capital requirements during the 2021 stress tests. Restrictions were extended for banks that fail to meet capital requirements.

U.S. Fiscal Policy

Throughout March and April of 2020, the U.S. government passed three main relief packages and one supplemental package. After the passage of the supplementary package in April, nicknamed “stimulus phase 3.5,” there was no substantial action on COVID-19 stimulus or relief from Congress for several months, as each political party proposed its own stimulus package.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act in May 2020, and the Republican Senate majority proposed—but did not pass—the $1 trillion HEALS Act in July 2020. Despite offers from House Democrats to meet in the middle at $2 trillion, the Senate Republican majority refused to budge from their position, insisting on less stimulus.

In December 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), which included a $900 billion stimulus bill, providing additional support during the pandemic.

During this period, then-President Donald Trump and now-President Joseph Biden have issued a plethora of executive actions in attempts to provide aid during the pandemic, as have various executive branch agencies. A fifth major stimulus package, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, was signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021.

80 million+

The total number of COVID-19 infections in the United States, as of April 12, 2022. There have been more than 982,000 deaths.

Stimulus and Relief Package 1

The first relief package, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, nicknamed Phase One, was signed into law on March 6, 2020, by then-President Trump. It allocated $8.3 billion to do the following:

  • Fund research for a vaccine
  • Give money to state and local governments to fight the spread of the virus
  • Allocate money to help with efforts to stop the spread of the virus overseas

Stimulus and Relief Package 2

The second relief package, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), or Phase Two, was signed into law on March 18, 2020. The law allocated a budget for relief that included the following:

  • Providing money for families who rely on free school lunches in light of widespread school closures
  • Mandating that companies with fewer than 500 employees provide paid sick leave for those suffering from COVID-19, as well as providing a tax credit to help employers cover those costs
  • Providing nearly $1 billion in additional unemployment insurance money for states, as well as loans to states to fund unemployment insurance
  • Funding and cost waivers to make COVID-19 testing free for everyone

Separately, on March 18, 2020, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) implemented foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for single-family homeowners whose mortgages were FHA-insured or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The eviction moratorium on FHA and other government-backed loans was extended to Sept. 30, 2021. Additionally, the FHFA announced on Sept. 24, 2021, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would continue to offer COVID-19 forbearance to multifamily property owners who were experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Stimulus and Relief Package 3: CARES Act

The third—and largest—relief package was signed into law on March 27, 2020. By nominal dollar amount, it is the largest single relief package in U.S. history. This law, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and nicknamed the CARES Act or Phase Three, appropriated $2.3 trillion for many different efforts:

  • One-time, direct cash payment of $1,200 per person, plus $500 per child
  • Expansion of unemployment benefits to include furloughed people, gig workers, and freelancers until Dec. 31, 2020
  • Additional $600 of unemployment per week until July 31, 2020
  • Waiver of early withdrawal penalties for 401(k)s for amounts of up to $100,000 until Dec. 31, 2020
  • Mortgage forbearance and a moratorium on foreclosures on federally backed mortgages for 180 days
  • $500 billion in government lending to companies affected by the pandemic
  • $367 billion in loans and grants to small businesses through the PPP and the expanded Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program
  • More than $130 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
  • $150 billion in grants to state and local governments
  • $40 billion for schools and universities

Stimulus and Relief Package 3.5

A supplementary stimulus package, nicknamed Phase 3.5, was signed into law on April 24, 2020. It appropriated $484 billion, mostly to replenish the PPP and the EIDL, and contained additional funding for hospitals and COVID-19 testing.

Another supplementary measure, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, which modified the PPP, was signed into law on June 5, 2020. It made the following changes to the program:

  • It allowed businesses 24 weeks to spend the money, up from the initial eight-week period
  • It lowered the requirements for loan forgiveness. Businesses now had to spend only 60% of their PPP funds on payroll, instead of 75% previously.
  • The payment deferment period was extended from six months to when the borrower finds out the amount of their loan forgiveness
  • It allowed businesses that received PPP loans to delay paying payroll taxes
  • It allowed businesses loan forgiveness if they didn’t rehire workers who refused good-faith offers of reemployment or were unable to restore operations to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic
  • It gave businesses until the end of 2020 to restore their payrolls to precrisis levels
  • It increased the loan maturity of PPP loans taken out after June 5, 2020, to five years
  • It extended the time that borrowers have to pay back unforgiven parts of the loan

Supplementary Measures

The third piece of supplementary legislation was passed on July 4, 2020, which extended the deadline for small businesses to apply for the PPP from June 30, 2020, to Aug. 8, 2020. When the bill was signed into law, $130 billion of PPP funding remained unallocated.

On March 17, 2020, then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin extended the deadline for paying both individual and business taxes for tax year 2019 to July 15, 2020.

On March 20, 2020, then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos suspended student loan payments and interest accrual for federally held student debt. This suspension of payments and interest has been through Aug. 31, 2022.

On April 19, 2020, the Trump administration said businesses could delay payment of tariffs for 90 days if they suspended operations during March and April of 2020 and if they “demonstrate(d) a significant financial hardship.”

Trump Executive Orders

On Aug. 10, 2020, Trump signed four executive actions to provide additional COVID-19 relief.

Lost wages

The first action created the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which would roll out a $400-per-week payment to those receiving more than $100 a week in unemployment benefits. The plan called for $300 to be paid by the federal government and $100 by state governments. The program was retroactive to Aug. 1, 2020, after the $600 unemployment benefits expansion ended.

The program was to be funded by up to $44 billion in money taken from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster relief fund. The president said the states should use the remaining aid given to them under the federal CARES Act to fund these payments, even though many states already had allocated those funds and state budgets were under intense strain.

Because the president cannot expand unemployment insurance without congressional approval, states had to scramble to build new systems to handle these program benefits. This caused delays and meant that actual payment of the benefits was not rolled out for weeks or months in many states.

Alaska and New Jersey became the last states to begin paying out LWA benefits in October 2020. Meanwhile, the benefits in some states that began paying out quickly had already begun to run out in September 2020. The program ultimately had enough money for each state to pay out for six weeks, although the end date of the program varied depending on when the state began making payments.

Student loan interest

A second executive action extended the moratorium on payments and interest accrual on student loans held by the government until the end of 2020. The moratorium was previously set to expire on Sept. 30, 2020.

Housing

A third executive action instructed the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help provide temporary assistance to homeowners and renters. The action directed HUD to “promote the ability of renters and homeowners to avoid eviction or foreclosure.” The executive action also instructed the FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to “review all existing authorities and resources that may be used to prevent evictions and foreclosures for renters and homeowners.”

Notably, the order did not extend the CARES Act’s federal eviction moratorium, which expired on July 24, 2020.

A fourth executive action deferred payroll taxes for Americans earning less than $100,000 per year for the period from Sept. 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020. The taxes still needed to be paid back in 2021.

Biden Extends Protections

As part of a series of executive actions announced on his first day of office, Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden’s Department of Education announced it would extend federally held student loan forbearance, which was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021. Forbearance has been extended through Aug. 31, 2022.

Shortly after the passage of the American Rescue Plan, on March 30, 2021, the Department of Education announced the expansion of its student loan relief to include defaulted privately held loans as well, through Sept. 30, 2021. A 0% interest rate and a pause of collections would affect 1.14 million borrowers who defaulted on a privately held loan under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program since March 13, 2020.

Eviction moratorium

The CARES Act created a moratorium on evictions that was initially set to expire on July 24, 2020. The moratorium was extended several times since then, and, on June 24, 2021, the government announced that it would be extended a final time, to July 31, 2021.

On Aug. 3, 2021, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a temporary halt on evictions in counties experiencing substantial or high levels of community transmission of COVID-19. This mandate was set to expire on Oct. 3, 2021. However, on Aug. 26, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the CDC order, effectively ending the eviction moratorium. The conditions for the moratorium included:

  • You couldn’t expect to make more than $99,000 as an individual, or $198,000 if married, in 2020.
  • You were laid off, had “extraordinary” out-of-pocket medical expenses (more than 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI)), or had a “substantial” loss of household income.
  • You needed to do everything you could to make “timely” partial payments as close to the rent you owe as “circumstances may permit.”
  • Eviction would “likely” lead you to either be homeless or have to move to a place where you would be crowded closely with other people.

People who met these conditions were to write a signed declaration that this was the case and give it to their landlord. If you met the conditions, then it applied to all landlords and residential renters in the country—except for jurisdictions that had local moratoriums with the same or better protection for renters, as well as American Samoa, unless that territory reported COVID-19 cases, in which case it would then apply there. It also did not apply to hotels, motels, and Airbnb rentals.

Stimulus and Relief Package 4

On Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed the CAA, a 900 billion stimulus and relief bill, attached to the main omnibus budget bill. Then-President Trump signed the bill on Dec. 27, 2020, but urged Congress to increase the direct stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000. Its contents, as of Dec. 28, 2020, included:

  • Direct payments of $600 per person, including for dependents ages 16 and younger. The payments were to be available to individuals making up to $75,000 per year.
  • Eleven weeks of expanded unemployment benefits starting on Dec. 27, 2020. The benefits would be expanded by $300 a week. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for self-employed and contract workers was extended, as was Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) for people who exhausted their unemployment assistance. These programs expired on Sept. 5, 2021.
  • $325 billion in help for small business loans, including $284 billion in forgivable PPP loans, $20 billion for EIDL grants for businesses operating in low-income areas, and $15 billion for live cultural venues.
  • An extension of the CDC eviction moratorium through Jan. 31, 2021, which expired on Aug. 26, 2021.
  • $45 billion for transportation funding, including $15 billion in airline payroll support, $14 billion for transit, and $10 billion for state highways.
  • $69 billion to public health measures, including $22 billion in aid to states for testing and tracing, $20 billion to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), $9 billion to the CDC and state governments for vaccine distribution, and $9 billion to support healthcare providers.
  • $82 billion in education funding, including a $54.3 billion K–12 Emergency Relief Fund and a $22.7 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
  • $25 billion in emergency rent assistance.
  • $26 billion in nutrition and agriculture funding, including a 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and food bank funding.

If you were eligible for stimulus payments and missed out on getting them, you can file for a Recovery Rebate Credit. You can claim this refundable tax credit when you file your 2021 tax return, and 2020 as well—if you haven’t yet filed for that year.

Stimulus and Relief Package 5: American Rescue Plan

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, implementing a $1.9 trillion package of stimulus and relief proposals. Some facets of the plan, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, were excluded to pass the plan using budget reconciliation, a Senate procedure that allows bills to be passed using a simple majority.

Roughly $350 billion of the total funding was allocated to state and local governments. The key points of the plan as it was passed are the following:

  • Direct cash payments of up to $1,400 for individuals earning less than $75,000 a year, plus $1,400 per dependent. The amount of the payment decreases for people with income over $75,000, phasing out completely for individuals with an income of $100,000 a year.
  • Increasing the maximum annual Child Tax Credit from $2,000 a child to $3,000 per child ages 6 through 17, and $3,600 for each child under age 6. The increase lasted through 2021, and payments begin phasing out for couples making more than $150,000 a year and individuals who are heads of households making more than $112,500 a year. (Legislation to extend the increased credit for 2022 was not passed. The credit will revert back to $2,000 and be partially refundable on an annual basis for tax year 2022).
  • $300 a week in expanded unemployment insurance lasting through Sept. 5, 2021.
  • $10,200 in unemployment benefits were free from federal taxes in 2021 for households with incomes less than $150,000 a year. That figure was doubled for married couples filing jointly.
  • $130 billion in funding for K–12 schools.
  • $55.5 billion for the CDC to administer and distribute vaccines, diagnose and track COVID-19 infections, and purchase testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies.
  • $39 billion in funding for higher education.
  • $30 billion in funding for public transit.
  • $25 billion in emergency rental assistance.
  • $25 billion for the Small Business Administration to make grants for “restaurants and other food and drinking establishments.”
  • $40 billion in funds for childcare—$15 billion in childcare assistance, and $25 billion to help childcare providers continue to operate and meet payroll.
  • $15 billion to support airline industry workers.
  • $7.25 billion in additional PPP funding, in addition to expanding which nonprofits can benefit from the program.
  • A provision treating any student loan forgiveness passed from Dec. 31, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2026, as nontaxable income.

What COVID Relief Is Still Available?

Among the assistance still available are rent assistance and tax breaks on student loans that were forgiven. Check with your state to see what local programs are available. For example, while the federal eviction moratorium has ended, a few states still have eviction bans in place. Others have allocated funds to help small businesses.

What Can I Do If I Didn’t Receive My Stimulus Check?

If you didn’t receive a stimulus check and should have, then you are eligible for a Recovery Rebate Credit. You can claim this refundable tax credit when filing your 2021 and/or 2020 tax returns.

Did the Eviction Moratorium End?

The federal moratorium on evictions has ended. Check with your state to see if it has a moratorium in place.

Article Sources
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  36. Federal Reserve System. “Federal Reserve Board Announces Establishment of a Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) to Support the Credit Needs of Households and Businesses,” Download “Term Sheet: Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDF),” Page 2.

  37. Federal Reserve System. “Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility,” Download “Term Sheet (November 30, 2020) (PDF),” Page 2.

  38. Federal Reserve System. “Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility,” Page 1.

  39. Federal Reserve System. “Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Modify Liquidity Coverage Ratio for Banks Participating in Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility.”

  40. Federal Reserve System. “Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility.”

  41. Federal Reserve System. “Federal Reserve Board Announces Extension Through March 31, 2021, for Several of Its Lending Facilities That Were Generally Scheduled to Expire on or Around December 31.”

  42. Federal Reserve System. “Commercial Paper Funding Facility 2020: Program Terms and Conditions.”

  43. Federal Reserve System. “Report on the Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet: August 2020,” Page 13 (Page 21 of PDF).

  44. Federal Reserve System. “The COVID-19 Crisis and the Federal Reserve’s Policy Response,” Page 9.

  45. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “FAQs: Commercial Paper Funding Facility.”

  46. Congressional Research Service. “COVID-19 and the Banking Industry: Risks and Policy Responses,” Pages 20–21 (Pages 24–25 of PDF).

  47. Federal Reserve System. “Federal Reserve Board Announces, Due to the Extraordinary Disruptions from the Coronavirus, That It Will Temporarily and Narrowly Modify the Growth Restriction on Wells Fargo So That It Can Provide Additional Support to Small Businesses.”

  48. Federal Reserve System. “December 16, 2020: FOMC Projections Materials, Accessible Version.”

  49. Federal Reserve System. “December 16, 2020: Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement.”

  50. Federal Reserve System. “Temporary Supplementary Leverage Ratio Changes to Expire as Scheduled.”

  51. Federal Reserve System. “Federal Reserve Announces Temporary and Additional Restrictions on Bank Holding Company Dividends and Share Repurchases Currently in Place Will End for Most Firms After June 30, Based on Results from Upcoming Stress Test.”

  52. Data Lab. “The Federal Response to COVID-19: How Is the Federal Government Funding Relief Efforts for COVID-19?

  53. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “What’s in the $3 Trillion HEROES Act?

  54. Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “What’s in the $1.1 Trillion HEALS Act?

  55. U.S. Congress. “H.R.133 — Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Text.”

  56. U.S. Congress. “H.R.1319 — American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Text.”

  57. The White House. “President Biden Announces American Rescue Plan.”

  58. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID Data Tracker. “Daily Update for the United States.”

  59. U.S. Congress. “H.R.6074 — Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020: Summary.”

  60. U.S. Congress. “H.R.6201 — Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Summary.”

  61. Federal Housing Finance Agency. “FHFA Extends COVID-19 REO Eviction Moratorium Through September 30, 2021.”

  62. Federal Housing Finance Agency. “FHFA Extends COVID-19 Multifamily Forbearance Through September 30, 2021.”

  63. U.S. Congress. “H.R.748 — CARES Act: Text.”

  64. Congressman Albio Sires. “Coronavirus Update April 24, 2020.”

  65. U.S. Congress. “H.R.266 — Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act: Summary.”

  66. Federal Register. “Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—Revisions to First Interim Final Rule.”

  67. Federal Register. “Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—COVID Revenue Reduction Score, Direct Borrower Forgiveness Process, and Appeals Deferment.”

  68. Internal Revenue Service. “Tax Day for Individuals Extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS Extend Filing and Payment Deadline.”

  69. U.S. Department of Education. “Delivering on President Trump’s Promise, Secretary DeVos Suspends Federal Student Loan Payments, Waives Interest During National Emergency.”

  70. The White House. “Statement by President Biden Extending the Pause on Student Loan Repayment Through August 31st, 2022.” 

  71. U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Temporary Postponement of the Time to Deposit Certain Estimated Duties, Taxes, and Fees During the National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak,” Pages 1–2.

  72. U.S. Department of Labor. “U.S. Department of Labor Announces Guidance for the Lost Wages Assistance Program to Provide Needed Relief to Americans.”

  73. Federal Emergency Management Agency. “Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance Guidelines.”

  74. Trump White House Archives. “Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019.”

  75. Federal Student Aid. “COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Federal Student Aid,” Select “History of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Flexibilities.”

  76. Trump White House Archives. “Executive Order on Fighting the Spread of COVID-19 by Providing Assistance to Renters and Homeowners.”

  77. U.S. Supreme Court. “Appendix: Constitutional, Statutory, and Regulatory Provisions,” Page 6.

  78. Internal Revenue Service. “Guidance Issued to Implement Presidential Memorandum Deferring Certain Employee Social Security Tax Withholding.”

  79. U.S. Department of Education. “Department of Education Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Emergency Flexibilities to Additional Federal Student Loans in Default.”

  80. U.S. Supreme Court. “Appendix: Constitutional, Statutory, and Regulatory Provisions,” Page 70a (Page 23 of PDF).

  81. The White House. “FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Initiatives to Promote Housing Stability by Supporting Vulnerable Tenants and Preventing Foreclosures.”

  82. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “CDC Issues Eviction Moratorium Order in Areas of Substantial and High Transmission.”

  83. U.S. Supreme Court. “Alabama Association of Realtors, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al.; On Application to Vacate Stay (August 26, 2021).”

  84. Federal Register. “Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19.”

  85. Library of Congress. “United States: President Signs Law to Provide New Economic Stimulus to Address Pandemic Hardships.”

  86. U.S. Congress. “H.R.133 — Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Actions.”

  87. Internal Revenue Service. “Recovery Rebate Credit.”

  88. U.S. Congress. “H.R. 1319 — American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Text.”

  89. New York State Department of Labor. “Expiration of Federal Unemployment and Pandemic Benefits.”

  90. Internal Revenue Service. “IRS to Recalculate Taxes on Unemployment Benefits; Refunds to Start in May.”

  91. Mortgage Bankers Association. “Map of Eviction Moratoriums by State.”

  92. Internal Revenue Service. "Recovery Rebate Credit."