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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: What you need to know

Parker Byrd

On Wednesday night, The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law, making it the second bill passed this month designed to blunt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does this mean for me?

While there are details emerging about direct financial relief for American citizens, this bill doesn’t provide for that. According to NBC New York, This second bill includes:

  • $500 million in additional funding for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program
  • $400 million in additional funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • $82 million in additional funding for the Defense Health Program
  • $250 million in additional funding for food programs, including home delivery food programs, for the elderly and disabled
  • Waivers to some requirements for school lunch programs
  • Waivers to work requirements to be eligible for SNAP food programs
  • New, temporary requirements that employers with more than 20 employees offer some paid sick leave time to their employees
  • Extensions to, and additional funds for, unemployment benefits
  • Free COVID-19 testing without co-pays or deductibles

The bill is projected to authorize over $100 billion worth of aid. The Senate will now turn to negotiating a much larger aid bill potentially worth up to $1 trillion to save the economy. This bill will be primarily focused on keeping small businesses and the airline industry afloat.

Am I getting a relief check?

Maybe, but not yet. That's currently being discussed for a third relief bill, which is making its way through Congress and which some expect could be passed by March 20. But there's no guarantee that will pass, or what it will look like when it does.

When do I get paid?

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a Fox Business interview Thursday that if Congress passes the bill as currently designed, checks could go out in three weeks -- $1,000 per adult and $500 per child, with a second round of checks possible six weeks after that.

I got a phone call about a check. Is this real?

No. In fact it's a scam. The FTC released a memo warning about this. Any time the government is issuing money (Social security, taxes, etc.) scammers will undoubtedly try to take advantage of you. Here are three things the FTC recommends to avoiding a scam:

  1. The government will not ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. No fees. No Charges. No nothing.
  2. The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does this is a scammer.
  3. These reports of checks aren’t a reality yet. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.

How Technology Providers play a role in this

MSPs play an important role during this time. From rolling out new tools for customers to getting them set up for remote work, they have their hands full, for sure.

Companies are looking to service providers to be their “technology voice”, guiding this transition safely and securely.

As financial scams and coronavirus phishing attacks are rampant during this frenzy, it’s more important than ever to be sure your workforce is secure and aware of the cyber-threats around. Make sure security awareness training is part of your remote work stack.

Hook Security, a psychological security awareness training company, is monitoring the coronavirus situation heavily, uncovering scams and phishing schemes taking advantage of the crisis.

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