U.S. Senator Bob Menendez – Breaking down the COVID-19 stimulus plan

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Dear Friends,

I know that staying indoors and keeping our distance from the ones we love is hard, especially when we want to comfort our friends, family members, and neighbors who are struggling in this difficult time. But New Jersey is now battling the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the nation. That means our doctors, nurses, hospital workers, and first responders are counting on ALL OF US to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

This week, I have been laser-focused on getting resources to the hospitals and health care providers at the frontlines of this crisis and helping the millions of Americans hurting in this economy. I’m proud that our efforts in the Senate resulted in the passage of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In addition to the billions of dollars now available to shore up our fight against COVID-19, here are three things you need to know about the CARES Act: 


ONE: If you’ve lost your job, help is on the way.

Our legislation boosts the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week through July, and makes unemployment insurance available to many part-time, self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers. Our legislation also allows companies to furlough workers instead of outright laying them off, enabling employees to keep their health benefits during this crisis and ultimately have jobs to return to when this pandemic is behind us. Click here for unemployment resources or contact the numbers below.

North New Jersey: 201-601-4100

Central New Jersey: 732-761-2020

South New Jersey: 856-507-2340

TWO: Most Americans will receive direct payments.

About 8 in 10 tax filers in New Jersey can expect direct payments from the CARES Act. Individuals who earned up to $75,000 a year according to their tax income in 2018 or 2019 will receive $1,200 ($2,400 per married couple filling taxes together and with earnings up to $150,000 a year) and an additional $500 per child in every qualifying household. Individuals earning more, and up to $99,000 will receive a smaller amount to be determined by the IRS based in on their income. Direct payments will come directly from the IRS and could be sent as soon as the second week of April, if you are registered with the IRS for direct deposit.

THREE: Better help for our small businesses.

Our legislation creates a $349 billion low-cost, forgivable loan program for small businesses so that they can pay rent, make payroll, and stay afloat in this difficult time. From restaurants to retailers to startups in every sector, New Jersey’s more than 800,000 small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Click here to view my small business resource page.

I’ll be posting more detailed information about the CARES Act on my website in the days ahead. And if we need further action to help our communities as this pandemic unfolds, you better believe I am ready to fight for it in Washington.

Until then, I hope you and your families stay safe and healthy. There’s only one way we’re going to make it through this crisis – and that’s together.

You can find coronavirus resources on my webpage (click here) and share them with your friends and family. Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to stay up to date on what's happening in New Jersey and in the Capitol.

Senator Bob Menendez