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Saturday, March 13, 2021

American Rescue Plan Act - Compensation Provisions

On Thursday, March 11, 2021, the President signed into law:H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,”PL 117-2, March 11, 2021, 135 Stat 4

SEC. 2101. FUNDING FOR DEPARTMENT OF LABOR WORKER PROTECTION ACTIVITIES.

(a) APPROPRIATION.—In addition to amounts otherwise made available, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated to the Secretary of Labor for fiscal year 2021, $200,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2023, for the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, the Office of the Solicitor, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to carry out COVID–19 related worker protection activities, and for the Office of Inspector General for oversight of the Secretary's activities to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID–19.

(b) ALLOCATION OF AMOUNTS.—Amounts appropriated under subsection (a) shall be allocated as follows:

(1) Not less than $100,000,000 shall be for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, of which $10,000,000 shall be for Susan Harwood training grants and not less than $5,000,000 shall be for enforcement activities related to COVID–19 at high-risk workplaces including health care, meat and poultry processing facilities, agricultural workplaces and correctional facilities.

(2) $12,500,000 shall be for the Office of Inspector General. 




SEC. 4016. ELIGIBILITY FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION BENEFITS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES DIAGNOSED WITH COVID–19.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Subject to subsection (c), a covered employee shall, with respect to any claim made by or on behalf of the covered employee for benefits under subchapter I of chapter 81 of title 5, United States Code, be deemed to have an injury proximately caused by exposure to the novel coronavirus arising out of the nature of the covered employee's employment. Such covered employee, or a beneficiary of such an employee, shall be entitled to such benefits for such claim, including disability compensation, medical services, and survivor benefits.



SEC. 9015. EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY STATE STAFFING FLEXIBILITY.

If a State modifies its unemployment compensation law and policies, subject to the succeeding sentence, with respect to personnel standards on a merit basis on an emergency temporary basis as needed to respond to the spread of COVID–19, such modifications shall be disregarded for the purposes of applying section 303 of the Social Security Act and section 3304 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to such State law. Such modifications shall only apply through September 6, 2021, and shall be limited to engaging of temporary staff, rehiring of retirees or former employees on a non-competitive basis, and other temporary actions to quickly process applications and claims



SEC. 9016. EXTENSION OF PANDEMIC EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 2107(g) of the CARES Act (15 U.S.C. 9025(g)) is amended to read as follows:

“(g) APPLICABILITY.—An agreement entered into under this section shall apply to weeks of unemployment—

“(1) beginning after the date on which such agreement is entered into; and

“(2) ending on or before September 6, 2021.”.



SEC. 9022. EXTENSION OF FULL FEDERAL FUNDING OF EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 4105 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (26 U.S.C. 3304 note) is amended by striking “March 14, 2021” each place it appears and inserting “September 6, 2021”.

(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.—The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply as if included in the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Public Law 116–127).



SEC. 9031. FUNDING FOR ADMINISTRATION.


In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $8,000,000, to remain available until expended, for necessary expenses to carry out Federal activities relating to the administration of unemployment compensation programs.



SEC. 2118. FUNDING FOR FRAUD PREVENTION, EQUITABLE ACCESS, AND TIMELY PAYMENT TO ELIGIBLE WORKERS.

“(a) IN GENERAL.—In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the Secretary of Labor for the fiscal year 2021, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $2,000,000,000, to remain available until expended, to detect and prevent fraud, promote equitable access, and ensure the timely payment of benefits with respect to unemployment compensation programs, including programs extended under subtitle A of title IX of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.



SEC. 9042. SUSPENSION OF TAX ON PORTION OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.

<< 26 USCA § 85 >>

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 85 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(c) SPECIAL RULE FOR 2020.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of any taxable year beginning in 2020, if the adjusted gross income of the taxpayer for such taxable year is less than $150,000, the gross income of such taxpayer shall not include so much of the unemployment compensation received by such taxpayer (or, in the case of a joint return, received by each spouse) as does not exceed $10,200.



SEC. 9663. APPLICATION OF PREMIUM TAX CREDIT IN CASE OF INDIVIDUALS RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION DURING 2021.

<< 26 USCA § 36B >>

(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by redesignating subsection (g) as subsection (h) and by inserting after subsection (f) the following new subsection:

“(g) SPECIAL RULE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION DURING 2021.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this section, in the case of a taxpayer who has received, or has been approved to receive, unemployment compensation for any week beginning during 2021, for the taxable year in which such week begins—

“(A) such taxpayer shall be treated as an applicable taxpayer, and

“(B) there shall not be taken into account any household income of the taxpayer in excess of 133 percent of the poverty line for a family of the size involved.


American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
PL 117-2, March 11, 2021, 135 Stat 4


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Blog: Workers ' Compensation

Twitter: jongelman

LinkedIn: JonGelman

LinkedIn Group: Injured Workers Law & Advocacy Group

Author: "Workers' Compensation Law" Thomson-Reuters