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COVID-19, the CARES Act, and Families Financial Security

Neil Bhutta, Jacqueline Blair, Lisa Dettling, and Kevin Moore

Abstract:

In response to the severe economic shock induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Using data on savings, income, and expenses from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we show that cash assistance included in the CARES Act allows almost all families to cover their normal, recurring expenses in the event of long-term unemployment. In the absence of government support, nearly half of families who lose their income for six months would not be able to cover their expenses due to low levels of liquid saving and standard unemployment insurance benefits that do not fully replace income.

Citation

Neil Bhutta, Jacqueline Blair, Lisa Dettling, and Kevin Moore (2020), COVID-19, the CARES Act, and Families Financial Security , National Tax Journal, 73:3, pp. 645-672

DOI: dx.doi.org/10.17310/ntj.2020.3.02