Covid-19 prompted new financial aid to Americans. Could it continue?

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Millions of Americans have received some form of financial support from the government to help them get through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus has prompted the federal government to send three sets of stimulus checks, increase federal unemployment benefits and extend the duration and eligibility of those benefits, provide forgivable loans to small businesses and implement new tax credits for families.

It started with the CARES Act that Congress approved in March 2020, and continued with follow-up legislation in December and American Rescue Plan Act that was put through in March.

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One year into the crisis, the question now is how long some of those tools will stay, or how soon similar programs could kick in if another crisis were to occur.

“It’s not crazy to suggest taking some of the pieces of the CARES Act and recognizing that these might be useful to have on the books in the future,” said Richard Prisinzano, director of policy analysis at the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania.

More financial help will depend on what lawmakers can agree on. But based on the past year, experts have some ideas about what would make sense for American families.

Expanded unemployment benefits

Continued PPP lending

More stimulus checks?

Child tax credit expansion

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