The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the “COVID-19 Stimulus Package”, is a $1.9 trillion economic rescue package to accelerate United States’ recovery from the destructive economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021.
What is in the COVID-19 Stimulus Package?
- Direct Payments: $1,400 per individual, and an additional $1400 for each dependent claimed on your taxes, $2,800 for joint filers
- Unemployment: Extends pandemic unemployment programs through September 6th
- State and Local Funding: Provides $360 billion to help state, local, tribal and territorial governments combat the effects of COVID-19
- Education: Provides $122.8 billion for grants to states to support local educational agencies in addressing learning loss
- Child Care: Provides $24 billion for grants for child care providers
- Child Tax Credit: Increases the maximum credit to $3,600 for children under 6 years old and $3,000 for other children up to 18 years old
What does this mean for WIC families?
The rescue plan provides funding for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which includes enhancing our WIC benefits for four months and additional funding for our outreach, innovation, and program modernization.
A BIG increase to fruit and vegetable benefit is coming soon! WIC participants currently receive $9-11 for fresh fruits and vegetables per individual. This is expected to temporarily increase to $35 per individual starting in the June 1, 2021, lasting through September 2021.
Be sure to file your taxes and claim your child tax credits!
Click here to learn more about the 4 tax credits for parents and resources for tax filing.
Could my tax refund or my stimulus check disqualify me from the WIC program?
No! Tax refunds and stimulus checks are not included when your income is assessed for WIC program eligibility. Receiving a stimulus check or tax refunds will not cause you to become disqualified from the WIC program.
Exciting Changes Coming Soon to WIC
The funding for the American Rescue Plan will allow us to enhance WIC services to better support our WIC families.
- Simplified application process
- Allowing families to screen for eligibility or complete the first phase of certification online.
- Improved referral networking
- Funding for local partnerships between WIC clinics and physicians.
- Federal level partnerships with Medicaid, SNAP, and the Indian Health Service to improve cross-enrollment.
- Modern shopping experiences
- Options for online ordering, online payments, and home delivery.
- Integrated transactions across WIC CVB, WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and SNAP benefits.