On August 8th, President Trump signed four executive actions to provide Americans financial relief from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

PAYROLL TAX DEFERMENT

The presidential memorandum defers payroll taxes through 2020, retroactive to July 1, for individuals making less than $104,000 annually.  At this time, the legality of the executive action deferring payroll taxes is in question primarily among Democratic lawmakers. The President himself alluded that he expects challenges to the Presidential Memorandum in court, but that his administration is confident those challenges will fail.

$400 WEEKLY FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT AID

Trump’s executive action calls for $400-per-week in supplemental unemployment aid.  Unemployed individuals were receiving $600-a-week extra until the federal program expired the end of July. Trump’s action would require states to pay for 25 percent of the $400 weekly benefit, with the federal government picking up the remaining 75 percent.  This supplemental aid is in addition to the existing state unemployment benefits.  The extra unemployment would last until December 6 or until the Disaster Relief Fund balance drops to $25 billion.

ASSISTANCE TO RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS

Trump’s executive action encourages federal efforts to help renters and homeowners avoid eviction or foreclosure for failing to make their monthly payments. The eviction moratorium provided in the CARES Act in March recently expired in July.

EXTENSION OF STUDENT LOAN RELIEF

The executive action suspends federal student loan payments and sets interest rates to 0 percent through December 31, 2020.  The current student loan relief programs were to expire on September 30th.