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Commentary

CARES Act Unemployment Insurance Expansion and Stimulus Payments – Considerations for States

This brief discusses details of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law on March 27, 2020. It considers the policy implications and challenges for states, and discusses potential state measures to address these challenges.

This act includes two major provisions to get money into the hands of consumers amid the ongoing health and economic crises: a temporary expansion of unemployment insurance compensation (UI) and a direct stimulus payment to taxpayers. Both measures are designed to begin immediately. These payments and other recent changes create novel policy dynamics that are important to understand. At the same time, these payments create time-sensitive implementation challenges for states given interactions with eligibility for health care programs.

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