Full Circle: The HHO Blog

The American Rescue Plan and the LGBTQ Community

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How does the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) help the LGBTQ community?

The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis has profoundly impacted the entire country.

As of Feb 11 it has:

  • resulted in the deaths of about half a million people

  • left about 10 million people unemployed

  • put about 20% of renter households at risk of eviction

The coronavirus has a bigger impact on LGBTQ people.

Compared with the general population, LGBTQ people are at greater risk of experiencing economic insecurities due to disproportionate economic hardships, such as higher rates of poverty and unemployment, greater food insecurity and vulnerability to homelessness, and workforce discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). These conditions and disparities predate the pandemic, but they have also been exacerbated by it.

Main Benefits of the American Rescue Plan (ARP)

Direct cash payments. Millions of people have already received direct payments under the ARP. Low- and middle-income households will receive $1,400 per person. Single filers with incomes between $75,000 and $80,000; heads of household with incomes between $112,500 and $120,000; and married couples with incomes between $150,000 and $160,000 will also receive some direct payments.

Extended unemployment benefits. The ARP extends both emergency unemployment insurance programs and the $300 weekly supplement to state unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021. According to the Movement Advancement Project, 47 percent of LGBTQ households experienced employment loss, compared with 32 percent of non-LGBTQ households.

Increased earned income tax credit. The ARP nearly triples the maximum tax credit benefit for low-wage workers not raising children at home, from $543 to $1,502. It also reduces the minimum age of eligibility to claim the credit from 25 to 19 and eliminates the upper age limit, expanding eligibility to childless workers ages 65 and above. Workers whose earnings decreased because of the pandemic won’t see a reduction in their benefit amount, which will help many of the estimated 56 percent of LGBTQ households who saw wages or hours reduced since the pandemic began.

Unprecedented child tax credit expansion. The ARP will cut child poverty in half. The law ensures that all low- and middle-income families receive the full benefit and raises the benefit from $2,000 per child under the age of 17 to $3,600 per child under the age of 6 and $3,000 per child ages 6 to 17. The money will also be distributed in periodic installments beginning as early as July 2021, so families won’t have to wait until tax time to receive support that they need now. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12 percent of unmarried same-sex couples and 19 percent of married same-sex couples are raising children. And while the census does not collect data on single LGBTQ people or LGBTQ people who do not live with a same-sex partner, the Williams Institute estimates that 11 percent of cisgender gay men, 30 percent of cisgender lesbian women, 30 percent of cisgender bisexual men, 45 percent of cisgender bisexual women, and 33 percent of transgender people have a child or children in their households.

Efforts to combat hunger. The ARP extends the 15 percent increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through September 30, 2021. According to a nationally representative June 2020 survey from CAP and NORC at the University of Chicago, 25 percent of LGBTQ people and their families—including 30 percent of transgender people, 32 percent of LGBTQ people of color, and 42 percent of disabled LGBTQ people—reported receiving SNAP benefits.

Assistance to keep people in their homes. The ARP provides $21.6 billion in emergency rental assistance and $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers for people experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. It also provides nearly $10 billion in assistance to homeowners who are struggling to keep their home. According to the Williams Institute, 20 percent of LGBT respondents and 26 percent of LGBT respondents of color, compared with 12 percent of non-LGBT respondents, reported having trouble paying their rent or mortgage between August and December 2020. The ARPA also provides $20 million to enforce nondiscrimination protections, which will help protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing.

Improved access to health care. CAP’s 2021 survey found that nearly 1 in 3 LGBTQ people, including more than half of transgender people, postponed or avoided needed medical care due to cost. LGBTQ people are twice as likely to be uninsured than non-LGBTQ people.

The ARPA provides $35 billion in subsidy increases for people who purchase insurance on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and $7.6 billion to community health centers, including many LGBTQ-serving health centers. It also provides incentives for states to expand Medicaid. In states that have expanded Medicaid, just 8 percent of LGBTQ adults are uninsured, compared with 20 percent in states that have not expanded Medicaid. The ARPA also provides $7.5 billion in funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for vaccine distribution.

Estimates are that 4 out of 5 who enroll in a new 2021 health plan can find a plan for $10 per month, with financial assistance.

We will make sure that you get the maximum amount of financial relief that you're entitled to.  

You probably qualify for low or zero-premium healthcare with the lowest deductibles, lowest out-of-pocket costs, and the lowest cost to see your doctor.

This is full coverage and covers everything from the private health insurance companies that you can choose like Anthem,  Blue Cross,  Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, United Healthcare, and all the brand name carriers that you know and trust. 

Call us at (877) THE HALO to make sure you get every dollar this new law wants to give you.

 

We will:

  • Discuss how the new law impacts you

  • Review your coverages

  • Show you  all your options 

  • Help you complete your application

  • Calculate your subsidy and get you the maximum

  • Submit it to the federal government 

  • Get you approved within minutes!

 

Call (877) THE HALO

   

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