CARES Act Provides Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a bill that was put into place by Congress with the support of President Trump on March 27th, 2020. The CARES Act consisted of over $2 trillion in economic relief to help Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the third relief package to help provide some assistance to those experiencing a freeze in income. The CARES Act was put in place to provide quick and direct support to all taxpayers, small businesses, big corporations, hospitals and public health, federal safety net, education, and local governments.

COVID relief for drivers

Below are some highlights from this funding that could provide relief to individuals and businesses in the trucking industry.

If you are an owner-operator, self-employed truck driver, or independent contractor struggling to keep your job, there is help out there for you.

Relief for Small Businesses Including Owner-Operators

Many trucking industries have already contacted their owner-operators drivers to take advantage of the different federal aid assistance available for small businesses and independent contractors. These benefits include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – the PPP is for small companies with less than 500 employees who are eligible to apply for a $349 billion forgivable loan. Some businesses can borrow up to 250% of their average payroll, up to $10 million, for rent and mortgage, payroll meetings, and utility payments. These loans are forgiven only if the company keeps their payroll for eight weeks after the loan has been given, and the company uses at least 75% of the loan for payroll. These loans are processed through the Small Business Association lenders.

During this time, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is suggesting that members contact their bank to see if they are participating in this specific program. The United States Treasury Department has listed a Fact Sheet for those seeking answers about the PPP.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan – the Economic Injury Disaster Loan can provide businesses up to $10,000 of economic relief who are going through temporary difficulties. The money is made available within a few days once an application has been accepted, and this loan is forgiven. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan is for businesses with less than 500 employees, including independent contractors, sole proprietorships, and those who are self-employed.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans – the SBA Express Bridge loans are for smaller businesses that have already established a relationship with a Small Business Administration Express Lender, who can then receive up to $25,000.

Individuals that Lost Income from the Impact of COVID-19

Across the United States, many individuals have been laid off because of shutdowns caused by the coronavirus. As of March, millions of individuals have already applied for unemployment. However, there are benefits for those Americans in the stimulus bill for those still working.

  • Enhanced Unemployment Benefits – in the current stimulus bill, some benefits can provide individuals an extra $600 per week for four months along with the original unemployment benefits. However, these numbers can vary depending on the state. Also, unemployment benefits are extended for an extra 13 weeks.
  • Economic Impact Payments to Individuals – a vital part of the CARES Act, direct payments are going to taxpayers. For those with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married filing jointly), this benefit offers $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples. Also, the act provides benefits of $500 for each child 16 years old and younger. For taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 to $99,000 ($150,000 – $198,000 for couples) are still eligible for these benefits but will receive a reduced amount.

If you are an owner-operator and want to sign on where you have control of your loads by 100% non-forced dispatch, contact us today at 1-877-441-9128.

From everyone at Landstar, we want to thank each one of our drivers for being on the frontlines and continue to keep America running. Thank you!