Financial Relief and Resources
AMTA’s Government Relations team has been reaching out to federal, state and local governments about the need for financial assistance for all massage therapists. We will be updating this page with these efforts, along with additional resources to help you navigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis.
- Unemployment Resources
- American Rescue Plan (Third Stimulus Bill – March 11, 2021)
- State-Based Updates & How to Apply for Unemployment
- Additional Financial Resources
We understand that many may have questions about the unemployment portion of the federal stimulus package. We want to share what we know about unemployment insurance at this time:
- Many states need to update their systems to comply with the new rules, which for the first time in 2020 includes self-employed/independent contractors. Traditionally this demographic had not been eligible for these benefits.
- The unprecedented filing of unemployment claims and changes to the system have caused some confusion while overwhelming phone lines and causing state websites to crash.
- We know it's extremely frustrating, but please be prepared for delays when filing your claim.
- If your claim is denied, we recommend contacting your state unemployment office again to ensure they are properly equipped to handle your individual situation.
What the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (December 2020) includes for Unemployment Benefits:
- Additional unemployment insurance benefits have been reinstated through March 14, 2021.
- Those who are unemployed can file for unemployment insurance benefits and, if qualified, will receive an additional $300 per week for eleven weeks.
What the CARES Act (March 2020) included for Unemployment Benefits:
- $250 billion to expand unemployment benefits
- Self-employed and independent contractors will receive unemployment benefits
- Unemployment benefits will be more generous, adding $600 per week on top of what a state normally pays
- An additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits
- Ensures state and local governments and non-profits can pay unemployment to their employees
- Most of the unemployment provisions go through the end of 2020, in recognition of the temporary nature of this challenge
Contact your state’s unemployment insurance benefits program by clicking on your state below to learn about and apply for these benefits.
Note: due to high traffic, some state websites may temporarily be down as they update their applications to match the stimulus package. If you experience this problem for your state, please check back soon.
The AMTA team has been working to gather state-based financial resources to share with massage therapists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage you to check this page regularly for new information and resources that pertain to your state.
American Rescue Plan - March 11, 2021
We want to make sure you are aware of the newly passed American Rescue Plan and what it may mean for you. Here are a few highlights:
Direct Payments to Individuals and Families
This new bill provides direct payments of up to $1,400 for an individual, $2,800 for couples, and $1,400 for each qualifying dependent. Payments will begin to phase out for individuals who make $75,000 and are capped at people who earn $80,000, and couples with an income of $160,000 per year.
It extends the $300 per week pandemic-related unemployment benefits through Sept. 6. In addition, the plan makes an individual’s first $10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free for those earning less than $150,000 per year.
Small Business Support
The measure will increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program by $7.25 billion to $813.7 billion, expanding eligibility, and allowing forgiveness for additional expenses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will receive the same level of funding to guarantee additional loans.
COVID Vaccine, Testing & Contact Tracing
The plan provides about $20 billion in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, along with roughly $50 billion into testing and contact tracing.
Rental & Mortgage Assistance
Congress will allocate $25 billion in federal rental/utility assistance and $10 billion in mortgage aid. Funding will be distributed by state and local governments to help those who have fallen behind on rent and mortgages.
The plan offers an expansion of subsidies and other provisions to help Americans afford health insurance, including increasing the Affordable Care Act’s premium tax credits for health insurance purchased through an exchange.
The bill provides $200 million for the Labor Department to carry out worker protection activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that amount, at least $100 million would be allocated to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Expansion of Tax Credits
The measure expands earned income tax credits, child tax credits, and employee retention tax credits designed to allow companies to keep employees on the payroll.
To view the entire bill, here is the Senate's full summary of the American Rescue Plan.
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 - December 2020
Small Business Support
Direct Payments To Individuals and Families
State HealthCare Initiatives
Rental Assistance Program
Child Care Grant
Thank you to the nearly 70,000 massage therapists, along with our families, friends, clients and patients who joined AMTA’s outreach last spring to urge Congress to provide relief for our industry and the millions of other small businesses and self-employed Americans that are being devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our collective voices helped educate Congress about the impact of COVID-19 on massage therapists, massage establishments, and massage schools and were part of the impetus for Congress to take additional action and address this crisis.
AMTA will continue communicating with our nation’s leaders and federal agencies and we will update you on this page as we learn more. We want to assure you that we will provide details on how to access these benefits as more information becomes available.