Coronavirus Impact Updates

American Rescue Plan Act: DOL COBRA Premium Subsidy Updates

Coronavirus

On May 17, 2021 the Department of Labor hosted a WebEx Presentation on the ARPA COBRA Premium Subsidy. At the end of the Presentation two Senior Benefits Advisors held a Question & Answer session resulting in the following clarifications.

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Landlords Accepting Partial Rent or Allowing a Tenant to Skip Rent Must Send Written Notice of Enforcement of Terms

Coronavirus

On March 1, 2021, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued a decision impacting both residential and commercial landlords/property owners. The ruling has a potentially broad impact, and is especially noteworthy for landlords in the current pandemic environment. Specifically, in The Hatchett Firm, P.C. et al. v. Atlanta ME-006 Life Financial Group, Inc., the tenant was allowed to partially pay rent for ten (10) months and then stopped paying rent for six (6) months. After over fifteen (15) months of an adjustment of rent payments, which was accepted by the landlord, the landlord provided notice to the tenant demanding rent and compliance with the lease. The Georgia Court of Appeals held that by repeatedly accepting less rent than as required by the lease or no rent at all, the door was opened to a “de facto” new agreement having been created between the parties and that the parties had mutually agreed to suspend the terms of the written lease. Further, the Georgia Court of Appeals noted that while the lease contained an anti-waiver clause, the anti-waiver clause could not be enforced due to the repeated acceptance of less rent or no rent.

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Bureau of Consumer Financial Protections Interim Rule Supporting the CDC Eviction Moratorium for Nonpayment of Rent

Coronavirus

On April 16, 2021, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFP) issued a new pandemic-related Interim Rule applicable to those who act as “debt collectors.” The Interim Rule goes into effect on May 3, 2021. The CFP Interim Rule amends Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), by requiring a new form of notice from the debt collector in connection with the eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC Order is currently in effect until June 30, 2021 and the Interim Rule is effective while the CDC Order is in effect, including any extension thereof.

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Secretary of Health and Human Services Extends COVID Health National Health Emergency

Coronavirus

We want to alert clients that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) has extended the COVID Health National Health Emergency until July 20, 2021.

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The Department of Labor Issues Model Notices and Additional Guidance Regarding the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 100% COBRA Premium Subsidy

Coronavirus

Purpose

We want to alert clients to the availability of Model COBRA Subsidy Notices and Frequently Asked Questions (the FAQs) issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 7, 2021 in connection with the 100% COBRA premium subsidy available from April 1 until September 30 for group health plan participants who  have lost their coverage due to an involuntary termination of their employment or a reduction in hours. The COBRA premium subsidy applies to any group health plan subject to the federal COBRA laws as well as to group health plans subject to state “mini-COBRA” laws. 

The FAQs provide answers to a number of key questions.

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Creates a 100% COBRA Premium Subsidy

Coronavirus

Purpose

We want to alert clients to the provision in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 which creates a 100% COBRA premium subsidy available from April 1 until September 30 for group health plan participants who have lost their coverage due to an involuntary termination of their employment or a reduction in hours. The COBRA subsidy applies to any group health plan subject to the federal COBRA laws as well as to group health plans subject to state “mini-COBRA” laws. Thus it can apply to large as well as small employers.

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CDC Extends Eviction Moratorium for Non-Payment of Rent to June 30, 2021

Coronavirus

While there have been several legal challenges to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nationwide moratorium on residential evictions for non-payment of rent, on March 29, 2021 the CDC extended the moratorium through June 30, 2021. As many are aware, the moratorium prohibits eviction of covered persons (see prior law alert here for more details) for non-payment of rent while the moratorium is in place. Full payment of all past due and current rent due is payable upon the expiration of the moratorium.

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American Rescue Plan Adds $7.25B in Paycheck Protection Program Funding

Coronavirus

After being the focus of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (EAA) of the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021 (CAA), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is only a small part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) that the president signed on March 11. The ARP adds $7.25 billion in additional funding to PPP but does not extend the PPP's current application period or deadline of March 31, 2021. 

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Assistance to Shuttered Venues FAQs Updated

Coronavirus

On December 27, 2020, funding for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program (Program) was signed into law with the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) continues to update answers to frequently asked questions regarding the Program. On February 28, 2021 and March 5, 2021, the SBA updated the frequently asked questions, which can be found here. Below are highlights of certain parts of the updated FAQs to assist potential applicants in considering the Program and preparing to file, if eligible.

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Updated PPP FAQs – Second Draw PPP Loans

Coronavirus

On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department in conjunction with the Small Business Administration (SBA) posted an updated set of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) concerning the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These FAQs are tied to the changes and continuation of the PPP loan program enacted under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). The updated FAQs reflect changes or clarifications made to existing FAQs mainly to assist Second Draw PPP borrowers. Below is a summary of certain FAQs. A full copy of the FAQs can be found here.

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