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Q&A: I've Lost My Job. How Will the Stimulus Plan Help Me?

Q&A: I've Lost My Job. How Will the Stimulus Plan Help Me?

Deseret News (Salt Lake City) | By Kevin G. Hall

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signed into law Tuesday the largest government economic rescue plan in the nation’s history, a $787 billion package of spending, tax cuts and tax credits that’s designed to help pull the nation out of what’s becoming the worst downturn since the Great Depression.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes everything from money to refurbish public housing to incentives for energy conservation. The 1,000-page plan aims to create and preserve jobs, and also to accelerate the transformation of key economic sectors.

While the plan provides some benefits directly to individuals, the main way it’s intended to help Americans is to promote economic activity nationwide. The stimulus is but one part of a multifront attack by the government on the recession.

Other parts include the mortgage-relief program that Obama will announce on Wednesday and the next phase of the bank bailout, to be announced soon. They’re all intended to work together, along with efforts by the Federal Reserve to kick-start the economy. However, individuals will benefit most once the economy resumes growth rather than from the stimulus itself.

Here are some answers to questions about what the stimulus plan might mean to taxpayers and consumers.

Will I get a tax rebate like last year?

What if I’m self-employed?

I don’t earn a lot. How else does the stimulus plan help me?

What about people who are disabled or living on their Social Security checks?

I’ve lost my job. How does this help?

I’ve lost my health insurance. Where do I get coverage for my family?

I need to buy a car. Does the stimulus plan help me?

There had been talk of a $15,000 tax credit for home purchases. Is this in the stimulus?


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