Blog Posts > Keeping Track of the Federal Coronavirus Assistance Available for West Virginia
April 15, 2020

Keeping Track of the Federal Coronavirus Assistance Available for West Virginia

Over the past several weeks, Congress has passed three major bills in response to the coronavirus crisis: the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act which provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which provided for paid sick leave, insurance coverage of coronavirus testing, nutrition assistance, and unemployment benefits, and the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provided direct assistance to individuals and families, expanded and supplemented unemployment insurance, provided business assistance, and fiscal relief to state and local governments.

Below are estimates from various sources on what West Virginia can expect to receive from the major provisions of these three bills.

  • $1.25 billion in state and local government fiscal aid from the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund.
  • $186 million in aid for K-12 and higher education from the CARES Act’s Education Stabilization Fund
  • $1.86 billion in direct tax rebate payments to individuals and households from the CARES Act.
  • $220 million in supplemental unemployment benefits from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation in the CARES Act.
  • $1.2 billion in small business aid from the CARES Act.
  • $200 million in additional federal Medicaid funds from the increased match rate in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

West Virginia will likely need even more fiscal aid than the $1.25 billion from the CARES Act in the coming months. While the CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund provided $150 billion for state and local governments, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that state budget shortfalls could total $500 billion, with most of the losses concentrated in the coming fiscal year beginning in July. And this $500 billion shortfall does not include any new costs associated with addressing the coronavirus, the $500 billion is just from the economic impact. The National Governors’ Association has called for an additional $500 billion in state fiscal relief.

It is also unclear if West Virginia would be able to use the $1.25 billion it is slated to receive for closing a revenue shortfall. The Treasury Department is reportedly considering interpreting the bill in such a way that prevents states from using the funds for closing revenue shortfalls, and instead only allowing the use of funds for “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to Coronavirus Disease 2019.

West Virginia is already facing a $500 million budget gap for the final three months of FY 2020, including $300 million from moving the income tax deadline from April 15th to July 15th, and $200 million from plummeting tax revenue due to the economic impact of the shutdown orders.

West Virginia may also be eligible to receive assistance from other major provisions of the bills. State by state estimates for are not yet available for these provisions, which include:

  • $950 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for state and local response efforts from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
  • $20 million for the Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans program from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
  • $500 million for additional Women, Infants, and Children benefits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • SNAP benefits for students who receive free lunch and whose schools are closed in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • $250 million for Aging and Disability Services Programs for nutrition services from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • $1 billion for state unemployment offices provide and process uninsurance benefits from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
  • $100 billion for hospitals, public entities, not-for-profit entities, and Medicare and Medicaid enrolled suppliers and institutional providers to cover unreimbursed health care related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the public health emergency resulting from the coronavirus from the CARES Act.
  • $4.3 billion to the Centers for Disease Control for federal, state, and local public health agencies to respond to COVID-19, including for the purchase of personal protective equipment, laboratory testing to detect positive cases, infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities from the CARES Act.
  • $200 million for assisting nursing homes with infection control from the CARES Act.
  • $25 billion for transit systems for health and safety measures from the CARES Act.
  • $3.5 billion in additional funding for Child Care Development Block Grants to provide childcare assistance to healthcare sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other essential workers from the CARES Act.
  • $25 billion for food assistance programs from the CARES Act.
  • $7 billion for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs from the CARES Act.
  • $6.5 billion for Community Development Block Grants, the Economic Development Administration, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help mitigate local economic crises and rebuild impacted industries like tourism and manufacturing supply chains from the CARES Act.
  • $400 million in election assistance for states from the CARES Act.

This post will be updated as more information about how much assistance West Virginia has or will receive becomes available.

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