Understanding COVID-19 Legislation: For Individuals, Employees, Donors

Categories: COMMUNITY CARE: Emergency Needs & Disaster Relief, Donors, Leadership, Professional Advisors, Legal,

The United States Congress passed the Families First Response Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to respond to the economic ramifications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation in our community undoubtedly will continue to evolve daily, these legislative acts are crucial resources helping families and individuals nationwide receive much needed aid and relief.

To understand what these acts mean for you as an individual, employee, and/or donor, please reference the helpful links below.

Families First Response Coronavirus Response Act

Mandates sick leave and family leave for organizations with less than 500 employees

  • May take up to 80 hours paid sick leave for you or a family member
  • May take up to 10 weeks paid family leave to take care of a child or family member

U.S. Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights


Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES Act)

Provides the following aid and relief to Individuals:

  • May take above the line charitable deduction of $300 per tax return filed
  • May make unlimited cash gifts in 2020 with no AGI (adjusted gross income) limitation to any 501c3 public charity – excludes donor advise funds and supporting organizations
  • Individuals making $99,000 or less will receive federal rebate checks of up to $1,200 + $500 per child, who have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return
  • Suspends required minimum distribution from retirement accounts for year 2020

Council on Foundations: Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act (CARES Act)


In times of crisis, communities come together in many ways, and our government agencies are one piece of this strong, interconnected network of support, continuing their critical role as important resources in offering relief and emergency support for those in need.

Take care, be safe, and stay healthy.

About Author

Betsy Pennewill, JD

Corporate Counsel