The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

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American Rescue Plan 

On March 11, 2020, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act. The money available for residents and local initiatives is unlike any previous federal program. It gives us a chance to improve lives, solve problems, and profoundly change efforts City government is making to address our challenges in a manner that puts racial equity and inclusion front and center.


View a full overview of what's in the plan -- American Rescue Plan Fact Sheet

New Developments and Updates

In addition to the direct aid to Milwaukee, more money is coming to the City, County and State that will benefit Milwaukee.

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  On April 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced new federal grants for Wisconsin communities that will fund affordable housing efforts throughout the state. Milwaukee will receive over $20 million. 

A breakdown of the federal grants coming to Wisconsin communities is below.

American Rescue Plan Act HOME Supplemental Allocations






Eau Claire




Green Bay








La Crosse
















Dane County




WI Non Entitlement




CNSRT-Milwaukee County




CNSRT-Waukesha County







Key Highlights

The American Rescue Plan is delivering direct relief to the American people, rescuing the American economy, and starting to beat the virus. The plan includes funding to:

Provide relief to Americans

  • The American Rescue Plan provides $1,400 per-person checks to households across America, housing and nutrition assistance, and access to safe and reliable childcare and affordable healthcare. It also extends unemployment insurance, provides support for the hardest hit small businesses, and gives families with kids and childless workers an emergency financial boost.

Safely reopen schools

  • The American Rescue plan provides the necessary resources to meet the president’s goal of safely reopening a majority of K-8 schools in the first 100 days. It provides the funding needed to get children back in school and parents back to work.

Mount a national vaccination program and contain Covid-19

  • The American Rescue Plan provides funding to set up community vaccination sites nationwide, scale up testing and tracing, eliminate supply shortage problems, invest in high-quality treatments, distribute vaccines equitably, and address health disparities.

How you can access direct relief:

Here’s what you need to know about the direct relief the American Rescue Plan provides to working families:

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  $1,400 per-person checks
  • Single people making less than $75,000, heads of household making less than $112,500, and married couples filing jointly making less than $150,000 qualify for stimulus checks. People making up to $80,000 will receive partial payments. 
  • Those with dependents will receive $1,400 per person, including college students and seniors claimed as dependents. 


  • To learn how working Americans will receive their direct payments, read this blog
  • Track the status of your payment with the Internal Revenue Service’s Get My Payment Tool
  • Recover direct payments from past stimulus payments you did not receive but qualified for when you file your 2020 taxes with the Internal Revenue Service’s Recovery Rebate Credit form.
  Increase the Child tax Credit, Earned-Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
  • For those without children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Earned-Income Tax Credit from $543 to $1,502.
  • For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and $3,600 for children under the age of six – and raised the age limit from 16 to 17.
  • The American Rescue Plan also increased and expanded the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, making more people eligible and increasing the total credit to $4,000 for one qualifying individual and $8,000 for two or more.

Sign up for Department of Treasury updates for more info on how tax credits will work.

  Extended unemployment insurance

The American Rescue Plan extended unemployment benefits until September 6 with a weekly supplemental benefit of $300 on top of the regular $400 benefit.

The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits will be tax-free for people with incomes less than $150,000.

Learn more about how to file for unemployment insurance at the U.S. Department of Labor’s resource page.


  Small business support

The American Rescue Plan will provide emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses so they can rehire and retain workers and purchase the health and sanitation equipment they need to keep workers safe. 

The American Rescue Plan also includes a Small Business Opportunity Fund to provide growth capital to main street small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas, including minority-owned businesses


For small business guidance and loan resources, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s resource page


  Lower health insurance premiums and provide 100% federal COBRA subsidy

The American Rescue Plan will lower or eliminate health insurance premiums for millions of lower- and middle-income families enrolled in health insurance marketplaces. This will help well over a million uninsured Americans gain coverage.

A family of four making $90,000 could see their monthly premium come down by $200 per month. 

The American Rescue Plan provides a 100% federal continuation health coverage (COBRA) subsidy through September 1, ensuring that those who lose their jobs or lose their health care due to reduced hours don’t lose their health care.

President Biden opened a special health care enrollment period through May 15. You can sign up for health insurance at

You can learn more about COBRA at the U.S. Department of Labor’s resource page.


Direct Local Aid to the City of Milwaukee

The City of Milwaukee has been allocated approximately $406 million in direct American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act assistance.


The Mayor is taking the necessary steps to ensure that the City acts responsibly and equitably in expending these funds. The Mayor’s goal is to use the ARP funds to enable the City and community to recover from the pandemic, while improving long-term resiliency by addressing key priority areas. The priority areas include:

  • Early Education
  • Stable and Affordable Housing
  • Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention
  • Broadband/Internet Access
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • Workforce Development
  • Economic Development
  • Small Business Development
  • Public Health and Community Resiliency

View more information on the City’s direct ARP allocation and accountability process. 


Treasury Guidelines

The American Rescue Plan Act gives the U.S. Department of Treasury 60 days from enactment on March 11, 2021, to make their allocations to state and local governments. Considering the complexity of distributing these funds to 19,000 cities, towns and villages, the Treasury may take close to 60 days to develop guidance. The guidelines will be posted as soon as they are issued.

Community Engagement

The Department of Administration will develop an American Rescue Plan Act work plan. In addition to increasing housing and employment opportunities, the plan will address other ongoing community needs. A top goal will be to align our efforts with the City’s racial equity and inclusion goals. The process will involve the engagement of residents and will place special emphasis on historically underserved populations including people of color. We want to educate all residents on American Rescue Plan Act funding and give everyone in our city the opportunity to share their views on programs they would like to see funded. Surveys and other details about the City’s public engagement process will be posted soon.

Expenditure Dashboard

The Department of Administration is in the process of creating a dashboard that will bring transparency and accountability to the City of Milwaukee American Rescue Plan process. It will allow residents to track how the City is expending our $406 million in direct aid. The dashboard will be posted in the near future.

More details will be posted at a later date on the City’s ARP work plan. To make sure the funds positively impact all people and neighborhoods throughout the city, residents will be engaged in the process.

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