CARES Act eligibility tool helped clients get fast answers
White & Case quickly created a user-friendly solution as companies rushed to secure funding
The US government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which became law on March 27, 2020, provided US$2.2 trillion in emergency aid to ease the financial impact of COVID-19. Its provisions included US$500 billion to support loans, guarantees and other investments to distressed sectors, along with expanded jobless benefits and direct payments to millions of Americans.
But to receive aid, companies had to act fast. There were tight application deadlines and complex rules to navigate. Determining eligibility and terms could take days or even weeks, resulting in costs that would be especially unwelcome if the process revealed the company was ineligible for the support or found the terms unacceptable. Adding to the pressure, businesses that applied for aid and were later found ineligible faced an obligation to refund, together with reputational consequences and potential criminal liability.
On April 14, less than three weeks after the CARES Act took effect, White & Case launched a tool that clients could use to quickly determine their eligibility for support. If they were eligible, the tool helped them determine if the conditions of CARES Act support were acceptable to them. The tool reduced the time it took to get answers to minutes, as opposed to days or even weeks.
Our tool helped a number of clients receive vital support and enabled many others to quickly determine, on their own, that CARES Act aid was not the right option for them.