Special Coronavirus Update – April 4, 2020
Rep. Lowenthal eNewsletter 'The 47th Flyer' – April 4 – Updated Resources, Direct Payments, Small Businesses
In This Edition
In this week’s update on the coronavirus crisis, I want to start by letting you know about my Congressional website’s newly updated coronavirus resource pages. This edition also features important new guidance for individuals and small businesses on direct payments, financial assistance, and relief programs from the federal government. There is also an update on guidance from the relevant public health agencies, as well as resources you need to track the number of confirmed cases in your area so you can better understand the scope of the crisis.
If you took the poll in the last edition, the results are posted below, and as always, if you have a moment, please take this week’s poll.
Updated Coronavirus Assistance And Resources
I truly believe that during this crisis, one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones is educate yourself and listen to the experts. I have recently updated my Congressional website with more information and resources to help you do this. On this page you can find out about the COVID-19 disease, how to keep yourself and loved ones safe, and where to turn for trusted information during this crisis. My website also features numerous other pages about assistance and relief, such as information on direct financial payments from the federal government, extended unemployment insurance, help for workers, support for small businesses, information on taxes, help for students and children, and information about rent, mortgages, and evictions.
You can go to my updated coronavirus resource page by clicking here.
Answers To Questions About Social Security and Direct Relief Payments
My office has received many calls from constituents asking, “If I receive Social Security benefits, will I receive a direct payment?”
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, if you receive Social Security, retirement or other social safety net benefits, you will qualify for direct payments. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts.
Treasury has said that regular checks are going out in a few weeks.
These payments will not be taxable nor represent “resources” for program eligibility purposes.
For the latest updates from the IRS on direct payments, click here; for the latest from the U.S. Treasury on direct payments, click here ; and for the latest updates from the Social Security Administration, click here.
Forgivable Loans For Impacted Small Businesses Are Now Available
The newly-created Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to allow small businesses (those businesses with fewer than 500 employees) to pay their employees during the coronavirus crisis. The U.S Department of the Treasury announced this week that over 5,000 loans worth more than $1.8 billion were processed on the first day of the program, Friday, April 3.
According to the most recent guidance from the Treasury, all loan terms will be the same for every business that applies. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
- 75 percent of the loan is used to cover payroll costs
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained.
Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months, and loan terms are for two years.
Small businesses and sole proprietorships were able to begin applying for the loans Thursday, and on April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can begin applying.
To find out how and where to apply, who can apply, what expenses the loans can cover, and many other aspects of the PPP loans, the Treasury has put together this detailed PPP fact sheet.
Public Health Agency Updates This Week
Public health agencies across the nation have been regularly issuing updates and guidance on different aspects of the coronavirus crisis. Here is a selection of those issued this week:
U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 Saturday, April 4
How to Protect Yourself Saturday, April 4
Children and COVID-19: Tips to keep children healthy while school’s out Friday, April 3
Caring for someone at home Thursday, April 2
Disinfecting your home if someone is sick Thursday, April 2
People with Asthma and COVID-19 Thursday, April 2
Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019 Thursday, April 2
FAQ and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children Thursday, April 2
Resources to support people experiencing homelessness Wednesday, April 1
People Who are at Higher Risk Tuesday, March 31
People with Asthma and COVID-19 Monday, March 30
State of CA and CA Department of Health
CA Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Use of Cloth Face Coverings Thursday, April 2
Governor Newsom Announces CA Health Corps Monday, March 30
LA Department of Public Health
Guidance For Cloth Face Coverings Thursday, April 2
Orange County Health Care Agency
OC EOC - COVID-19 Hotline Hours to Change April 4 Friday, April 3
Orange County to Follow State Guidelines for Wearing Face Coverings in Public Thursday, April 2
Long Beach Health and Human Services Department
Where To Track The Number Of Coronavirus Cases
World case totals in daily situation reports from the World Health Organization
United States case totals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
California case totals from the California Department of Public Health
LA County case totals from the LA County Department of Public Health
Orange County case totals from the OC Health Care Agency
Long Beach case totals from the City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department
Results Of Previous Poll
Where are you getting most of your information about the coronavirus outbreak?
20% - Public health agencies (e.g., CDC)
34% - TV news
24% - Newspapers (online or in print)
3% - Radio
8% - Social media
2% - Friends and family