Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Guide

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 CA50 Resource Guide

We know that during this difficult time it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel with each passing day, but our campaign is here for you. We have seen some of the best in our communities uplifting one another. That’s why we want to provide you with all the resources available to your disposal--from small business aid, workers’ rights, access to food, to financial assistance. 

Note: Information is changing on a weekly basis which is why this resource guide is subject to change with updated information.  If you wish to send suggestions, please email [email protected] 

How Can People Protect Themselves:

  • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, assisted living centers, nursing homes, and hospitals.
  • Staying home as much as possible. If you absolutely must go out in public, keep a 6 feet distance from others.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

(from the CDC)

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath call your health care provider first before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. 

Emergency warning signs include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse; and bluish lips or face. This list is not all-inclusive. Please call your medical provider if you believe you have COVID-19. If you don’t have a medical provider, call 2-1-1. Be sure to call medical offices/ER ahead if you think you have been exposed.

Additional Resources:

You can sign up to receive text updates from San Diego County health officials with real-time information about COVID-19:

Text COSD COVID19 to 468-311.

The statewide stay-at-home order effective as of Thursday, March 19, 2020 will be in place until further notice. The order exempts federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction. Californians are also still allowed to go outside for a walk or exercise, as long as social distancing is practiced. 

What’s open:

  • Gas stations 
  • Pharmacies
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out, and delivery restaurants 
  • Banks 
  • Laundromats/laundry services 
  • Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

What’s closed:

  • Dine-in restaurants 
  • Bars and nightclubs 
  • Entertainment venues 
  • Gyms and fitness studios 
  • Public events and gatherings 
  • Convention Centers
  • Hair and nail salons

Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits

If you’re a worker who has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, you're encouraged to apply for UI benefits. 

  • UI has been temporarily expanded under the CARES Act to cover individuals who are not traditionally covered, including the self-employed, gig economy workers, and independent contractors. 
  • The duration of benefits is now 39 weeks from the 26 weeks typical in most states.
  • An additional $600 a week for four months (July 31, 2020) will be given under UI benefits.

Visit the CA Employment Development Department to file a claim. 

Visit the CA Labor and Workforce Development to learn more about the benefits for workers impacted by COVID19.

What relief options are available to small business owners through the CARES act? 

Through the U.S. Small Business Administration:

Paycheck Protection Program: Starting April 3rd, small business owners can apply for this loan to help keep workers on payroll, cover costs, and stay afloat during this crisis.

  1. Direct incentive for businesses to keep employees on the payroll.
  2. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on payroll for 8 weeks and money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  3. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
  4. This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) 

  • Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.
  • This loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

  1. Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief 

  1. The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Source: SBA)

 

For a full list of Financial and Technical Assistance for Small Businesses, visit The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

If I’m a student, where can I find food?

If you are a student, 18 or younger, you can drive/walk-up to your school site and receive daily prepared meals, free of charge, during this period of school closures. The San Diego Office of Education (SDCOE) has listed dates and times for food distribution. We encourage everyone to call their designated school to verify dates and hours. Visit the SDCOE school finder tool to find contact information quickly.

  • Alpine Union School District
  • Bonsall Unified School District
  • Borrego Springs Unified School District
  • Cajon Valley Union School District
  • Escondido Union Elementary and Escondido Union High school districts
  • Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
  • Fallbrook Union High School District
  • Grossmont Union High School District
  • Julian Union School District/Julian Union High School District
  • Lakeside Union School District
  • Ramona Unified School District
  • San Marcos Unified School District
  • Santee School District

HOMEOWNERS & RENTERS

If you have been affected by COVID-19 and you're worried about how to make your mortgage payments, there may be a couple of options available to you. 

Click here to get a list of banks making policy adjustments.

If you’re a homeowner with FHA, USDA, VA, or have mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you can request a forbearance (allows you to temporarily lower or pause your loan payments for a longer period of time) on your payments for up to 6 months, with a possible extension for another 6 months without fees, penalties, or extra interest.

Renters

Statewide Eviction Moratorium FAQ:

The Legal Aid Society of San Diego has compiled a fact sheet with helpful information for tenants and landlords about the local and statewide eviction moratoriums.

San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund: 

San Diegans and non-profit organizations impacted by layoffs, reduced pay, or other economic hardships, can apply for assistance with utilities and rent/mortgage payments.

Visit California Rent Assistance to learn more about resources available in your area.

DIRECT PAYMENTS & THE IRS

Tax Relief

‍Tax Day has officially been moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 for both federal and state income taxes. This tax filing deadline includes both personal and business filers. For more information on your specific return type, please visit the California Franchise Tax Board website.

CARES Act: Direct Payment (Rebate) FAQ

Q: Who is eligible for the rebate?

A: According to the Ways & Means Committee website, any person that has a valid Social Security number (SSN) with an adjusted income of:

  • Less than $75,000 for individuals = $1,200 rebate 
  • Less than $150,000 for married couples = $2,400 rebate; plus, an additional $500 per child.

Rebates are reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers, $112,500 for a the head of the household filer, and $75,000 for single filers.

  • Spouses of military members are eligible without a social security number
  • An adopted child can use an Adoption Tax Identification Number to be eligible

Q: Will people who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments each month also get a stimulus payment?

A: Yes.

Q: Who is not eligible for the direct payment?

A:  Dependents above the age of 16 will be among the Americans not receiving direct payments. This includes high school and college students between the ages of 17 and 24 if they are claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax returns, even if they normally work and file taxes themselves. 

Additionally, adults with disabilities or elder adults who are claimed also do not qualify. Parents or guardians do not get additional money either. 

Q: When will the direct payments (rebates) be distributed? 

A: For those who have direct deposits set up, the IRS said to expect it next week (week of April 13th); however, for those without direct deposits, mailed checks are expected to be mailed the first week of May.

Q: I usually don’t have to file taxes. Do I need to file taxes now?

A: No; however, the IRS and Treasury Department said people not required to file a tax return-- such as low-income taxpayers, some veterans and people with disabilities — will need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive the economic impact payment. 

Senior citizens and Social Security recipients will not need to file a tax return to get the payment because the IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate payments for Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

Q: I didn’t use direct deposit on my taxes, what can I do?

A: The government will send you the check by mail if you did not use direct deposit. However, the Treasury Department is planning to create an online portal where people can share their bank account information so the money can also be directly deposited.


Q: Is the rebate taxable or will I have to pay back any amount if the rebate?

A: No, the rebate is treated like other refundable tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and not considered income. Additionally, if the credit amount you qualified for on your 2019 income taxes is greater than the amount you qualified for in 2020, you do not have to pay the difference back.

Senior Citizens

Adults ages 65 and older are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The CDC strongly recommends, if you fall into this group, to remain at home as much as possible. If you need assistance picking-up groceries, the following organizations are offering free delivery to homebound seniors:

  • San Diego Food Bank’s Senior Food Program is a federal program that provides monthly supplemental food packages to income-eligible senior citizens aged 60 and over. The Food Bank administers the program and distributes USDA-provided food at 45 distribution sites every month in communities throughout San Diego County. Check out the Food Bank’s website to learn more.
  • Meals on Wheels is delivering meals to seniors over age 60 in San Diego County.
  • Jewish Family Services is delivering nutritious, home-style meals for home-bound seniors who are self-isolating. 

If you absolutely need to leave the house to pick-up essential needs, we have compiled a list of grocery stores offering senior citizens and at-risk shoppers specified shopping hours.

Expanded Store Hours for Seniors:

Albertsons: The companies’ 2,200+ stores nationwide are setting aside dedicated shopping hours for senior citizens and other at-risk populations, such as pregnant women or those with compromised immune systems, who have been advised to avoid leaving home as much as possible. At a minimum, the company will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m. for those vulnerable shoppers who must leave home to obtain their groceries, unless otherwise locally mandated. Customers should check their store’s hours if they’re opening on a different schedule.

Barons Market: 9:00am-10:00am, SENIORS ONLY. Age 65+. The market installed plexiglass barriers at registers.

Costco: Effective March 24, the warehouse store will have senior member hours for those 60 years old and up Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 am-9:00 am.

Food 4 Less: 7:00am-7:30am daily.

Northgate Gonzalez Market: 7:00 am daily: Seniors 65+, Pregnant Women, and customers with disabilities.

Ralphs: 7:00-7:30am daily.

Target: All stores will close by 9:00 pm daily, but the first hour of shopping each Wednesday will be reserved for vulnerable guests. The modified closing time will allow for employees to clean and restock the shelves.

Trader Joe’s: Line for seniors with expedited entry: Daily from 9:00-10:00am.

Vallarta Supermarkets: 7:00 am daily: Seniors 65+, Pregnant Women, and customers with disabilities.

VONS:  7:00-9:00 am, Monday-Friday in Southern California Stores: Honor system for seniors, pregnant mothers, customers with a disability or compromised immune system.

Walgreens: Seniors only on Tuesdays from 8:00-9:00am.

Walmart: Tuesdays from 6:00-7:00 am, customers age 60 and older will be able to shop through April 28.

Whole Foods Market: All Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada will let customers who are 60 and older shop one hour before opening to the public.

Veterans

If you’re a veteran and have questions about how the VA is handling the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Public Health website for updates and to learn about the specific precautions the agency is taking to protect patients.

Education

What does the CARES Act do for Education?

Congress has allocated $30 billion for the Education Stabilization Fund.

  • Approximately $3 billion for governors to distribute across K-12 Agencies and Higher Education that were affected by COVID-19
  • Approximately $13 billion for states to do various high needs projects (based on K-12 enrollment).
  • Approximately $14 billion for Higher Education Institutions with the majority going to schools with Pell Grant students.
  • Roughly half of the funds will be dedicated to providing emergency financial aid grants to students for expenses related to COVID-19 and their disruption to their campuses.
  • The bill will suspend collections of defaulted loans.


Student Loan Relief: Students will not have to pay their federal loans until September of 2020, but borrowers must contact their loan servicer to request payments be suspended.

CARES Act Faqs

On March 30, Congress passed a $2.2 trillion relief package, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act aims to help families and small businesses financially recover. 

Direct Payments (Rebates)

Q: Who is eligible for the rebate?

A: According to the Ways & Means Committee website, any person that has a valid Social Security number (SSN) and fits the adjusted gross income (AGI) requirements.

  • Individuals with incomes of $75,000 or less = $1,200 rebate
  • Married couples with incomes less than $150,000 = $2,400 rebate; plus, an additional $500 per child.

Rebates are reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for joint filers, $112,500 for the head of the household filer, and $75,000 for single filers.

  • Spouses of military members are eligible without a SSN.
  • An adopted child can use an Adoption Tax Identification Number to be eligible.


Q: Will people who are receiving Social Security retirement and disability payments each month also get a stimulus payment?

A: Yes.


Q: Who is not eligible for the direct payment?

A:  Dependents above the age of 16 will be among the Americans not receiving direct payments. This includes high school and college students between the ages of 17 and 24 if they are claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax returns, even if they normally work and file taxes themselves. 


Additionally, adults with disabilities or elder adults who are claimed also do not qualify. Parents or guardians do not get additional money either. 

Q: When will the direct payments (rebates) be distributed? 

A: For those who have direct deposits set up, the IRS said to expect it next week (week of April 13th); however, for those without direct deposits, mailed checks are expected to be mailed the first week of May.

 

Q: I haven’t filed my 2018 or 2019 taxes. Will I still receive a rebate? 

A: To receive the rebate, you are required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes. Please note, rebates will be available throughout the rest of 2020 for those who wish to receive a payment upon filing taxes.


Q: I usually don’t have to file taxes. Do I need to file taxes now?

A: No; however, the IRS and Treasury Department said people not required to file a tax return-- such as low-income taxpayers, some veterans and people with disabilities — will need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive the economic impact payment. 

Senior citizens and Social Security recipients will not need to file a tax return to get the payment because the IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate payments for Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019.

Q: I didn’t use direct deposit on my taxes, what can I do?

A: The government will send you the check by mail if you did not use direct deposit. However, the Treasury Department is planning to create an online portal where people can share their bank account information so the money can also be directly deposited.


Q: Is the rebate taxable or will I have to pay back any amount if the rebate?

A: No, the rebate is treated like other refundable tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and not considered income. Additionally, if the credit amount you qualified for on your 2019 income taxes is greater than the amount you qualified for in 2020, you do not have to pay the difference back. 


Unemployment Insurance

Q: Do Uber drivers and those self-employed get UI?

A: Yes. Extended unemployment benefits cover self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers and other nontraditional workers who are unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work because of COVID-19.

Unemployment benefit amounts will be calculated based on previous income, using a formula from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program. Self-employed workers will also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal government.

Additionally, independent contractors (ICs) can apply for the $10 billion fund, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) which was not available to ICs previously. 


Q: How long will the payments last?

A: Unemployment benefits in California normally covers 26 weeks. The CARES Act adds an additional 13 weeks for a total of 39 weeks. The additional $600 payment will only last up to four months, covering weeks of unemployment until July 31, 2020.


Q: My unemployment recently ran out — could I sign up again?

A: Yes. If you’ve exhausted your benefits, eligible workers can generally reapply. But how much you get and for how long depends on the state where you worked. Everyone gets at least another 13 weeks, along with the extra $600 payment through July 31.

(Source: NY Times)


Q: What if I’ve been advised by a health care provider to quarantine myself because of exposure to coronavirus? And what about broader orders to stay home?

A: People who must self-quarantine are covered. The legislation also states that individuals who are unable to get to work because of a quarantine imposed as a result of the outbreak are eligible.


Q: I was about to start a new job and now can’t get there because of the outbreak. Am I still eligible for unemployment benefits?

A: Yes. You will also be covered if you were immediately laid off from a new job and did not have a sufficient work history to qualify for benefits under normal circumstances.


Small Businesses

Q: What are my options through the U.S. Small Business Administration and CARES Act?

A:  Four different ways:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program: Starting April 3rd, small business owners can apply for this loan to help keep workers on payroll, cover costs, and stay afloat during this crisis.
  1. Direct incentive for businesses to keep employees on the payroll.
  2. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on payroll for 8 weeks and money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  3. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
  4. This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.
  1. Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) 
  1. Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.
  2. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
  1. SBA Express Bridge Loans
  1. Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  1. SBA Debt Relief 
  1. The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Source: SBA)

Q: Do nonprofits get help?

A: Yes.


Q: Are faith-based organizations eligible to apply to SBA Loans?

A: Yes. Visit the SBA website to read their FAQ.


Retirement Accounts

Q: Which retirement account rules are suspended?

A: Nobody will have to take a required minimum distribution from any workplace retirement savings plan or individual retirement account, such as a 401(k). As a result, people will not be forced to sell investments that may have fallen in value. You can let investments sit and hope that they recover if you don't need the money now. This change would not affect old-fashioned pensions.

(Source: NY Times)

 

Q: What if I have to take money out of my I.R.A. or workplace retirement plan early?

A: You can withdraw up to $100,000 this year without the usual 10 percent penalty, as a result of COVID-19.

 

You will also be able to spread out any income taxes that you owe over three years from the date you took the distribution. In addition, you will be able to put money back into the account before those three years are finished, even though large contributions are not allowed. 

 

This exception applies only to COVID-19-related withdrawals. You will qualify for this exception if you tested positive, a spouse or dependent did or you experienced a variety of other negative economic consequences related to COVID-19. It’s important to note that employers can allow workers to self-certify that they are qualified to pull money from a workplace retirement account.

(Source: NY Times)


Q: Can I still borrow from my 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan?

A: Yes. You’ll be able to take out a loan of up to $100,000 up until 180 days after the bill passes with proof that you’ve been affected by COVID-19. The rule that doesn't allow you to take out more than half your balance is suspended. Additionally, you’ll get an extra year to repay any loan that was owed before December 31st, 2020.


(Source:
NY Times)

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 CA50 Resource Guide