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Coronavirus Updates and Resources

The recent Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and is a serious health risk to the American public. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to the novel (new) coronavirus.

California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide mandatory shelter in place order. This order requires all California residents to stay home except for essential needs. You can review the order here. More health information is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health websites below:

You can access local health information at:

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I keep my friends, family and community safe?

If you are elderly, immunocompromised, or have an underlying medical condition, stay home and away from other people. If you are sick or experiencing symptoms, stay home and contact your doctor remotely by phone or email. If anyone in your household tests positive for coronavirus, keep everyone home. Even if you are young or otherwise healthy, avoid social gatherings. Though you may not experience symptoms, you may still be infected and your activities can spread the virus to other, more vulnerable people.

What is Congress doing to help?

Congress has passed four pieces of emergency response legislation to address the COVID-19 outbreak and the House of Representatives has put forward a fifth. You can review a summary of each bill at the links below. The Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also prepared a helpful resource guide to all COVID-19-related benefits enacted into law.

Mar 4

Became Law

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

Mar 18

Became Law

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Mar 27

Became Law

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

Apr 23

Became Law

Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

May 15

Passed House

Heroes Act

Am I eligible for a stimulus check? How do I get it?

The CARES Act provides a $1,200 economic impact payment to everyone with a Social Security Number who has an adjusted gross income lower than $75,000 (individual filers), $112,500 (heads of household), or $150,000 (married filing jointly). If you weren’t required to file in 2018 or 2019, don’t worry. Everyone who receives benefits through the Social Security Retirement, Survivors, or Disability Insurance programs; the Supplemental Security Income program; or the Railroad Retirement Board will be payed automatically. Other non-filers can submit information using the Non-Filer: Enter Payment Info tool.

The economic impact payment will be direct deposited to your bank account. If you haven’t set up direct deposit with the Internal Revenue Service, a check will be mailed to the address on file. If you would like to submit bank information for direct deposit or submit a change of address, you can use the Get My Payment tool.

Can I use paid leave, unemployment insurance or other benefits to help offset a loss of income?

The FFCRA includes two weeks of employer-provided paid sick leave and up to ten additional weeks of paid family and medical leave. The CARES Act provides a $600 increase in weekly unemployment benefits and an additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance. Part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers are covered. You can review your eligibility for COVID-19-related paid leave and unemployment benefits on the California Employment Development Department website.

What assistance is available to small businesses?

At Governor Newsom’s request, the Small Business Administration has issued a disaster declaration for California. This declaration makes emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) available to small business owners and non-profits. In addition, the CARES Act included tax relief for small businesses and cashflow assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Please review this Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act for more information. You can apply for EIDL and PPP here.

Employers who have questions about complying with the paid sick leave or the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA: please visit the Q&A page on the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Do I still need to file my federal income tax by the April 15 deadline?

No, the Treasury Department has extended the deadline until July 15. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. You can find tips for taxpayers and tax preparation professionals and answers to your filing and payment deadline questions on the Internal Revenue Service website.

Will I continue to receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits?

Yes, you will continue receiving your monthly benefits. However, all Social Security Administration field offices are currently closed to walk-in visitors and in-person appointments. Expect service delays. You can still reach your local field office by phone. Click here to find the phone number of the field office nearest you. In addition, the Social Security Administration has published information about the agency’s COVID-19 response on its website. You can access that information here.

My loved one is stuck in a foreign country. What do I do?

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.

In countries where commercial departure options remain, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period. The State Department cannot guarantee assistance and urges all Americans to have a plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for help. Visit the appropriate U.S. Embassy webpage for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction. Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for the latest on travel restrictions to the United States.

All U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents currently abroad should also register for the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the most up-to-date notifications and provide the nearest Embassy with their name, passport number, date of birth, current location and contact information to receive relevant information via email.