Economic Relief Bills in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis: Updated links and FAQ’s:
H.R. 6074: Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 — (March 4, 2020). Provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak related to developing a vaccine, medical supplies, grants for public health agencies, small business loans, and assistance for health systems in other countries. Allowed for temporarily waiving Medicare restrictions and requirements regarding telehealth services.
H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) — Paid leave provisions are now in effect as of April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Please review the following:
- Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Q&A to learn important definitions, what it means for your community organization as an employer, and what it means for you as an individual should you need to take leave.
- Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave for information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the FFCRA. Review the Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and a Questions and Answers documents to better understand what benefits are available under this law.
H.R.748: (CARES) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – (March 27, 2020). Includes direct payments to Americans, an aggressive expansion of unemployment insurance, billions of dollars in aid to large and small businesses, and a new wave of significant funding for the health care industry. Review Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources and the Also see: FAQ Regarding Participation of Faith-Based Organizations in PPP and EIDL
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): An U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that helps businesses (including non-profits) keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Emergency Advance: Loan advance providing up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. These funds are available to faith communities.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans: Enables small businesses which currently have a business relationship with a SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
- SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders. There is a funding cap, so the Treasury Department recommends applying as soon as possible.
Last week the SBA released this FAQ regarding the participation of Faith-based Organizations in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).
The SBA also issued an interim final rule regarding the Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES act. Faith-based organizations should review page 6, #2 to better understand how they may participate in the program while maintaining their right to exercise their faith according to their tradition’s polity.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist for Small Businesses and Nonprofits — Starting April 3, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for loans through existing SBA lenders. Starting April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for loans through existing SBA lenders. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.
Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) may be a viable option for someone in your community seeking medical attention. Health centers are an important component of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your local Community Health Center can assess whether a patient needs further testing, which may be done over the phone or using telehealth. Individuals may also receive primary health care services at their local health center at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on their economic status.
Call your nearest health center or health department to discover their availability for COVID-19 screening and testing. Find a Health Center near your community!
CMS approved its 44th state Medicaid waiver delivering urgent regulatory relief to ensure States can quickly and effectively care for their most vulnerable citizens. In light of the urgent and evolving needs of states during the COVID-19 crisis, CMS developed a toolkit to facilitate expedited application and approval of State waiver requests. More on Section 1135 Waivers and 1915(c) Appendix K Waivers.
How to Help:
Everyone has a role to play in the fight against COVID-19 and care of our fellow Americans. Learn how to help if you are a company with medical supplies to donate or sell, a volunteer who is medically trained, or a member of the general public.
You may also want to check with the Local Emergency Management Response Effort in your state.
The Partnership Center is aware of several virtual platforms currently available to harness and connect volunteers to the needs in their immediate community including Aunt Bertha, the Be a Neighbor Campaign through VOMO, CarePortal, and the Nextdoor platform. Also look to your local safety net organizations — such as The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, or United Way serving your community — for how you may be able to assist with identified needs.
In an infectious disease outbreak, when social distancing and self-quarantine are needed to limit and control the spread of the disease, continued social connectedness to maintain recovery is critically important. This tip sheet describes resources that can be used to virtually support recovery from mental/substance use disorders. It also provides resources to help local recovery programs create virtual meetings.
Please also consider sharing mobile apps that nurture and sustain virtual recovery communities such as Sober Grid, rTribe, Connections, WEconnect, and Nomo for those supporting persons in recovery. Many of them are free and offer peer coaching support (usually with a fee).