3/30/2020 Coronavirus Update
Latest Coronavirus Update from Congressman Jeff Duncan:
Good news – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law by President Trump last week with my support. The bill is an economic rescue and recovery package for the American people that is aimed to help individuals, families, and businesses through this global pandemic. Please see more information on my support for the legislation and what the bill means for you HERE.
Filing for Unemployment
Under the CARES Act, unemployment insurance benefits are boosted by expanding eligibility and offering workers an additional $600 a week for four months, on top of what state unemployment programs pay, and will give Americans four months-worth of their income if they are furloughed or lose their job due to COVID-19. The bill creates an employee retention tax credit to incentivize businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis.
Do you need to file for unemployment? Apply with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) HERE.
Have questions? Employers can call the employer only line at 803-737-2532 and individuals can call the TelClaim line at 1-866-831-1724.
Economic Recovery Check
The CARES Act provides direct payments to qualified individuals with checks of $1,200 per adult, and $500 per child available for those with incomes at or below $75,000 individual/$112,500 head of household/$150,000 filing jointly. Payments are phased out above those thresholds until it is phased out completely for single taxpayers with incomes exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers.
Information on the checks will be posted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) HERE when available.
Need Coronavirus Screening?
Hospitals and providers across South Carolina are offering coronavirus screenings to those in need. Most require a physician’s order. Visit the websites of these providers for access to a free consult using the code: COVID19.
Small Businesses – Courtesy of the Small Business Administration (SBA)
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. You can view the application and additional information HERE or contact the SBA Customer Service Center by calling (800) 659-2955 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to return Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications is December 21, 2020.
Paycheck Protection Program and Opportunity for Loan Forgiveness
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
Under this program:
-Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
-Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
-If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
More information can be found HERE.
Trump Administration – Working to Protect America
President Trump is standing with South Carolinians in unlocking new federal resources to help with our coronavirus response. See the disaster declaration he approved for the Palmetto State:
-The President announced that the CDC guidelines for social distancing are extended to April 30, 2020 to help flatten the curve.
-The FDA has approved a new test developed by Abbott Labs that delivers coronavirus results in as little as 5 minutes.
-Nearly 900,000 tests had been conducted in the U.S. as of Sunday, March 29, 2020, with testing continuing to increase by the day.
-FEMA is leading efforts to distribute supplies where they are needed most and has launched ‘Project Airbridge’ to airlift supplies across the country.
My team is ready to help constituents who are currently abroad during the coronavirus outbreak. The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport. Any constituent abroad who needs assistance should contact my office at 864-224-7401, their local U.S. Embassy, and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, available HERE or by calling 1-888-407-4747.
In Case You Missed It…
I’m working to protect the civil liberties and constitutional protections of American citizens during the coronavirus crisis. Read more HERE.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a 12-month REAL ID implementation deadline due to the coronavirus. Read my statement with more information HERE.
Coronavirus Tele-Town Hall
I held a special coronavirus tele-town hall last week with thousands of constituents and a great panel of leaders and health professionals to talk about our nation’s response to the pandemic. We were joined by South Carolina Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, lead medical consultant for DHEC's Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology Dr. Michael Kacka, Director of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division David Baker, and Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals in Columbia which produces more than half of the inhalation solutions in the U.S. that can be used to treat symptoms of coronavirus. The panel provided a lot of critical, up-to-date information on the federal, state, local, and private sector response to combatting the coronavirus. Please register to be a part of future tele-town halls HERE.
We Will Overcome
Friends, we will defeat this virus as a nation and come out stronger than ever. Please continue to follow recommended guidelines regarding social distancing, hand washing, and other preventative measures HERE. I am here to serve you – please don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.