Coronavirus

Coronavirus Updates

Our federal, state, and local public health officials are working to slow the spread of coronavirus. It is important to have official resources to keep our community informed. Below, please find up-to-date information regarding coronavirus from CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and public health experts. All links below are to official government websites.

Connect with a PPP Lender

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:

To help the hardest-hit small businesses and those in underserved communities, SBA first accepted PPP loan applications from participating community financial institutions.

On Friday, Jan. 15, it will accept applications from participating small lenders and on Tuesday, Jan. 19, it will begin accepting PPP loan applications from all participating lenders.

As a reminder, you must apply for a PPP loan through a participating lender (not the SBA). Lender Match can help you find a participating PPP lender.


Upcoming PPP and Relief Trainings with SBA

SBA Wisconsin is hosting coronavirus relief information webinars to assist small businesses, nonprofits, and eligible recipients in recovering from the pandemic.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Info SessionsJan. 14, 2 pm

PPP Forgiveness: Jan. 20, 10 am 

PPP Relaunch: Jan. 22, 11 am Jan. 26, 10 am

SBA-backed Funding Options: Jan. 27, 10 am

Coronavirus Tax Relief for Employers & Business Owners:  Jan. 29, 10 am

NEW Information: Treasury and IRS begin delivering second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans

(Updated December 29, 2020) The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.

The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30.

The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.

As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.

Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn’t receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card. For those in this category, the payments will conclude in January. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an additional amount, the Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.

Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year – either the first or the second payment – will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. The IRS urges taxpayers who didn’t receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it. People will see the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.

“Throughout this challenging year, the IRS has worked around the clock to provide Economic Impact Payments and critical taxpayer services to the American people,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We are working swiftly to distribute this second round of payments as quickly as possible. This work continues throughout the holidays and into the new year as we prepare for the upcoming filing season. We urge everyone to visit IRS.gov in the coming days for the latest information on these payments and for important information and assistance with filing their 2021 taxes.”

Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers

Payments are automatic for eligible taxpayers who filed a 2019 tax return, those who receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries who didn’t file a tax return. Payments are also automatic for anyone who successfully registered for the first payment online at IRS.gov using the agency’s Non-Filers tool by November 21, 2020 or who submitted a simplified tax return that has been processed by the IRS.

Who is eligible for the second Economic Impact Payment?

Generally, U.S. citizens and resident aliens who are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return are eligible for this second payment.  Eligible individuals will automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child.  Generally, if you have adjusted gross income for 2019 up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns and surviving spouses, you will receive the full amount of the second payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced. 

How do I find out if the IRS is sending me a payment?

People can check the status of both their first and second payments by using the Get My Payment tool, available in English and Spanish only on IRS.gov. The tool is being updated with new information, and the IRS anticipates the tool will be available again in a few days for taxpayers.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment? What if I changed bank accounts?

The IRS will use the data already in our systems to send the new payments. Taxpayers with direct deposit information on file will receive the payment that way. For those without current direct deposit information on file, they will receive the payment as a check or debit card in the mail. For those eligible but who don’t receive the payment for any reason, it can be claimed by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021. Remember, the Economic Impact Payments are an advance payment of what will be called the Recovery Rebate Credit on the 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR.

Will people receive a paper check or a debit card?

For those who don’t receive a direct deposit by early January, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a debit card. To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, part of the Treasury Department, will be sending a limited number of payments out by debit card. Please note that the form of payment for the second mailed EIP may be different than for the first mailed EIP. Some people who received a paper check last time might receive a debit card this time, and some people who received a debit card last time may receive a paper check.

IRS and Treasury urge eligible people who don’t receive a direct deposit to watch their mail carefully during this period for a check or an Economic Impact Payment card, which is sponsored by the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service and is issued by Treasury’s financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A. The Economic Impact Payment Card will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. It has the Visa name on the front of the Card and the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. on the back of the card. Information included with the card will explain that this is your Economic Impact Payment. More information about these cards is available at EIPcard.com.

Are more people eligible now for a payment than before?

Under the earlier CARES Act, joint returns of couples where only one member of the couple had a Social Security number were generally ineligible for a payment – unless they were a member of the military. But this month’s new law changes and expands that provision, and more people are now eligible. In this situation, these families will now be eligible to receive payments for the taxpayers and qualifying children of the family who have work-eligible SSNs. People in this group who don’t receive an Economic Impact Payment can claim this when they file their 2020 taxes under the Recovery Rebate Credit. 

Is any action needed by Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits who are not typically required to file a tax return?

Most Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries, railroad retirees and those receiving veterans’ benefits do not need take any action to receive a payment. Earlier this year, the IRS worked directly with the relevant federal agencies to obtain the information needed to send out the new payments the same way benefits for this group are normally paid. For eligible people in this group who didn’t receive a payment for any reason, they can file a 2020 tax return.

I didn’t file a tax return and didn’t register with the IRS.gov non-filers tool. Am I eligible for a payment?

Yes, if you meet the eligibility requirement. While you won’t receive an automatic payment now, you can still claim the equivalent Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 federal income tax return.

Will I receive anything for my tax records showing I received a second Economic Impact Payment?

Yes. People will receive an IRS notice, or letter, after they receive a payment telling them the amount of their payment. They should keep this for their tax records.

Where can I get more information?

For more information about Economic Impact Payments and the 2020 Recovery Rebate, key information will be posted on IRS.gov/eip. Later this week, you may check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment. For other COVID-19-related tax relief, visit IRS.gov/Coronavirus.
 

Coronavirus Scam Prevention Telephone Town Hall: May 6, 2020

Did you miss the telephone town hall? Listen to it here!

Thank you to those who participated in our coronavirus scam prevention telephone town hall! I hope you found the information useful. Please see below for helpful links.

Get FTC Consumer Alerts: ftc.gov/subscribe

Learn the facts: ftc.gov/coronavirus

To report scams to the FTC, consumers should visit www.ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Hotline:1-800-422-7128 and www.datcp.wi.gov   

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Resources: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/Covid19ConsumerProtection.aspx

Wisconsin AARP Information: https://states.aarp.org/wisconsin/wicovid19

Wisconsin AARP Scam Resourcesaarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork

Receive updates on your Economic Impact Payment: irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

State of Wisconsin Links

For information on unemployment, please visit: https://dwd.wisconsin.gov/covid19/

For information for farmers, restaurants, retailers, and resources for scams, please visit: https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/News_Media/Covid19.aspx

For information on veterans benefits, services and resource centers, please visit: https://dva.wi.gov/Pages/newsMedia/COVID19.aspx

For resources on tax filing, please visit: https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/News/2020/wi-covid-19.aspx

For information on child care and child welfare, please visit: https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/covid-19

For FAQs on the mass gathering order, child care setting order, and K-12 school closure order, please visit: https://evers.wi.gov/Pages/Home.aspx

FAQs: Economic Impact Payments

Who is eligible? (Updated April 26, 2020)

household filers, and $2,400 for married filing jointly if they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible Social Security number with adjusted gross income up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,500 for head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their AGI is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • 112,500 and $136,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

The amount of the reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayers specific adjusted gross income.

Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) will receive a payment.

For eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018, they receive the payments automatically.

Those who don’t usually file a tax return and receive Social Security retirement, survivor, or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) also receive automatic payments of $1,200. While some of these groups receive Forms 1099, many in this group don't typically file tax returns. Many people in these groups are expected to see the automatic $1,200 payments later this month, with SSI and VA payments expected to start in May.

For people who have little or no income and didn’t file a tax return or don’t receive any of the federal benefits listed above, they are also eligible for an Economic Impact Payment. They need to register with the Non-Filer tool on IRS.gov as soon as possible so they can receive a payment.

 

Do I need to take action?

 

People who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018

No additional action is needed by taxpayers who:

  • have already filed their tax returns this year for 2019. The IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount.
  • haven’t filed yet for 2019 but filed a 2018 federal tax return. For these taxpayers the IRS will use their information from 2018 tax filings to make the Economic Impact Payment calculations.

People who aren't typically required to file a tax return

Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 to these individuals even if they did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients are also part of this group who don't need to take action.

For Social Security, Railroad retirees and SSDI who have qualifying children, they can take an additional step to receive $500 per qualifying child.

There are other individuals such as low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities who aren’t required to file a tax return, but they are still eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can check the IRS.gov tool - Do I Need to File a Tax Return? - to see if  they have a filing requirement.  

If you don’t have to file, use the "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.

 

Resources for Small Businesses

Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act

Guidelines for Reopening Your Business

Guidance for Businesses and Workplaces from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Reopen Guidelines for Wisconsin Businesses: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/

Small Business Administration (SBA)

For all coronavirus releated information for small business owners, including information on how to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

Please contact the Wisconsin Small Business Administration office if you have questions or concerns: https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/wi/milwaukee

For information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL): https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans

To apply for a disaster loan:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

More information on Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be found HERE or HERE.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) announced that it is creating a program which will be known as Small Business 20/20 (SB20/20).  According to the WEDC, this program will “provide grants of up to $20,000 to targeted businesses with no more than 20 employees to cover rent and to meet payroll expenses, including paid leave (including sick, family and other leave related to COVID-19).”  For more information about SB20/20, you can visit: https://wedc.org/sb2020.

The Wisconsin Business Development (WBD) now offers temporary payment deferment options for WBD SBA 504 Borrowers impacted by COVID-19.  For details regarding these deferment options you can visit: https://www.wbd.org/temporary-504-loan-deferment-information.

Department of Labor (DOL)

Information for employees: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Under the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s direction, FEMA, HHS and our federal partners continue to work closely with state, local, tribal and territorial governments in executing a whole-of-government response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public. The outpouring of support from the private sector to provide medical supplies and equipment has been tremendous. To help us match the many offers of assistance to the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantity, we ask for your help in ensuring partners know how to connect.   

To sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation. Full details can be found in the solicitation (Updated Notice ID 70FA2020R00000011). This solicitation requires registration with the System for Award Management (SAM) in order to be considered for award, pursuant to applicable regulations and guidelines. Registration information can be found at www.sam.gov. Registration must be “ACTIVE” at the time of award. 

If you have medical supplies or equipment to donate, please provide us details on what you are offering through our online medical supplies and equipment form at https://www.fema.gov/covid19offers.

If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID-19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security’s Procurement Action Innovative Response (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov.

In addition to these avenues to help, licensed healthcare professionals that want to volunteer can get information on eligibility, view credential levels by clinical competency and register with the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals in their state. 

If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency. Any needs that cannot be met by the state or tribe are then sent to the respective FEMA regional office who are coordinating requirements through the FEMA National Response Coordination Center. FEMA is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies to fulfill requests and ship supplies as quickly as possible. 

Additional ways to help can be found at www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help

Chart with resources

Resources for You

Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Outbreaks in Wisconsin

Kenosha County COVID-19 Information Center

Central Racine County Health Department

Rock County Coronavirus Disease 2019

Milwaukee County Health and Human Services

Coronavirus- Waukesha County

Walworth County Health and Human Services

CDC: Situation Summary

CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel

CDC: Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

For information from Wisconsin Department of Health Services, please visit their website here.

Avoiding Coronavirus Scams

Here are some tips from the Federal Trade Commission (TTC) to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Hang up on robocalls. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are using illegal robocalls to pitch everything from scam Coronavirus treatments to work-at-home schemes. The recording might say that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their call list, but it might lead to more robocalls, instead.
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations and home test kits. Scammers are trying to get you to buy products that aren’t proven to treat or prevent the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores. At this time, there also are no FDA-authorized home test kits for the Coronavirus. Visit the FDA to learn more.
  • Fact-check information. Scammers, and sometimes well-meaning people, share information that hasn’t been verified. Before you pass on any messages, contact trusted sources. Visit What the U.S. Government is Doing for links to federal, state and local government agencies.
  • Know who you’re buying from. Online sellers may claim to have in-demand products, like cleaning, household, and health and medical supplies when, in fact, they don’t.
  • Don’t respond to texts and emails about checks from the government. The details are still being worked out. Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer.
  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.For general information on coronavirus symptoms, how to stop the spread of germs, and what to do if you are sick, please visit CDC’s website or check out information below.

For the latest international travel health notices, please visit here. According to CDC, travel health notices inform travelers and clinicians about current health issues that impact travelers’ health, like disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters, in specific international destinations.

Below is a fact sheet from CDC on information you need to know about coronavirus.

If you would like to receive updates on coronavirus and my work in Congress, please sign up for my newsletter here.