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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

As we continue to face the ongoing public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), our lives are quickly changing. You can take steps to stay informed and help minimize the impact of this virus:

  1. Stay home! By staying home, you will keep yourself safe and help stop the spread of the virus.

  2. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water. If you are unable to do that, use hand santizer that is at least 60% alcohol.

  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  4. Clean and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Below are some common questions my office has received and guidance. Please sign up for my newsletter here, if you would like to get these updates to your email.

As always, my office stands ready to assist. Please call my Hartford office at 860-278-8888 or send us an email here.

For the lastest information from the Center for Disease Control, please visit their website here.

For the latest from the State of Connecticut, please visit their website here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What steps should I take to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?  

You may be contagious before showing symptoms. The incubation period is about 14 days. The CDC recommends anyone who has been exposed to the virus to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

That is why the CDC is recommending those who do not have symptoms utilize social distancing, meaning stay home if you can and don’t go to places where there are crowds. In particular stay away from those that are at high risk such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. 

Coronavirus germs may stay on surfaces up to a few days so it’s wise to wipe surfaces with cleaning supplies. 

What do I do if I am having symptoms? 

If you believe you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider. If you have other medical questions and do not have, or are unable to reach your provider, Hartford HeathCare has a Clinical Command Center hotline, which can be reached 24 hours a day at 860-972-8100 or (toll-free) 833-621-0600. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control’s guidance can be found here. 

Where can I access state resources and assistance? 

Connecticut’s 2-1-1 info hotline is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is for general coronavirus questions (such as utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, experiencing homelessness). Additionally, you can visit Connecticut’s Coronavirus resource page here. 

CTAlert, the state’s emergency alert system, provides text message notifications to users. To subscribe, text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

I understand the federal government is making paid sick leave and paid family leave available to workers. Who is eligible? What are the details?  

Beginning in early April, as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, most employers with under 500 employers will be required to offer ten paid sick days for each full-time employee. Those employers will also be required to pay a portion of worker’s wages if they need to stay home and care for a child whose school is closed. This family leave will come out of a worker’s existing annual Family and Medical Leave Act time-off. Part-time employees will be provided time off proportional to their hours worked.  

Employers will be reimbursed for wages paid for employees on leave.  

Individuals who are self-employed will be given tax relief equivalent to these benefits.  

For more information on how businesses should implement these benefits or find out if you're eligible, see this guidance from the IRS.

Next Steps: As the Department of the Treasury releases guidance, we will share more details on how individuals can access these benefits, how employers should comply with this mandate, and how they will be reimbursed.   

I was recently laid off or had my employer completely cut my hours. What resources are there for me? 

Laid off and furloughed workers likely eligible for unemployment insurance. Visit filectui.com to apply. A fact sheet can be found here. 

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Connecticut will be receiving additional resources to support unemployment insurance administration to accommodate for an increase in applicants, as well as funding to shore up each state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. 

I own a small business. What resources are there for me?  

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved Connecticut small businesses for disaster relief related to the coronavirus. Small businesses and non-profits can apply for low-interest loans from the SBA.  Learn more here.

Additionally, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development has a small business hotline: 860-500-2333 or you can visit their website here. 

Congress is currently working on additional coronavirus relief measures. This will be updated as soon as we have additional information to share. 

Has the deadline to file taxes been extended? 

Yes, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the deadline to file income tax returns has been extended until July 15 

The IRS recently went live with a website that proides tips for taxpayers and tax pros. You can find that site here.

The IRS also recently pushed FAQs regarding this year's tax filing deadline extension. You can find that site here.

 I was contacted about claiming money from the government as part of Coronavirus relief. Is this real? 

No. While many coronavirus relief ideas have been proposed, at this time the federal government is not distributing checks or direct deposits outside of existing government programs. Any new program will be announced on our website or other government websites. Do not give personal information to anyone contacting you claiming otherwise. For more information about how to know if a government program is real, or to report a potential scam, go FTC.gov/coronavirus.

My child usually receives free or reduced lunch at school, what do I do now that it’s closed? 

While schools are shutdown, local school districts are providing offsite meals for pickup with funds for food assistance from Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Contact your school district for more information on what your local procedures are. Some towns and cities are able to provide meals to any children under the age of 18, even if those children do not live or attend schools in that city. For a list of those towns/cities, see here. More information about accessing those meals can be found on city websites and/or social media.  

I am struggling with food insecurity, what do I do? 

You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Stamps. For more information and for help applying, visit EndHungerCT.org or call their SNAP helpline at 866-974-7627.  

Additionally, some towns and cities are able to provide meals to any children under the age of 18, even if those children do not live or attend schools in that city. For a list of those towns/cities, see here. More information about accessing those meals can be found on city websites and/or social media.  

Is it too late for me to apply for health insurance? 

Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, has opened a special enrollment period for individuals to sign up for health insurance until April 2. Visit AccessHealthCT.com to apply.  

Is it safe to travel overseas? 
 
The U.S. State Department has issued a global Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory that advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel. While this not a legally binding mandate, it is the most severe level of caution. Please visit Travel.State.Gov to view current advisories.  

What resources are there for veterans?  

Call your VA medical center before going to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room, especially if you have symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Calling first helps us protect you, medical staff, and other patients. Ask your VA health care team about the option of care by phone or video instead of an in-person visit. For more information about the VA’s response plan, see here.

DIRECT PAYMENTS:

What are the eligibility requirements for the direct payments?

  • All legal residents with a Social Security Number who are under the income limit are eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate.
    • This includes retirees and individuals who have not filed income taxes.
  • The full credit is $1,200 per adult, $500 per child. The income limits for this credit are:
    • $75,000 for a single filer, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for joint filers
  • The credit amount phases out as incomes increase until the cap is reach. Those income limits are:
    • $99,000 for a single filer, $136,500 for a head of household, and $198,000 for joint filers

I didn’t make enough money to file taxes in 2018 or 2019, will I be eligible?

  • Yes, every non-dependent, legal resident within the income range with a Social Security number is eligible. Even if you have not filed income taxes, the IRS may have your information. If you have previously received unemployment compensation or if you receive Social Security Retirement or Social Security Disability payments, the IRS may already have your information.
  • If you have not filed taxes or participated in these programs, the IRS will be announce a process to submit an application.
  • The IRS strongly recommends filing a 2019 tax return as soon as possible, which will give them up to date information.

How will payments be delivered?

  • If you have given the IRS your bank information and permission to deposit funds since January 2018, it will be delivered via direct deposit. You will receive a paper statement a few weeks after transfer, notifying you that the payment has been made and into what account.
  • If the IRS does not have your bank account information, but does have your other information, you will receive a physical payment in the mail.
  • If the IRS does not have your information, the IRS will be announcing a process for you to receive payment.

If I receive a federal benefit that’s limited by income levels, will taking this benefit impact my eligibility?

  • No, this payment is considered a tax refund, and so it will not be considered income for determining eligibility for federal programs.

When will I receive my payment?

  • The goal is to distribute funding as soon as possible. The IRS has not announced their expected timeline, but payments that can be direct deposited will have fastest distribution.

What happens if I have had a loss of income since my last tax returns and am now in the range for payment?

  • You may be eligible for this credit when you submit your 2020 tax returns.

What happens if I have moved since I last filled out my taxes?

  • The IRS will release information on how to update your address with them.

Will I have to pay taxes on these payments?

  • No, they are considered tax refunds and are not subject to tax.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS:

I was recently laid off or had my employer completely cut my hours. What resources are there for me? 

  • Laid off and furloughed workers are likely eligible for unemployment insurance. Visit filectui.com to apply. A fact sheet can be found here
  • As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Connecticut will be receiving additional resources to support unemployment insurance administration to accommodate for an increase in applicants, as well as funding to shore up each state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. 
  • Under the CARES Act:
    • Eligible workers are entitled to an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation benefits.
    • All employees are eligible for unemployment, including self-employed, gig workers, and contract workers.
    • Increases benefit by up $600 per week, for four months giving the average worker a wage replacement rate of 100%.

HEALTH CARE RESPONSE:

What is being done to help hospitals and our health care systems?

  • The CARES Act establishes a $150 billion Marshall Plan for hospitals and other health centers with a cash infusion of $100 billion to cover costs related to COVID-19.  Cash grants will be provided on rolling basis, determined on basis of demonstrated need.
  • Expands tele-health to doctors and nurses including community health centers, hospice and home health providers.

Does this include money for more supplies for our health care professionals on the front lines?

  • The CARES Act replenishes the Strategic National Stockpile with $16 billion toward supplies of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies, which are distributed to State and local health agencies, hospitals and other healthcare entities facing shortages during emergencies.
  • Hospitals and health centers may apply to purchase more supplies through the $100 billion fund available to all health providers.

Do we have vaccines or treatments?

  • The FDA and private pharmaceutical companies are working to develop vaccines and treatments.  Presently, various vaccines and treatments are in clinical trials. We are hopeful that a treatment for the virus will be available in coming months.
  • The CARES Act Ensures vaccines will be free for insured Americans.
  • The CARES Act directs $3.5 billion for the production of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics to help combat this pandemic.

What health care support is there for states and local governments?

  • $4.3 billion in critical aid for public health agencies is directed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus, including for the purchase of personal protective equipment; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities.
  • These funds can be used to provide personal protective equipment for our first responders.
  • The CARES Act includes $150 billion to assist state, tribal, and local governments with additional resources to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated Connecticut will get around $1.4 billion from this fund.

What is being done to protect people in nursing homes?

  • The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is granted funds to assist nursing homes with infection control and support states’ efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes.

A medida que continuamos enfrentando la actual crisis de salud pública causada por el brote del nuevo Coronavirus (COVID-19), nuestras vidas están cambiando rápidamente. Puede tomar medidas para mantenerse informado y ayudar a minimizar el impacto de este virus:

  1. ¡Quedarse en casa! Al quedarse en casa, se mantendrá a salvo y ayudará a detener la propagación del virus.
  2. Lávese las manos durante al menos 20 segundos con jabón y agua caliente. Si no puede hacerlo, use un desinfectante para manos que contenga al menos un 60% de alcohol.
  3. Evitar tocarse los ojos, la nariz y la boca.
  4. Limpiar y desinfectar objetos y superficies que se tocan con frecuencia.

A continuación hay algunas preguntas comunes que mi oficina ha recibido y orientación. Regístrese para recibir mi boletín aquí, si desea recibir estas actualizaciones en su correo electrónico.

Como siempre, mi oficina está lista para ayudar. Llame a mi oficina de Hartford al 860-278-8888 o envíenos un correo electrónico aquí.

Para obtener la última información del Centro para el Control de Enfermedades, visite su sitio web aquí.

Para obtener lo último del estado de Connecticut, visite su sitio web aquí.

FAQ's en español:

¿Qué pasos debo tomar para prevenir la propagación del coronavirus?

Puede ser contagioso antes de mostrar síntomas. El período de incubación es de aproximadamente 14 días. El CDC recomiendan que cualquier persona que haya estado expuesta al virus se someta a cuarentena por 14 días.

Es por eso que el CDC recomiendan que aquellos que no tienen síntomas utilicen el distanciamiento social, lo que significa quedarse en casa si pueden y no van a lugares donde hay multitudes. En particular, manténgase alejado de aquellos que están en alto riesgo, como los ancianos y aquellos con afecciones médicas subyacentes.

Los gérmenes del coronavirus pueden permanecer en la superficie hasta unos pocos días, por lo que es aconsejable limpiar las superficies con productos de limpieza.

¿Qué hago si tengo síntomas?

Si cree que tiene síntomas, llame a su proveedor de atención médica. Si tiene otras preguntas médicas y no tiene o no puede comunicarse con su proveedor, Hartford HeathCare tiene una línea directa del Centro de Comando Clínico, que puede comunicarse las 24 horas del día al 860-972-8100 o al número gratuito 833- 621-0600. Además, la orientación de los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades se puede encontrar aquí

¿Dónde puedo acceder a los recursos y asistencia estatales?

La línea directa de información 2-1-1 de Connecticut está disponible las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana. La línea directa es para preguntas generales sobre coronavirus (como asistencia de servicios públicos, alimentos, vivienda, cuidado de niños, programas después de la escuela, cuidado de ancianos, intervención en crisis, personas sin hogar). Además, puede visitar la página de recursos de Coronavirus de Connecticut aquí.

Entiendo que el gobierno federal está poniendo a disposición de los trabajadores licencias pagas por enfermedad y licencias familiares pagadas. ¿Quien es elegible? ¿Cuáles son los detalles?

A partir de principios de Abril, como parte de la Ley de Families First Response Act, la mayoría de los empleadores con menos de 500 empleadores deberán ofrecer diez días de enfermedad pagados por cada empleado de tiempo completo. A esos empleadores también se les exigirá que paguen una parte del salario de los trabajadores si necesitan quedarse en casa y cuidar a un niño cuya escuela está cerrada. Este permiso familiar saldrá del tiempo libre anual existente de la Ley de Permiso Familiar y Médico de un trabajador. Los empleados a tiempo parcial recibirán un tiempo libre proporcional a sus horas trabajadas.

Los empleadores recibirán un reembolso por los salarios pagados a los empleados con licencia.

Las personas que trabajan por cuenta propia recibirán una desgravación fiscal equivalente a estos beneficios.

Para obtener más información sobre cómo las empresas deben implementar estos beneficios o averiguar si es elegible, consulte esta guía del IRS.

Próximos pasos: a medida que el Departamento del Tesoro publique orientación, compartiremos más detalles sobre cómo las personas pueden acceder a estos beneficios, cómo los empleadores deben cumplir con este mandato y cómo se les reembolsará.

Hace poco me despidieron o mi empleador cortó completamente mis horas. ¿Qué recursos hay para mí?

Los trabajadores despedidos y despedidos probablemente sean elegibles para el seguro de desempleo. Visite filectui.com para aplicar. Una hoja de datos se puede encontrar aquí.

Como parte de la Ley Families First Response Act, Connecticut recibirá recursos adicionales para apoyar la administración del seguro de desempleo para dar cabida a un aumento en los solicitantes, así como fondos para apuntalar el Fondo Fiduciario de Seguro de Desempleo de cada estado

Soy dueño de una pequeña empresa. ¿Qué recursos hay para mí?

  SBA aprobó a las pequeñas empresas de CT para el alivio de desastres relacionados con el coronavirus. Las pequeñas empresas y las organizaciones sin fines de lucro pueden solicitar préstamos a bajo interés de la SBA. Obtenga más información aquí:

Además, el Departamento de Desarrollo Económico y Comunitario de CT tiene una línea directa para pequeñas empresas: 860-500-2333.

Próximos pasos: el Congreso está trabajando actualmente en medidas adicionales de alivio del coronavirus. Esto se actualizará tan pronto como tengamos información adicional para compartir.

¿Se ha extendido el plazo para presentar los impuestos?

Sí, el Servicio de Impuestos Internos (IRS) anunció que el plazo para presentar las declaraciones de impuestos se ha extendido hasta el 15 de Julio.

El IRS recientemente se lanzó con un sitio web que ofrece consejos para contribuyentes y profesionales de impuestos. Puedes encontrar ese sitio aquí.

El IRS también presentó recientemente preguntas frecuentes sobre la extensión del plazo de presentación de impuestos de este año. Puedes encontrar ese sitio aquí.

Me contactaron para reclamar dinero del gobierno como parte del alivio de Coronavirus. ¿Es esto real?

 No. Si bien se han propuesto muchas ideas para aliviar el coronavirus, en este momento el gobierno federal no está distribuyendo cheques o depósitos directos fuera de los programas gubernamentales existentes. Cualquier programa nuevo se anunciará en nuestro sitio web u otros sitios web gubernamentales. No proporcione información personal a nadie que se ponga en contacto con usted para reclamar lo contrario. Para obtener más información sobre cómo saber si un programa del gobierno es real, o para informar una posible estafa, visite aqui.

Mi hijo generalmente recibe almuerzo gratis o reducido en la escuela, ¿qué hago ahora que está cerrado?

Mientras que las escuelas están cerradas, los distritos escolares locales están proporcionando comidas fuera del sitio para su recogida con fondos para asistencia alimentaria de la Ley Families First Response Act. Póngase en contacto con su distrito escolar para obtener más información sobre cuáles son sus procedimientos locales. Algunos pueblos y ciudades pueden proporcionar comidas a cualquier niño menor de 18 años, incluso si esos niños no viven o no asisten a escuelas en esa ciudad. Para obtener una lista de esos pueblos / ciudades, consulte aquí. Puede encontrar más información sobre cómo acceder a esas comidas en los sitios web de la ciudad y / o en las redes sociales.

Estoy luchando con la inseguridad alimentaria, ¿qué hago?

Puede ser elegible para el Programa de Asistencia Nutricional Suplementaria (SNAP), también conocido como Cupones de Alimentos. Para obtener más información y ayuda con la solicitud, visite EndHungerCT.org o llame a su línea de ayuda SNAP al 866-974-7627.

Además, algunos pueblos y ciudades pueden proporcionar comidas a niños menores de 18 años, incluso si esos niños no viven o no asisten a escuelas en esa ciudad. Para obtener una lista de esos pueblos / ciudades, consulte aquí. Puede encontrar más información sobre cómo acceder a esas comidas en los sitios web de la ciudad y / o en las redes sociales.

¿Es demasiado tarde para solicitar un seguro de salud?

Access Health CT, el intercambio de seguros de salud de Connecticut, ha abierto un período de inscripción especial para que las personas se inscriban en el seguro de salud hasta el 2 de abril. Visite AccessHealthCT.com para solicitarlo.

¿Es seguro viajar al extranjero?

El Departamento de Estado  a emitido un aviso global de Nivel 4, No viajar. Si bien este no es un mandato legalmente vinculante, es el nivel de precaución más severo. Visite Travel.State.Gov para ver los avisos actuales.

¿Qué recursos hay para los veteranos?

Llame a su centro médico de VA antes de ir a una clínica, atención de urgencia o sala de emergencias, especialmente si tiene síntomas de fiebre, tos y falta de aliento. Llamar primero nos ayuda a protegerlo a usted, al personal médico y a otros pacientes. Pregúntele a su equipo de atención médica de VA sobre la opción de atención por teléfono o video en lugar de una visita en persona. Para obtener más información sobre el plan de respuesta de VA, consulte aquí.