Coronavirus Resources and Updates

As information about the coronavirus in the United States becomes available, the Office of Rep. Tom Graves will continue to share updates and helpful resources. If you have questions and would like to speak with a staff member, please call one of the office numbers listed here. You will be prompted to leave a voicemail and a representative from our office will promptly return your call. You can also send an email after entering your zip code at the bottom of this page

Georgia Updates

The best source for more information from the state, including information on which businesses and other activities are included in the order, is available from the Georgia Department of Economic Development at www.georgia.org/covid19 and the Governor's website, here: https://gov.georgia.gov/

While many of us are working, learning & staying at home, to find free Wi-Fi locations around our state you can visit http://broadband.georgia.gov. Also, many public libraries are currently closed but some are still offering Wi-Fi outside their buildings.

CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), bipartisan legislation crafted to provide emergency relief during the coronavirus pandemic to workers, families, small businesses, hospitals and health care workers nationwide. 

Some of the relief included in the bill is highlighted below. If you have questions about any of this information, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Up-To-Date Information
:

  • What You Should Know (here)
  • Travel Information (here)
  • Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities (here)
  • Higher Risk & Special Populations (here)
  • Healthcare Professionals (here)
  • Resources for Healthcare Facilities (here)
  • Resources for Health Departments (here)
  • Laboratories (here)
  • Communication Resources (here)

Frequently asked questions about the IRS

Through the CARES Act, every eligible American will receive a one time rebate via direct deposit or check. For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required to receive a rebate check since the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed, or their 2018 return if they haven’t filed their 2019 return. 

FAQs about eligibility and how the payments are determined can be seen here.

Many Americans have had questions about the payments and how they can access more information from the IRS about eligibility, their payment status and where to find more information. 

You can 
learn more here.


NEW: IRS tool for non-filers


The Treasury Department and IRS launched a new tool that will help Americans who don’t usually file a tax return to get their emergency aid rebate. This was created for people who do not have a return filing obligation, including those whose income may be low enough that they don’t need to file.

It’s free and easy to use, and you can access it here: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment

Who should use this tool?

This new tool is designed for people who did not file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 and who don't receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits. Others who should consider the Non-Filers tool as an option, include:

  • Lower income: Among those who could use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info tool are those who haven't filed a 2018 or 2019 return because they are under the normal income limits for filing a tax return. This may include single filers who made under $12,200 and married couples making less than $24,400 in 2019.
  • Veterans beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients: The IRS continues to explore ways to see if Economic Impact Payments can be made automatically to SSI recipients and those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and who did not file a tax return for the 2018 or 2019 tax years. People in these groups can either use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info option now or wait as the IRS continues to review automatic payment options to simplify delivery for these groups.
  • Social Security, SSDI and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries with qualifying dependents: These groups will automatically receive $1,200 Economic Impact Payments. People in this group who have qualifying children under age 17 may use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to claim the $500 payment per child.
  • Students and others: If someone else claimed you on their tax return, you will not be eligible for the Economic Impact Payment or using the Non-Filer too.

NEW: Tax Day pushed to July

The Administration announced that Tax Day, which is every year on April 15th, has been pushed to July 15th. This will allow businesses and individuals extra time to file their federal taxes without penalties. 

Governor Kemp announced that the state filing deadline has also been pushed to July 15th. For help with your state taxes, you can visit the Georgia Tax Center, here

For more information on the new federal filing deadline, please click here.

Important Social Security news

The Social Security Administration has issued guidance that all Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments will continue to be made on time.

The agency is also urging all Americans to be aware of scammers who try to take advantage of the pandemic to trick people into providing personal information or payment via retail gift cards, wire transfers, internet currency, or by mailing cash, to maintain Social Security benefit payments or receive economic impact payments from the Department of the Treasury.

Get your Social Security questions answered here: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

Impact on workers

The CARES Act expanded unemployment benefits to include self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, gig workers, and non-profit employees, among others. 

It increased funding to expand unemployment benefits for Americans nationwide. It adds a $600 per week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July. In addition, for those who need it, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow.

The Georgia Department of Labor will be responsible for processing claims and distributing unemployment benefits.

Individuals should visit dol.georgia.gov for more information on filing claims.

If you are currently job searching, or are facing suspended or reduced hours because of this crisis, Employ Georgia is a great resource. 

Right now, there are more than 100,000 job postings on the site. Check out www.EmployGeorgia.com

The Georgia Department of Labor also offers online resources for finding a job, building a resume, and can help answer your employment-related questions. Visit https://dol.georgia.gov/ for more information.

Impact on businesses

A new program through the Small Business Administration can help businesses cover expenses for up to eight weeks. The Paycheck Protection Program will provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

If the employer maintains payroll during this time, loans can be forgiven when used on payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent and utilities. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. 501 (c)(3)s will also be eligible for this program.

You can learn more from the Small Business Administration here.

FAQ about the programs available for small businesses can be found here, from the U.S. Treasury Department. 


Governor Brian Kemp and the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that small businesses across Georgia can also apply for low-interest federal disaster loans. The loans can provide working capital to help ease the economic burden businesses are experiencing because of the coronavirus' impact. 

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email
disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339.

Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is December 18, 2020. 

International travel updates

You can access international travel information and alerts here.

All Americans abroad should register with the State Department's STEP program, which allows the government to contact them directly with the latest information on travel to the United States. Sign up here.

Additionally, country-specific travel information and advisories may be found here. There are helpful FAQs about travel plans and travel advisories here

If you have scheduled tours in Washington, D.C.

All White House and U.S. Capitol tours have been suspended effective Thursday, March 12th. The Capitol will remain closed to the public until further notice, and the White House has not yet issued guidance on when public tours will resume.

For a more comprehensive list of suspended public tours and closed public buildings in Washington, D.C., please click here
 
If you are interested in rebooking tours once the buildings reopen to the public, my office is happy to work with you to resubmit your requests.

About the coronavirus

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person: 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Do you or does someone you know communicate using American Sign Language? You can watch videos about the coronavirus from the CDC here.  


People who think they may have contracted the coronavirus should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.

To stay up-to-date on the latest information, click HERE.


 

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