Update on the CARES Act
Last week, the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the President signed into law. I’ve heard from many of you with questions about this emergency relief legislation and how it will help workers and small businesses in Michigan. I have included links to helpful resources in this email, and you can also learn more at my website: walberg.house.gov/cares-act.
Economic Impact Payments
According to the IRS, economic impact payments for those below the income thresholds will begin to go out in mid-April. The overwhelming majority of Americans will not need to take additional action because the IRS will review income and distribute the funds through direct deposit.
For those who may not have filed 2018 tax returns, a simple tax return form will be available at irs.gov/coronavirus in the coming days. If you receive Social Security and otherwise do not file tax returns, you will not have to file a simple tax return. If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, an online portal will be available in the coming weeks as well.
For more information, about the economic impact payments, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know
Paycheck Protection Program
The CARES Act established the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. Applications are being accepted starting Friday, April 3.
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
- The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made
- Employee and compensation levels are maintained
Who can apply? All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply.
Where can I apply? You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
Who is eligible to lend? All existing SBA-certified lenders will be given delegated authority to speedily process PPP loans.
All federally insured depository institutions, federally insured credit unions, and Farm Credit System institutions are eligible to participate in this program.
Are these loans guaranteed by the SBA? Yes, the SBA guarantees 100% of the outstanding balance, and that guarantee is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.
Are there guarantee fees? The SBA waives all SBA guaranty fees, including the upfront and annual servicing fees.
For an application, please visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/paycheck-protection-program-ppp
Student Loan Relief
In order to provide additional relief during this challenging time, federal student loan borrowers are automatically permitted to temporarily halt monthly loan payments from March 13 through September 30, 2020.
To find out more, please visit: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
The CARES Act also expanded unemployment eligibility to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, or work for a nonprofit. Over the past few days, I have heard from a number of constituents who have struggled to get their claim processed by the state, who administers unemployment insurance. The state has split the days of the week to help ease traffic. To view your recommended day of calling, or filing online, please see the image below.
Last week, Governor Whitmer requested an expedited major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. I joined members of Michigan's congressional delegation, Democrats and Republicans, in signing a letter of support. Shortly after, President Trump granted this request, which will allow critically needed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance to come to Michigan.