You Are Not Alone: COVID-19 Support Resources

Photo by Foster Snell

Through the joint efforts of community we can overcome. In other words…you are not alone. <3

This COVID stuff is confusing folks. And that’s okay! So we aren’t professional filers of unemployment and expert citizens of global pandemic. Heck, I even feel quite lucky to be saying that…

Nevertheless, these are some weird and trying times. It’s easy to feel lost right now. I’m right there with you. We all are. With the help of our family and friends of Black Rock City, we have compiled some useful information to help get us on our feet, lift our spirits, and be well.

Support Resources

  • Headspace: meditations, sleep, and movement exercises. Some Council Members have used this and it’s currently free; no payment information required.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act)
Passed Senate (03/25/2020)
This bill responds to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.The bill provides supplemental appropriations for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. The supplemental appropriations are designated as emergency spending. In addition, the bill:

  • funds various loans, grants, and other forms of assistance for businesses, industries, states, local governments, and hospitals
  • provides tax rebates of up to $1,200 per individual and an additional $500 per child, subject to limits based on adjusted gross income
  • temporarily expands unemployment benefits
  • suspends payments and interest on federal student loans

More information and a summary can be found at here.

Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Payment)

U.S. residents will receive the Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 for individual or head of 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. 
Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits, as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

How Much Is It Worth?
Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers, and $150,000 for married filing jointly are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child.

Do You Need To Take Action?
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.

Individuals such as low-income workers and certain veterans and individuals with disabilities who aren’t required to file a tax return, may still be eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. Taxpayers can check the 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 information so you can get your payment.For the most up to date accurate information visit the IRS website.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
An additional $600 added to each week of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Check your state’s unemployment benefits page for updates.

The unemployment process and calculations vary state to state. Information is being updated regularly; for the most current and accurate information check your state’s unemployment benefits page.

Per the Department of Labor website:
Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states.

Unemployment Links and Resources for California
Below are some resources and updates from Nevada and California. Details below were current as of April 14, 2020. Please check your state’s unemployment site for the most accurate information.CALIFORNIA 

Latest News for Workers: CA

  • Waiting Period – The 7 day waiting period is waived for claims beginning on or after January 19, 2020. After you submit your first two-week continued certification, you will be paid for the first week of your claim.
  • Work Search – You are not required to look for work each week to be eligible for benefits.
  • Starting Sunday, for the week ending April 11, 2020, the EDD will begin paying an additional $600 on top of your current weekly benefit amount with the extra money coming from the federal government as part of the federal CARES Act. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Claimants do not need to do anything to receive this extra funding. The EDD will automatically add the full $600 to each week of current benefits that are paid every two weeks, as long you are eligible for at least $1 in a regular payment each week.
  • For someone receiving the most recent average Unemployment Insurance payment of $340 a week, a usual biweekly payment would equal $680. With the extra payment, that biweekly payment would increase to $1,880.
  • The first week the additional payments can be made is for the week ending April 4, not before. Separate retroactive payments will be automatically issued soon to those who had an active claim that week, and the $600 extra payments can continue to those who remain impacted and otherwise eligible for benefits through the week ending July 31, 2020.
  • If you received a UI award notice that shows $0 in wages, you may still qualify for benefits. Visit the Unemployment Insurance Benefits section of the Coronavirus 2019 FAQs for more information.
  • It takes at least three weeks to process a claim for unemployment benefits and issue payment to most eligible workers.
  • Federal funds are available to get you back to work quickly, including supportive services for basic needs, such as housing, child care, and transportation costs. For more information, visit COVID-19 Additional Funds for Workers and Businesses.
  • For Self-Employed, Independent Contractor, or Gig Worker visit Coronavirus 2019 FAQs and Self-Employed/Independent Contractor to learn more.

*All of the above information was compiled by Black Rock City, Department of Public Works (DPW) staff and shared in the DPW newsletter. We’re passing it along here as a source of information. We are SO grateful for this and hope it’s helpful to y’all too!

Know that your community is here for you in more ways than you may think. Please stay safe. Wash your darn hands. Practice social distancing. Check in on your friends. Be there for your loved ones. And save me a deliciously long hug for when we come out on the other side of this, together. Love you all!!!

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