CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) RESOURCES
Economic Impact Payment Information:
Who is eligible for the Economic Impact Payment?
U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:
Have a valid Social Security number,
Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.
Who will receive the Economic Impact Payment automatically without taking additional steps?
Most eligible U.S. taxpayers will automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments including:
Individuals who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019
Individuals who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits
Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits
Who should use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info to provide additional information to receive the Economic Impact Payment?
Eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who:
Had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019
Were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn't plan to
You can provide the necessary information to the IRS easily and quickly for no fee through Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info. We will use this information to determine your eligibility and payment amount and send you an Economic Impact Payment. After providing this information you won’t need to take any additional action. Click here to enter your payment information.
Texas 211 COVID-19 Hotline:
2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905, Select Option 6, and find information about COVID-19.
211 specialists across the state are available 24/7 to answer the most frequently asked, nonmedical, questions based on material provided by DSHS and CDC. Questions 211 specialists can't answer will be referred to DSHS and local Public Health Department COVID-19 info lines.
Tips for Prevention:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are several everyday prevention methods we all should take:
- Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
- If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
The CDC recommends that if you are experiencing the following symptoms, you seek medical attention. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
Those at High Risk:
According to the CDC, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:
- People aged 65 years and older
- People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Other high-risk conditions could include:
- People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- People who have serious heart conditions
- People who are immunocompromised including cancer treatment
- People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
- People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk
For more information from the CDC on preventative measures, click here.
Everyone has a role to play to reduce and slow transmission of COVID-19. Social distancing is one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This means avoiding crowded places and maintaining distance from others when possible.
Economic Impact Payments:
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that the distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.
The IRS has compiled a helpful FAQ with more information on the direct payments to American families. Click here for more information.
Small businesses and their employees are the backbone of our economy. Unfortunately, during this time of crisis, they have experienced major disruption and closures. I’ve compiled a series of resources to help Texas employers and their employees weather the unique challenges posed by COVID-19.
Resources for small business owners:
- If your business remains open at this time, continue to follow best practices published by the CDC to keep your employees and patrons safe.
- Texas has been approved by the SBA to allow small businesses impacted by COVID-19 to access Emergency Disaster Loans.
- Explore the Small Business Administration’s COVID-19 hub for information on available loan and assistance programs.
- Sign up to receive SBA’s newsletter for updates at sba.gov/updates, and for information on all federal programs, visit www.usa.gov/coronavirus.
- Find your local SBA office for additional webinars and training sessions.
- Follow these strategies from the United States Chamber of Commerce to help your business weather this outbreak.
Paycheck Protection Program:
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of
payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and
Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs,
interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the
forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six
months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders
will charge small businesses any fees.
Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and
maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if
salaries and wages decrease.
All Small Businesses Eligible
Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations,
tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—
are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries.
When to Apply
Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10,
2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to
apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap.
How to Apply
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository
institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is
participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are
approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether
it is participating. All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. A list of
participating lenders as well as additional information and full terms can be found at
Use this form to apply.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Emergency Loans Guide and Checklist
U.S. Treasury Information on Paycheck Protection Loans
For Employees and Job Seekers:
- See unemployment benefits for employees affected by COVID-19.
- The Texas Workforce Commission offers resources to assist employees and ongoing updates for our workforce.
- Governor Abbott waived the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
Parents Seeking School Information:
- Governor Abbott has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. He is also requesting the Department of Education waive federal testing requirements for this school year.
- As of March 17, 2020, half of Texas public school districts were closed, and other schools were working to develop closure plans.
- It is crucial that our students still have access to nutritious meals when school is canceled. Click here to find free school meal pick-up locations near you.
Check the State Department’s website for the most updated travel information.
If you have a COVID-19 emergency overseas, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or call the State Department’s assistance call center:
- From the U.S. & Canada - 1-888-407-4747
- From Overseas - +1 202-501-4444
- Enroll in STEP
- Veterans should abstain from going to their local VA unless told to do so. If visiting a VA, patients will be pre-screened for flu-like symptoms before entering a facility.
- Visitors to VA facilities who are not feeling well, should refrain from going to the facilities.
- To find contact information for a veteran's closest VA facility, click here.
- The most up to date information from the VA on COVID-19 is available here.
The income tax filing date has been pushed from April 15 to July 15, per an announcement from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. In the announcement, Mnuchin said that all taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.
For more information, click here.
Student Loan Payments:
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the office of Federal Student Aid is executing on President Trump's promise to provide student loan relief to tens of millions of borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.
All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. This will allow borrowers to temporarily stop their payments without worrying about accruing interest.
For more information, click here.
Governor Abbott's Executive Orders:
Order No. 1 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
Order No. 2 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
Order No. 3 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Order No. 4 - In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.
This executive order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This executive order does not mandate sheltering in place. All critical infrastructure will remain operational, domestic travel will remain unrestricted, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services. For offices and workplaces that remain open, employees should practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVD-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this executive order will expire.
For more information, click here.
Chamber of Commerce Resources:
Food Bank and Delivery Options:
Free School Breakfast and Lunch for Students: