Important information about Coronavirus can be found below as well as links to additional resources.
South Carolina alerts and non-federal resources can be found here.
How to Protect Yourself
- Reduce contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently.
- Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you cannot wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick unless it is a medical emergency.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow.
- Wear a facemask if you ARE sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
What do I do if I think I’m sick?
- Stay home if you only have mild symptoms.
- Do not leave except for medical care.
- Do not visit public areas.
- Avoid public transportation.
- Isolate yourself from people and pets in your home.
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor: If you have a medical appointment, call your doctor’s office or emergency department, and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.
- Wear a facemask if you are around other people and before entering a medical office.
- Monitor your symptoms and seek medical right away if your illness is worsening (i.e. difficulty breathing).
- If you have home isolated, you can end isolation if:
- You have had no fever for at least 72 hours without the use of medication.
- Other symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath have improved.
- At least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
Social Security Administration
Effective March 17, 2020, Social Security Offices Will Only Offer Phone Service
If you need help from Social Security:
- Please use our secure & convenient online services available at www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices. You can apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits online, check the status of an application or appeal, request a replacement Social Security card (in most areas), print a benefit verification letter, and much more – from anywhere and from any of your devices. If you cannot conduct your Social Security business online, please check our online field office locator for specific information about how to directly contact your local office. If you already have an in-office appointment scheduled, we will call you to handle your appointment over the phone instead. If you have a hearing scheduled, we will call you to discuss alternatives for continuing with your hearing, including offering a telephonic hearing. Our call may come from a PRIVATE number and not from a U.S. Government phone. If you cannot complete your Social Security business online, please call our National 800 Number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is in daily communication with VA leadership and would like to share the following information.
What should veterans do if they think they have COVID-19?
Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected). Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.
What about routine appointments and previously scheduled procedures?
VA is encouraging all veterans to call their VA facility before seeking any care—even previously scheduled medical visits, mental health appointments, or surgical procedures. Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet and find out whether they should still come in for their scheduled appointments.
Can visitors still access VA medical facilities?
Many VA medical facilities have cancelled public events for the time being, and VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to postpone their visits to local VA medical facilities. Upon arrival, all patients, visitors, and employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure.
What about VA nursing homes and spinal cord injury units?
On March 10, 2020, VA announced that its 134 nursing homes (also called VA community living centers) and 24 spinal cord injury and disorder centers would be closed to all outside visitors.
As a result of social distancing, stay-at-home policies, and a weakened economy, many people have lost their jobs and need financial support to compensate for their lost wages. If you are in need of unemployment benefits during this crisis, visit the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce online at https://dew.sc.gov/covid-hub. This includes information on unemployment insurance and employer filed claims.
Small Business Relief & Assistance
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently accepting applications from business owners in need of disaster recovery loans. If you are a small business owner in need of assistance, you may qualify for low-interest federal disaster loans. Please visit this SBA website for more information on how to apply: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offer extensive guidance on their website.
For more information about the House passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act, click here.
For more information about the Emergency Paid Sick Leave policy in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, click here.
Information about the CARES Act:
- Comprehensive Summary of the Bill
- Senate Summary of the Bill
- Section-by-Section Senate Summary of the Bill
- Senate Summary of the Bill’s $340 Billion in Emergency Appropriations
- Fact Sheet and FAQ on the Bill’s Unemployment Compensation Provisions
- FAQ on the Bill’s Rebates (Direct Cash Payments to Americans)
- Explainer on How The Bill’s Rebates Work in Terms of Social Security
- Fact Sheet on the Bill’s Small Business Provisions
- Overview of the Bill’s Oversight and Accountability Provisions
- Fact Sheet on Financial Services Priorities Included in the Bill
- State-by-State Information on the Bill prepared by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities
- State-by State Information on the Bill prepared by the Tax Foundation
- Small Business Owner’s Guide to CARES Act
Federal Stimulus Check FAQs
Who gets a check?
Everyone is eligible for the full rebate payments as long as they have an SSN and their household income is not too high. Rebate payments start to phase out at the thresholds of $75,000 single, $112,500 head of household, and $150,000 married. This includes Social Security beneficiaries (retirement, disability, survivor) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients.
When will I get my check?
Checks are supposed to be produced “as rapidly as possible.”
How big will my check be?
Checks will be $1,200 per adult – or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly – and an additional $500 per child.
Is my check taxable?
No. This is not taxable income.
So how does this work? Do I need to file anything to get my check?
Technically, the checks are advances of refundable credits. The United States Treasury will advance your check based on your most recently filed tax return (2018 or 2019 tax return). If you haven’t filed a tax return, the bill allows Treasury to use the information on your 2019 Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, Form RRB-1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
Okay, I don’t understand. What is a refundable tax credit?
A refundable credit means that you can take advantage of the credit even if you do not owe any tax. Unlike with a nonrefundable credit, if you don’t have any tax liability, the “extra” credit is not lost but is instead refunded to you. In this case, the stimulus check acts like a refund that you get in advance based on your 2020 income. That’s confusing because you don’t know how much you’re going to earn in 2020, but it’s why the IRS is using earlier returns. But this advance payment on the credit does not affect your “normal” tax refund for 2020: you won’t lose out on your expected tax refund for 2020 with the check.
What if I am expecting a refund for the 2019 tax year?
Your 2019 refund will not be affected by the stimulus check.
What if I’ve moved?
Under the law, the Treasury must send notice of the payment by mail to your last known address. The notice will include how the payment was made and the amount of the payment. The notice will also include a phone number for the appropriate point of contact at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if you didn’t receive the payment. You can help make sure that it goes to the right place by updating your address after a move. Usually, you’d do that on your tax return, but you can also submit a federal form 8822, Change of Address (downloads as a PDF). It generally takes four to six weeks to process a change of address.
What about retired individuals?
Retired seniors are eligible so long as they meet the other criteria (Social Security numbers, income thresholds, etc.). If you depend on Social Security but normally don’t file a tax return, you do not need to file a tax return to get the check. The bill directs the Treasury to rely on your SSA-1099 form (or RRB equivalent) to figure and send your check.
What about those on government benefits? And those with no income?
Yes, eligible folks include those with no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs, such as SSI benefits. I’ve seen a lot of confusion about this: it’s because one of the original proposal limited the checks to those who earned income. This is no longer the case.
Will this affect my ability to continue utilizing my income-related federal program?
No. Like other tax credits, these payments do not count as income or resources for means-tested programs. So receiving a rebate will not interfere with someone’s eligibility for SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, ACA premium credits, TANF, housing assistance, or other income-related federal programs.
Will I still get the check if I owe the IRS some money?
Yes. If your refund would normally be seized to pay a tax debt, that shouldn’t happen here. Shouldn’t. Assuming it works as planned.
What if I don’t normally file taxes? Can I still get a check?
If you didn’t file a 2018 tax return, aren’t required to file for 2019, and don’t receive Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, click here to find out how you can receive your CARES Act $1200 payment.
Federal government resources:
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- IRS: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
- Veterans Affairs: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/
- Social Security Administration: https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/
- Medicare: https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus
- Federal Student Aid: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
- Small Business Administration: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
- FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac are offering mortgage forbearance programs. Click here for more information.
- If you believe you are a victim of an attempted scam or fraud involving COVID-19 you can contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or report it to the FBI here.
- Information on the Emergency Food Assistance Program can be found here.