COVID-19 Response and Resources for Tennesseans

FEDERAL COVID-19 RESPONSE

Government Response to Coronavirus, COVID-19 - https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus

IRS Tax Filing, Payment and Administrative Deadlines - https://www.irs.gov/

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

Relief for tax-exempt organizations and fiscal year businesses

Tax returns and payments for tax-exempt organizations and fiscal year businesses due between April and June are postponed until July 15, 2020.

Estate taxes

Tax return and payment deadlines for estate taxes and associated gift taxes, typically due within nine months from the date of death, are postponed to July 15, 2020.

Administrative deadlines

For all taxpayers, Treasury and the IRS are extending an additional 270 administrative deadlines to July 15, 2020. 

SNAP Benefits 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved Tennessee’s waiver to allow online purchasing to SNAP Households in the state. The program should be up and running in the coming months. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that Tennessee SNAP benefit recipients will soon be able to purchase groceries online. You can find more information here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot

As the Tennessee Department of Human Services works to implement online grocery shopping, you can find more general information on the SNAP program and eligibility here: https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/covid-19/snap-and-covid-19-faqs-.html

TENNESSEE RESOURCES


Tennessee’s Economic Recovery - the “Tennessee Pledge” -  https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery.html

On April 24, Gov. Bill Lee issued the “Tennessee Pledge,” the state’s guidance and best practices for Tennessee businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to keep employees and customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 General Guidelines for Businesses - https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery/general-guidelines-for-businesses.html

COVID-19 Assessment Sites in Tennessee - https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/remote-assessment-sites.html

Locations will be added daily. Tennesseans should first call their usual source of care. If an assessment cannot be done in that location, individuals should call the assessment sites prior to going onsite. Most locations do a phone assessment to determine if an in-person assessment or test is needed. Most individuals, particularly those with mild or no symptoms do NOT need a test.

Tennessee Department of Health - https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html

The Tennessee Department of Health is the primary agency of state government in Tennessee responsible for public health. Its workforce provides a variety of direct and indirect services to residents and visitors in all 95 counties of the state on a 24/7/365 basis.

Tennessee Department of Education - https://www.tn.gov/education.html

The Tennessee Department of Education is the state education agency of Tennessee. 

Food Assistance - Tennessee Department of Human Services Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) - https://www.tn.gov/humanservices/covid-19/p-ebt-and-covid-19-faqs.html 

Under the new P-EBT program, families of children who receive free or reduced meals at school or attend a Community Eligibility Provision school may receive financial assistance to replace school meals during the months of March, April and May due to COVID-19 school closures. *The application period has been extended to July 27, 2020, at 4:30 PM. Follow the link above to apply.     

COVID-19 RECOVERY RELIEF CHECKS

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available. 

For specific information from the IRS about the recovery relief checks, visit - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

Click here for specific resources for non-filers - https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

Click here for specific resources for those on Social Security - https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

Click here to check your payment status, confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check, or enter your bank account information for direct deposit if we don't have your direct deposit information and we haven't sent your payment yet - https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

CARES Act: Recovery Relief Check FAQ - https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/cares-act-recovery-check-faq

Click on the link above for information released by the Senate Finance Committee regarding recovery relief checks.

Click here for specific questions about the retirement provisions included in the CARES Act - https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/cares-act-retirement-provisions-faq

PAID SICK AND FAMILY LEAVE

U.S. Department of Labor - https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus).

Paid Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits for Small and Medium Size Businesses - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19.

More Resources for Employees and Employers - https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

The Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus while at the same time reimbursing businesses.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

As provided under the legislation, the U.S. Department of Labor will be issuing implementing regulations. Additionally, as warranted, the Department will continue to provide compliance assistance to employers and employees on their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development - https://www.tn.gov/workforce/covid-19.html

The fastest and most efficient way to file an unemployment claim is to go to www.Jobs4TN.gov. Due to the high volume of claims because of the COVID-19 emergency, if you file with any other method you could significantly delay the processing of your claim.

U.S. Department of Labor - https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Labor announced under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), states will administer an additional $600 weekly payment to certain eligible individuals who are receiving other benefits.

This program allows states to provide an additional $600 per week benefit to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (including Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX)), as well as the following unemployment compensation programs:  Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC); Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA); Extended Benefits (EB); Short-Time Compensation (STC); Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA); Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); and payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program. FPUC benefit payments are fully federally-funded.

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Notice: The SBA will resume accepting applications for the Paycheck Protection Program on Monday, April 27 at 10:30am.

The Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helps keep paychecks coming to millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $610 billion in loans to small businesses that can be forgiven if the loan is used to pay their employee’s wages and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Top-Line Overview - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf
PPP Specific Information for Borrowers - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Fact-Sheet.pdf
Borrower PPP Application Form - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf
PPP Specific Information for Lenders - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20Lender%20Information%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
Lender PPP Application Form - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-Lender-Application-Form-Fillable.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions About PPP - https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Frequently-Asked-Questions.pdf
More PPP Resources - https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses
List of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program by state as of April 23, 2020 - https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-04/Lenders%20participating%20in%20PPP%20by%20State_As%20of%2004%2023%2020.pdf
Updated information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act - https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm1026

Employee Retention Tax Credit under the CARES Act: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers - https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/faqs-employee-retention-credit-under-the-cares-act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is designed to encourage eligible employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19, with an employee retention tax credit.

Small Business Administration (SBA) 

General Information - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application - https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

NEED HELP?

Small businesses can contact a Small Business Development Center.

There are several locations across Tennessee and the website for all locations is https://www.tsbdc.org/

SBA Tennessee District Office

615 736 5881 (phone)

tn@sba.gov (email)

If a business wants to use an existing SBA approved lender, the SBA maintains a lender match website which is: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/lender-match

List of Tennessee Small Business Development Centers - https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/help-for-small-businesses

RESOURCES FOR MEDIUM AND LARGE BUSINESSES

*More than 500 employees

U.S. Department of Treasury - https://home.treasury.gov/coronavirus

The Treasury Department is supporting American workers and businesses who are impacted by the coronavirus. In February, Secretary Mnuchin was appointed to the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, where he meets daily with the Vice President and our nation’s top health officials. For the latest information from the Task Force, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/news/.

RESOURCES FOR TENNESSEE FARMERS

Tennessee Department of Agriculture - https://www.tn.gov/agriculture/topic/covid-19-response-and-resources.html

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation following Governor Bill Lee’s State of Emergency declaration. TDA takes the health of citizens and our staff very seriously and are following best practices to prevent further spread of the virus. TDA remains committed to protecting food safety, product quality, and fair commerce. Its department’s services will continue as usual, unless otherwise stated.

U.S. Department of Agriculture - https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus

The United States Department of Agriculture, also known as the Agriculture Department, is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, and food.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development - https://rd.usda.gov/coronavirus

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses, and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Please bookmark this page and check back regularly as circumstances are changing daily and the width and depth of our responses to your questions and concerns will certainly increase.

Additonal Fact Sheet: https://rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_RD_SA_COVID19_ProgramImmediateActions.pdf

RESOURCES FOR TENNESSEE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

US. Department of Health and Human Services -  https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/coronavirus/index.html

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the lead federal agency for the COVID-19 pandemic response. HHS is taking swift and decisive actions to contain the spread of the virus, provide resources to state, local, tribal, and territorial public health officials, develop therapeutics and vaccines, and make available proper protective equipment and medical supplies to support this nationwide response. Together with its federal partners, HHS is working to strengthen our frontline health care providers, first responders, and local communities and to bring together the top experts and researchers so that we can protect the health and well-being of the American public.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services - https://www.cms.gov/About-CMS/Agency-Information/Emergency/EPRO/Current-Emergencies/Current-Emergencies-page

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is a federal agency within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that administers the Medicare program and works in partnership with state governments to administer Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and health insurance portability standards.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration - https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/counterterrorism-and-emerging-threats/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

FDA is working with U.S. Government partners, including CDC, and international partners to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund - https://www.hhs.gov/provider-relief/index.html

The CARES Act provides $100 billion in relief funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response. This funding will be used to support healthcare-related expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19 and to ensure uninsured Americans can get testing and treatment for COVID-19.

Recognizing the importance of delivering funds in a fast and transparent manner, $30 billion is being distributed immediately – with payments arriving via direct deposit beginning April 10, 2020 – to eligible providers throughout the American healthcare system. These are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid.

American Hospital Association (AHA) - https://www.aha.org/2020-01-22-updates-and-resources-novel-coronavirus-2019-cov

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, the American Hospital Association has worked closely with the CDC, and other federal, state and local partners to respond to this challenge and to make sure hospitals and health systems have the most up-to-date information.

AHA Special Bulletin on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act - https://www.aha.org/system/files/media/file/2020/03/cares-act-financial-resources-to-assist-hospitals-health-systems-during-covid-19-crisis-3-30-2020.pdf

The American Hospital Association prepared a special bulletin highlighting several loan and payroll tax provisions in the CARES Act that may help hospitals and health systems maintain adequate cash flow.

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND SCHOOL PERSONNEL

U.S. Department of Education Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel - https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus

Through collaboration and coordination with State and local health departments, State and local educational agencies, other education officials, and elected officials, schools can disseminate critical information about the disease and its potential transmission to students, families, staff, and community.

On April 9, the U.S. Department of Education announced the first wave of emergency grants made available under the CARES Act. Click here for a breakdown of how much each Tennessee college and university is receiving in the first wave of emergency grants to help support students impacted by COVID-19 -  https://www.help.senate.gov/download/cares-act-section-18004a1-allocation-to-tennessee

Federal Student Aid Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents - https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) office of Federal Student Aid is actively monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak.

 The CARES Act, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. Below the Department of Education has answered questions about several provisions of the law.

 If you’re concerned about your studies or loan repayment, the Department of Education can help you understand what to do in certain circumstances. It will be adding information for students, borrowers, and parents to this page on a regular basis, so please check back frequently.

HELPING AMERICANS OVERSEAS

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, advising U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. 

Citizens overseas must decide now whether they would like to return to the U.S. There is no guarantee that the Department of State will be able to continue to provide repatriation assistance and transportation options to the United States, as current options may be unavailable in the future. If you choose to remain overseas, you should be prepared to remain where you are for the foreseeable future.

For more information on the Department of State’s Global 'Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel' -https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/travel-advisory-alert-global-level-4-health-advisory-issue.html

 

If you would like to return to the U.S., please follow the steps below:

First, register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) - https://step.state.gov/step/

The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Second, register with the Repatriation Task Force by calling (202) 485-1888 or emailing repatriationtaskforce@groups.state.gov

The Repatriation Task Force is directly charged with coordinating and providing support for U.S. citizens stranded overseas. In addition to registering on STEP.gov, the State Department suggests all U.S. citizens send their full name, date of birth, passport number, specific location, phone number, and any additional contact information to the Repatriation Task Force.

Third, follow the U.S. State Department and your local U.S. Embassy’s webpages and social media accounts, including Twitter, for the most up to date information

For the most up to date information from the State Department regarding travel advisories, repatriation flights, and other guidance regarding COVID-19, please monitor travel.state.gov and follow the State Department on Twitter at @TravelGov.

You can find additional country-specific information and embassy locations at - https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html

Contacting Congressional Offices:

If you have already contacted another congressional office regarding your repatriation, please do not send a duplicate inquiry with our office. This can lead to confusion and delay getting the information to the appropriate person. If this is your first attempt to reach a congressional office, please see the list below for what information we need you to provide.

If you are contacting on behalf of another Tennessean, please share with them the above resources and have them contact us directly.  If this is not possible, please provide the following information:

INFORMATION:

Full Name of Person(s) Abroad:

TN Address:

Best contact information:

              Email:  

              Phone:

Current location/situation(please provide as much detail as you can):

Note: If you are a Tennessean but are contacting us about someone who is not a Tennessee resident, please contact the congressional office that represents the state where they live.  This will help ensure they receive the quickest response.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

FEMA released information for how to help via donations, volunteering and for the private sector.

Their specific guidance includes:

  • Businesses that have medical supplies or equipment to donate are asked to go to www.fema.gov and provide of the offer through our online medical supplies and equipment form. The direct web link is: https://www.fema.gov/covid19offers.
  • Businesses that want to sell medical supplies or equipment to the federal government, please submit a price quote under the COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation: COVID-19 PPE and Medical Supplies Request for Quotation.
  • If you are a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID response – email nbeoc@max.gov.
  • If you are a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.
  • If you are interested in doing business with FEMA and supporting the response to COVID- 19 with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, please submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) team at DHSIndustryLiaison@hq.dhs.gov.
  • Licensed medical volunteers can offer their services by registering with the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals. You can access a direct link to do so through fema.gov.
  • Donate Blood: One thing people can do to help is to donate blood. Many blood drives have been cancelled, impacting the supply. Blood donation centers have the highest standards of safety and infection control. To find where you can donate blood, visit redcross.org.

Private Sector Donations to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) - https://www.tn.gov/tema/news/2020/3/23/private-sector-ppe-donations.html

Thank you for your interest in helping the State of Tennessee get much needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are a business that has PPE to donate, you can email covid.ppedonations@tn.gov

Donations are also being accepted at armories throughout Tennessee. You can drop off donations from 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m local time, Monday - Friday.  

TN Creators Respond - https://www.tnchamber.org/responds

TN Creators Respond is a program created by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry to help connect the dots between manufacturers and companies with the capability of producing, warehousing and or distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) or components of PPE that are needed in hospital systems and medical centers across our state.

TN Creators Respond will assist in matching up resources to maximize efforts across our state to meet the needs of our medical community during this unprecedented time.

E-MAIL ME

You can e-mail Senator Lamar Alexander with any other COVID-19 related questions by visitinghttps://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

This is for correspondence only. To request a meeting with the Office of Senator Lamar Alexander, please fax your request to (202) 228-3398, ATTN: Scheduler.