COVID-19 Legislative Action
Last updated 4/21/2020 3:57:10 PM
Latest from the Regional/County GOVERNMENT
- March 23
- March 22: For general questions on COVID-19, call or text 2-1-1. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in 150 languages. Text messaging services are available in English and Spanish.
Latest from the California State GOVERNMENT
Latest from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
- March 27: House of representatives passed $2 trillion stimulus package on March 27, which includes:
- Support for large and small businesses impacted by COVID
- Direct payment to low- and middle-income families
- Support for paid leave for employees, even for temporarily closed businesses
- Increased aid for workers who have been laid off or had hours or wages cut
- Expansion of unemployment benefits to extend insurance by13 weeks and a 4-month enhancement of other benefits
- $130 billion in aid for hospitals
- $150 billion for some state and local governments
- Is there a HOTLINE set up to help me navigate all of these resources?
Santa Clara County has also set up a navigation hotline. People who have questions about safety net benefits, EDD eligibility and application, or other coronavirus-related resources can call the hotline. Callers can leave a message in English, Español, or Tiếng Việt (with more languages to come) and a navigation manager will call them back within 24 hours. 408-809-2124
- Financial and Legal Assistance for Workers
The Santa Clara County Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) and the Fair Workplace Collaborative launched Santa Clara County CAN (COVID-19 Assistance Navigation) to assist workers impacted by COVID-19. People who have questions about safety net benefits, EDD eligibility and application, or other coronavirus-related resources can call the multilingual hotline at 408-809-2124. In addition, the OLSE Attorney Staffed Advice Line at 1-866-870-7725 is available to workers seeking legal guidance for a potential violation of their rights in the workplace. This line is also available to businesses seeking compliance information. For more information go to www.SantaClaraCountyCAN.org or www.SCCFairWorkplace.org
- Resources for workers and employers
The State of California is taking proactive steps to ensure that workers affected by COVID-19 are protected from discrimination and understand all the benefits available to them.
- If you are unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness, you may qualify for Disability Insurance.
- If you are unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member, you may qualify for Paid Family Leave.
- If you lost your job or have had your hours reduced, you may be able to partially recover your wages by filing an Unemployment Insurance claim.
- If you or a family member is sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine, workers may use accrued paid sick leave in accordance with the law. If accrued sick leave is denied, you can file a Wage claim.
- If you are unable to do you usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.
For more information, please visit: https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/
- State and Federal Tax Relief (Please note that county property tax deadlines have not changed)
The deadline for filing California and federal tax returns has been extended. Taxpayers now have until July 15th to file and pay state and federal taxes. In addition, the California Franchise Tax Board and the Internal Revenue Service will waive interest and any late filing and payment penalties that would otherwise apply. The California Franchise Tax Board asks that taxpayers claiming the special COVID-19 relief write the name of the state of emergency (for example, COVID-19) in black ink at the top of the tax return to alert the Franchise Tax Board of the special extension period. If taxpayers are e-filing, they should follow the software instructions to enter disaster information.
Please visit the California Franchise Tax Board's website for more information about filing your state tax return and the Internal Revenue Service's website for more information about filing your federal tax return.
Please note that county property tax deadlines have not changed.
- Healthcare: Covered California Extended Enrollment
- Department of Motor Vehicles Services Changes (March 19)
On March 19, the DMV announced that it would be canceling all behind-the-wheel drive tests for the next 30 days, suspend extend office hours and Saturday field office service, and require appointments for in-office visits. The DMV previously announced a 60-day grace period for expired licenses and registrations so that at-risk populations can avoid required visits. For more information and to learn what services are available online, please visit: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv
- Help for students and student loans
- If you have student loans, you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program. Just remember, even though you don’t need to make payments now, interest will continue to accrue, and you will have to make up these amounts eventually. Contact your student loan servicer to find out more about your options. If you have a federal student loan, also ask your servicer about alternative repayment plans
- Help with insurance payments (March 18)
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a notice on March 18, 2020 requesting that all insurance companies provide their policyholders with at least a 60-day grace period to pay insurance premiums. Please call the Department of Insurance's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or visit: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/
- Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans (including gig workers)
- FEMA Public Assistance Guide
Eligible emergency protective measures taken at the direction or guidance of public health officials in response to this emergency, and not supported by the authorities of another federal agency, will be reimbursed strictly under the FEMA Public Assistance program. FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75 percent Federal cost share. Reimbursable activities typically include emergency protective measures such as the activation of State Emergency Operations Centers, National Guard costs, law enforcement and other measures necessary to protect public health and safety.
- California Employment Development Department
- Paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and employer help.
- Employees can miss work if family members have the virus, using Paid Family Leave. Unemployment assurance should apply to individuals if:
- Your hours are reduced due to the quarantine.
- You were separated from your employer during the quarantine.
- You are subject to a quarantine required by a medical professional or state or local health officer.
- Meals on Wheels
Service remains uninterrupted for Meals on Wheels, and constituents can call 2-1-1 for meal delivery.
2-1-1 can also help with shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality childcare, senior services, and more.
- 2-1-1 COVID Information Hotline and General Help Line
2-1-1 is for general information, questions and resources. By phone, 24/7 M-F it is available in 10 language. By text, English and Spanish.
2-1-1 can also help with shelter, counseling, employment assistance, quality childcare, senior services, Meals on Wheels and more.
- Medicare Tele-Health
- Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no out-of-pocket costs .
- Medicare covers all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 and might otherwise have been discharged from the hospital after an inpatient stay, but instead you need to stay in the hospital under quarantine.
- Medicare covers “virtual check-ins” so you can connect with your doctor by phone or video, or even an online patient portal, to see whether you need to come in for a visit. If you're concerned about illness and are potentially contagious, this offers you an easy way to remain at home and avoid exposure to others.
- Home loans (HUD-approved housing counselors)
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counselors can discuss options with you if you’re having trouble paying your mortgage loan or reverse mortgage loan. This may also include forbearance or a modified payment program.
- Credit Counselors
- Reputable credit counseling organizations are generally non-profit organizations that can advise you on your money and debts, and help you with a budget. Some may also help you negotiate with creditors.
- Court Information
Federal courts are individually coordinating with state and local health officials to obtain local information about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and some have issued orders relating to court business, and public and employee safety. Use the Federal Court Finder to link to a court's website for court specific information.
- Wif-Fi Access
- Comcast is increasing Internet speeds and lowering rates for new subscribers.
- AT&T, Verizon, and more than 100 telecommunications companies have committed to opening access during this crisis
- Where can I get tested?
'Project Baseline', by Google sister company Verily, is hosting drive-thru testing at the Santa Clara County. You must fill out the forms online AND qualify with the associated medical questions. If you qualify, you will be given the nearest location to go for testing. More here: https://www.projectbaseline.com/study/covid-19/
You can also call your primary healthcare provider and schedule an appointment. You must call or contact (if you have an app) BEFORE going to the hospital. You will be asked at many medical facilities if you have an appointment before being allowed to enter.