As coronavirus grips the nation and spreads throughout the world, it is understandably causing anxiety and disrupting our lives. Our response needs to rise to the occasion - providing health services, economic relief, and reassurance that we can make it through this crisis. Your safety, social well-being, and financial security are utmost in my mind. Thank you for the role you play in helping our community surmount this crisis. Stay healthy.
County of San Diego Coronavirus Website If you want to receive text alerts to your mobile phone from the County of San Diego on the coronavirus, text "COSD COVID19" to 468-311.
As we continue to face this outbreak, my office will be working diligently to keep constituents informed about the virus and to help those who need assistance.
Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Website
Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
On March 30, the most significant legislation in the fight against COVID-19 was signed into law. This bill, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, will support families, help us recover financially, and throw a rescue line to small businesses. Simply put, it will save lives.
Many of you have contacted my office with questions about the CARES Act and how it will impact you. I've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and answered them below. I appreciate your calls and emails and will continue to do what I can to help.
CARES Act: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who qualifies to receive a cash payment (rebate) and how much will people receive?
A: Anyone who has a social security number and has an adjusted gross income up to $99,000 (or $198,000 for married couples) is eligible to receive a rebate. Single individuals with incomes up to $75,000 will receive $1,200, married couples with incomes up to $150,000 will receive $2,400, and those with children will receive an additional $500 for each claimed child dependent (under 17). The rebate amount phases out at a 5% rate ($5 for every additional $100 of income) above adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for joint filers.
Q: When and how will rebates be delivered?
A: Rebates will be delivered automatically by the IRS. For those who filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or address information already on file with the IRS. Those who receive rebates via direct deposit can expect a payment within a few weeks. Rebates sent via check can take longer and may see a delay.
Q: Do the rebates need to be repaid?
A: No, these payments do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021.
Q: Will I be taxed on this money?
A: No, rebates are not taxable.
Q: Can those collecting Social Security or disability also receive a rebate?
A: Everyone is eligible for the rebate payments as long as they have an social security number and their household income is not higher than the threshold explained above. This includes Social Security beneficiaries (retirement, disability, survivor) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Social Security beneficiaries will be paid automatically, whether or not they filed a return. Others – including SSI recipients who do not file taxes – may need to take additional action to be determined by the IRS.
Q: Will the rebate affect my eligibility for benefits from federal programs?
A: No, the payment is considered a tax credit, not income, and will not affect eligibility for federal programs.
Q: What if I am self-employed or an independent contractor and my work has been impacted by the coronavirus?
A: The CARES Act temporarily expands unemployment insurance to cover individuals who are not traditionally covered, including the self-employed, gig-workers, independent contractors. Additionally, 50 percent of certain self-employment taxes are deferred through the end of 2020. Deferred taxes will not become due until end of 2021 and end of 2022, with 50% of the liability being paid at each date. Independent contractors are also eligible for assistance through the Small Business Administration’s new Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Emergency Grant Program. For information specific to self-employed and independent contractors from the California EDD, click here.
Q: If I already used up my unemployment benefits for the year, but find myself unemployed again due to COVID-19, am I eligible to apply for unemployment again?
A: Yes. You are eligible for up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits through December 31, 2020 as long as your job loss was coronavirus-related.
Q: What support is there for small businesses?
A: $350 billion is now available for a new Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. The program will provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. Refundable tax credits are available for private-sector employers that are required to offer coronavirus related paid leave to employees. An employee retention tax credit is available for struggling businesses that are not eligible or choose not to participate in the new SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Any business that has been forced to fully or partially suspend operations, or that has seen a significant drop in revenues is eligible for a 50-percent credit for wages paid to furloughed or reduced-hour employees. The CARES Act creates a new SBA Economic Injury Emergency Grant Program. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For more information about SBA programs and resources, click here.
Economic Impact Payments
The first stimulus payments have been sent via direct deposit. The IRS will continue to send payments through direct deposit this week. Paper checks are expected to begin being mailed in May. However, this process that may be delayed as the Treasury has announced changes to include the President's name on the checks.
For Those Who File Taxes
If you file taxes and have not received a payment, the IRS has created a tool to help ensure you get your payment. You can use the "Get My Payment" application to:
- Check your payment status
- Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
- Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS does not have your direct deposit information and they have not sent your payment yet
- Update your mailing address for check payments
NOTE: The "Get My Payment" app is now available. However, we are hearing reports that some users are experiencing technical issues and receiving error messages. The House Ways & Means Committee is communicating these issues to the IRS so they can be resolved promptly.
If you receive an error message while using this app, please feel free to contact my office so we can share your experience with the IRS.
For Those Who Do Not File Taxes
If you do not file taxes, you can use the IRS's "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here" application to provide simple information and ensure you receive a payment.
You can use this application if:
- You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income. Or...
- You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons.
For a full list of questions and answers regarding assistance in this bill, please click here. If you have other questions, please feel free to email me or call my office.
Rebates will be available throughout the rest of 2020 to give those who wish to receive a payment time to provide their payment information.
Avoid Scams Related to Payments
The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.
If you require more time beyond the new July 15 deadline to file, you can request an October 15 extension. You have until the new deadline to request an extension.
For more information about taxes or the economic impact payment from the IRS, please click here.
IRS Guidance on Returning a Payment
An Economic Impact Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments.
The entire Payment should be returned unless the Payment was made to joint filers, in which case, only the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent should be returned. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.
If the payment was a paper check:
- Write "Void" in the endorsement section on the back of the check.
- Mail the voided Treasury check immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- Don't staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
- Include a note stating the reason for returning the check.
If the payment was a paper check and you have cashed it, or if the payment was a direct deposit:
- Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed below.
- Write on the check/money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury” and write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient of the check.
- Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the Economic Impact Payment.
For California residents, the IRS mailing address is:
Fresno Refund Inquiry Unit
5045 E Butler Avenue
Mail Stop B2007
Fresno, CA 93888
Testing for Coronavirus
Testing is administered through primary care physicians who must coordinate with public entities to get the test for COVID-19. If you are exhibiting symptoms, please call ahead before visiting your doctor or call 211 for local guidance.
If you do not have health insurance and believe you may be sick, you should seek testing and treatment through a community clinic. Please call first before visiting. For information about community resources, please click here or call the 211 helpline.
Under the recently passed House bill, everyone will have access to testing for COVID-19 at no cost. More tests are becoming available to meet the growing demand.
Thanks to legislation passed by Congress, states will have new resources and flexibility to provide unemployment benefits to laid-off and furloughed workers. Click here for resources for employers and workers from the State’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency.
Resources for Small Businesses
Rep. Davis Asks Federal Reserve to Help Small Businesses Access Coronavirus Relief
Coronavirus Small Business Resources Flyer
Congress secured $350 billion in forgivable loans and $10 billion in grants to small businesses, tribal business concerns, and certain nonprofits in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Here are few programs and resources for small businesses and nonprofits from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a new SBA program created by the CARES Act. Loans administered under this program are guaranteed by the federal government and can be forgiven when used for payroll costs to retain workers and other qualifying expenses.
The maximum loan under PPP is $10 million, with each borrower's loan size based on a formula regarding payroll costs. A PPP Loan can be used for employee salaries, paid sick and medical leave, insurance premiums, as well as mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments. Independent contractors, sole-proprietors, and other self-employed persons are eligible for these loans.
Starting today, April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive PPP loans through existing SBA lenders. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply starting April 10, 2020.
For more information about the Paycheck Protection Program, click here. For a fact sheet about the program, click here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Small businesses, nonprofits (including private nonprofits), tribal businesses, cooperatives, and ESOPs with fewer than 500 employees or any individual operating as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor are also now eligible for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, small business owners nationwide are eligible to apply for an advance of up to $10,000 on this loan. Even if a loan is ultimately denied, the business does not have to pay back the advance. This is immediate, free aid for businesses.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
For more information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, click here.
For a side by side comparison of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, click here.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The Express Bridge Loan program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can be used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
For more information about Express Bridge Loans, click here.
SBA Debt Relief
The SBA is providing some relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this effort, SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans, if the disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.
For more information about SBA Debt Relief, click here.
Resources and Information
Here is a list of useful websites to help you during this emergency.
Coronavirus Tax Relief
We know constituents have questions about tax relief. The IRS now has a dedicated section on its website focused on resources to help taxpayers and businesses affected by the coronavirus. The page will be updated as new information becomes available. To learn more, please click here.
Rep. Susan Davis Cosponsors the All Dependent Children Count Act to cover dependents up to age 24
Just because schools are closed doesn't mean learning has to stop. KPBS, San Diego County Office of Education and San Diego Unified School District have partnered for an initiative called At Home Learning: Where Children Matter.
This is a free service.
Emergency Funding for Colleges and University
As a result of the CARES Act, colleges and universities in San Diego County will receive more than $137 million in emergency funding. At least $71 million of the funding each institution receives will be distributed to students in the form of emergency cash assistance grants to help pay for housing, food, and other basic essentials. Students should contact their institutions for more information about how they can apply for an emergency grant.
School Meals During Closures
Schools in San Diego County have closed in an effort to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Several school districts will continue to provide school meals during the closures. To find which sites will be providing meals for students, please click here.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (Pandemic EBT) benefits will be available for eligible California families soon. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals at school will get extra food benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
Pandemic EBT benefits will be issued on an EBT card (known as P-EBT) that can be used to purchase groceries for families with school children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals when school is out of session due to a pandemic. Families will get up to $365 per eligible child on their P-EBT card to use on food and groceries.
Families with children who get CalFresh, Medi-Cal or Foster Care benefits do not need to apply. P-EBT cards will being arriving in the mail soon and most will get their P-EBT card in the mail through May.
Families with children who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and who do not get their P-EBT card in the mail, must apply online before June 30, 2020. The online application will launch later this month.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created the Pandemic EBT program to provide families emergency food assistance in the event of a prolonged school closure. California is among the first states to have a Pandemic EBT program approved by USDA.
For more information on Pandemic EBT, please click here.
Nutrition Assistance for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federal assistance program for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children under the age of five. WIC continues to operate during the pandemic in order to provide important and necessary services to families.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act made critical changes to allow individuals to access WIC services without jeopardizing their health. While WIC offices remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all appointments and benefits are being provided by phone.
In response to WIC authorized foods being in short supply on store shelves, WIC has temporarily expanded the list of approved foods to offer a greater selection of options for families through May 31, 2020. These options include many new brands, flavors, and package sizes. You can find a full list of additional food choices here.
If your income has been affected by recent events, and you are pregnant or a caretaker of a child under age five, you may qualify for WIC. This program can help you get access to healthy foods, nutrition information, breastfeeding support, and community resources.
For more information about WIC and how to enroll, please click here.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress strengthened the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known as CalFresh in California. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorized an Emergency Allotment benefit for SNAP recipients.
Beginning last month, households that received CalFresh in March should have received an Emergency Allotment benefit on their EBT card. A second allotment will be issued this month for any household that received CalFresh in April.
Additionally, California became the first state to receive federal approval for a pilot program allowing online grocery purchases using SNAP benefits. As of last week, CalFresh households can now make purchases online.
For more information about CalFresh and EBT Online, click here.
Other Food Assistance Resources
Governor Newsom announced a new program for local governments to provide restaurant delivery service to older Californians. More information is available here and sign-up details will be available soon.
Congress secured $850 million in emergency funding to help food banks across the country. Food banks have been critical to ensuring families in San Diego do not go hungry during difficult times.
There are several food banks and food pantries around the county that provide emergency food assistance for those in crisis.
For information about food assistance resources in San Diego County, click here.
Additional Congressional Action to Combat the Coronavirus
Davis Leads Delegation Letter Urging Help for San Diego Zoo and Safari Park in Next Economic Relief Bill
Congresswoman Susan Davis Urges Funding for Postal Service in Next Economic Relief Package
Congresswoman Susan Davis Votes for Further Aid for Small Businesses, Hospitals, and Funding for More Testing
Congresswoman Susan Davis Cosponsors Legislation to Provide Recurring Relief Payments to Americans
In Response to Rising Unemployment, Democrats Introduce Legislation to Invest $15 Billion in Workforce Training Needed to Relaunch the Economy
Prior to the CARES Act, Congress has passed two key pieces of legislation to address the coronavirus outbreak.
The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act provides $8.3 billion of entirely new funds. This package:
- Commits more than $3 billion to the development of treatments and a coronavirus vaccine and includes an additional $300 million to ensure Americans will have access to the vaccine regardless of their ability to pay
- Provides $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness and response, including nearly a billion dollars specifically to alleviate the immense financial strain on state, local, tribal and territorial hospitals and health systems
- Protects public health by allowing Medicare providers to extend telemedicine services to seniors regardless of where they live, at an estimated cost of $500 million
- Supports small businesses impacted by this epidemic, allowing for an estimated $7 billion in low-interest SBA loans to those affected
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill will help in key areas:
- Free testing for COVID-19
- 14 days paid sick leave
- Help for the unemployed
- School meals during closures
As you may know, according to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick, avoid travel
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces daily
If you think you are exhibiting symptoms, please call ahead before visiting your doctor or call 211 for guidance. Click here for more information about what you can do if you are sick. For a comprehensive list of guidance documents from the California Department of Public Health, please click here.
Safe Storage of Firearms
The National Instant Credit Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has seen a dramatic increase in background checks for firearm purchases during the pandemic reaching more than 3.7 million checks in March alone. While families are at home, please remember to safely and properly store any firearms in proper locked cabinets, safes, gun vaults, or storage cases inaccessible to children. With more children home from school and mounting anxiety over coronavirus, the risk of suicides, unintentional shootings, and even homicides could be greatly increased. In San Diego, the City Attorney’s Safe Storage Ordinance takes the California law a step further by specifying how firearms must be stored.
We Have Updated Our Office Policy
Due to the current situation, we are suspending in-person meetings and many of my staff are working remotely.
Constituent service continues to be our top priority. To minimize unnecessary exposure, we have implemented a “no contact policy” as recommended by the Office of the Attending Physician and the CDC. I encourage constituents to contact my office via phone before visiting. If you require constituent services, please click here. If you have any questions, please call (619) 280-5353.