Question & Answers
First and foremost, I hope you’re all staying healthy and safe. I wanted to provide some answers to questions I’ve been hearing in the last few days on the CARES Act and on COVID-19 more broadly. I hope you find these FAQ’s helpful. Another great resource to check out is the Pierce County Health Department’s website on COVID – 19. It provides a great fact-based path to keeping yourself safe in these uncertain times. You can find it at their website.
I’d also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all our Medical Professionals out there who are putting their patient’s safety first. You are all the great heroes of our time. To the rest of you, thanks and please stay healthy!
Q: How do I get my individual stimulus check?
A: If you filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019 you are set! If you didn’t you’ll need to file your taxes this year. You can find out more at the IRS's website, (click here for more info).
Q: Will I have to repay this money? Will it be counted as part of my taxable income?
A: No. This is an advance payment of a Tax Credit in 2020 and will not be counted as part of your income in 2020. Coronavirus FAQ - NY Times
Q: When will I get my stimulus payment?
A: Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin said on Sunday, March 29th that direct deposits should be made within three weeks (April 17th), and he stated he is pressing banks to make loans available by the end of this week (April 3rd)
Q: If I’m financially safe and don’t need the stimulus check and I want to help my community how can I do that?
A: One suggestion I really like is buy gift cards from your local gym, hair salon, or other small business that is currently forced to close by the outbreak. This will get them much needed cash now and you a service after the stay in place orders are lifted. Go Fund Me has also set up a link where you can donate to small businesses in your area. You can find a local small business to support here.
Q: What if I lost my job? What does the CARES Act do for me?
A: The CARES Act is increasing the unemployment benefit by $600 a week and covers independent contractors (like Uber or Lyft drivers). This is on top of whatever you would be owed by the State of Washington (Maximum State benefit = $790, Minimum = $188). This means you will be eligible for between $788 and $1,390 per week for up to 39 weeks.
Q: How do I file for unemployment and how long will it last?
A: You apply on the Washington State ESD website (click here). They have a great COVID-19 section on their site you can access here. If you meet the eligibility requirements (lost your job due to impacts of COVID-19, you have the disease, or are caring for someone who does) then you will be entitled to 39 weeks of unemployment.
Q: I own a Small Business what help is in the bill for me?
A: The Small Business Association (SBA) has outlined four programs to help that you can apply for here.
The programs include  a Paycheck Protection Program of $349 billion that will provide a loan to a small business of up to $10 million (based on previous 8 week payroll +25%) that can be deferred for six months and can be forgiven if you are able to maintain your workforce,  Economic Injury Disaster Loans that will be awarded within 3 days of a successful application and provide up to $2 million for working capital and an advance of up to $10,000 (the advance does not have to be repaid),  SBA debt relief – under this program the SBA will pay the principal and interest on new and current SBA 7(a) loans for six months, and  SBA Express Bridge loans of up to $25,000 while a business awaits an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. You can find out more at the SBA's website.