COVID-19 Resources for Granite Staters
Keeping Safe from COVID-19
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has great resources for keeping your family safe from COVID-19. A link to its website can be found here. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you do not feel well.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
New Hampshire Specific COVID-19 Information
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has helpful state-based information about COVID-19. You can find a link to its website here.
If you have questions about COVID-19, please:
Phone dial 1-866-444-4211
Direct Payment to Granite Staters (Economic Impact Payments)
On March 27th, Congress passed H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provides direct financial support to Americans to help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
To qualify for this one-time payment, you must have an active Social Security Number (SSN), meet income eligibility requirements, and no one else may claim you as a dependent. Individuals may receive up to $1,200 and joint-filers may receive up to $2,400. Those who file as a Head of Household, may be eligible for an additional $500 per child under the age of 17.
Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return to receive $1,200. Social Security recipients who do file tax returns will be eligible for the payment, contingent on their income not exceeding the mentioned caps.
If you had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 or were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn't plan to, you can use this link to provide the IRS with your information to receive an economic impact payment.
Support for Small Businesses
The CARES Act created the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides small businesses, non-profits, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors with a low interest loan that can be converted into a grant if it is used towards payroll, rent, and other eligible expenses.
If you would like more information about the Paycheck Protection Program or other advice for handling business challenges due to COVID-19, please visit the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center’s website.
The Small Business Administration also has helpful information about the Paycheck Protection Program and other financing options available to help small businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis. Their website can be visited here.
Workers across New Hampshire who have lost their job as a result of COVID-19 are now eligible for expanded unemployment benefits.
The CARES Act provides unemployed individuals with $600 a week -- in addition to their standard benefits -- until July 31st. In addition, the CARES Act provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation eligibility on top of the current 26 weeks.
New Hampshire residents, including independent contractors and those who are self-employed, should apply for unemployment benefits at nhes.nh.gov or call 603-271-7700.
Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Survivors
For many Granite Staters, home is not a safe place for them because of abuse of sexually violent family members or acquaintances.
If you are a victim or survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault who needs support, call the confidential 24/7 statewide New Hampshire hotline for domestic violence at 1-866-644-3574 and sexual assault at 1-800-277-5570.
Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, outstanding direct student loans have been placed in forbearance, interest-free, until September 30, 2020. The Department of Education’s coronavirus resource website provides helpful additional information about student loans and can be found here.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has delayed the 2020 filing deadline three months to July 15. This provides Granite Staters with extra time to file their taxes without any penalty to themselves or their businesses.
Under the CARES Act, small- to medium- sized businesses now have the opportunity to apply for refundable tax credits to assist in covering the cost of providing employees with paid sick leave.
Businesses can learn more about this tax credit opportunity here.
During these unique times, Granite Staters should think twice before travelling outside the United States. If you do plan on travelling, please consult the State Department’s travel advisory page. If you are stranded outside the U.S., you can notify the State Department of your situation via their 24/7 hotline:
Travelers located in the U.S. and Canada: 888-407-4747
Travelers located overseas: 202-501-4444
It is strongly encouraged that travelers abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive updates.
During these uncertain times, I want Granite State veterans to know the VA is there for them. New Hampshire veterans can visit the website of their nearest VA Medical Center for important information and updates related to COVID-19.