FAQ on COVID-19 Federal Help
Q: Will I receive a $1,200 check from the federal government to help with the economic stress of COVID-19?
A: Most likely, yes – if you make less than $75k a year individually or $150k as a couple and filed taxes in 2018, 2019, or have a Form SSA-1099 that the government can reference, you will receive a payment in a few weeks. Parents will also receive $500 per child. Social security beneficiaries are also eligible for the payment. Couples who file jointly will be eligible for up to $2,400. If your income exceeds one of the income thresholds, your tax rebate will be $5 less for every additional $100 of taxable income.
Q: I own a small business – can I get a loan? Am I eligible?
A: If your business is struggling from the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be eligible for different types of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans such as an Economic Injury Disaster Loan or a Paycheck Protection Loan. Businesses and 501(c)(3)s with less than 500 employees will likely be eligible. The SBA will offer loans at a low-interest rate, that may be partially forgivable, and that are 100% guaranteed by the SBA. Contact the Small Business Administration, South Dakota District Office at 605-330-4243 or sba.gov/sd for more information.
Q: I own a small business and can’t pay rent. What will the Paycheck Protection Loan cover?
A: Small businesses will be able to use the Paycheck Protection Loan program to take out a loan for up to $10 million. If a business retains its staff, a small business owner may have 8 weeks of payroll costs, health care benefits, rent, and utilities forgiven as part of the loan by the government. Contact the Small Business Administration, South Dakota District Office at 605-330-4243 or sba.gov/sd for more information.
Q: I’m an independent contractor – am I eligible for unemployment?
A: Yes. The Phase Three CARES Act expanded unemployment insurance for an additional four months. Individuals who are self-employed or an independent contractor are now eligible.
Q: I lost my job and can’t pay my student loans. What do I do?
A: Federal student loan borrowers can pause their federal student loan payments until September 30, 2020. The president has also suspended interest on federal student loans until further notice. Borrowers must contact their loan servicer to suspend their payments.
Q: As a rancher feed cattle prices and my business have been hit hard by the market downturn. Will I get any help?
A: The CARES Act includes $14 billion to replenish the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Credit Corporation, making another round of MFP possible and gave the Secretary of Agriculture an additional $9.5 billion to provide relief to livestock and dairy producers. The South Dakota delegation fought for these funds, and while the USDA Secretary will determine how they are allocated, our producers will receive help.
Q: Will tribal governments receive federal assistance?
A: Yes – there is a pot of relief funds specifically for tribal governments. Additional resources have been allocated for the Indian Health Services, Indian education, food distribution on reservations, and tribal housing entities.
Q: My child’s school is shut down until May, will they have to repeat the school year?
A: Contact your local school about their plan for the remainder of the year. Congress has provided flexibilities by diverting funds to technology programs for distance education. Additionally, the Trump administration has waived the requirement for standardized testing for the year.
Q: I can’t afford to get tested for COVID-19. What should I do?
A: All tests for COVID-19 are covered with no out of pocket costs.