Back to Work

Back to Work

And what else you need to know today. An OSHA guide helps define work-related asthma, informs you why you should care and tells you what to do if you have asthma from work. Here’s what we know today about the continuing spread of the coronavirus and its ripple effects in Chicago and Illinois. When will we stop receiving the $600? Could it be extended? Your money questions, answered by USA TODAY Network financial experts. Elite Transit Solutions (ELITE), a recognized leader in revolutionizing the freight management logistics industry through technology solutions, has been awarded a Great Place to Work® certification for 2020. ELITE previously earned the prestigious designation in both 2017 and 2018. Great Place to Work

And what else you need to know today.

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In mid-April, something strange started happening in the U.S. economy: Smaller companies — those with fewer than 500 workers — started rehiring workers more quickly than larger companies. You can see the pattern in this chart:

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During a typical crisis, large companies have important advantages, like more cash on hand and better digital operations. So why were smaller companies apparently faring better during the lockdowns this spring?

The answer, it appears, is government policy.

The economic-rescue plan that the federal government created in March included loans — from the Paycheck Protection Program, or P.P.P. — meant to reduce job losses, mostly at companies with fewer than 500 workers. If the companies maintained their employment levels, the government would ultimately forgive the loans.

In all, the P.P.P. saved between 1.5 million and 3.5 million jobs, according to a new study by researchers at M.I.T., the Federal Reserve and the ADP Research Institute.

The study adds to the mounting evidence about one kind of economic stimulus that seems to have worked especially well during the pandemic: direct subsidies to businesses, to keep people employed.

Countries that have enacted aggressive versions of those subsidies — like Germany, the Netherlands and New Zealand — have kept unemployment fairly low. Those programs have several advantages, allowing businesses to close for public health reasons without severing their relationship with their workers or leaving those workers without income.

The U.S. has instead taken a scattershot approach, with a combination of direct payments to families (including many who have not lost a job), unemployment benefits and the P.P.P. loans. Many companies that didn’t get loans — because the companies were too big or because the money was running out — have laid off workers. The U.S. unemployment rate last month was 11.1 percent, compared with 6.2 percent in Germany.

Business subsidies do have one major disadvantage, especially relative to unemployment benefits. The government can’t know precisely which companies would have held onto their workers even without help and, as a result, subsidizes some firms that don’t need it.

“This is very expensive,” David Autor, an M.I.T. professor and one of the economists who did the new study, told me. But, he added, “we got something for it.”

What’s next? The latest version of stimulus that the House of Representative passed includes an expansion of employment subsidies, but it may not be part of the final plan. The Senate has not yet passed a new version of stimulus.

Congressional leaders and Trump administration are now negotiating over what will be included in the final package, including unemployment benefits, a tax cut, aid to states, money for virus testing and more. The Times covers the latest developments here.

An economic cliff: The expansion of unemployment passed in March is set to expire next week, and economists believe its end is likely to damage the economy.

More than 1,100 Americans died of the coronavirus yesterday, the highest daily total since late May. “It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better,” President Trump said at his first televised news conference on the virus in weeks. “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is.”

Trump also urged Americans to wear masks, a sharp departure from previous comments, when he suggested that masks were a political statement against him.

Wider spread: The C.D.C. said the number of cases in the U.S. could be anywhere from two to 13 times higher than the official count. The findings suggest that large numbers of people without symptoms have kept the virus circulating in their communities. Still, virtually no places are near achieving herd immunity, the level of exposure at which the virus would stop spreading.

An interview: “I spoke to Anthony Fauci. He says his inbox isn’t pretty,” Jennifer Senior, a Times Opinion columnist, writes.

2. Biden rolls out plan for caregivers

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The Anti-Defamation League counted 42 killings in the United States last year that were committed by political extremists. Of those 42, right-wing extremists committed 38.

That continued a pattern. Over the past decade, right-wing extremists have committed more than 75 percent of killings by extremists.

Another such killing took place this week, according to investigators in New Jersey. They say that Roy Den Hollander fatally shot Daniel Anderl, the 20-year-old son of Esther Salas, a federal judge, and wounded Salas’s husband. Den Hollander identified himself as part of an “anti-feminist” movement doing battle with a cabal of “feminazis.” His online screeds also included racist language.

Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League points out that extremists on both ends of the political spectrum have committed violence over the years. On the left, the Weather Underground and some Black nationalist groups did so in the 1960s and ’70s, as did some animal-rights and environmental extremists in the 1990s. More recently, a left-wing gunman shot a Republican congressman and three other people at a baseball practice in 2017.

But that case has proved to be the exception in recent years.

Right-wing violence — by white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and others — began to mount in the 1980s and ’90s. It began rising again around 2008, around the same time as the election of the first Black president, Pitcavage said.

“This should no longer come as a shock to anyone,” Jonathan Greenblatt, the A.D.L.’s chief executive, said earlier this year. “Lawmakers, law enforcement and the public need to recognize the grave and dangerous threat posed by violent white supremacy. We cannot begin to defeat this deadly form of hatred if we fail to even recognize it.”

Related: Twitter said last night that it had removed thousands of accounts that spread messages about the false right-wing conspiracy theory known as QAnon, saying their messages could lead to harm.

PLAY, WATCH, EAT, PITCHIt’s tomato season

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You may not really need a recipe for a tomato sandwich. But this one from Melissa Clark, which calls for good bread and a few in-season heirloom tomatoes, turns a simple idea into something sublime.

Regular-season baseball returns tomorrow, with two televised night games that will start a 60-game schedule for each team.

What should you expect? The unexpected. Over a normal, 162-game season, rationality asserts itself: The best teams tend to finish at the top, and players’ statistics usually settle in a normal range. But the 2020 season will be so short that we could see things we haven’t seen in a long time.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, with a powerhouse roster, could post the best winning percentage in a century — or finish below .500. The low-budget Tampa Bay Rays could win their first title. A batter could hit .400 for the first time since 1941. “Root for chaos,” the baseball writer Joe Sheehan suggests. “We have to go into this not just accepting that, but embracing it.”

A recommendation for fans: Sheehan writes a newsletter (which requires a subscription) that consistently provides some of my favorite baseball analysis.

In The Times: My colleague Tyler Kepner looks at the upside and downside of a shortened season for each of the 30 teams.

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Just days after the country began shutting down, the neo-soul singer Erykah Badu streamed an interactive show from her Dallas home, complete with costume changes and multiple cameras. With a family to take care of and her crew’s jobs to protect, Badu initially charged fans $1 to watch. More than 100,000 have tuned in.

“I miss that synergy and energy between me and the audience,” Badu said of in-person concerts in an interview with The Times. “But I found a new way to express that, and it doesn’t take its place. It just evolved it to another place.”

Badu is building her own livestreaming company, while other artists have streamed performances through Instagram, media organizations and even retailers. In a package of articles, The Times looks at the livestreaming boom.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Author: David Leonhardt


Do You Have Work-Related Asthma? -- Occupational Health & Safety

Do You Have Work-Related Asthma? — Occupational Health & Safety

An OSHA guide helps define work-related asthma, informs you why you should care and tells you what to do if you have asthma from work.

OSHA is helping workers figure out if they have work-related asthma and what they can do about it. If you have a cough, wheezing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath or chest tightness, you might have work-related asthma.

What is Work-Related Asthma?

OSHA says that work-related asthma is a lung disease caused or made worse by exposures to substances in the workplace. Common exposure to chemicals, dust, old, animals and plants often cause work-related asthma. Asthma symptoms can start at work or within several hours after leaving work and may occur with no clear pattern.

One of the most common group of chemicals that causes work-related asthma is isocyanates. OSHA is working to reduce exposures to isocyanates and has identified their use innumerous workplaces.

Ask your employer if there is a risk of exposure to isocyanates at your workplace.

Why Should You Care About Work-Related Asthma?

Work-related asthma may result in long-term lung damage, loss of work days, disability or even death. Luckily, an early diagnosis and treatment of work-related asthma can lead to a better health outcome.

What to Do if You Think You Have Work-Related Asthma

If you think you may have work-related asthma, see your doctor as soon as possible and take a copy of OSHA’s pdf with you.

Work-Related Asthma Quick Facts

  • work-related asthma can develop over ANY period of time (days to years)
  • it is possible to develop work-related asthma even if your workplace has protective equipment, such as exhaust ventilation or respirators
  • work-related asthma can continue to cause symptoms even when the exposure
  • Source: ohsonline.com

    Author: Jul 22, 2020


    How does contact tracing work? (LIVE UPDATES)

    How does contact tracing work? (LIVE UPDATES)

    Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has been promising since April that he would step up efforts to track people potentially exposed to coronavirus patients. The practice, which involves tracking down people who were in contact with those who test positive, is regarded by health officials as key to limiting the virus’ spread and instrumental in saving lives.

    “Contact tracing allows us to break the chain of transmission to prevent large outbreaks and, ultimately save lives,” Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contact tracing typically involves:

  • Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious
  • Notifying contacts of their potential exposure
  • Referring contacts for testing
  • Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period
  • Pritzker is pledging more than $150 million to public health departments outside Cook County to help them bolster their contact tracing efforts. Another $60 million will be given to nine community organizations, also outside Cook, that will coordinate regional tracking efforts, state public health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said.

    The community organizations will contract with local groups to help reach “hard to reach” populations, including various ethnic groups, the homeless, migrant workers and others “leery of talking” with the government, Arnold said.

    The Trump administration will pay Pfizer nearly $2 billion for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is developing, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday.

    The U.S. could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement, Azar said.

    “Now those would, of course, have to be safe and effective” and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Azar said during an appearance on Fox News.

    Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced separately that the agreement is with HHS and the Defense Department for a vaccine candidate the companies are developing jointly. It is the latest in a series of similar agreements with other vaccine companies.

    The agreement is part of President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine program, under which multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being developed simultaneously. The program aims to deliver 300 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.

    Read the full report here.

  • Carlos Rosas, the friendly manager of popular fish shack Calumet Fisheries, has died of the coronavirus. He was 41.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed an additional 1,598 cases of the virus statewide on Wednesday, the highest total announced in a single day since early June.
  • I had just started on my bucket list (having taken a long-awaited trip to Cuba) when the coronavirus pandemic shut down my dreams of exotic travel.

    Stuck at home, my plans to take up line dancing and to play with clay in a pottery class also got put on hold.

    But as the Good Book teaches, there is a season for everything:

    “…A time to break down. And a time to build up;

    A time to keep silence and a time to speak,” the book of Ecclesiastes points out.

    Think about it.

    We are confronted with a worldwide pandemic that has killed more than 144,000 people in this country, most of them Black and Brown — highlighting long-standing racial inequities in our health care system.

    At the same time, we are witnessing the resurgence in blatant “Jim Crow” racism — to the point that a white police officer could calmly and publicly snuff out the life of George Floyd in Minneapolis during an arrest — igniting days of violent protests nationwide.

    Now is not the time to be silenced.

    Read Mary Mitchell’s full column here.

    Source: chicago.suntimes.com

    Author: Sun-Times staff


    How soon will the extra $600 in jobless benefits go away? Your money questions answered

    How soon will the extra $600 in jobless benefits go away? Your money questions answered

    It’s hard out there. And, in this time of uncertainty, USA TODAY is working to find answers to your money questions – anything from stimulus checks or unemployment benefits to your 401(k) or retirement plans. You can submit your questions here and read earlier answers below. We will be updating the Q&A, so check back often. But, also look to these places:

    Answer: Yes. Unless Congress takes immediate action, the extra $600 will end on July 25 in every state but New York where it will end on July 26.

    —Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones

    Answer: In some states, the benefit will shrink by more than half. In Arizona, the maximum weekly benefit is $240. In Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee, it is $275 per week. Check with your state’s department to determine you’re your benefit will be.

    —-Charisse Jones and Jessica Menton

    Follow Charisse and Jessica on Twitter @charissejones and @JessicaMenton

    Answer: That’s unclear. Currently, another coronavirus relief package likely won’t be approved until after July, policymakers say.

    —-Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton 

    Answer: You can’t collect jobless benefits if you quit a job because of a general fear of the virus. However, if your job site is truly unsafe, you might have grounds to refuse to return and get financial assistance while you are out of work.

    A worker who’s particularly vulnerable because of underlying health conditions or a compromised immune system could apply for pandemic-related aid, says Michele Evermore, senior researcher and policy analyst with the National Employment Law Project (NELP). Also, if you can’t return to work because you are looking after a relative who contracted COVID-19, or a child whose school or day care center remains closed because of the virus, you could also be eligible for financial help.

    —-Charisse Jones Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones   

    I heard ‘it should be’ or that ‘it should automatically update to be retroactive.’ Could Florida be withholding funds?

    Answer: If you get any unemployment assistance at all, the $600 from the federal government is supposed to accompany it. And yes it is retroactive.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones

    … I thought the CARES Act was supposed to help. I’m losing my entire mortgage payment per month and my hours have decreased, but I don’t qualify for anything, the unemployment office said.

    Each state has its own guidelines, according to the Department of Labor, but you may be eligible for unemployment if you:

    • Are separated from your job through no fault of your own, due to lack of work;
    • Meet your state’s requirements for wages earned and time worked;
    • Meet your state’s additional requirements.

    The CARES Act can support short-term compensation programs where employers reduce hours instead of laying off, and employees receive prorated unemployment benefits. But it depends on your state, according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant at TurboTax. Some states don’t allow partial unemployment benefits and some are modifying existing laws to allow partial unemployment benefits.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … My employer called me back to work in early June and I went back for four days before filling out the form for an unpaid leave of absence. People at work were not social distancing or wearing masks and they also were touching my equipment in my presence.

    If you have been advised by a healthcare professional to self-quarantine to avoid health risks, you may be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if all other eligibility requirements are met, Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant at TurboTax, says.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … Will it continue or has it stopped for New Jersey? Do you need to contact anyone?

    If you are still receiving unemployment benefits, the extra $600 should continue until July 25 in New Jersey. If the missed money doesn’t show up in your next payment, you should contact the state’s unemployment benefits office.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    If you are back to work full time, you will no longer receive jobless benefits. If you are back to work part-time, you can receive partial unemployment insurance which should include the extra $600 a week. But how much a person can earn from work and still receive unemployment differs greatly depending on the state, and the cutoff threshold can be quite low.  You can check page 17 of the following link to get a state by state breakdown.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    The additional $600 in weekly jobless benefits provided by the federal government is officially set to end July 31. But states will pay it only through the week ending July 25 or July 26, a significant blow to unemployed workers counting on that money to bolster state benefits that average just $370 a week.

    “The (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) $600 can be paid for weeks ending no later than the week ending prior to Friday, July 31, 2020,” the U.S. Department of Labor said in a statement. “For all states except (New York), that is Saturday, July 25th. New York’s end date is Sunday, July 26th.”

    The confusion lies in the fine print. Unemployment benefits are paid by states on a weekly or biweekly basis with a defined end date on Saturday or Sunday. But the federal legislation known as the CARES Act, which authorized the additional compensation, says the benefit will end “on or before July 31” – a Friday.

    That means, given the payment schedules of most states, the last week of the extra $600 payments will end the prior Saturday or Sunday. 

    — Charisse Jones, Coral Murphy-Marcos and Brent Schrotenboer

    No.

    “Someone who has no earnings and no attachment to the workforce since August 2018, and is not unemployed or partially employed as a result of COVID is not eligible for benefits,” said Jason Moon, a spokesman for the Unemployment Insurance Agency in Michigan. And that’s likely to be the same response from most states, if not all states, according to experts.

    Rachael Kohl, director of the Workers’ Rights Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, said it’s highly unlikely anyone in that situation of voluntarily leaving the work force in 2018 and not returning would be able to collect any jobless benefits now.

    “If you weren’t trying to work, you don’t get to collect unemployment benefits now,” Kohl said.

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    There are a few ways you can pay taxes on your unemployment.

    You can choose to have them taken out when applying online for jobless benefits for some states. Or you can fill out Federal Form W-4V Voluntary Withholding Request and have federal taxes automatically have taxes taken out, according to Greene-Lewis. When you fill out the form you can request to have up to 10% taken out, she added. 

    Once you are working again, if you have an employer you can adjust your federal tax withholding using Form W-4. If you are self-employed, you can make adjustments in your estimated tax payments when it is time to pay. The first and second federal estimated tax deadlines were extended to July 15.

    At tax-time you may be able to offset your taxes which some of the credits you were not eligible for in the past if your income is lower like the Earned Income Tax Credit worth up to $6,660 in tax year 2020 for a family with three kids, the Saver’s credit worth up to $1,000 single and $2,000 married filing jointly, or the Child and Dependent Care Credit worth up to $1,050 with one child and up to $2,100 with two or more kids.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … I don’t know how many of my clients are ready to come back and get a massage. Can I do this until I get a better idea of when my business will be back to normal?

    In general, as long as you make less with your reduced schedule than the amount you are receiving in unemployment then you can claim Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, according to Lisa Greene-Lewis, a certified public accountant at TurboTax.

    States have different rules on how much you can earn and still be eligible, so check those details with your individual state. Also, keep a record of how much you work and make sure you report the amount you make to your state, she added. 

    … Would I still get the full $600 per week if I did this? 

    Yes, if you qualify for unemployment based on your state requirements you should qualify for the additional $600 under Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    You may as long as you haven’t exceeded the amount of weeks eligible for unemployment. Under PUA, the amount of weeks was extended to 39 weeks. With unemployment you don’t have to use all of the weeks consecutively.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    You should. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program allows a much larger pool of workers to get jobless benefits when their work is affected by the virus. Check online with your state’s unemployment office to get more clarity.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    The $600 is in addition to the amount determined under state law, according to the CARES Act. This means you can calculate what you are eligible to receive by any state and add on the $600. It doesn’t say it is per claim or per state, says Toby Mathis, a partner and attorney at Anderson Law Group in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Department of Labor says that when you file for unemployment for two jobs where one of the jobs is outside of your state of residence, you should file with the state in which you reside and make them aware of the claim in another state, he added.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … I know I can’t say no to work and I know that if I make more than 50% of my unemployment my benefits will be reduced. Is that based off my state unemployment benefit?

    If you are once again employed, you won’t qualify for jobless benefits

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    Unemployment benefits, including the $600 weekly federal benefit, are subject to both federal and state income taxes. In some cases, you can elect out of withholding. You will, however, still owe taxes on the benefit come tax time. Federal taxes are usually withheld at 10% and the state taxes depend on your state of residence.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … I actually came to Nepal for vacation, but because of the pandemic I’m stuck here longer than I was supposed to be.

    You can still apply with your state of residence, but the answer will depend on the rules they have in place. Most states have a number of hours requirement or compensation earned requirement prior to allowing benefits along with rules such as being unemployed through no fault of your own, and that you are actively seeking work, according to Toby Mathis, a partner and attorney at Anderson Law Group in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Many states have modified the last requirement during the pandemic to eliminate the seeking work requirement, but not all. Some states have added additional eligibility for those who are adversely affected by pandemic, Mathis says.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … Retired, income below $60000, filed taxes 2018 and 2019, same bank same account and received automatic deposits from IRS before. 

    Tax professionals suggest checking the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website to monitor your status. There are several reasons the money hasn’t been received, either from someone hacking the account, a possible debt collector garnishing, to the bank simply denying the debit, says Toby Mathis, a partner and attorney at Anderson Law Group in Las Vegas.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    It depends. If you are collecting the pension from the company that laid you off, you might not qualify for unemployment. But if you were laid off due to COVID-19, and you collect a pension from a previous employer, you should still be able to get unemployment, along with the extra $600 in federal aid

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … I am 63, own a small business and receive Social Security benefits. I qualified for self-employment unemployment benefits Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. I get $160 in unemployment from Michigan and the extra federal $600.

    Section 2104(h) of the CARES Act says to disregard the pandemic payments for social security. State unemployment benefits don’t affect social security, says Toby Mathis, a partner and attorney at Anderson Law Group in Las Vegas, Nevada, but social security may be included in how unemployment benefits are calculated.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … Are rents going to be cheaper and more housing available?

    It depends. The Federal Reserve signaled it won’t raise borrowing costs for the foreseeable future, a potential boon for homebuyers as mortgage rates slide. But finding a home at a favorable price could be a challenge.

    While the pandemic has eased affordability, it has also prompted many sellers to delay listing their homes. That’s made finding a home in most markets more difficult as inventory has fallen. Tightening lending standards and limited inventory may create barriers for potential first-time buyers, who also typically have a harder time putting up money for down payment.

    U.S. home prices haven’t budged much. One reason why: buyer demand will prevent U.S. home prices from falling more than 2% to 3% through the end of the year, according to real estate search site Zillow – it expects to see a steady price recovery in 2021. There has been a slowdown in the rental market. It’s still too early to see the full effects of the pandemic on rent overall, but prices in some areas are on the decline. In San Francisco, for instance, rent for a one-bedroom dropped 1.4% to $3,450 on a monthly basis and is down 6.8% from a year ago, rental platform Zumper said in its National Rent Report for May. New York City, meanwhile, saw rent rise 3.5% to $2,950 on a monthly basis after dropping 5% the prior month.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    It depends. The $600 weekly benefit may still be paid after someone’s state unemployment runs out, depending on the circumstances that cause that person to remain unemployed, according to Christina Taylor, head of operations at Credit Karma Tax. 

    If you were laid off by your employer due to the pandemic, you’re not in a COVID-19 high risk group, and your employer has called you back to work and you don’t go back, you will no longer receive state unemployment benefits, she says.  

    You would also no longer receive the extra $600 per week benefit you’d been receiving up until that point. This is because choosing to be unemployed or not going back to work when your place of work is no longer closed due to the virus is not normally a qualifying reason for PUA benefits.

    “If you were furloughed by your employer due to COVID-19 and you were called back to work, but you can’t go back because your child’s school or summer child care program is closed due to COVID-19, you would most likely still qualify for PUA benefits until the end of July 2020 or when your child’s care provider opens back up, whichever comes earlier,” Taylor says.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    The extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits will expire after July 31, if the Senate doesn’t pass the $3 trillion HEROES Act – another emergency stimulus package that would extend the additional $600 benefit into January 2021.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    If you are forced to resign from your job because you have a child that requires care and are unable to obtain child care because your care provider is closed due to the coronavirus, then you may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, according to Christina Taylor, head of operations at Credit Karma Tax.

    PUA is the federal portion of unemployment that is an additional $600 per week you can receive in addition to the State Unemployment Assistance you may receive. Every state’s unemployment program is different, so it’s important to check your state’s rules because some states may allow for state unemployment assistance if you’re in this situation.

    If your child would normally be in school, but their school is closed due to the virus, then you could qualify for PUA if you resign due to not having childcare. Once the normal school year is out, however, you would no longer qualify for federal unemployment assistance, unless your child’s summer care provider, like a summer camp or a summer babysitter, is also closed due to the pandemic, Taylor says.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter: @JessicaMenton.

    … Can I still receive the federal unemployment check due to my drastically cut hours?

    As long as you’re receiving jobless benefits, you should get the additional $600 a week until that component of the federal program ends in July.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    It’s likely. Nearly 4 million people are going to receive their Economic Impact Payment via prepaid debit cards, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The prepaid cards, which started rolling out May 18, are being used for some instead of a paper checks.

    Pay attention if you get a plain envelope in the mail that’s marked “Money Network Cardholder Services.” The cards are marked Visa debit card, and the back of the card has the logo for MetaBank. 

    No, it’s not a scam. You can call customer service at 800-240-8100 to report your lost or stolen card immediately. Your card will be deactivated so nobody can use it. More information here.

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    Answer: The IRS has set up a website to track the status of one’s stimulus check. You might want to start at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

    — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller.

    … I was under the impression the $600 was to be paid with each payment.

    The $600 federal payments are typically included in the checks being dispensed by state unemployment offices. Email those administrators with a query about your missing payments. You can also try to call. That’s been difficult due to the volume of applicants, but many states have set up call centers to specifically respond to queries related to the coronavirus that operate seven days a week.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … My hours have been reduced, plus a 10% salary decrease. If I’m eligible for the extra $600, should I keep certifying with unemployment each week, so that I can receive that or should I stop certifying, as it will be sent to me anyway?

    If you do not qualify for your state’s unemployment insurance, you might try applying for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in your state. The program helps unemployed people who are business owners, self-employed, independent contractors, have limited work history or those not usually eligible for regular state unemployment benefits who are out of business or services are significantly reduced as a direct result of the pandemic. Once you are approved for PUA, the extra $600 would be added, as well.

    — Josh Rivera

    Follow Josh on Twitter: @Josh1Rivera.

    That’s unlikely. Most states require applicants to have worked in the last 12 to 18 months to draw benefits.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … If I am forced into retirement due to this unknown.

    If you are at retirement age, you can actually collect unemployment and Social Security benefits at the same time. States no longer reduce unemployment benefits when claimants are also receiving Social Security. However, your Social Security benefits will be greater for every year you can delay until age 70.

    Also, if you start taking Social Security, you only have one opportunity to withdraw. It must be within 12 months and you must repay all benefits.

     — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller.

    Unemployment benefits are taxable income. Unlike the federal stimulus checks, which will reflect as tax credit. Any money you receive from the federal or state government unemployment fund is included in your gross income and taxed at your ordinary income rate.

    … Do we have to pay back the $600 weekly federal disbursements when we claim unemployment? Will we need to pay it back when we return back to work?

    You will have to pay taxes on that move as it is counted as taxable income.

    (We are also looking to talk to people who have gotten additional unemployment insurance checks that they didn’t claim. If you or someone you know has had this experience, please fill this form and a reporter will contact you.)

    — Josh Rivera

    Follow Josh on Twitter: @Josh1Rivera.

    … All my jobs in California were affected by the COVID-19. Two of these businesses are closed indefinitely and I was laid off from the other.

    Answer: As long as you are certifying each week and receiving your state’s unemployment insurance check, the $600 federal will be added, regardless of the amount on your state’s check.

    — Josh Rivera

    Follow Josh on Twitter: @Josh1Rivera.

    Depending on your state laws, and how long the job will last, you can “pause” your unemployment insurance for a few weeks while you’re employed, and then go back to certifying. In any case, you should report that you are employed for whatever time it is. You do not want to be in a situation where your claim is classified as fraud.

    — Josh Rivera

    Follow Josh on Twitter: @Josh1Rivera.

    Answer: It depends on where you live. Workers in most states are eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits from regular state-funded unemployment compensation, but some states allow for fewer weeks. Under a new federal law, you can receive an extra $600 per week from April 5, 2020 until July 31, 2020.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    If you qualified for unemployment benefits in your state, you should be eligible for the extra $600 per week. Check with your local unemployment office.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    … I filed my 2018 tax return and owed money. But I did not file my 2019 tax return. I fall within the income guidelines to receive a $1,200 check.

    Ken Milani, professor of accountancy at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, notes that the IRS doesn’t have the information it needs to make a direct deposit of the stimulus payment when you’ve owed money on that 2018 tax return. The IRS had a noon May 13 deadline to use Get My Payment at IRS.gov to supply direct deposit information.

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    Everybody who receives a stimulus check will also get a letter from the IRS. The letter will tell you how much stimulus money you received and whether the money was sent by direct deposit or paper check. It also will explain how you can alert the IRS if anything needs to be corrected.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    I checked the IRS website to see where my payment is and it said it was deposited in that account.

    Ken Milani, professor of accountancy at the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, suggests that you first contact the bank to see what happened there. If the bank has the money, be prepared to verify your identity. Most likely, the money may have been returned to the IRS.

    The IRS states at its Economic Impact Payments Information Center, Question No. 33, that: “If the account is closed or no longer active, the bank will reject the deposit and you will be issued a check that will be mailed to the address we have on file for you. This is generally the address on your most recent tax return or as updated through the United States Postal Service (USPS). You do not need to call the IRS to change your Payment method or update your address at this time.”

    In addition, the IRS states: “As required by law and for security reasons, a letter about the Payment will be mailed to each recipient’s last known address within 15 days after the Payment is made. The letter will provide information on how the Payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the Payment.”

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    According to the IRS, if a stimulus check is sent to a recipient through direct deposit and the bank information is invalid or the bank account has been closed, the bank will reject the deposit. At that point, the IRS will mail the payment as soon as possible to the address they have on file for you, typically within 14 days. You can learn more about accessing your payment through the GetMyPayment page on the IRS web site.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    My coworker may have gotten Covid-19 from a patient at his second job. Because of this, I fear that I have been exposed to the virus and that if I continue to work at the facility, I will continue to be exposed. 

    Generally, you can only qualify for unemployment if you lost your job due to COVID-19, you’ve left your job to take care of family member who’s been infected, or you’re quarantining on the advice of a health-care provider and you’re unable to perform your duties. The U.S. Department of Labor recommends that if you believe your employer’s response to the possible spread of COVID-19 creates “a serious safety hazard” or if you think your employer is not following federal work safety standards, you can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    Like many things relating to the Economic Impact Payments, there does not appear to be a clear cut answer here. TurboTax said: “We are seeing some TurboTax customers who chose to receive their refund on a debit card get their stimulus payments to these accounts. Any TurboTax debit card customer who receives a stimulus payment from the IRS to that account, will receive that stimulus payment without delay or fees.”

    At the same time, TurboTax recommends that people check the IRS Get My Payment tool to find out how they will receive their stimulus payment from the IRS and when.

    TurboTax noted that the IRS is responsible for determining taxpayer eligibility of receiving a stimulus and, if a taxpayer is eligible, how and when the stimulus payments will be delivered to them. 

    The IRS is asking people to submit direct deposit information by noon May 13 at Get My Payment at IRS.gov before a steady flow of paper checks will be issued.

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    … A family member just received her stimulus benefit via direct deposit. Thing is, she’s been dead for three years. Are we required to give the money back?

    Here’s what the IRS said people need to do if they must return an Economic Impact Payment, such as one issued to a deceased person. 

    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. 

    And if you cashed that paper check already, or you received the stimulus money via direct deposit, the IRS said you should: 

    • Submit a personal check, money order, etc., immediately to the appropriate IRS location listed at IRS.gov.
    • 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 EIP.

    The IRS could try to charge you interest and penalties at some point if you do not return the money. 

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    If you were claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return for 2019, you are out of luck for now. However, the stimulus payments are technically an advance credit on your 2020 taxes, so you could possibly claim the payment when you file your 2020 returns early next year, as long as someone else does not claim you as a dependent for 2020.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    No. The maximum benefit is based on your previous income. The $600 is an extra that the unemployed can receive through the end of July.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … The jobs I qualify for are considered nonessential and it’s dangerous to be out trying to find work right now while taking care of my elderly brother. We are receiving food stamps.

    You may be eligible for a stimulus payment once you file a 2019 tax return. Current inmates cannot get a payment, but ex-offenders can qualify, even if they have no income. If you do not file with the IRS right now, you could be eligible for the stimulus payment when you file a 2020 return next year.

    You also may be eligible for unemployment benefits, including the additional $600 per week in enhanced benefits  that the federal government has approved to help mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus. Rules for unemployment benefits vary from state to state, but to qualify, you usually need to be actively looking for work and cannot turn down a job offer.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    The first thing to check is if you qualify to receive a stimulus check under the CARES Act guidelines. If you do, it’s important to remember that the government is sending out the payments in installments.

    Payments were prioritized in order from lowest income to highest income.

    For those with direct deposit information on file with the IRS, payments began going out on April 10. And last week to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans who aren’t required to file a tax return, which will continue through May.

    While the IRS started mailing checks in late April to those who qualify but do not have direct deposit information, that process might take several months.

    — Sarah Skidmore

    Associated Press

    The IRS updated its “Get My Payment” tool to fix some headaches. But some people continue to get error messages in some cases.

    The IRS advises that you go back and check your most recent tax return or consider whether there is a different way to enter your street address (for example, 123 N Main St vs 123 North Main St). 

    “You may also verify how your address is formatted with the U.S. Postal Service by entering your address in the USPS ZIP Lookup tool, and then enter your address into Get My Payment exactly as it appears on file with USPS,” the IRS said. 

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    If you had health coverage through your employer and lost your job, or if you received coverage as the dependent of someone who lost their job due to the pandemic, you could qualify for a special enrollment period to access the Affordable Care Act’s health exchange. If your lack of coverage is not related to the virus, then you have to wait until the fall to access the exchange. Regardless, anyone is eligible to receive a free COVID-19 test even if they’re not insured.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    Electronic filers are generally getting their money before those who mailed in their latest tax return because it’s easy to transfer the money to bank accounts they have on record. Regardless of how you filed, you can track your expected payment using the IRS Get My Payment tool. The timing of checks for those who filed paper returns last year is being complicated by the IRS’ decision to stop processing paper returns due to COVID-19. That means there’s a delay not only in issuing checks but in determining how much you’re eligible to receive.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    … or $600 every two weeks added to your unemployment benefits?

    You will receive $600 a week.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … We live in New York. He went back to work the last two days of last week. 

    Depending on when states entered an agreement with the federal government, the additional $600 benefit could be retroactive back to March 28. And so yes, he should be able to get the extra $600 payment.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … I have an autoimmune disease. My employer is considered essential, but they have reduced hours for others.

    Situations like this will likely be handled on a case by case basis. Employers have, of course, the right to protest a claim. But states are encouraging employers to make accommodations for individuals with health risks, whether it’s allowing them to work from home or in a safe work environment. If that’s not possible, then such individuals could be eligible for unemployment insurance.

     — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller.

    It depends on whether your employer is required to offer paid leave. Large employers and very small ones generally aren’t required to offer it. You should check directly with your company.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … I wont lose my job because I’m an essential employee, but I will have to step away or lose hours due to our child being out of school.

    The CARES Act allows people who must stay home because their child’s school or day has been closed due to the coronavirus to receive some financial assistance. You can apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for your state.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    … How can we find out if he applied for the paycheck loan? He said he was but we don’t trust him.

    The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) does not require businesses to rehire the same people that were laid off. It only requires that the loan will be forgiven if at least 75% of the total amount is spent on personnel with the remainder on work-related costs, such as rent, mortgage or utilities. If you believe your boss has acted improperly or illegally, you could contact your local or state labor agency to file a complaint.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    Different states may handle this situation differently. But it’s generally not the state’s desire to be punitive. In Kentucky, for example, the state is offering individuals who find themselves in this situation the opportunity to negotiate the amount that is withheld from their current benefits until the debt is paid back.

     — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller.

    Yes, under the CARES Act, people who lost jobs due to the coronavirus before they could start them can get financial assistance.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.

    If you are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or a qualified resident alien, you are eligible for the payment. You do not need to have a job or other income to qualify. However, you first must provide the IRS with some payment information. You can do that by filling out the form for non-filers here.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    … I applied for unemployment benefits on March 16 and still don’t receive any response or money. How can we can survive? 

    Various organizations are offering more immediate assistance, including some specific to restaurant workers like chef Edward Lee’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program. That particular organization is distributing food and supplies from locations across the country, including Sqirl in Los Angeles. Food bank Second Harvest also provides search tool for people seeking aid near them: https://www.shfb.org/get-food/.

    Additionally, Feeding America helps people identify local food banks across the nation.

     — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller

    How unemployment benefits are calculated varies by state, but even those who don’t qualify for unemployment are automatically considered for the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that was created as part of the CARES Act. PUA aids people who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance. The PUA benefit rate is based on recent earnings, with recipients also getting the additional $600 per week.

     — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller

    Bringing staff back at their regular wage through the Paycheck Protection Program will result in them earning less than they are getting on unemployment. This doesn’t seem right. Why would they return?

    Several Republican senators brought up the very same issue during the debate on the first stimulus bill passed in March, saying it would encourage some people to collect unemployment rather than work. But both the Trump administration and most Democrats argued the $600 boost was necessary because unemployment benefits alone in many states would not restore their full pay before the crisis. They don’t believe most workers, such as front-line health care responders, would choose staying home over staying on the job.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing

    Yes, the federal government has created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. It aids people who are unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic but do not qualify for traditional unemployment insurance. People who don’t qualify for unemployment are automatically considered for PUA. The PUA benefit rate is based on recent earnings, with recipients also getting the additional $600 per week.

    — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller

    No, people aged 17 and older who can be claimed as someone else’s dependent are left out of the plan. In other words, many college students won’t receive the $1,200 and their status won’t entitle their parents to receive an additional $500. 

    — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller

    An individual can go to the IRS and attempt to pursue a matter like this at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

    — Alfred Miller

    Follow Alfred on Twitter @alfredfmiller

    No. Stimulus checks aren’t taxable income. The checks are refundable tax credits, according to the Tax Foundation, a tax policy think tank. The credits will be applied to 2020 tax returns, but are advanced to taxpayers now based on their 2019 or 2018 adjusted gross income. 

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    While many people received their stimulus deposit, other payments may have gotten inadvertently sent to temporary accounts created during the tax filing process. The IRS said it is moving to provide additional information and resolve any issues as soon as possible.

    After you file your taxes with a tax professional, transfer banks such as MetaBank, Republic Bank and Santa Barbara Tax Product Group set up temporary accounts for taxpayers who want a refund advance or to deduct tax preparation fees from a refund. 

    “Those last four digits on the Get My Payment portal match the transfer provider’s information that has been submitted to the IRS,” said Natalie Parchment, a tax preparation consultant.

    — Dalvin Brown and Jessica Menton

    Follow Dalvin on Twitter @dalvin_brown and Jessica on @JessicaMenton.

    Yes. Unemployment benefits are considered taxable income, according to the IRS. Those benefits typically last for 26 weeks, but Congress added 13 additional weeks on top of that for a total of 39 weeks. Unemployed workers will get an extra $600 per week of unemployment benefits on top of their unemployment checks, which will be paid retroactively to March 29 or when you became unemployed.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    No. If the amount of the credit a taxpayer qualifies for in 2020 is less than it was based on their 2019 return, it doesn’t have to be paid back, according to the Tax Foundation.

    If your income is less in 2020, you will receive the difference of the credit if it is in your favor. If your income drops this year, for instance, you’ll be eligible for any remaining credit that you weren’t able to claim using your 2019 or 2018 return. 

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    … I was supposed to start a job in New York State but I live in Pennsylvania, with which state do I apply for unemployment insurance?

    You should apply in the state where you were supposed to work. You might be able to get documentation from your prospective employer stating that the job was impacted by the virus.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    … I have been out of work since March 17 and my wife applied for unemployment on March 18, before the CARES act. 

    Answer: Depending on when your state entered into its agreement with the federal government, the $600 payment could be retroactive back to March 28.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Under the CARES Act, the government won’t withhold the money you owe for defaulted federal student loans out of your payment. It blocks the IRS from garnishing your tax refund for those late loan payments. Also, the government won’t ding your wages or withhold social security payments for six months under the relief package.

    … What if my tax refund was already garnished?

    If your tax refund was withheld because you defaulted on a federal student loan on or after March 13, which was the day President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, it will be returned to you, according to the Department of Education. That also applies to garnished wages and withheld Social Security benefits.

    … Does it apply to private loans?

    No. Private debt collectors could still garnish student loan debts.

    If you have trouble paying, contact your lender for options.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    … or child support?

    … or overdue on student loan payments?

    While the CARES Act suspends debts like overdue student loans or back taxes that typically lead to the garnishment of tax refunds, it doesn’t apply to delinquent child support payments. That means the government’s relief checks will still be garnished if you’re overdue. And some spouses who are filing joint tax returns with their late-paying partners are upset their stimulus money is being trimmed or withheld, even if they typically qualify for relief in situations like tax refunds.

    Even if your spouse is solely responsible for the debt, a shared tax refund or stimulus check could be at risk.

    …. If I owe child support, does the stimulus money go to my ex?

    The stimulus payment that is reduced or withheld by the child support owed will go to the appropriate collecting office for the taxpayer’s state. From there, that collecting office will issue the money to the custodial parent, the person due the child support. 

    More information here.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    The Internal Revenue Service is expected to launch an online tool as soon as Wednesday to get a better clue on when you’ll see your Economic Impact Payment via IRS.gov/eip. The IRS said the tool will let you go online to check the status of a payment, including the date it’s scheduled to be deposited or mailed.

    If you do not see the money in your bank account in two weeks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said you can go to IRS.gov to see “Get My Payment.” If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and did not receive a stimulus payment, he said, make sure to have your tax return information available to use at the “Get My Payment” tool later this week.

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    Taxpayers are telling their friends, and yes, posting news on social media, that they’re already seeing stimulus cash arrive in their bank accounts.

    Some consumers spotted the first direct deposits as early as Saturday; others started seeing more information as of Monday. The IRS even tweeted Saturday evening that the agency deposited the first Economic Impact Payments into bank accounts on Saturday.

    Some people in Michigan who checked their bank accounts online in the past few days spotted that $1,200 or more will be available in their bank accounts as of April 15.

    Interestingly: The wording being used is “IRS Treas 310” (cut-in Michigan) so don’t expect to see words like “stimulus checks” or “recovery rebate” or “economic impact payment” on your bank statement. 

    — Susan Tompor

    Follow Susan on Twitter: @tompor.

    Social Security beneficiaries and other Americans who haven’t filed income taxes for the past two years won’t have to take any extra steps to receive one-time checks. 

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said the IRS will use Social Security data to generate payments to recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. 

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    As long as your adjusted gross income in 2019 was no more than $99,000 (if you file separately) or $198,000 (if you file jointly), you will receive some money. The law does not make a distinction between those who are working and those who are retired.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    … We have work for him, however, he does not want to work due to the chances of infection towards his elderly roommates.

    If your employee has a specific reason to worry he may have been exposed to the virus and needs to stop work, he could be eligible for benefits. If not, quitting and filing for such benefits without cause can be deemed fraud by federal officials.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    … If so, will my benefits be reduced due to the pension?

    Yes, you should be eligible for unemployment and a military pension should not offset it.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    You may qualify for state benefits if the reason you haven’t been able to get your new business off the ground is because of the coronavirus crisis, such as a government-ordered shut down or the need to care for a child whose school has closed, says Andrew Stettner, a senior fellow with the Century Foundation, a nonprofit think tank. She can apply for relief under the CARES Act and should prepare to demonstrate what she did in regard to her business and how COVID-19 affected it.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Small businesses (those with 500 and fewer employees) can apply for a loan under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program that will cover eight weeks of operations and be fully forgiven if at least 75% of the money is used for payroll and the rest is for other other business-related expenses (such as rent/mortgage and utilities). You’ll have to download this form and then find an eligible lender, such as an SBA-certified local bank or commercial lender. You can still borrow the money if you don’t meet the 75% payroll requirement but you’ll have to pay it back with 1% interest within two years.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    No. Not unless you can show you were possibly exposed to the virus. Guidance in regard to the federal relief act specifically states that quitting a job without cause to get benefits would be deemed fraud. 

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    You do not have to apply separately for the $600 federal unemployment check.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    At least 75% of the Paycheck Protection Program loan must be spent on payroll in order for it to be completely forgiven. If workers file for unemployment, that could compromise the small business or nonprofit organization’s ability to meet the requirement.

    — Ledyard King

    Follow Ledyard on Twitter @LedgeKing.

    If you are getting your full pay, you are not eligible for unemployment benefits. Typically, you have to check in every week to let the state know you remain unemployed in order to continue getting assistance.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Yes. If the pay cut is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you should be able to get some financial assistance.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Pulling funds from retirement accounts out of fear isn’t the best immediate course of action, wealth advisors say. It’s a case-by-case basis. Do you have emergency savings? Are there opportunities to refinance student loan debt, mortgage or car payments? Investors should take advantage of lower rates first before they tap into their retirement funds, experts say.

    More information on 401 (k) and the CARES Act here.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    You are not automatically disqualified from receiving benefits. However, the amount you would receive will be reduced due to the part-time income, and in some states, you may be earning too much, according to Andrew Stettner with The Century Foundation. You need to check with your state. And a word of caution: You cannot quit working without cause to boost your benefits. You would lose your financial assistance, and could be determined to have committed fraud.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    The CARES Act gives homeowners with federally backed loans two types of relief. First, it prevents lenders from beginning foreclosure proceedings on federally backed loans for at least 60 days after March 18. Second, homeowners who experienced financial hardship from the pandemic can request a forbearance for up to 180 days, which may be extended for an additional period of up to six months if borrowers are still under financial duress.

    … How can I postpone my mortgage payments?

    To receive forbearance through the CARES Act, you must contact your loan servicer. There won’t be any additional fees, penalties or interest added to your account through this deferment, but regular interest will still accrue.

    — Jessica Menton

    Follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaMenton.

    No. The new law that set up the stimulus check program says that individuals who are claimed as dependents by someone else are not eligible for a stimulus check.

    — Michael Collins

    Follow Michael on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS. 

    Losing a second job makes you eligible for partial unemployment insurance. States have different rules regarding part-time positions, but the federal CARES Act does say part-time workers who are affected by the ramifications of COVID-19 can get assistance. Check with your state, but you should be able to get some aid.

    … I work 2 part time jobs, one of which I had my hours cut way back. I am still working about 20 hours a week in one job. Can I collect unemployment insurance on a part time job?

    It depends on the state whether part-time workers can receive unemployment benefits. California for instance does pay out such funds. The federal CARES Act also says part-time workers are entitled to assistance if their hours are cut for reasons out of their control. So you may be able to get the $600 federal benefit as well, but again, it’s best to check with your state unemployment office

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    … I got my first unemployment check but not the $600.

    The pipeline for these payments is still unclear.

    … I’ve been unemployed since January 2020. Is the $600 weekly benefit retroactive from then or just from the date it was announced?

    Depending on when your state entered into an agreement with the federal government, the $600 weekly benefit could be retroactive back to March 28. It ends July 31. 

    … Are furloughs eligible for the federal $600?

    Yes. If the person isn’t being paid, they are considered unemployed and can receive that federal assistance.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Specifically, if your hours have been cut or your office is closed for reasons related to COVID-19, you should be able to receive unemployment benefits. You would file in the state you work.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Yes. If you are still out of work, you should be eligible for the 13 weeks of unemployment benefits that the federal government will pay, along with the extra $600 federal payment per week.

    … I’ve recently exhausted my unemployment about a month ago, but I’m not able to file online due to my initial claim.

    A lot of websites are unfortunately still catching up with the additional benefits  offered by the CARES Act. Reach out to your phone company to tell them your situation. You may be able to get a reprieve on your payment. And continue to call. The log jam will hopefully lessen as more staff is brought in.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones.  

    No, it just means the rent is deferred. That can leave tenants with several months of back payments due when the emergency is over. 

    — Paul Davidson

    Follow Paul on Twitter @PDavidsonusat

    Unemployment insurance is a joint program between the federal government and the states set up to provide some money to people who are trying to get a job but can’t find one. The benefit has been expanded by a $2.2 trillion relief package – called the CARES Act – passed by the federal government last week to help soften the blow of the coronavirus pandemic, which shutting down businesses across the country and forcing layoffs of millions of people.

    “Every one of the 50 states has an online application system,” says Michele Evermore, senior researcher and policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    The maximum weekly benefit varies by state. For instance, in Florida, it tops out at $275, while in New York the maximum is $504. But under the federal relief law, everyone will get an additional $600 a week until July 31.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Some states offer fewer weeks of benefits than others. But with unemployment now expanded, anyone who is still out of work when their state benefit period runs out will be able to get payments for an additional 13 weeks from the federal government.

    Those who worked in states like Florida where the initial period is only 12 weeks, would be eligible for the unemployment insurance specifically pegged to the pandemic which tacks on another 14 weeks.

    Through these various steps, all those who are out of work will be able to get assistance for up to 39 weeks.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Yes. Independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers will be able to get the same benefits through a new pandemic assistance program established by the CARES act.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    If you’ve already filed your 2019 taxes, the Internal Revenue Service will use those returns to determine your payment. If not, your 2018 returns will be used to calculate your check.

    Individuals with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will be eligible for a one-time payment of up to $1,200 ($2,400 for joint tax returns) and $500 for each qualifying child. Those with little or no tax liability also will get $1,200 ($2,400 for joint returns).

    The payments will start to phase out for Americans who earn more than $75,000, or $150,000 for a joint return. The amount you receive will be decreased by 5% of the amount your income exceeds $75,000.

    You can use this calculator to estimate your check amount.

    — Charisse Jones

    Follow Charisse on Twitter @charissejones. 

    Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, included in the stimulus bill, freelancers and gig workers can receive half the average unemployment benefit in their state and an extra $600 per week.  

    — Coral Murphy-Marcos

    Follow Coral on Twitter @CoralMerfi

    Companies in the health care industry, as well as food, grocer, convenience stores, retail and delivery companies are currently in the process of mass hiring. For a list of the employers, click here. 

    — Jazmin Goodwin 

    Follow Jazmin on Twitter @jazminkgoodwin.

    Source: www.usatoday.com


    ELITE Transit Solutions Receives 2020 Great Place to Work® Certification

    ELITE Transit Solutions Receives 2020 Great Place to Work® Certification

    Elite Transit Solutions (ELITE), a recognized leader in revolutionizing the freight management logistics industry through technology solutions, has been awarded a Great Place to Work® certification for 2020.

    PITTSBURGH, July 22, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Elite Transit Solutions (ELITE), a recognized leader in revolutionizing the freight management logistics industry through technology solutions, has been awarded a Great Place to Work® certification for 2020. ELITE previously earned the prestigious designation in both 2017 and 2018. Great Place to Work is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and increased innovation.

    To earn the certification, Great Place to Work evaluated more than 60 elements of ELITE’s team members’ experiences on the job. Rankings are based on employees’ feedback, regardless of their role in the organization. At ELITE, 90% of employees reported they were made to feel welcome when they joined the company, and 87% agree that “I can be myself” at ELITE. Almost 70% of ELITE’s employees say it is a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical U.S.-based company.

    “Our Great Place to Work certification for 2020 is meaningful because it reflects our unwavering commitment to provide employees with a positive environment and empowerment for professional growth. It is particularly important during the challenging times we’re all facing as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Michael D. Johnson, president and CEO of Elite Transit Solutions.

    The Great Place to Work findings at ELITE underscore employees’ feelings of empowerment on the job. According to the survey, 83% say they are given the resources and equipment to do their job, and that facilities contribute to a good working environment. 80% of employees agree that ‘people here are given a lot of responsibility.’

    “As a company that has experienced explosive growth during the past several years in a highly competitive industry, we’ve made a significant effort to create a ‘great place to work’ culture. When our team thrives, both our employees and our clients win,” added Johnson.

    “We congratulate Elite Transit Solutions on its 2020 certification,” said Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Best Workplace List Research at Great Place to Work®. “Organizations like ELITE show that earning your employees’ trust creates great workplace cultures and plays a key role in delivering outstanding business results.”

    For more information, visit ELITE’s certification profile on Great Place to Work®.

    SOURCE ELITE Transit Solutions

    Source: finance.yahoo.com


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