Senator Joe Manchin has released information regarding Financial assistance to West Virginians during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
Expanded Unemployment Insurance
Everyone receiving unemployment will get $600/week in addition to the amount already received. Other increased benefits include:
· Extension of Benefits: Recipients will be allowed to remain on unemployment for an additional 13 weeks through December 31, 2020, expanding the total eligibility period for unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 39 weeks.
· Waiver of One Week Waiting Period: The federal government no longer requires a one week waiting period for new beneficiaries. States have been encouraged to follow suit so that unemployed workers can receive benefits as soon as they become unemployed.
An individual is eligible if they are unemployed or unable to work because:
· The individual’s place of work is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.
· The individual or a household member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or the individual is experiencing symptoms of the virus and seeking a medical diagnosis.
· The individual is quarantined because he/she has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to the virus.
· The individual is caring for a member of the household or a family member that has been diagnosed with the virus or unable to attend a school of facility that is closed and the facility is necessary for the individual to be able to work.
· The individual was scheduled to start work and the job no longer exists or the individual is unable to reach the job because of quarantine at the workplace;
· The individual is self-employed, is seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history or would not otherwise qualify for regular unemployment under the State or Federal law.
Note: Part-time, self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers will be eligible for unemployment.
NOT ELIGIBLE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT IF:
· An individual has the ability to telework with pay; or
· An individual is receiving paid leave benefits
TAXES ON UNEMPLOYMENT:
All unemployment received, including the additional $600, will be taxable.
· The amount of unemployment received will be disregarded in determining Medicaid or CHIP eligibility.
HOW TO APPLY:
· To submit an individual unemployment claim, please visit this link administered through the West Virginia Department of Commerce and Workforce West Virginia
· To contact any of the 18 unemployment claim offices around the state, follow this link to access appropriate contact information for your specific claim
For more information on filing for unemployment visit workforcewv.org.
Click here for frequently asked questions provided by WorkForce WV.
Contact Workforce.COVID19@wv.gov for more information.
Checks for West Virginians
DIRECT CASH PAYMENTS:
To address unforeseen financial challenges not covered by expanded Unemployment Insurance benefits or modified Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, the bill authorizes direct payments of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples. Families are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. Working-class Americans that file their taxes will receive a direct payment. Those who are on Social Security or otherwise do not file income taxes will receive their payment in the form of a check.
An individual is eligible for the full benefit if they make less than $75,000 per year. Couples and other joint filers are eligible if their combined annual income is less than $150,000. Above that threshold, benefits will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income and phased out entirely for those making $99,000 or more ($198,000 for couples).
NOT ELIGIBLE FOR DIRECT PAYMENTS:
Any individual making $99,000 or more per year will not receive any direct payment. Any couple or other joint filers making $198,000 or more per year will not receive any direct payment.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
While the U.S. Treasury is ultimately responsible for the implementation of this program, below are some preliminary answers to many commonly asked questions:
Can those collecting Social Security or disability receive a check?
Yes, if they filed a tax return this year or last year, or received a Form SSA-1099. Otherwise, they need to file a tax return.
Will SSA administer the funds to my EBT/Debit card that I receive my SSA benefits through?
Our understanding is that the IRS is sending out the rebates (via direct deposit or checks).
How does an individual claim their check?
They do not need to claim their checks (unless they have not either filed a tax return this year or last year) – IRS will send out rebates automatically to their direct deposit or to the address provided on the last tax return submitted.
How long will it take for this check to be delivered?
Rebates sent via direct deposit will take a few weeks. Rebates sent via checks may take a few months. Senator Manchin is urging the U.S. Treasury to issue these rebates as quickly as possible.
Will I be taxed on this check?
No, rebates are not taxable.
Will I be eligible if I haven’t finished filing my 2018 taxes?
You need to have filed either a 2018 tax return or a 2019 tax return. If you have not filed either, you will not be eligible. You can file a 2019 tax return now to claim the rebate.
Will I be eligible if I have a lien against me, but I am in non-collect status?
Yes. Rebates will not be subject to garnishment, except if back child support is owed.
I withdrew my retirement in 2018- so my income that year was inflated. Is there any waiver for one time sources of income?
In this case, the taxpayer should file a 2019 tax return.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
Provides eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans.
· A loan would equal 250 percent of an employer’s average monthly payroll, and the loan could not exceed $10 million.
– The covered costs include payroll support (includes salaries, wages, paid sick and medical leave, insurance premiums), mortgage/rent, utilities, and other debt obligations.
– If an entity is eligible for the program, lenders will issue a loan based solely on if a business was in operation on February 15, 2020, and if it paid salaries and payroll taxes.
Eligible entities for this program are:
1. Small business with 500 employees or fewer
2. Self-employed individual or “gig economy” individual
3. 501(c)(3) organization
4. 501(c)(19) veterans organization
5. Tribal business concerns with under 500 employees
An entity will be eligible for total forgiveness if the company retains its employees and salary levels.
· Loan forgiveness cannot exceed the principal amount of the loan.
· Any reduction in employees or salaries and wages will result in a reduction in an eligible forgiveness amount.
· Amounts that are not forgiven after the 8 week period will be carried forward with a term of a max of 10 years at a maximum of 4% interest.
EMERGENCY ECONOMIC INJURY GRANTS
Benefit: Provides an advance of $10,000 to those businesses or nonprofits who apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) within three days of application to maintain payroll, provide sick leave, and pay other debt obligations.
Eligibility: An entity must have been in operation on January 31, 2020, and be a: small business, private nonprofit, sole proprietor or independent contractor, tribal business, cooperative, or employee-owned business
A loan application will be approved or denied solely based on an applicant’s credit score or sufficient alternative method.
Repayment Terms: Grant does not need to be repaid, even if the business is ultimately denied an EIDL.
Debt Relief for Existing SBA Borrowers:
Benefit: The SBA will cover all loan payments, including principal, interest, and fees for six months for existing SBA borrowers who have standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans.
· The SBA will also cover all loan payments for individuals who take out one of the standard loans within six months after the President signs the CARES Act into law.
How to Apply:
· To apply for an EIDL, please visit this link run by the SBA.
· Non-EIDL SBA loans are administered through qualified lenders in your community. To find a local lender to apply for the PPP program or any other SBA loan, visit their lender match tool found at this link.
– An individual may also contact a) their current business lender to see if they administer SBA loans or b) their local SBA office or Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to find an approved lender in their community.
Help Submitting an Application:
To speak with an SBA office in West Virginia, a business has two offices to choose from:
· Clarksburg – 320 West Pike Street Suite 330, Clarksburg, WV; Phone: 304-623-5631
· Charleston – 405 Capitol Street Suite 412, Charleston, WV; Phone: 304-347-5220
West Virginia is home to three SBDC that can provide financial and other guidance to small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Physical addresses and phone numbers are provided below.
· Wheeling – 1704 Market Street, Wheeling, WV; Phone: 304-214-8973
· Charleston – 1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East; Building 3, Suite 600; Charleston, WV; Phone: 304-558-2960
· Morgantown – 900 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Morgantown, WV; Phone: 304-293-5839
Additional Business Tax Benefits
Retention Tax Credit:
Increased Benefit: Employers, including non-profits, are eligible for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit on wages (including health benefits) paid up to $10,000 during the crisis.
1. that have experienced a 51% or more reduction in quarterly receipts; or
2. 100 employees or fewer
More than 100 Employees:
1. Employers who have retained employees on the payroll that are not currently working due to the crisis.
Delay of Payment for Payroll Taxes:
Increased Benefit: Employers can defer paying its portion of social security payroll taxes for its employees through the end of 2020.
· Deferral is not provided to employers that avail themselves of SBA 7(a) loans designated for payroll.
Payment of taxes: All 2020 deferred amounts are due in two installments- one at the end of 2021, and the other at the end of 2020.
Net Operating Losses (NOLs)
Increased Benefit: Businesses can take NOLS earned in 2018, 2019, or 2020 and carry back those losses five years.
· Eighty percent rule is suspended so companies may use NOLS they possess to fully offset their taxable income.
DISCLAIMER: All the information above is intended to provide preliminary guidance based on Congressional intent and does not constitute legal advice. It also does not replace official implementation guidance from the relevant state and federal agencies.