COVID-19 Resources

This page provides information about economic resources for workers, job seekers, and employers who may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated as more information and resources become available.

For information on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and what do to if you’re sick, please visit the Information on the Coronavirus page.

Summary of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Last Updated: January 13, 2021

 

Contents
  • Resources for unemployed workers
    • Includes information on expanded Unemployment Insurance
       
  • Resources for people currently working
    • Information on workplace compensation, new federal requirements for paid sick leave and paid family leave
       
  • Resources for students and educators
    • Information on work study, federal aid eligibility, student loans, and Teacher Loan Forgiveness
       
  • Resources everyone can use
    • Information on the first and second rounds of recovery payments, changes to retirement withdrawals, new charitable contribution rules, and food assistance
       
  • Resources for employers
    • Information on the Paycheck Protection Program, Small Business Administration loans, paid sick leave and paid family leave mandates and more

 

Resources for unemployed workers

  • Unemployment Insurance: The Oregon Employment Department provides Unemployment Insurance benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. To file an initial Unemployment Insurance claim, visit the Oregon Employment Department’s Online Claim System and follow instructions to file your new claim.

 

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC): The Continued Assitance Act provides an additional $300 a week Unemployment Compensation that is paid in addition to and at the same time (but not necessarily in the same check) as regular state Unemployment Compensation benefits; if you’ve already applied for Unemployment, you do not need to reapply for the additional compensation. This additional payment does not affect eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and is available from December 27, 2020, through March 14, 2021.

 

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is a program created through the CARES Act that provides unemployment benefits to workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits, so long as their unemployment was connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is available through March 14, 2021. PUA covers individuals who are self-employed, independent contractors, and those who do not have enough recent earnings to receive regular unemployment benefits.
    • Visit the Oregon Employment Department’s Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUA) website to submit a PUA application and weekly PUA certification forms, and to learn more about eligibility.
    • Note: if you are seeking PUA benefits and have previously applied for regular Unemployment Insurance, you do not need to file a weekly claim for regular Unemployment Insurance. You should, however, continue to submit a weekly PUA certification form.

 

  • Current Unemployment Insurance in-person meeting requirements: If you are sick with COVID-19, call your WorkSource Oregon center to ask about alternative options for completing your appointments.

 

Resources for people currently working

 

  • Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides for up to two weeks of fully-paid emergency sick leave to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis, or receive treatment for COVID-19. Two weeks of paid emergency sick leave, at two-thirds pay, is available to employees caring for a family member due to COVID-19. Eligible employees are those at companies with fewer than 500 employees, local, state, and federal government employees, and employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement. The Department of Labor has provided guidance for non-federal employees and for federal employees.
    • The Department of Labor has also created an interactive tool to determine paid leave eligibility.

 

  • Federal Paid Family Leave: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act also provides for 12 weeks of job-protected leave for employees to take care of a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of childcare. The 12 weeks of job-protected leave include two weeks of unpaid leave, followed by 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s usual pay. Employees can overlap the first two unpaid weeks with two weeks of emergency paid sick leave. Eligible employees are those at companies with fewer than 500 employees, local, state, and government employees, and employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement. The Department of Labor has provided guidance for non-federal employees and for federal employees.
    • The Department of Labor has also created an interactive tool to determine paid leave eligibility.

 

  • Sick Leave: The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries issues guidance related to Oregon’s sick time and other leave time laws.

 

  • Student loan repayment from employers: The Consolidated Appropriations Act extended the student loan payment tax exclusion provided through the CARES Act. Student loan payments – up to $5,250 – are non-taxable through December 31, 2025.

 

Resources for students and educators

  • Student loan payment deferral: The Department of Education has announced that they are deferring student loan payments, principal and interest, through January 31, 2021. These deferred payments only apply to federally-owned loans.

 

  • Work study: The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows higher education institutions to issue work-study payments as a lump sum or in payments similar to paychecks to students who are unable to work due to workplace closures related to COVID-19.

 

  • Leaving school due to COVID-19: For students who left an institution of higher education early due to COVID-19, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides protections. First, it excludes the term from counting negatively toward lifetime subsidized loan eligibility, or Pell Grant eligibility. The CARES Act also states that students who left their institutions are not required to return Pell Grants or federal student loans. Finally, the student’s grades do not affect a student’s federal academic requirements to continue to receive Pell Grants or student loans.

 

  • TEACH Grant or Teacher Loan Forgiveness: For educators who could not finish their year of teaching service as a result of COVID-19, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows for their partial year of service to be counted as a full year of service toward TEACH grant obligations or Teacher Loan Forgiveness. The CARES Act also waives a requirement that educators must serve consecutive years of teaching service for Teacher Loan Forgiveness eligibility, if a teacher’s service is not consecutive as a result of COVID-19.

 

Resources everyone can use

  • First Economic Impact Payments: The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides for a one-time payment of up to $1,200 to individuals ($2,400 for married couples) and $500 per child. The full payment is available to individuals with up to $75,000 of income ($150,000 for married couples and $112,500 for heads of households). The payment is reduced for those with incomes between $75,000 and $99,000 ($150,000 and $198,000 for married couples and $112,500 and $146,500) and eliminated above those income levels. If you did not receive the first payment by December 31, 2020, you may be able to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 taxes. For more information, visit the Internal Revenue Service’s Recovery Rebate Credit information page.

 

  • Second Economic Impact Payments: The Treasury Department will send one-time checks worth $600 to most individuals ($1200 for couples). Those with children will receive an additional $600 per child under age 17. The payments phase out for individual taxpayers who earned more than $75,000, heads of households who earned more than $112,500, and joint filers who earned more than $150,000. These figures are based on 2019 tax returns. For more information, visit the Second EIP frequently asked questions page.

 

Filing Status

Potential Payment

Maximum Payment Until

No Payment After

Single, No Children

$1,200

$75,000

$99,000

Head of Household, 1 Child

$1,700

$112,500

$146,500

Head of Household, 2 Children

$2,200

$112,500

$156,500

Joint Filers, No Children

$2,400

$150,000

$198,000

Joint Filers, 1 Child

$2,900

$150,000

$208,000

Joint Filers, 2 Child

$3,400

$150,000

$218,000

 

 

  • Check Economic Impact Payment status: The Internal Revenue Service has also launched a “Get My Payment” web tool allowing individuals to check the status of their economic impact payment. To check the status of your payment, you will need to enter basic information such as Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Mailing Address. Also available in Spanish here.  

 

  • Treasury Department COVID-19 scams: To learn about and report coronavirus-related IRS scams, visit the dedicated webpage on the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s website. The Internal Revenue Service does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even about Economic Impact Payments.

 

  • Special rules for retirement fund withdrawals: If you need to withdraw money from your retirement fund for coronavirus-related purposes, you may be able to withdraw up to $100,000 of distributions that you made on or after January 1, 2020 without being subject to the 10 percent early withdrawal tax. The income from such withdrawal is subject to tax over three years and you may recontribute these funds to an eligible retirement plan within three years without counting toward that year’s cap on contributions.

 

  • Temporary Waiver of Required Minimum Distribution Rules: Certain defined contribution plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) require a minimum distribution from the plans and accounts when individuals reach age 72. Given the market downturn associated with COVID-19, required minimum distributions for 2020 are waived, allowing individuals to keep funds in their retirement plans.

 

  • Tax deduction for charitable contributions: There is a temporary one-year charitable tax deduction of up to $300 that is available to taxpayers who claim the standard deduction when filing taxes.

 

  • Enhanced charitable deduction for taxpayers who itemize: Individuals who itemize their taxes are now able to deduct up to 100% of their charitable contributions in 2020, rather than the usual 50% limitation.

 

  • SNAP (Food Stamps): The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps, ensures that Americans receive the food they need, especially if they are newly unemployed. These programs have received increased investments to ensure that your family can put food on the table. You can find out if you are eligible and apply for SNAP through the Oregon Department of Human Services website.

 

  • WIC Benefits for Pregnant Women and Mothers: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) provides access to nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women or new mothers. While you normally must apply for WIC benefits in person, the Oregon Health Authority is practicing social distancing to administer this program through appointments over the phone, by email, and video chat. More information on how to apply can be found here.

 

  • Food Banks: To find a food bank near you, call the USDA National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY/1-877-8-HAMBRE.

 

  • Credit protections: Furnishers to credit reporting agencies who agree to account forbearance, or agree to modified payments for an obligation or account of a consumer that has been impacted by COVID-19 are required to report such obligation or account as “current.” This only applies to accounts where the consumer has fulfilled the forbearance or modified payment agreement requirements. This credit protection is available beginning January 31, 2020 and ends 120 days after the COVID-19 national emergency declaration is terminated.

 

  • State Department International Travel Advisory: The State Department advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel at this time due to the impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. For further general information please visit the State Department’s website. For country-specific information, please visit the State Department’s country-specific landing page.

 

Resources for employers

  • Paycheck Protection Program: Businesses and nonprofits may apply under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to borrow the lesser of $10 million or 250 percent of monthly expenses including salaries, wages, sick leave, rent and utilities. Businesses that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis can apply through their lenders to have 8 weeks of those expenses forgiven, converting the loans into grants that do not need to be repaid. These resources can be used in coordination with other COVID-financing assistance or any other existing Small Business Administration (SBA) loan program. The Small Business Administration has published information on its website for borrowers and the Treasury Department has collected relevant overviews, guidance, interim final rules, and more on their website.
    • For a list of lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration has released a guide, organized by state.

 

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program: The end-of-year-COVID-19 relief bill provides an additional $20 billion in targeted funding through the EIDL advance program to help small businesses and most private nonprofits meet their financial obligations and operating expenses. Small businesses and nonprofits can receive an advance of up to $10,000 when they apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan. To learn more, please visit SBA’s EIDL Information Page.

  

  • Business Counseling Services for Small Businesses: Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Center provide mentorship, guidance and expertise to small businesses. The stimulus provided these centers with increased resources and training to address COVID-19 related questions. Portland’s Small Business Development Center is operated by Portland Community College and Mercy Corps operates Oregon’s only Women’s Business Center.

 

  • Work Share program: The Oregon Employment Department’s Work Share program may be able to help you prevent layoffs by providing partial Unemployment Insurance benefits to supplement workers’ reduced wages as their hours are reduced.

 

  • Rapid Response Services: Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission provides rapid response services for employers to assist with the development and implementation of a strategy to help affected workers to return to work as quickly as possible.

 

  • Federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers to provide up to two weeks of fully-paid emergency sick leave to employees to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis, or receive treatment for COVID-19. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable payroll tax credit to cover 100 percent of the cost of emergency paid sick leave wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement. The Department of Labor has provided guidance for employers and a comprehensive list of questions and answers.

 

  • Federal Paid Family Leave Requirements: The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act also requires employers to offer 12 weeks of paid family leave for an employee with a minor child in the event of the closure of the child’s school or place of childcare. The first two weeks are unpaid, but the employee can overlap this with the two weeks of emergency paid sick leave. This benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee’s wages up to a maximum of $200 per day. In order to offset the impact to small- and medium-sized businesses, employers are provided a refundable paid family leave payroll tax credit that offsets 100 percent of employer costs for providing mandated paid family leave. The credit also offsets the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. These requirements apply to employers with fewer than 500 employees, state and local governments, and employers with employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement. The Department of Labor has provided guidance for employers and a comprehensive list of questions and answers.