The CARES Act: Coronavirus Relief for Individuals, Seniors, Workers, Small Businesses, and Ag Producers
On March 27, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to bolstering health-related response efforts, the law provides immediate relief for individuals and families, workers, small businesses, religious organizations, and seniors.
This is a difficult time for all Missourians and I am here to help in any way I can. The following information provides guidance on where to find the most up-to-date recommendations from the CDC and Missouri Department of Health, as well as answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the CARES Act.
If you have a question that is not answered below, or require assistance with a federal agency, please don’t hesitate to reach out: https://www.blunt.senate.gov/working-for-missouri/federal-casework
To our health care workers, first responders, nonprofit volunteers, pharmacy and grocery store employees, delivery drivers, sanitation and public works employees, food processors and producers, and everyone who is working hard to meet critical needs in communities across our state: Thank you. We will make it through this crisis thanks to your dedication and we will be even stronger on the other side.
Federal Health-Related Coronavirus Updates:
Coronavirus Resources for Missourians:
- Missouri’s hotline is (877) 435-8411
- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has a COVID-19 chatbot. Ask questions here: https://info.mo.gov/covid
- Report any instances of price gouging to the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline by calling 1-800-392-8222 or by filing a complaint online at https://ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint
EMPLOYERS, SMALL BUSINESSES, AND NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
Missouri Employers & Small Businesses:
- The CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program and other loan opportunities provide relief to eligible small businesses and nonprofits for job retention and certain other expenses. More information here.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses and private, nonprofit organizations. Click here for additional information and to apply.
- The IRS is extending payroll tax credits to eligible small and midsize businesses required to comply with new paid leave requirements. Learn more here. Additional helpful information, including FAQs, can be found here.
- Missouri Department of Labor provides additional guidance: https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus
Missouri Faith-Based Organizations:
- Faith-based organizations are eligible for relief under the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Learn more here.
INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
Direct Assistance Payments:
- The IRS will send recovery payments to eligible Americans. Answers to the most frequently asked questions here.
- Social Security recipients will automatically receive recovery payments.
- General tax information can be found here.
- The IRS delayed Tax Day until July 15, additional guidance here.
Missouri Students and Educators:
- The CARES Act provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers. More info here.
- The U.S. Department of Education has provided funding flexibilities for states, including those related to distance learning. Guidance for school administrators and educators can be found here.
- General information from the Missouri Department of Labor: https://labor.mo.gov/coronavirus
- To file an unemployment insurance claim visit https://labor.mo.gov/unemployed-workers
- The CARES Act includes the CARES Act created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA program for individuals not otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance payments, e.g., self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers). More info here.
- U.S. Department of Labor’s information/guidance regarding paid leave may be found here.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provided hours of service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19. More information here. More information here.
The Missouri Department of Transportation issued special permits for heavier truck loads on Missouri roads for delivery of critical supplies and equipment in response to COVID-19. For additional information, click here.
LIVING OR TRAVELING ABROAD
Missourians Living or Traveling Abroad
- For individual assistance, contact Senator Blunt’s casework staff here.
If you are abroad and need assistance from the U.S. State Department:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). https://step.state.gov/
- Contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, or call 1-888-407-4747 (U.S. & Canada) or 1- 202-501-4444 (from overseas). Additional information from the U.S. State Department here.
Competitive Federal Grants
- Check the awarding agency website for announcements and reach out to the agency regarding extensions and other inquiries.
- NIH will be accepting late applications for grants due between March 9, 2020 and May 1, 2020.
- If you or your company are developing a medical countermeasure or platform technology related to coronavirus, you can get insights and strategic advice from HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at a TechWatch meeting. TechWatch meetings are your chance to introduce your proposed solution that may meet one of BARDA’s priorities. You can submit information for a TechWatch meeting here.
- FTA provides multiple resources to help grantees understand eligible expenses, program requirements, and receive grant funds. Click here for information on COVID-19 and coronavirus, click here to reach their FAQs, and click here for apportionment tables for states and urbanized areas to begin their planning processes. If grantees require further clarification or technical assistance, please email FTAresponse@dot.gov or contact FTA Region 7 Office at (816) 329-3920.
- Visit my grants page to request support for your competitive federal grant application.