Need Additional Resources?
Local East Bay Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (AD 15) has pulled together a list of resources to help all of us affected by the current situation. We would like to share that information with you.
The information included below highlights critical resources including where to find out about assistance for small businesses and how to learn more about unemployment funding. There are links to a one-stop-shop for California and safety net programs for those in need.
And remember you can always reach out to your elected representatives.
The State of California and Governor Gavin Newsom have launched a website to answer many of your questions, with links to many of the resources folks need during this period. For the latest health updates, and for instructions on how to apply for unemployment, disability benefits, paid family leave, small business assistance, and more, go to https://covid19.ca.gov
LATEST NEWS AND ACTION FROM THE GOVERNOR
For the latest on actions and orders from the Governor: https://www.gov.ca.gov/newsroom/
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to California small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. For more Information about SBA disaster assistance programs, and to apply directly online, go to: www.sba.gov/disaster Or, contact SBA's Customer Service Center at: 1-800-659-2955 / 1-800-877- 8339 (TTY) Or by email at: email@example.com.
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has the most up-to-date information and resources for small businesses. They have released a useful FAQ for small businesses, which can be found here.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, DISABILITY INSURANCE, AND PAID FAMILY LEAVE
If you are experiencing unemployment due to COVID-19, and are eligible, you can file for Unemployment Insurance here.
If you are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, you are encouraged to file a Disability Insurance claim. DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Most California workers are covered by DI through deductions from their paychecks (noted as "CASDI" on most paystubs).
Note: The Governor's Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.
If you're unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, you are encouraged to file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim. PFL provides up to six weeks, this extends to eight weeks starting July 1, 2020, of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.
LATEST GUIDANCE FROM CDPH
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is tasked with releasing the latest State guidance for individuals, our schools, health facilities, and more. That guidance can be found here.
Due to COVID-19, Covered California has opened a special enrollment period. You can apply now for coverage if you are uninsured and eligible: https://www.coveredca.com/
Medi-Cal enrollment continues to be year-round, apply here.
SAFETY NET PROGRAMS
Governor Gavin Newsom recently issued an executive order that extends the eligibility period for important safety net services. The order waives eligibility re-determinations for 90 days for Californians who participate in:
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has announced a 60-day grace period for transactions that have a deadline of March 16 or later and require an office visit. The most common transactions that can't be done online, at a kiosk, or by mail are:
First-time driver's license.
Renewal of license for drivers 70 and older, who are required to take an in-person test.
Renewal of license for a driver who hasn't had an in-office visit in 15 years.
Renewal of a registration expired for more than 90 days.
For these and other matters requiring office visits, the DMV has asked California law enforcement agencies to "exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement" of expiration dates.
DMV offices are still open, but no walk-in visitors are allowed - only those with appointments, and no new appointments are being scheduled at this time. No behind-the-wheel tests are being given.
President Trump said on March 24 that the deadline will be extended for Americans to obtain Real ID, but he did not set a new date.
Federal Income Tax: Taxpayers can delay paying their 2019 federal income taxes for up to 90 days, as long as they don't owe more than $1 million to the federal government. There are no penalties or interest due if you wait.
CA Income Tax: The deadline has been extended to July 15th. The FTB will also waive interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply. FTB is postponing the filing and payment deadlines for all individual and business entities, until July 15, for:
2019 tax returns;
2019 tax return payments;
2020 1st and 2nd quarter estimate payments;
2020 limited liability company taxes and fees; and,
2020 Non-wage withholding payments.
Property Tax: The April 10th deadline has not been extended. Although the deadline has not been extended, the penalties and costs imposed due to a late payment can be waived in circumstances where a taxpayer cannot physically pay their taxes due to quarantine, illness, or closure of the county Tax Collector's office.
Sales Tax and other Special Taxes: Pursuant to Governor Newsom's announcement on March 12th, CDTFA is authorized to provide relief to individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The relief includes granting extensions for filing returns and making payments, and relief from interest and penalties. Because CDTFA administers a wide range of taxes, taxpayers seeking assistance should contact CDTFA's Customer Service Center at 800-400-7115, or visit CDTFA's online Website at www.cdtfa.ca.gov.
All East Bay utility companies have suspended service disconnections due to non-payment during the COVID-19 public health emergency. More info here.
Price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal in California. Report gouging on food, gas, medical supplies, transportation, hotel accommodations, and any other essential supplies to the Attorney General at (800) 925-5225, or here.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS INFORMATION
California Food Banks are in need of volunteers. If you are healthy and able, please consider volunteering. They are engaged in safe practices and social distancing: http://www.cafoodbanks.org/
California's blood banks face a shortage due to COVID-19. If you are healthy and able, please consider donating. They are also engaged in safe practices and social distancing: https://rcblood.org/33Jr3pM