Coronavirus Bulletin Board

Updates to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and federal benefits and services

PENNSYLVANIA

NEW JERSEY

FEDERAL

  • CARES Act
    • Eviction Moratorium
    • Foreclosure Moratorium
    • Credit Protection
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • Student Loans
    • Medication Refills
    • Economic Impact Payments
      • Stimulus Scams
      • Check status
      • Information for non-filers
      • Information for those who have not yet filed
      • Change of address
  • Immigration
    • Services Suspended
    • Emergency Services
  • Income Tax
  • Social Security Benefits
    • Offices closed to public
    • Consultative Exams

PENNSYLVANIA

COURTS

All evictions and foreclosures are stayed until July 10, 2020.

Civil Trials in Philadelphia are Postponed until July 6, 2020 All civil trials, currently scheduled through Monday, July 6, 2020, are postponed and will be rescheduled by the Court.

Civil and Criminal Jury Trials are suspended through September 8, 2020. Jury duty is cancelled through September 8, 2020. Jurors summoned before September 8, 2020 do not need to report for jury duty.

Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County Issues Orders Setting Timeline for Resuming Court Function

The administrative orders can be found here:

Phila. Municipal Court Announces Plan to Reopen Civil Division

The plan to reopen the Civil Division to the public can be found here:  

PA Supreme Court Closes All Courts Through May 29.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has ordered that court facilities in all judicial districts in Pennsylvania shall be closed to the public beginning at close of business on March 19, and lasting through at least May 29, 2020. The order of closure also applies to the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, Magisterial District Courts and all minor courts in Philadelphia and Allegheny County.

All evictions and foreclosures are stayed until July 10, 2020.  

For information on Pennsylvania county-by-county court operations, click here

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Emergency Protection from Abuse

Petitions can still be filed. See the full order here.

Through April 1st, petitioners can file for emergency Protection From Abuse orders at the Emergency Filing Site in room B-03 of the Stout Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert Street, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During normal business hours the filing site can connect petitioners to Women Against Abuse legal advocates who can provide safety planning and options counseling by phone. Additionally, the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline remains fully operational 24/7.

The Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline remains fully operation can be reached at 1-866-723-3014 at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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HOUSING

Emergency Rental Assistance

Philadelphia announces Emergency Rental Assistance available

On May 8, the City of Philadelphia announced its COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program aims to help people who have lost income because of COVID-19 pay their rent. Please note that funding is limited. Not everyone who applies can be served.

The City will begin accepting applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 10 a.m. The deadline to apply is Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Applications are available through PHLRentAssist.org. Residents without internet access or a smart phone can get program and application information by calling 3-1-1.

To be eligible, renters must:

·         Rent an apartment or house in Philadelphia

·         Have a valid and current written lease signed by landlord

·         Have lost income because of COVID-19

·         Meet income guidelines

Renters do not have to have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to be eligible.

Renters are NOT eligible if they live in public housing or receive other government rental assistance (Section 8/Housing Choice Vouchers, etc.)

Evictions

Governor’s Executive Order Stays Eviction and Foreclosure Proceedings Until July 10, 2020.

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued an executive order (link below) extending the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures in Pennsylvania through July 10th.

https://www.governor.pa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/20200507-TWW-dispossession-of-property-order.pdf

For anyone with an eviction hearing scheduled before April 30th, your hearing is postponed and you will get a new court date. Please check your mail for this new court date.

All evictions are illegal evictions at this time.
If your landlord changes your locks, bars your door, cuts off your utilities, removes your possessions, or otherwise forces you out of your home, that is an illegal eviction. If you are evicted illegally, follow the steps on this COVID-19 Illegal Eviction flyer.

Federal CARES Act stops some evictions until July 25, 2020.
The CARES Act Eviction Moratorium stops some landlords from charging late fees, sending eviction notices or filing eviction cases for non-payment of rent until July 25, 2020.

To learn whether your home is covered by the CARES Act Eviction Moratorium, check out this searchable database.

For a more detailed summary of the law, check out the National Housing Law Project’s CARES Act Summary.

Here is quick access to COVID-19 flyers and housing:

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Fair Housing Complaints

The Philadelphia Fair Housing Commission is accepting complaints.
The Fair Housing Commission (FHC) is not holding hearings at this time. However, tenants who are victims of unfair rental practices may file a complaint. Send completed intake questionnaires to the FHC at Fairhousingcomm@phila.gov. Or you can call the FHC main telephone line at 215-686-4670.


Philadelphia Housing Authority

Hardship waivers available for Philadelphia Housing Authority residents struggling to pay rent.
PHA is encouraging its residents who have experienced a financial hardship, such as the loss of a job or decrease in hours or pay,  to apply for a Hardship Waiver. For details in both English and Spanish, see http://www.pha.phila.gov/pha-news/pha-news/2020/hardship-waiver-forms.aspx.

Effective Friday, March 20, 2020, PHA will waive all late rent payment fees for March and April 2020. More information about PHA services can be found  here in English and en Español.


Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application EXTENDED TO DEC 31, 2020

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners

The deadline for older adults and Pennsylvania residents with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2019 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020.

To apply, click here.


Mortgage Foreclosure Hearings

All Mortgage Foreclosure Hearings, Conferences and Trials have been Postponed.
All mortgage foreclosure sheriff sales scheduled for April, May and June have also been postponed to July, August and September. For the most up-to-date information on mortgage and tax foreclosures during the pandemic, please visit the Community Legal Services Homeownership page.

Please call the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at 215-334-4663 if you have a question about your mortgage or tax foreclosure.

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PHILADELPHIA CITY OFFICES

Philadelphia City Offices are closed. The Philadelphia Register of Wills is closed until further notice. For questions regarding probate or estates, you can e-mail ROWonline@phila.gov

The Philadelphia Department of Records is closed to in-person and mail recordings until further notice.  For more information, see here.

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PUBLIC BENEFITS

General

Note: Recipients of public benefits who receive mail about their benefits somewhere other than where they reside (such as PO boxes, a family member’s home) should update their contact information with the agencies, so that they do not miss important mail while stay-at-home order is in effect.

Did You Lose A Job or Reduce Your Hours Because of the Coronavirus?
You may be eligible for Food Stamps (SNAP), Medicaid (MA), Cash Assistance (TANF) or Heating Bill Assistance (LIHEAP).

If you need to apply for benefits, please apply online using Compass or call Benephilly: 844-848-4376.

If you already receive these benefits, but you’ve lost income, you may be eligible for an increase in SNAP or TANF. The County Assistance Offices are closed to the public. Don’t go to the County Assistance Office! You should submit information about a change in income in one of the following ways:

  • Online through Compass (compass.state.pa.us)
  • Through the free mobile app MyCompassPA
  • By calling the Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226

If you don’t have paperwork from your job (such as pay stubs or a letter about your hours), you should explain your loss of income in your own words. You can do that in the comments section of Compass.

If you have questions about Medical Assistance or other health insurance, call the Pennsylvania Health Access Network hotline: 877-570-3642.

The $600 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) boost does not count as income for MA purposes. The PUC boost counts as income in the month received for SNAP purposes. The economic impact payments do not count as income for benefits calculations. However, Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) do count as unearned income for all public benefits purposes. 


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County Assistance Offices

County Assistance Offices statewide are operating but closed to the public.
Pennsylvanians are encouraged to use DHS’ online applications and resources to apply for benefits or submit paperwork as necessary.

Eligibility determinations, application processing, and benefit issuance continue for Pennsylvanians in all counties. Applications for benefits and renewals can be submitted online at www.compass.state.pa.us. For Medicaid, contact the Pennsylvania Consumer Service Center at 1-866-550-4355 to apply over the phone.

Pennsylvanians can also complete semi-annual renewals and check their benefit status through the myCOMPASS PA mobile app. Those who prefer to submit paper documentation can mail documents to their local CAO. If applicants tell their CAO that they are having a health emergency (including suspected COVID 19) the CAO will prioritize that application and expedite approval.

Beneficiaries in Philadelphia with questions or information to report about their case should call the Philadelphia Customer Service Center at 215-560-7226. Clients in all other counties can call the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930. Call volumes and wait times are likely to be high.


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Emergency Financial Assistance for Families:

Pennsylvania’s Department of Human ServicesDHS is accepting applications May 11 to June 12 for its new Emergency Assistance Program. This is a cash assistance program of two months of a TANF for people who lost income during the COVID-19 crisis. People receiving TANF or Diversion cannot get this grant.

Eligibility requirements:

  • household must have children or a pregnant household member;
  • someone in the household was working as of March 11, 2020 and lost more than 50% of earnings due to COVID-19;
  • household has resources of less than $1,000;
  • household income is below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level.

The COMPASS application is here: https://www.compass.state.pa.us/COMPASS.Web/AFS/EmergencyCashAssistance.

Medical Assistance (MA) coverage of COVID-19

Medical Assistance and COVID-19
Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance (MA) program will cover COVID-19 testing and related services. COVID-19 testing is free of charge when a doctor determines it is needed. There are no co-payments for COVID-19 related tests.

To apply for Medical Assistance:

If you need MA right away because you think you may have COVID-19, be sure to say so on the application.


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Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) coverage of COVID-19

Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA) is available for immigrants who need COVID-19 testing and treatment
No forms need to be filled out by medical providers and no medical records are needed. The applicant’s own statement that they need COVID-19 services is the only verification that will be required.

Non-COVID EMA cases still need medical documentation and approval by DHS’ medical team. Once approved, EMA must not be closed through the end of the COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, see DHS’s policy clarification here.


Moratorium on Termination of Services

No Closure of Medical Assistance, Long Term Care, and HOME and Community Based Services
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, effective March 18, 2020, MA, HCBS and LTC cannot be terminated until the end of the emergency unless the individual moves away from Pennsylvania; requests that their benefits be closed; or passes away.

For more see the OPS memo here.


SNAP and TANF

EBT payments are still scheduled to occur during the CAO closure, and activated EBT cards can still be used as usual at ATMs and in stores at point-of-sale machines. Balance and transaction inquiries, as well as EBT card replacement, can be requested from DHS’s EBT contractor at 888-328-7366.

SNAP certification periods will be extended for at least the next three months. Ongoing SNAP cases will not be terminated during this period, and TANF has suspended sanctions for not meeting work-activity requirements. The Pennsylvania Department of Health Services has submitted a waiver request to the federal Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for this extension. National updates from the FNS can be found here.


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SPBP

Temporary Removal of SPBP Early Refill Limits Due to COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the Special Pharmaceutical Benefits Program (SPBP) early refill limit that requires at least 85% of the previous medication dispensed to be utilized prior to refilling the medication has been temporarily removed to allow clients to receive early refills if needed. This will only be a temporary measure until the SPBP determines at a later date to turn the restriction back on. The pharmacy will still receive a warning message that the refill is early, but the claim will be paid by SPBP. This will help to alleviate any early refill issues and requests during this time.

Currently, the SPBP allows up to 100 day supply for medications prescribed at 1 pill per day, up to 50 day supply for 2 pills per day, and up to a 34 day supply for 3 or more pills per day.

For drug claim issues, pharmacies should contact the SPBP provider line at 800-835-4080.

For all other questions or enrollment issues, contact the SPBP customer service line at 800-922-9384.

WIC

Effective, Monday, April 6, 2020, all Philadelphia WIC Offices were closed to the public.
WIC benefits will continue to be issued to current and new participants. Our staff will begin calling participants that have appointments scheduled to perform intake procedures over the telephone. Once the necessary information is collected, new eWIC EBT cards will be mailed out to the participants with their WIC benefits loaded on the card.

WIC’s goal is to load three months of benefits onto participant’s cards when possible. WIC staff will be in their respective offices to answer any questions about this change.

Philadelphia WIC Offices will continue to operate on a reduced schedule, Monday –Thursday from 7:00am – 1:00pm and closed Fridays.

For the most up to date information, please check Philadelphia WIC’s social media, on InstagramTwitter or Facebook.


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SEPTA SERVICES

Lifeline Service Schedules

Lifeline service schedules, now in effect, focus on providing access for essential workers traveling to hospitals, grocery stores and other life-sustaining services. All other customers are urged to stay home unless traveling for urgent personal business such as medical appointments or food shopping

Wearing a Face Mask or Face Covering When Riding SEPTA

New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advise wearing a simple cloth face covering, when out in public, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Following this guidance, Septa urges  all customers to wear a mask or other facial covering when traveling on SEPTA to protect customers and Operators. Surgical masks are being distributed to frontline Operations personnel as part of this effort. 

For more information, see HTTP://SEPTA.ORG/COVID-19/


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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Pennsylvania Rolls Out Federal Stimulus Enhancements to Unemployment Compensation Benefits. Beginning April 2020, all Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits will also begin to receive Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), a $600 per week supplemental benefit payable through the end of July.

Pennsylvanians who usually fall outside of the UC system – gig workers, independent contractors, self-employed persons and workers with limited work history– will be eligible for benefits through a supplemental program, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).  

Everyone receiving UC benefits or PUA benefits in ANY amount will also receive a supplemental payment of $600 per week, from the week ending April 4, 2020 through the week ending July 25, 2020. These payments will be made automatically, without a separate application.

Applications for UC benefits can be filed at www.uc.pa.gov and the application is available 24/7. 

For Pennsylvania workers who have struggled to apply online through their phones or who need language assistance, Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) provides an Unemployment Compensation Application Service Hotline to help them their initial application for UC benefits. It can be reached Monday through Friday at (215) 999-6910

The PUC program runs from January 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and will be retroactive to a worker’s last day of work within that time period.

Pennsylvanians  eligible for benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will not be required to apply for UC first. They will be asked to provide documentation of their self-employment and their earnings. Benefits will mirror those paid in the UC program, with a minimum weekly benefit of $195, plus the $600 supplement. PUA applications can be filed at https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx

Note: The $600 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) boost does not count as income for MA purposes. The PUC boost counts as income in the month received for SNAP purposes. The economic impact payments do not count as income for benefits calculations. However, Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) do count as unearned income for all public benefits purposes. 


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UTILITIES

PUC Prohibits Utility Terminations
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) signed an emergency order prohibiting electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations. The moratorium will remain in place as long as the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is in effect.

Under the order, terminations would be permitted in the event of a safety emergency.
For more, visit the PUC’s website at www.puc.pa.gov

PECO is extending its COVID-19 customer support policies through at least June 1, 2020. These policies include: 

  • Suspending service disconnections
  • Waiving all new late fees for customers
  • Reconnecting service for customers who have had their service disconnected. Customers should call 1-800-494-4000 to begin the connection process
  • More information is available in this PECO press release.

Customers in need of support should contact PECO customer care at 1-800-494-4000 or visit  peco.com/help to learn more about assistance programs. More information is available in this PECO press release.

The Philadelphia Water Department will restore water service to all delinquent customers whose water has previously been terminated.  The restoration fee will be waived.  Customers that have been shut off for not repairing defects in their private plumbing will still need to make the necessary repairs to have their water restored.

For more information, https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/PAPHILAWATER/bulletins/28115e5

Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet
Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if you contact them at 1 (800) 934-6489 and let them know that you can’t pay your bills during this period. Learn more from Comcast here. 


NEW JERSEY

Financial protections are available for New Jerseyans facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19.  For more information, click here.


For mortgage relief information, click here


Details on New Jersey unemployment benefits can be found here. A helpful chart for determining eligibility for these benefits can be found here.


The Camden Coalition of Health Providers has created a list of community resources for COVID-19 including medical services, housing, behavioral health providers, food resources, and addiction support. We recommend checking their continually updated resource guide here.


FEDERAL


CARES ACT (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security)

Eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent cases
The CARES Act includes an eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent cases for 120 days (March 27-July 25, 2020). The moratorium covers tenants in the following housing programs: HOPWA, public housing, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Project-Based, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, Sec. 202 and 236, etc.

During the moratorium, landlords cannot file a case for non-payment of rent only and have to wait until the end of the moratorium to send a 30-day lease termination notice. The law does not affect cases that have already been filed.

For an in-depth summary, visit the National Housing Law Project.


Foreclosure Moratorium and Consumer Right to Request Forbearance
Prohibits foreclosure on all federally-backed mortgage loans for a 60-day period beginning 3/18/2020. Prohibition includes judicial and non-judicial foreclosure processes, moving for a foreclosure judgment or order of sale, or executing a foreclosure-related eviction or foreclosure sale.

Provides up to 180 days of forbearance for borrowers who have experienced a financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency. The forbearance shall be extended by additional 180 days at the borrower’s request.

Applicable mortgages include those purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, insured by HUD, VA or USDA, or made directly by USDA.


Credit Protection During COVID-19
“Accommodation” includes an agreement to defer 1 or more payments, make a partial payment, forbear any delinquent amount, modify a loan or contract, or any other assistance or relief granted to a consumer who is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during the covered period.

“Covered Period” means the period beginning. On 1/31/2020 and ending on the later of 120 days after the enactment of this subparagraph or 120 days after the date on which the declared COVID-19 national emergency terminates.

Creditors who agree to an accommodation, with respect to a debt of a consumer that has been impacted by COVID-19, shall report such debt or account as “current”, or as the status reported prior to the accommodation, if the consumer complies with the modified agreement.


Unemployment Compensation for person with an underlying health condition whose doctor orders self-quarantine. 
Unemployment Compensation is now available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for a person with an underlying health condition whose doctor orders self-quarantine. 

  • Benefits extended from 26 weeks (in most states) to 39 weeks
  • Benefits are payable for the period beginning 1/27/2020 and end on 12/31/2020
  • The amount of benefits includes the amount that would be calculated under state law plus $600 per week for up to 4 months (Note: the $600 UC increase does not count for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP.)
  • Waiver of the usual one-week waiting period
  • Additional benefits may also be available to those who exhaust their benefits
  • Creates a temporary program through December 31, 2020 to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.

A “covered individual” includes anyone who self-certifies that they are able and available to work but are unemployed or partially unemployed because of any of the following:

  • Has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
  • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is providing care for a family member or household member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • The individual is the primary caregiver for a child or other person in the household who is unable to attend school or another facility as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual is unable to work because a healthcare provider has advised the individual to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  • The individual was scheduled to start employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
  • The individual has to quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19; or
  • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of COVID-19.

More general Coronavirus information from the U.S. Department of Labor can be found here.


Education Provisions
Permits certain higher education borrowers flexibility in repaying loans or returning grants during a qualified emergency.

Payments on student loans held by the Department of Education are suspended for 6 months (through September 30, 2020) and the Secretary of Education shall suspend all involuntary collection activities during the 6-month period of payment suspension

Allows schools to turn unused work-study funds into supplemental grants and continue paying work-study wages while schools are suspended.


Refills of Covered Medicare Part D Drugs
Allowing Up to 3-Month Fills and Refills of Covered Medicare Part D Drugs – requires that Medicare Part D plans provide up to a 90-day supply of a prescription medication if requested by a beneficiary during the COVID-19. emergency period.


Economic Impact Payments
The payment is an advance on a tax credit for the 2020 tax year.  It is a direct payment to individuals and families and would be received as electronic direct deposit or a check by mail.

  • The Act requires the Treasury Department to make the payments “as rapidly as possible.”
  • It is paid in 2020 based on the 2019 tax return. If the 2019 tax return has not been filed, the rebate would be advanced based on information from the 2018 return information.
  • The only individuals that are excluded from receiving a rebate are nonresident aliens, individuals who can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer and an estate or trust.
  • The amount of the rebate depends on family size. The payment is $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers) and $500 per qualifying child under age 17. 
  • An individual must have a Social Security Number (SSN) for themselves. In addition, if an individual has qualifying children, they also need to have an SSN.
  • Based on income, the rebate payment is reduced by $5 for every $100 a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,00 for joint filers, $112,00 for a head of household filer and $75,000 for anyone else. This means the rebate will phase out entirely for single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child and $198,000 for joint-filers with no children.
  • If an individual filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or address information on file with the IRS. Electronic payments will be automatic to an account a payee authorized in 2018 or later.
  • There are no earned income requirements to be eligible for the rebate. An individual with $0 of income is eligible for a payment.
  • Social Security recipients are eligible for the payments. The Social Security Administration will share information with the IRS so that the IRS can make rebate payments to Social Security recipients.

Beware of Stimulus Check Scams And Related Hoaxes
The IRS will not call and ask you to verify your payment details. Do not give out your bank account, debit account, or PayPal account information – even if someone claims it’s necessary to get your stimulus check. It’s a scam.

Fraudsters are also preying on financial fears tied to the pandemic. The FCC is aware of robocall scams with COVID-19 themed work-from-home opportunities, student loan repayment plans, and debt consolidation offers. Consumers aren’t the only target. Small businesses are also getting scam calls about virus-related funding or loans and online listing verification.

Many consumers will receive checks as part of the federal government response to the coronavirus. No one will call or text you to verify your personal information or bank account details in order to “release” the funds. The Treasury Department expects most people to receive their payments within three weeks, via direct-deposit information the department has on file from prior tax filings.

If you think you’ve been a victim of a coronavirus scam, contact law enforcement immediately

Source: https://www.fcc.gov/covid-scams


Check IRS.gov for the latest information: No action needed by most people at this time
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today announced that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some seniors and others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment.


Information for non-filers
People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

Non-filers sould go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and provide information including filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.


Information for those who have yet to file taxes
The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

Source: IRS website. https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know


Change Your Address – How to Notify the IRS 
If your address has changed, you need to notify the IRS to ensure you receive any tax refunds or IRS correspondence. There are several ways to notify the IRS of an address change: Visit this link for more detail on this topic


IMMIGRATION

Immigration Hearings
All non-detained immigration hearings scheduled through May 1, 2020 have been postponed. The immigration courts in Philadelphia and York are open for detained hearings only. See here for operational status updates.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Temporarily Closing Offices To The Public

On March 18, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services temporarily suspended routine in-person services to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS plans to begin reopening our offices on or after June 4, unless the public closures are extended further. USCIS staff are continuing to perform duties that do not involve face-to-face contact with the public. However, USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment, contact the USCIS Contact Center.

During this time, individuals may still submit applications and petitions to USCIS. Online filing remains the most convenient and interactive way to submit forms, check the status of your case, and receive notices.

USCIS will provide further updates as the situation develops and will continue to follow CDC guidance. Please visit the USCIS Response to COVID-19 webpage for more information. For more, go to https://www.uscis.gov


INCOME TAX

Filing deadline of April 15 postponed to July 15
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance moving the April 15 filing deadline to July 15, 2020 and deferring all payments due on April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. 


SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

Social Security Offices are closed to the public
All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service. Hearings at the Office of Hearing Operations are also suspended. Secure and convenient online services remain available. Local offices will continue to provide critical services over the phone. Learn more here


Social Security Consultative Exams 
The Bureau of Disability Determination’s consultative exam contractor, IMA Group, will remain open and is scheduling exams for disability claimants.  If claimants receive a scheduling call and do not feel comfortable going to an appointment, because of COVID-19, they should be sure to say so to their provider.