Congress has passed – and the President has signed – comprehensive legislation to ease the economic burden the American people and small businesses are experiencing as we follow public health advice to combat the coronavirus. Legislation passed to date includes expanded unemployment benefits, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans, and hundreds of billions of dollars in support for small businesses, hospitals, health systems, and health research.
If you are a small business please visit our Small Business Resource Page.
Table of Contents
- Individuals and Families
- Students and Educators
- Important Contact Information
- Testing Locations
- Further Information
In the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Congress provided states with $1 billion, paid in two $500 million installments, to help them deal with the initial influx of unemployment compensation (UC) benefit applications. In the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress significantly expanded UC eligibility and increased benefit amounts. See below for notable provisions from the bill, and click here for a more detailed fact sheet.
- Supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: Through July 31, 2020, the federal government will provide a temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal UC benefits. The FPUC will be paid in addition to and at the same time (but not necessarily in the same check) as regular state or federal UC benefits. The federal supplement will not affect eligibility for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
- 13 Weeks of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Available in All States for Workers who Exhaust Regular Benefits: All states will be eligible to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to workers who need beyond what is provided for in state and federal law.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Following the Model of the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program: States will be permitted to expand eligibility to provide unemployment compensation to workers who are not normally eligible for benefits, so long as their unemployment was connected to the COVD-19 pandemic, as determined by the state and the Department of Labor. Expanded eligibility will provide benefits to self-employed people, independent contractors, “gig economy” employees, and people who were unable to start a new job or contract due to the pandemic. People will apply for these temporary new federal benefits at the state UC office, and states will be fully reimbursed for the cost of benefits and administration.
- For more information on how to apply for unemployment benefits, visit the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website.
- 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. The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers)
- These payments will be issued by the IRS via direct deposit, prepaid debit card or check and will be based on your 2019 or 2018 tax returns or your 2019 Social Security statement.
- Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. Additional guidance can be found at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
- Click here for a more comprehensive fact sheet on the direct monetary payments from the IRS.
- The IRS has set up an online portal to track the status of your incoming payment. Visit the Get My Payment app by clicking here. The IRS has also established a telephone hotline specifically to answer questions regarding your stimulus payment. Call toll-free: 1-800-919-9835
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of family and medical leave for eligible workers.
Paid Sick Leave
- Who Is Eligible?
- Employees at companies with fewer than 500 employees
- Local, state, and federal government employees
- Employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a multiemployer plan.
- What Are They Eligible For?
- Eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of fully paid time off (up to $511 per day) to self-quarantine, seek a diagnosis or preventive care, or receive treatment for COVID-19.
- Eligible part-time employees are entitled to fully paid time off (up to $511 per day) for the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period to self-quarantine to seek a diagnosis or preventive care or receive treatment for COVID-19.
- Eligible full-time employees are entitled to two weeks (80 hours) paid time off at two-thirds of their regular pay (up to $200 per day) to care for a family member or to care for a child whose school has closed, or if their child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
- Eligible part-time employees are also entitled to the typical number of hours that they work in a typical two-week period at two-thirds of their typical pay (up to $200 per day) to care for a child whose school has closed, or if their child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID19.
Family and Medical Leave
- Who Is Eligible?
- Employees at companies with fewer than 500 employees
- State and local government employees and certain federal government employees
- Employees who work under a multiemployer collective agreement and whose employers pay into a multiemployer plan
- What Are They Eligible For?
- Eligible full-time employees and part-time employees are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to take care for their children in the event of a school closure or their child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
- The 12 weeks of job-protected leave include two weeks of unpaid leave, followed by 10 weeks of paid leave. Eligible employees may elect or be required to overlap the initial two weeks of unpaid leave with two weeks of other paid leave they have available. Eligible employees will receive a benefit from their employers that will be no less than two-thirds of the employee’s usual pay.
If you are self-employed:
- If a self-employed person must self-isolate, obtain a diagnosis, or comply with a self-isolation recommendation, they are entitled to a refundable tax credit of up to two weeks of sick pay (the credit is equal to 100 percent of their average daily pay, up to $200 per day)
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ensures that Americans receive the food they need, especially if they are newly unemployed. Congress has invested in SNAP in the last three coronavirus bills to help Americans put food on the table during this crisis.
- In order to apply for SNAP, contact New Jersey's SNAP office.
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) provides access to nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women or mothers.
- Congress has now secured $850 million in emergency funding for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to help food banks face increased utilization and demand in countless communities across the country due to the coronavirus. Click here for New Jersey's contacts or click here to find a local food bank near you.
- To find food assistance near you, call the USDA National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY/1-877-8-HAMBRE
- Mortgage Forbearance: Homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or Section 184 or 184A mortgages (for members of federally-recognized tribes) and those with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac have the right to request forbearance on their payments for up to 6 months, with a possible extension for another 6 months without fees, penalties, or extra interest. Homeowners should contact their mortgage servicing company directly.
- Eviction Protections: Renters residing in public or assisted housing, or in a home or apartment whose owner has a federally-backed mortgage, and who are unable to pay their rent, are protected from eviction for 4 months. Property owners are also prohibited from issuing a 30-day notice to a tenant to vacate a property until after the 4-month moratorium ends. This protection covers properties that receive federal subsidies such as public housing, Section 8 assistance, USDA rural housing programs, and federally-issued or guaranteed mortgages. Renters whose landlord is not abiding by the moratorium should contact the relevant federal agency that administers their housing program or their local Legal Aid office.
- The State of New Jersey is also working to lessen the financial impact of COVID-19 on residents who are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. Please visit here for additional information.
- This CARES Act includes $900 million to help low income Americans and their families heat and cool their homes.
- To learn more about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in New Jersey, click here.
If you have student loan debt, Congress secured several options outlined below for borrowers that help provide relief through September 30, 2020. During this period, a borrower will be able to:
- Pause payments for federal student loan borrowers who have Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), which means these borrowers will not be required to make any payments toward outstanding interest or principal balance.
- Suspend interest accrual for such loans so that these balances don’t accrue.
- Avoid forced collections such as garnishment of wages, tax refunds, & Social Security benefits.
- Halt negative credit reporting.
- Ensure a borrower continues to receive credit toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, and loan rehabilitation.
- For additional guidance on how to apply and learn about next steps as this critical relief becomes available, please refer to the U.S. Department of Education website.
Congress has provided emergency funding for Child Nutrition Programs to ensure students can still receive their free or reduced-price school meals during this time.
- Click here to learn more about what New Jersey is doing during this time.
Congress provided robust emergency funding to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has the equipment, tests, and support services – including setting up temporary care sites, mobile treatment centers and increasing telehealth visits to allow more veterans to get care at home – necessary to provide veterans with the additional care they need.
- For further guidance as this funding and initiatives are implemented, please refer to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website.
New Jersey has a 24-Hour Hotline where trained healthcare professionals will be available to answer your questions on coronavirus. Call 1-800-222-1222 or 1-800-962-1253 if using out-of-state phone line. You can also text NJCOVID to 898-211.
State Community-Based Testing Sites
PNC Bank Arts Center
116 Garden State Pkwy
Holmdel, NJ 07733
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus Campus – Lots B & C
Paramus, NJ 07652
- Community-Based Testing Sites are for New Jersey residents and New Jersey law enforcement agencies.
- In order to be eligible for testing, individuals must be current New Jersey residents. Exhibiting symptoms is non longer a prerequisite for testing.
- Site is open Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Each day the site is open, staff will be able to test 500 people starting at 8AM.
- What to bring with you:
- Proof of current New Jersey residency through government-issued photo ID. If you are under 18, your parent or guardian must be with you.
- Your healthcare/medical insurance card, if you have one. Healthcare/medical insurance is not a requirement to be tested.
- When you arrive:
- You will drive through a secured area and will remain in your vehicle throughout the entire testing process.
- Be prepared for long wait times. No restrooms will be available.
- For more information visit: https://covid19.nj.gov/
2311 Route 206, Suite 600, Belle Mead, NJ
798 Route 202, Flemington, NJ
440 Union Avenue, Bridgewater, NJ
- Testing is available to New Jersey residents 18 years and older.
- Testing is done by appointment only. You must visit https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing to see if you qualify and to book an appointment.
- No referral from physician is necessary for testing.
- You will be tested in one of two ways. Rapid-result testing is generally returned in person within 30 minutes of specimen collection. COVID-19 lab testing results return within 2-4 days.
- Insurance accepted.
- Testing is done by drive through only.
Quest Diagnostic Testing Site at Flemington Walmart
- Located at 152 Route 31 North Flemington, NJ 08822
- Testing site is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00AM-9:00AM
- The drive-through testing site is available to those who meet CDC and state and local guidelines on who shuold be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high risk groups without symptoms.
- Appointment is required. To make an appointment, visit MyQuestCOVIDTest.com
- There is no out-of-pocket cost to the individual.
- Testing is done by drive through only.
- For more information on this testing site, click here.
Union County Testing Site at Kean University
- The testing center is open Monday, Wedesday, and Friday 9AM-4PM.
- Testing is available to all residents of Union County, and first responders and certain health workers regardless of residence.
- Appointments must be made by calling 908-373-5105
- No prescription is required.
- Visit www.ucnj.org/coronavirus-update/testing-center for additional information.
Essex County Testing Site at Weequahic Park in Newark
- The Essex County testing site is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am - 3pm.
- Screenings are for Essex County residents only.
- The testing will be done by appointment only. You must bring yuor appointment confirmation number to testing site.
- Appointments can be made on the Essex County COVID-19 Testing website at: https://essexcovid.org/
- A call center for any Essex COVID-19 Testing related questions has been established.
- The call center will be open from 7am - 11pm.
- Phone: 973-324-9950
- Email: covidtesting@essexsheriff.
Morris County Testing Site at the County College of Morris (CCM) in Randolph
- Testing is scheduled between 9:00AM-12:00PM and is for Morris County residents only, and is by appointment only.
- In order to be tested, you MUST
- have a COVID-19 test prescription from your healthcare provider
- read and accept the consent form
- have an appointment
- Residents with appointments must show up in a vehicle – you cannot walk or bike through the testing center. If you do not drive, someone else is allowed to drive.
- For more information or to register for an appointment click here.
Somerset and Hunterdon County Testing Site at Raritan Valley Community College
- Testing will be open from 10:00AM-1:00PM on the following days: June 11th, 18th and 25th.
- Additional dates will be offered based on availability of test kits and PPE.
- Testing will be by appointment only and a valid doctor's prescription is required.
- Residents can make an appointment here.
- At the test site, individuals must have a written doctor’s authorization and show proof of residency, such as a valid driver’s license or state-issued identification.
- Testing is free of charge and only available to Hunterdon and Somerset County residents, age five (5) and older, who are exhibiting symptomps, such as fever, dry, cough, and shortness of breath.
- For updated information on the testing site and COVID-19 in Somerset and Hunterdon County, click here.
New information is coming out every day, please visit the sites below to stay up to date.
The Centers for Disease Control provides updates and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.
The New Jersey State Government has launched an information hub that provides the latest updates and resources.
The State Department provides a list of the latest travel advisories.
The Social Security Administration has a website with information related to their services during the coronavirus pandemic.
- All SSA field offices are currently closed and as a result you should expect service delays. You can still reach the SSA by phone and can identify your local field office here.