Last night we held a large tele-townhall with nearly 5,000 residents across the 8th district with Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, and Elizabeth Hertel, from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, to discuss the latest updates on the coronavirus and to take your questions. We will be holding regular tele-townhalls in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for opportunities to join our next call. If you weren’t able to join for the call, you can listen to a recording here.
It is my job to listen to Michigan families. Please click the button above and fill out the form on slotkin.house.gov/live to sign up for future tele-townhalls.
With a growing number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan, I want to make sure that you are aware of the resources that are available to Michigan businesses, families, and workers as we continue to respond to this crisis. My goal is to ensure that you are able to benefit from the resources available to you and your family during this difficult time.
To this end, I wanted to provide an update on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, an expansive bill aimed at addressing the financial hardship and economic fallout that has resulted from the coronavirus outbreak. I was proud to vote in support of the bipartisan CARES Act yesterday when it passed the U.S. House of Representatives and I hope to see it signed into law shortly. Included below is information on some of the most significant provisions of the bill. For more information or to read the bill text, please click here.
Direct Financial Assistance
The CARES Act will provide $1,200 in direct payments to taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 per year before starting to phase out and ending altogether for those earning more than $99,000. Families will also receive an additional $500 per child.
Everyone is eligible for this direct financial assistance as long as they have a Social Security Number and their household income is not above the cap. This includes Social Security beneficiaries (retirement, disability, survivor) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. These payments do not count as income or resources for means-tested programs, which means that receiving the payments will not impact anyone’s eligibility for SSI, SNAP, Medicaid, ACA premium credits, TANF, housing assistance, or other income-related federal programs. These payments will also not impact an individual’s state or federal unemployment compensation benefits.
The exact distribution mechanism for this direct financial assistance is still being determined. Most people — including everyone who filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, as well as all Social Security beneficiaries — will be paid automatically by the IRS. Others, including SSI recipients who often do not file taxes, may need to take additional action to receive their direct financial assistance. More details will be provided once they are available.
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 unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. The FPUC will be paid in addition to and at the same time as regular state or federal UC benefits.
The CARES Act will also allow states to expand unemployment compensation eligibility to workers who are not normally eligible for these benefits, so long as their unemployment was connected to the COVD-19 pandemic. Expanded eligibility would provide benefits to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, “gig economy” workers, and individuals who were unable to start a new job or contract due to the pandemic.
In addition to the supplemental federal unemployment compensation benefits and the expanded eligibility for unemployment compensation, the CARES act enables states to provide an additional 13 weeks of unemployment compensation to workers who need these benefits.
Finally, the CARES Act includes an expansion of “work sharing” programs to provide partial benefits to individuals with reduced hours. Under this bill, the federal government will temporarily provide full funding for states — including Michigan — who have Short-Time Compensation or “work sharing” programs in law. Under these programs, employers voluntarily make an agreement with the state unemployment office to prevent layoffs by reducing employee hours, and workers with reduced hours are eligible for partial state UC benefits.
If you lose your job during the coronavirus outbreak, you can apply for unemployment assistance here or by calling (866) 500-0017. Both business owners and employees are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. You can find a full, step-by-step guide to doing so here.
Student Loan Support
The CARES Act will automatically suspend payments on all federally-owned student loans until September 30, 2020. No interest will accrue on these loans during this suspension. While it may be difficult to contact student loan services right now due to the current surge in activity, borrowers should check their accounts online in the coming weeks to better understand their eligibility.
Small Business Assistance
The CARES Act provides $349 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guarantee loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These PPP loans can be up to $10 million and can be used to cover payroll costs, health care benefits, employee salaries, mortgage payments, rent, and more. The program allows complete deferment of loan payments for between 6-12 months and includes a loan forgiveness component for businesses that retain their workers or rehire ones that were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Prospective borrowers can apply through banks, credit unions, and other lenders who have been approved to provide SBA guaranteed loans. Around 1,800 private lenders are currently approved, though Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has said the department plans to vastly expand the number of approved lenders.
The stimulus package also includes $10 billion in funding for the SBA’s Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Michigan businesses now qualify for these Emergency Injury Disaster Loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA). You can visit the SBA’s website for an overview of the SBA’s response to the coronavirus, along with a list of resources. To apply for an EIDL loan, visit the SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance website. We understand that the SBA website has crashed several times this week, due to high demand. I have been in touch with the SBA Regional Administrator for the Great Lakes Region and they have assured me that they are working to improve the website’s capacity at this critical time.
Separately, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888-522-0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. For additional information, please visit their website here.
Experts have been working hard to understand this new strain of coronavirus. Because new information is coming out every day, please visit the sites below to stay up to date.
My office has created a page on our website to compile information related to the coronavirus outbreak and local resources that may benefit you and your family.
The State of Michigan provides updates on the spread of the disease and state resources that may benefit you and your family. If you have health questions about the coronavirus call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-535-6136. You can find information about the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order here.
The Governor issued an executive order on March 15 to protect consumers against price gouging during the crisis. If you see any price gouging, please report it to the Michigan Attorney General online or by calling 877-765-8388.
The Centers for Disease Control provides updates on the virus and safety information for the public and healthcare professionals.
My staff and I will continue to work with officials at every level of government to ensure that everyone in Michigan is protected and well informed. If you have further questions, please feel free to reach out to my office at (517) 993-0510 for more information.
If you want to learn more about my work in the U.S. House of Representatives, please visit my website, where you can sign up for my e-newsletter. You can find regular updates on my social media pages by “following” me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, which you can do by clicking on the icons below.
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know to protect yourself.
- Be aware that scammers may be spoofing (impersonating) numbers from local public health departments or other trusted sources so they appear legitimate on your caller ID. To verify the identity of a caller, hang up and look up the organization’s number to call them back.
- Do not give your personal information to people on the phone or those who come to your door. Personal information includes your social security number, credit card number, or Medicare ID.
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19 – online or in stores*.
- Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device. Watch for emails claiming to be from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying that they have information about the virus.
- For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov and the World Health Organization (WHO) https://www.who.int
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.
- If you think you’ve been scammed, call your local law enforcement to make a report.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020
CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, MorosiR@
MDOT closing Livernois Road under I-75 this weekend
for bridge demolition in Oakland County
– Starting Friday morning, crews will be demolishing the southbound I-75 bridge over Livernois Road.
– Livernois Road will reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. Monday, March 30.
March 25, 2020 — Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracting crews will be closing both directions of Livernois Road under I-75 for bridge demolition starting at 9 a.m. Friday, March 27. The closure is needed for demolishing the southbound I-75 bridge over Livernois Road. Currently, both directions of I-75 have two lanes open with all traffic using the northbound side of the freeway, separated by a temporary concrete barrier. This configuration will allow for the southbound lanes and bridges to be reconstructed this year. This weekend’s closure will not impact traffic on I-75.
The posted detour for northbound and southbound Livernois Road includes Big Beaver, Crooks and Maple roads. Both directions of Livernois Road will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, March 30. Upon reopening, Livernois Road will have one lane open in each direction under I-75.
Protect workers. Protect drivers. Safe work zones for all.
Coulter: Please donate equipment for healthcare workers and first responders
Pontiac, Michigan – Personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and first responders remains in short supply because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Oakland County Executive David Coulter put out the call for donations in response to this shortage during a news conference today at the L. Brooks Patterson Executive Building.
Beginning Monday, Oakland County will accept donations of masks (all types), face shields, surgical gowns, surgical gloves, no-touch thermometers, and respirators at the Oakland County Farmers Market, 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
“We need more equipment,” Coulter said. “If you or your business has this equipment and you’re not currently an essential business that needs to be open – maybe you’re a dentist’s office whose affected by the Governor’s order yesterday (Friday) or maybe you’re another kind of facility that has access to this equipment – we need it. I want to encourage you to contact our Emergency Operations Center.”
Oakland County will pick up any donated equipment on the list for those who are unable to drop off donations at the Farmers Market.
“Right now, our top priority is trying to obtain personal protective equipment for hospitals, for healthcare workers, for EMS and first responders. County Executive Coulter and the Board of Commissioners have provided us with great resources including funds needed but right now we can’t find or get these supplies.”