Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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COVID-19 Coronavirus FAQs

COVID-19 Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.
 

Visit my IRS COVID-19 Info page for detailed information.

 

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.
 

Visit my IRS COVID-19 Info page for detailed information.


I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment? 

Yes. 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.

Visit my IRS COVID-19 Info page  and SSA COVID-19 Info page for more detailed information.

 

Why aren't youth over the age of 16 eligible to recieve a recovery rebate?

Visit my IRS COVID-19 Info page for detailed information.

 

Are there special permissions to access retirement savings during the pandemic?

The CARES Act loosens rules on retirement accounts.  Older Americans will not incur a penalty if they do not make mandatory minimum distributions from retirement accounts in 2020.  It also waives the 10% penalty on coronavirus-related early distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs in 2020.

 

What is Congress doing to address the personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage for healthcare workers?

The CARES Act provided $16 billion to the Strategic National Stockpile to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and other medical supplies for federal and state response efforts.  It also provided $11 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund for the manufacturing, production, and purchase of vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and other medical or preparedness needs.  Additionally the first Coronavirus package signed into law it included more than $3 billion to develop vaccines and medical supplies to combat the disease.

 

How does the CARES Act support the regional airlines industry?

The airline industry received $58 billion in loans and grants to support their operations during the crisis.  The money comes with provisions to prohibit stock-buybacks and limit executive compensation so the money actually goes toward ensuring this critical industry can survive during this trying time.


Will my health insurance cover my treatment for COVID-19?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), together with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, issued guidance today (4/14) to ensure Americans with private health insurance have coverage of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic testing and certain other related services, including antibody testing, at no cost.  As part of the effort to slow the spread of the virus, this guidance is another action the Trump Administration is taking to remove financial barriers for Americans to receive necessary COVID-19 tests and health services, as well as encourage the use of antibody testing that may help to enable health care workers and other Americans to get back to work more quickly.

In March, representatives of major health insurance companies met with President Trump, where they voluntarily committed to covering COVID-19 testing without cost sharing such as copays and coinsurance.  Building on this commitment, today’s guidance implements the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which require that private health issuers and employer group health plans cover COVID-19 testing and certain related items and services furnished during the COVID-19 pandemic, with no out-of-pocket expenses. 

Specifically, today’s announcement implements the requirement for group health plans and group and individual health insurance to cover both diagnostic testing and certain related items and services provided during a medical visit with no cost sharing. This includes urgent care visits, emergency room visits, and in-person or telehealth visits to the doctor’s office that result in an order for or administration of a COVID-19 test. Covered COVID-19 tests include all FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic tests, COVID-19 diagnostic tests that developers request authorization for on an emergency basis, and COVID-19 diagnostic tests developed in and authorized by states. It also ensures that COVID-19 antibody testing will also be covered. Once broadly available, a COVID-19 antibody test could become a key element in fighting the pandemic by providing a more accurate measure of how many people have been infected and potentially enabling Americans to get back to work more quickly.

To see the guidance, visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/FFCRA-Part-42-FAQs.pdf

 

For an FAQ's Sheet on Law Enforcement Agencies and Personnel, click here

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Additional Resources:

Crisis Counseling Contacts
  • Crisis counseling is also available Nationwide to all residents of the United States through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. Spanish speakers may call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or text Hablanos to 66746 from all 50 states.
  • If calling from Puerto Rico, text Hablanos to 1-787-339-2663.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or TTY 1-800-846-8517.
  • For additional information on the Disaster Distress Helpline, please visit SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline.

 

Testing
  • For laboratories and providers that are having difficulties obtaining supplies for COVID-19 testing, including swabs, media needed for transport, and conservation of the samples, contact the FDA’s hotline (1-888-INFO-FDA) which is available 24 hours a day.
  • Labs that have questions regarding diagnostic development should email CDRH-EUA-Templates@fda.hhs.gov. FDA has generated FAQs in response to questions from labs, manufacturers, health care providers, and others. These FAQs are updated regularly and can be accessed here.

 

Personal Protective Equipment
  • Working with HHS, FEMA is now leading the federal response for operations for the Vice President’s Task Force. FEMA is requesting that entities requiring supplies including PPE first seek additional supplies through commercial channels.

  • If supplies are not available, entities should work through their State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), as they would in any FEMA response effort. Requests for assistance from local entities must go through the state for fulfillment.

  • Through the state EOCs and FEMA Regional Offices, FEMA is receiving requests for masks, swabs, test site supports, ventilators, and more. Providers, such as hospitals, should contact local and state officials for assistance.

  • Additionally if a constituent or health care provider has questions or is experiencing spot shortages of personal protective equipment or other supplies, they should call the FDA’s toll-free line at 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA), then choose option (*). 

  • The Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force published a fact sheet detailing its four-pronged approach to address issues related to critical protective and life-saving equipment: Preservation, Acceleration, Expansion, and Allocation.  The fact sheet also includes additional information on the air bridge flights supplying PPE to the United States.  Each flight will contain PPE, including masks, gloves, and gowns.  The PPE will be provided first to medical distributors in areas of greatest need; the remainder will be infused into the broader U.S. supply chain.  Prioritization will be given to hospitals, health care facilities, and nursing homes around the country.  (Here)

 

Drug Shortages
  • If a constituent healthcare provider has questions or concerns about a drug shortage, related or unrelated to COVID-19, they should contact CDER’s Division of Drug Information (DDI) at 855-543-3784, 301-796-3400, or druginfo@fda.hhs.gov. Also, FDA's Drug Shortage web page has information related to current shortages.

 

Medical Countermeasures Development
  • For business that are developing medical countermeasures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics, visit the BARDA Coronawatch Meeting website, available here. BARDA is particularly interested in products and technologies that have progressed into or beyond non-clinical trials. Submission of materials does not guarantee a meeting or funding from BARDA.
  • Vaccines and other biological product candidates: Biological product sponsors, including vaccine developers, wishing to develop vaccines can also email industry.biologics@fda.hhs.gov or call 1-800-835-4709 for further information.
  • Therapeutics and other drug product candidates: Sponsors wishing to develop therapeutics are also encouraged to submit information and questions via the Pre-IND Consultation program. See here or call 301-796-1500 for additional information on this program.
  • Clinical Trials: Sponsors who have questions regarding the conduct of clinical trials impacted by COVID-19 should contact clinicaltrialconduct-COVID19@fda.hhs.gov.

 

Other Business Developments
  • Organizations or individuals seeking to contract with the federal government to import or manufacture medical products to aid the U.S. response submit information to FEMA through the a Request for Proposal, available HERE
  • Organizations or individuals that wish to donate medical supplies or equipment can submit that information HERE.
  • Other inquiries from organizations or individuals, including individuals who want to volunteer or organizations that want to produce a product related to the COVID response, among other inquiries, can be referred HERE.