Scams never take a coronacation. We strongly encourage you to be vigilant regarding potential scams regarding COVID-19 programs. There have been reported scams involving stimulus payments, disease contact tracking, unemployment claims and the ever classic, IRS sending out warrants for your arrest unless you provide them a pre-paid Visa card. Do not click on any links that seem suspicious. A good practice that we use in our office: if you get an email from somewhere you think is legit but you want to be sure, hover over the link and make sure it ends in .gov or .org and even then, do not click it directly, but search for it in your browser.
Many people are in need of their stimulus funding; many are simply curious where they stand; but it might be better to wait than to provide the IRS with your banking information. The IRS has made a new tool accessible to simplify the process for taxpayers – (Editorial comment: it may be too simple!). The New York Times article “Pure Hell for Victims’ Draw a Flood of Scammers” dated 04/24/20 is worth reading – it addresses the magnitude of existing scams.
So many acronyms! PPP; EIDL; FPUC; PUA
PPP – Paycheck Protection Program – The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed for small businesses to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. This is obtained through an SBA lender. The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT.
EIDL – Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance – Applications are no longer being accepted by the SBA.
The following pertains to Unemployment. We highly recommend visiting the CT DOL website for the most up-to-date information on programs. They have also provided video tutorials and next steps that are designed to answer the most common questions. They did a really good job with this!
FPUC: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation – This is a federally funded emergency increase in unemployment benefits which provides an additional $600 per week to individuals who receive a weekly benefit of at least $1 in certain unemployment benefits.
Programming has been successfully completed in CT. Payments of the $600 supplemental benefit to begin April 27, 2020. This is in addition to your regular unemployment that you have or will receive as an employee. Once you begin to receive this federal weekly payment, you can expect a subsequent lump sum payment for all retroactive weeks within the next two weeks. Retroactive payments will date back to all eligible claim weeks that were filed since the FPUC program was enacted on March 29, 2020.
PUA – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – provides benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation (PEUC), including those who have exhausted all rights to such benefits. Covered individuals also include self-employed.
What we understand is that self-employed people will be eligible for the PUA beginning on April 30th. You will need to first apply on the CT DOL website and be rejected for regular Unemployment Benefits before applying for PUA.
Again, we highly recommend visiting the CT DOL website for the most up-to-date information on programs. They have also provided video tutorials and next steps that are designed to answer the most common questions. Their FAQ page on Covid-19 for workers and employers is an excellent resource.
As always, please note that this is our interpretation of the information that we have gathered from various sources and is meant to be a start to help guide you through this challenging time.