COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources

To help provide additional assistance, the IRS is establishing a special phone line for taxpayers with questions about their Economic Impact Payments (EIP).  That number is 800-919-9835, which is the number reflected on the notice mailed to taxpayers who receive an EIP. We believe this phone line will help address some of the common questions people have about the EIPs.

For questions about recovery checks, click here or visit the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center.

Information on the CARES Act can be found here: https://home.treasury.gov/cares

Superintendent Spearman has set forth four criteria that each plan must meet in order to be approved. Plans must include:

  • A virtual option for all students
    • Districts may choose to deliver their own virtual program, take advantage of VirtualSC, suggest enrollment in one of the public charter virtual schools, or contract the service.
    • Districts must ensure that any virtual model includes at least an initial in-person contact with students. Intermittent face-to-face contact with students is also strongly encouraged.
  • An in-person option for all students
    • Hybrid/blended learning models will be considered an in-person option for students.
    • If a five day a week face-to-face instruction model can be safely offered, districts are encourage to do so; however, it is not required for plan approval.
  • A time-frame for when districts intend to review operational plans so that implementation of a full face-to-face instruction model can be worked towards as health and safety conditions improve.
  • Establish how high quality instruction will be provided, regardless of instructional model, and demonstrate how a broad range of student services will be provided. This includes ensuring all federal and state law requirements are met.

For more information, visit: https://ed.sc.gov/newsroom/covid-19-coronavirus-and-south-carolina-schools/school-district-reopening-plans/

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

  • For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
  • The application for borrowers can be found HERE
  • Information about the payroll protection small business loan program can be found HERE

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans, through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19. For more information on these loans, contact the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

For additional resources, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration COVID-19 website.

On May 20, the Health Resources and Service Administration announced $225 million in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to Rural Health Clinics for COVID-19 testing. These investments will support over 4,500 Rural Health Clinics across the country with expanding access to testing in rural communities.

Individuals who have lost jobs due to COVID-19 can apply for unemployment.

SCDEW General FAQs and information for 1099s, self-employed, contractors, and gig workers can be accessed here and a video tutorial can be found here.

  • There are hardship programs in place to help homeowners who have been directly or indirectly affected by the coronavirus and are struggling to make their mortgage payments.  The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encourages homeowners adversely impacted by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgages to reach out to their mortgage servicers as soon as possible.  As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advises, “you can find the number for your mortgage servicer on your monthly mortgage statement or coupon book.”
  • FHFA has established a dedicated webpage with relevant updates and resources available here: www.fhfa.gov/coronavirus 
  • Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own dedicated webpages for homeowners, with online tools for determining if your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac:

Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help

Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

  • If you need ongoing food assistance, you may apply for SNAP benefits online, by mail or fax.  For information on how to apply online or download an application to print out, visit the DSS website.  As some county DSS offices are closed to the public due to COVID-19 concerns, we suggest you call the office before visiting in person.

For information on South Carolina’s response plan, visit accelerateSC for details.

  • To donate food, water, or medical supplies to support our State in the COVID-19 response, email esf18@emd.sc.gov
  • Medical facilities/nursing homes needing PPE should contact their county emergency manager to get their request into an online system called Palmetto, operation by SCEMD. If the request is not made in Palmetto, the logistics team is unaware and cannot fulfill the request.
  • MUSC Telehealth Info: Residents who are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath should call their personal doctor or healthcare provider. If an individual doesn’t have a primary care physician, MUSC Health is providing free telehealth screening to all South Carolinians. Anyone experiencing symptoms can visit MUSC.care and use the promo code COVID19 and be screened without having to leave your home.
  • Prisma Telehealth Info: Get easy, affordable access to a Prisma Health care provider from your mobile device or computer. Visit the Prisma Health website and use promo code COVID19.
  • Medicare: Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency, doctors and other health care providers can use telehealth services to treat COVID-19.
  • Additional telehealth options can be accessed HERE.
  • DHEC launched a new testing site map that easily and clearly identifies COVID-19 testing sites around the state. Clicking on a testing site icon provides the facility name, address, hours of operation, contact phone number and additional details. Testing sites area also listed under the map for easy viewing. View the updated map at scdhec.gov/covid19testing.

Before going through a drive-thru testing site, you must first be seen via telehealth and receive a referral from a physician. For questions, contact SCDHEC’s Care Line at 1-855-472-3432.

  • The American Red Cross is launching a Virtual Family Assistance Center to support families struggling with loss and grief due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Visit redcross.org/VFA or call 833-492-0094.

For free and confidential support for people in distress, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 or the Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741741.

  • Call your VA Medical Center before going to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room, especially if you have symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Ask your VA health care team about the option of care by phone or video instead of an in-person visit.
  • For additional information, visit the VA.gov website.
  • If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one, contact the Veterans Crisis Line by calling 800-273-8255 and press 1 or text 838255.
  • USCIS Offices are temporarily closed to the public.
  • Please check the USCIS Office Closings page to see if your field office has reopened before reaching out to the USCIS Contact Center.

Passports

  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our workforce and customers, we significantly reduced passport operations in March 2020. We temporarily suspended expedited passport processing and restricted service to cases involving life-or-death emergencies.
  • As global conditions evolve and U.S. states begin to reopen, we are resuming operations in phases. We ask for your patience as we safely work on your application.

Frequently Asked Passport Questions

Traveling Abroad

  • On August 6, in close coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State lifted the Global Level 4 Health Advisory.  The Global Advisory, initially put in place on March 19, 2020, advised U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.
  • With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions.  This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country.  We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic.

U.S. Citizens Returning from Brazil

  • U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to return from Brazil. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requires U.S. passengers who have been in Brazil to travel through select airports with enhanced screening procedures. See?FAQs?on the Presidential Proclamations on travel here for further details.

U.S. Citizens Returning from Europe

  • U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents returning to the United States from the?United Kingdom,?Ireland, and the European Schengen area are required to travel through select U.S. airports with enhanced screening procedures. See?FAQs?on the Presidential Proclamations on travel here for further details.

U.S. Citizens Returning from China

  • Any U.S. citizen returning to the United States who has been in China in the previous 14 days may be subject to up to 14 days of quarantine.

Information for American Citizens who are unable to return home due to countries temporarily closing their borders:

  • U.S. Citizens should shelter in place.  
  • Purchase food and other items as possible.
  • Individuals should send an email directly to the American Embassy.  Please include Name, Date of Birth, Passport# and current location. Individuals should also indicate if they have any urgent needs.
  • This link can be used to look up the email addresses for each of the U.S. Embassies: https://www.usembassy.gov/.  Please go to the tab for American Citizen Services to find the appropriate email address. 
  • American citizens can also call American Citizen Services at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444.
  • Here, you can read the latest guidance from the CDC and DHS, the Presidential Proclamations, as well as updates from each affected country.
  • The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses, and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available.
  • All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service starting March 17, 2020. They are still able to provide critical services and will make certain exceptions for specific dire need situations.
  • If you need to contact your local office for a dire need situation, please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator.
  • USDA announced that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service is making up to $1 billion available in loan guarantees to rural businesses through the Business and Industry CARES Act Program. These loans will also be available to agricultural producers that are ineligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans. Applications are due no later than September 15, 2021.

The USDA announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by COVID-19.

Additionally, the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.

  • Gov. McMaster has declared a state of emergency and has directed DHEC to restrict visitation to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state, with the exception of end of life situations.
  • For more information, visit the CDC website.
  • Family Connection of SC is temporarily postponing in-person trainings, outreach events, and, and home visits. The Family Information Center will remain open to provide support, information, and referrals for families with children that have a disability or special healthcare need. 

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