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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

My team and I are working closely with public health officials from Washington D.C. to Alabama to monitor and provide support for the response to COVID-19. This is a very serious issue, but there are steps you can take to help keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy.

Please review the resources below to stay up to date and prepared, including the FAQs about the latest COVID-19 relief legislation. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath, please call your health care provider immediately to seek guidance before going into their office or an emergency room.

The health and safety of Alabamians and my team is my number-one priority. We can each do our part to contain the spread of this virus and I urge you to follow the guidance of our top public health officials. Even if you are not showing symptoms, it is still possible for you to be carrying the disease and spreading it to more vulnerable people. Please do you part to stop the spread of this disease by thoroughly washing your hands, staying home when you can, and wearing a mask when you go leave your home.

Sincerely,

Senator Jones Signature

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office. I will also be sending email updates about COVID-19 and resources that become available. Sign up for my emails here.

Unemployment Insurance

Many Alabamians have faced problems accessing federal unemployment benefits. Please feel free to contact my office if my office can be helpful in sorting out any problems you may face.

**Unfortunately, the additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits expired on Friday, July 31, 2020. Congress is currently negotiating extending this benefit.**

*On September 3, Alabama will begin paying an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits to those who qualify.*

Unemployment claims can be filed at https://www.labor.alabama.gov/, or by calling 866-234-5382.

To receive benefits, claimants can choose direct deposit, which is the fastest method, or debit card, which adds an additional 5 to 7 days since the card must be mailed.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Claimants who filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) may have received a notice stating that they are monetarily ineligible for benefits now. However, claimants may still be eligible for PUA.

A document labeled “PUA-D4503-MI� will be mailed to all PUA claimants. Claimants should complete the form with the required documentation as soon as possible to complete the processing of their PUA claim. Claimants will not be required to file another claim as the state Labor Department will determine eligibility for PUA based on the information provided in the document that will be mailed to claimants.

Legal Help

The Alabama State Bar's Volunteer Lawyers Program (Young Lawyers' Section) launched a free legal assistance hotline for individuals who may face legal problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotline is 334-517-2250. When connected to the hotline, callers should leave a message providing brief details regarding the type of assistance they need, the county from where they are calling, and the contact information to receive a return call. Callers will then be matched with Alabama lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal advice or assistance.

Renters

***Effective September 4, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) prohibits the evictions of eligible renters from any rental property through December 31, 2020, if the renter cannot pay their rent.***

  • The order covers all rental households, but the tenant must be eligible. 
  • To be eligible for the eviction moratorium, each adult renter in the household must sign a “Declaration” provided by CDC (or similar document) that they meet all criteria for eligibility and provide it to their landlord.
    • A Declaration form is contained in the CDC order and can be found here.
  • However, tenants are not relieved of the obligation to pay rent or late fees.
  • It does NOT provide any new rental assistance to help renters pay their bills and stay in their homes after the moratorium ends.
  • Evictions can still proceed for anything other than nonpayment of rent.

Legal Services Alabama has more details on the CDC Eviction Moratorium that you can refer to found here.

If you are experiencing housing issues due to the coronavirus crisis and worry you may be evicted call Legal Services Alabama (LSA) at 1-866-456-4995. Phone lines are open 8am-4:30pm, Monday to Friday. Their website is https://legalservicesalabama.org/lsa-covid-response/.

Governor Ivey has now LIFTED the statewide eviction moratorium as of June 1, 2020.

  • The moratorium previously stopped the final step of all evictions in Alabama (where the sheriff does the set-out after a case goes through court).
  • Sheriff's departments are now free to resume doing eviction set-outs.

The federal "moratorium" expired for certain types of housing on July 25, 2020:

  • Your landlord must give you a notice of at least 30 days before filing an eviction for nonpayment of rent.

If you are facing eviction, you can call Legal Services Alabama at 1-866-456-4995 for legal help or apply online HERE.

  • Find more information on the eviction process here and here.

If you are being evicted and need help, Please feel free to contact my office if my office can be helpful in sorting out any problems you may face.

Homeowners

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure, find more information here.

**Fortunately, the federal moratorium on foreclosures has been extended to December 31, 2020.**

Mortgages serviced by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may qualify for forbearance for up to 6 months. Homeowners can use the loan look up tools for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on their respective website. If you do need to request forbearance for your mortgage, please follow the recommendations on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) website including getting written documentation from servicer that confirms your forbearance agreement and the terms. You can also call Fannie Mae at 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643) and Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).

Where is my Stimulus Check?

If you have not yet received your stimulus check or have further questions regarding your stimulus payment, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) website on the topic. You can also call their hotline at 800-919-9835, which is dedicated to stimulus payment questions.

Individuals making less than $75,000 will receive a $1,200 stimulus payment, and households that file jointly will receive a $2,400 stimulus payment. Individuals and households will receive an additional $500 for each child younger than 17 claimed as a dependent. This includes Social Security beneficiaries as well as individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and veterans' disability benefits.

If you have further questions regarding your stimulus payment, I would encourage you to reference the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website on the topic. You can also call their hotline at 800-919-9835, which is dedicated to stimulus payment questions.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Advance from the Small Business Administration (SBA)

**The EIDL Advance Fund ran out of funds on July 15, 2020.**

If you have questions regarding your pending Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application, please email my office at covid_response@jones.senate.gov. Someone from my office will reach out to you shortly. Please be sure your name, company name, phone number, email, and date applied.
You can also reach out to the Alabama SBA District Office at 205-290-7101.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

**The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) closed at the end of August 8, 2020. As a result, the SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders.**

If you are having trouble with your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application, please email my office at covid_response@jones.senate.gov and someone will get back to you soon.

Please know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends working with your lender or a community financial institution if you are having trouble with your PPP loan. You can also reach out to the Alabama SBA District Office at 205-290-7101.


COVID-19 Relief Legislation FAQs

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Response Page

Alabama Department of Public Health: call 1-888-264-2256

or visit their website

Alabama's COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard
(location of COVID-19 cases and test sites)

UAB's COVID-19 Symptom Tracker 

Alabama.gov COVID-19 Information


Resources for Alabamians

Have a question that isn't answered below? Contact me here.

Stay Informed and Prepared

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath):

  • Immediately call your health care provider for guidance on whether you should be tested or seek medical attention
  • Your doctor may or may not recommend getting tested. Check here for your closest testing location in Alabama
  • Regardless of whether or not you are tested, stay home and avoid contact with other people. A self-quarantine of at least 14 days is recommended.
  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and a new loss of taste and/or smell

Protecting Against COVID-19

  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Wear a mask covering both your mouth and nose when in public
  •     CDC: How to make a cloth mask
    Avoid crowds of more than 10 people and traveling to high-risk areas
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue and throw it away
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick
  • Work from home if possible and stay home as much as possible

Unemployment and Finance

Legal Help

The Alabama State Bar's Volunteer Lawyers Program (Young Lawyer's Section) launched a free legal assistance hotline for individuals who may face legal problems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotline is 334-5170-2250. When connected to the hotline, callers should leave a message providing brief details regarding the type of assistance they need, the county from where they are calling and their contact information to receive a return call. Callers will be matched with Alabama lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal advice or assistance. 

Homeowners and Renters

  • Direct Assistance for Renters and Homeowners
  • Mortgages serviced by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may qualify for forbearance for up to 6 months. Homeowners can used the loan look up tools for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on their respective website. If you do need to request forbearance for your mortgage, please follow the recommendations on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) website including getting written documentation from servicer that confirms your forbearance agreement and the terms. You can also call Fannie Mae at 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643) and Freddie Mac at 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).
  • Renters can receive relief if their apartment building's mortgage is serviced by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. For 120 days, owners of federally-subsidized properties or properties with federally backed mortgages may not initiate eviction proceedings and charge penalties or fees to a tenant who experiences financial hardship and cannot pay rent. Please use Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's tool on their website to determine if your apartment is federally backed. 
  • COVID-19 resources from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  

Businesses

  • If you are small business owner and have a specific concern regarding financial resources available to you during this pandemic, please reach out to Covid_Response@jones.senate.gov. Someone from my office will reach out to you shortly. Please be sure your name, company name, phone number, email and any notable dates are included. 
  • COVID-19 Related Relief Programs for Businesses Chart
  • Small Business Administration guidance,
    including:
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
      • General information for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advances
      • Apply for an EIDL here or contact the SBA Disaster Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov
    • Guidance for Businesses and Employers
    • SBA Products and Resources
    • Government Contracting
    • Local Assistance
    • Paycheck Protection Program: if you are having trouble with your Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application, please email my office at Covid_Response@jones.senate.gov and someone will get back to you soon. Please know the Small Business Administration (SBA) recommends working with your lender or a community financial institution if you are having trouble with your PPP loan. You can also reach out to the Alabama SBA District Office at 205-290-7101.

    Veterans


    Agriculture

    Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP): USDA is now accepting applications through August 28, 2020 for this program that provides direct relief to producers who have been financially impacted by COVID-19. 

    Find your local Farm Service Agency (FSA): in order to apply for CFAP, farmers must reach out to their local FSA to begin the application process. 

    Farmers to Families Food Box program: Part of USDA's CFAP that coordinates agricultural producers to food banks and other non-profits feeding those in need. 

    Additional USDA resources: https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus

    Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries: https://agi.alabama.gov

    Caregivers and Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients

    • If you are close contacts (including intimate partners, household members and caregivers) of individuals who have been diagnosed with or are presenting symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the CDC’s precautions to keep their household’s safe and prevent the virus’s spread

            Contact the Alabama Department of Senior Services at 1-800-243-5463 (1-800-AGE-LINE) if you are in need of additional support services.
            


    Older Alabamians and People with Pre-Existing Conditions


    Parents, Students and Educators


    Mental Health

    • Disaster Distress Helpline
      • The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
        Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
      • The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
        Call 1-800-273-8255 or visit https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ for help. 
    • National Domestic Violence Hotline
      • When domestic violence survivors are forced to stay in the home or in close proximity with their abuser, it can create situations where their safety is compromised. For any victims and survivors who need support or need to alter their safety plan, the Hotline is available 24/7.
        Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.
    • SAMHSA National Helpline
      • The National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
        Call 1-800-662-4357 for help.
    • Tips for managing stress and anxiety about COVID-19