Resources For Employees Amid The COVID-19 Crisis
Not only are you worried about keeping your business afloat during this time of uncertainty, you're worried about your employees and their families. After all, they are looking to you, as their employer, for financial security. The COVID-19 crisis has left employees with a lot of questions. Fortunately, there is a wide range of services and resources you can provide them with to help ease the burden on their minds.
Review the links below, or forward them on to your employees, to help them navigate the ongoing changes, resources, and guidance that have resulted from the coronavirus.
Effective Thursday, July 23 at 6 p.m., the governor has ordered that masks must be worn in Ohio when: at an indoor location that is not a residence; outdoors, when unable to keep six feet of social distance from those who are not in your household; and when waiting for, riding, driving, or operating public transportation (i.e. taxi, car service, private rideshare). Additionally, the governor's order only requires that those who are 10 years old or older to wear a mask. In addition, the following do not need to wear a mask:
- Those with a medical condition or disability or those communicating with someone with a disability;
- Those who are actively exercising or playing sports;
- Those who are officiants at religious services;
- Those who are actively involved in public safety; or
- Those who are actively eating or drinking.
Travel Advisory Alert
Ohioans who are traveling to and from high-incident states are requested to self-quarantine for 14 days. The advisory applies to those who are coming into Ohio from states with positivity rates at 15 percent or higher. As of July 22, 2020, the advisory applies to nine states - Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas - as well as Puerto Rico.
CDC Releases Guidance For Venturing Out
Business owners aren't the only ones who are looking forward to reopening. Community members are chomping at the bit to dine at local eateries, to go shopping, or to resume their favorite summertime activities. The government realizes this, which is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a helpful resource designed to help all individuals determine when it's safe to venture outdoors or among the public.
According to the CDC, individuals should ask themselves the following questions when planning to interact with others, especially in a public space.
- How many people will you interact with?
- Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and others?
- Will you be outdoors or indoors?
- What is the length of time you will be interacting with people?
Additionally, the following questions can help you determine your level of risk before you make plans to venture out.
- Is COVID-19 spreading in my community?
- What are the local orders in my community?
- Will my activity put me in close contact with others?
- Am I at risk for severe illness?
- Do I live with someone who is at risk for severe illness?
- Do I practice everyday preventive actions?
- Will I have to share any items, equipment, or tools with other people?
- Will I need to take public transportation to get to the activity?
- Does my activity require travel to another community?
- If I get sick with COVID-19, will I have to miss work or school?
- Do I know what to do if I get sick?
For additional clarity on these questions and insight into frequently asked questions, items to bring when you leave the house, and more, click here to view the CDC's "Deciding To Go Out" webpage.
Economic Impact Payments
The IRS issued a statement on March 30, 2020, informing taxpayers that their economic impact payments are on the way. According to a press release, the payments will be distributed automatically with no further action needed from most people. Read on to learn who is eligible for the economic impact, how much you can expect to receive, and more.
How To Cope With Financial Anxiety, Retirement & Recession Concerns
Check out the webinar we recorded on March 26, 2020, featuring Paul McEwan, principal and director of benefit plan services and Doug Bambeck, president and financial advisor of Investment Partners to learn how to properly manage the current economic situation to secure long-term stability. Click on the picture below to be taken to the webinar.
If you are a few years away from retirement, you’re probably especially concerned about the current COVID-19 crisis and what it means to your ability to retire on time and on your terms. This high-level webinar, presented by Rea & Associates and Investment Partners, will provide you with key information about Social Security considerations, emergency financial reserves, alternate forms of liquidy, and insight into various legislative changes that will impact your ability to exit the workforce. Click on the picture below to be taken to the webinar.
Ohio-Based COVID-19 Resources For Employees
Note: The normal one-week waiting period to apply for benefits has been suspended and unemployment benefits have been expanded to workers who have been quarantined, laid off, or otherwise rendered inoperative due to the COVID-19 crisis. Answers to your frequently asked questions can be found here.
Federal COVID-19 Resources For Employees
The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (or "PUA") program provides benefits for many individuals ineligible for state unemployment benefits, including self-employed workers, 1099 tax filers, and part-time workers.
To mitigate and contain the damage of any financial fallout due to the COVID-19 crisis, the CFPB is providing recommendations here.
The federal government continues to provide answers and resources to employees at this time. Check this resource daily for continued updates on the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to pushing back the deadlines for filing federal income taxes and making payments until July 15, 2020, the IRS has created a special section on its website to assist taxpayers affected by the coronavirus. You can read more about the relief being granted to taxpayers here. Additionally, the IRS announced that medical care services received and items purchased associated with the testing for and treatment of COVID-19 that are provided by a health plan without a deductible, or with a deductible below the minimum annual deductible otherwise under 2 section 223(c)(2)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code for a High Deductible Health Plan, will be disregarded for purposes of determining the status of the plan as a High Deductible Health Plan for tax purposes.
Guidance for Workers & Employers explaining paid sick leave & expanded family & medical leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The following utilities have announced the suspension of service for nonpayment has stopped until further notice and repayment plans have been implemented. Click on the links below to learn more.
Private Sector Resources For Citizens
The following private sector resources have made accommodations for residents. Click on the links below to learn more.
- AT&T - Suspension of service for nonpayment has been stopped for the next 60 days and repayment late fees will be waved.
- Charter Communications - Is now offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps.
- HFLA of Northeast Ohio - Individuals and families may apply for an emergency loan of up to $1,500. Monthly repayments of $100 would begin May 1, 2020.
Additional Resources & Updates
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Ohio Department of Health (Health Updates)
- Ohio Department of Health (Crisis Resources)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Ohio Chamber of Commerce
- Columbus Region
- Team NEO
- REDI Cincinnati
- Quest Diagnostics
- Johnson & Johnson
For more information about resources available to you in response to the COVID-19 crisis, fill out our contact us form.