As of March 26, 2020, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), reports 68,440 cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. These cases include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases. More information about COVID-19 is available at https://www.cdc.gov/.
In response to COVID-19, Federal and State governments have been enacting provisions affecting individuals and businesses on a daily basis, in an attempt to help flatten the curve and slow the spread. Due to these provisions many resources have become available to help individuals and businesses cope with the economic impact of COVID-19. Below, are descriptions and links for some of the resources that may be available.
On March 25, 2020, the United States Senate approved the Omnibus CARES Act, a stimulus package estimated at $2 trillion to battle the effects of COVID-19 on our Country. The bill is currently pending a House vote, scheduled for March 27, 2020. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has compiled an overview and initial summary of the provisions of the stimulus package, which can be found at https://www.ncsl.org/ncsl-in-dc/publications-and-resources/coronavirus-stimulus-bill-states.aspx. Some of the provisions the bill contains consist of funding to States, Territories, and Local Tribal Governments, direct payments to citizens, and an expansion of unemployment benefits. Additional information on the overall federal government response can be found at https://www.coronavirus.gov/.
Due to social distancing, many events across the Country have been canceled or postponed in the hopes of flattening the curve and slowing the spread of COVID-19. While everyone can do their part to help slow the spread, it is important to still stay connected with one another. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law in 2017, designates March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Veterans are still able to, and encouraged to, stay connected and participate in virtual events. A list of some virtual events available, including National Vietnam War Veterans Day, can be found at https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72941/veterans-can-attend-virtual-events-national-vietnam-war-veterans-day/. Additional VA resources and updates on COVID-19 can be found at https://www.va.gov/coronavirus.
Student loan relief is now available for all borrowers with federally held student loans. Borrowers will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days, and have the option to suspend payments through administrative forbearance for at least two months according to the U.S. Department of Education. For more information and additional links regarding student loan relief, please see a press release from the U.S. Department of Education’s dated March 20, 2020, at https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/delivering-president-trumps-promise-secretary-devos-suspends-federal-student-loan-payments-waives-interest-during-national-emergency.
Information on relief for homeowners can be found from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus.
Veterans receiving social security can keep up-to-date with Social Security and COVID-19 at https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/. Information about lab tests, medical hospitalizations, and other resources through Medicare can be found at https://www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus.
In today’s digital world, unfortunately scammers try to take advantage of people when they are most vulnerable. The Federal Trade Commission has information and tips on how to help avoid being the subject of a scam at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/coronavirus-scams-what-ftc-doing. Additional information on protecting your finances can be found through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/coronavirus/.
Mr. Finkelstein is the Managing Partner of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP. He has become a noted consumer activist through his representation of injured individuals against corporate wrongdoers and irresponsible parties.
An accomplished litigator, Mr. Finkelstein has represented Plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has successfully handled dozens of multi-million dollar cases.