This is a troubling time for many and in an effort to provide support for the financial, physical and emotional wellbeing of our members, employees, and the communities we serve, we have pulled together the following COVID-19 related information and resources. Please be advised that the following information is a guideline and a tool to be used as a point of reference. We encourage you to contact your personal tax professionals for advice and recommendations based on your own financial information.

The COVID-19 crisis is placing a strain on businesses and individuals throughout our membership. For information on MHV Hardship Relief and Loans by clicking here.
 

Individuals

COVID-19 Stimulus Package: The CARES Act

Recent legislation for a COVID-19 Stimulus Package has been approved and you may be eligible. This stimulus package is broken down in an easy to understand infographic . It is important to note that this stimulus package is based off of 2018 and 2019 tax filings. Although it is strongly encouraged that you file for 2019 as soon as possible if you have not done so already, it is always recommended to consult your tax advisor prior to filing.

  • ‚ÄčThe IRS has issued the first round of stimulus checks. If you receive your tax refund via direct deposit, the stimulus check will be direct deposited into the account used for your 2019 tax refund. If you have not filed your 2019 tax refund yet, the stimulus check will be deposited into the account used for your 2018 refund. Visit the IRS Get My Payment site to check the status of your stimulus check.
    • You can also use the IRS Get My Payment site to update your account information if the IRS has not already issued your stimulus check.
    • If you do not receive a refund, or receive a paper check, you can use the IRS Get My Payment site to update your account information.
    • Any questions or concerns about your stimulus check should be directed to the IRS.
  • For those that had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019 or were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, please visit the IRS website for non-filers to submit updated payment information.
  • For a more in depth explanation and further details related to the stimulus package, please visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
Unemployment
  • The Federal CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 providing enhanced unemployment insurance benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. You may be eligible for the following:

    • Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (UI) which extends eligibility for individuals, like independent contractors or self-employed workers, who do not typically qualify for UI benefits.

    • Pandemic Unemployment Compensation that provides an additional $600 per week on top of all traditional UI benefits.

    • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation provides an additional 13 weeks of UI benefits for a total of 39 weeks of coverage.

  • To determine if you are eligible for any of the above, check out this chart.

Retirement
  • The CARES Act allows for penalty free early distributions from tax advantaged retirement accounts in amounts of up to $100,000. While you will still be responsible for income tax on the amount distributed, you will have three (3) years to pay these levies. You will also have three (3) years to replenish the amount that you’ve withdrawn. The CARES Act also suspended for 2020 the required minimum distribution (RMD) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). We strongly recommend that you consult with your financial advisors prior to taking any withdrawals from your retirement accounts.  

Mortgage (federal)/Rent
  • A new directive has been issued by the Department of Financial Services to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by COVID-19. For a full list of directives and more details click here.

  • There is a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants in New York State.

  • The following government website provides detailed mortgage relief information: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    If your mortgage is with MHV and you are struggling with your payments as a result of COVID-19, please use our Hardship Request form.

Student Loans
  • For those struggling with financial hardship due to COVID-19 there is relief available.

  • Federal Student loan payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020 through September 30, 2020. There is a temporary administrative forbearance allowing borrowers to temporarily cease making monthly payments, however, you may continue to make payments should you so choose. The interest rate for federal loans has also been reduced to 0%. It is important to note that the aforementioned relief is for federal loans only. For more information on federal student loan relief, please visit the US Department of Education website.

  • For private loan relief, please contact your lenders directly. If you have a private student loan through MHV, click here to view relief options.

Sick Leave
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Act provides that employers must approve two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is subject to quarantine and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. It also provides that employers must approve two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay should the employee need to care for an individual subject to quarantine or care for a child. For full details or more information please visit the US Department of Labor website.

Businesses

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • PPP was designed to provide small businesses with financial help for qualified expenses. PPP loans are intended to cover these qualified expenses for any 8-week period between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. For more details on how to apply for a PPP Loan through MHV, please click here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan
  • The EIDL provides up to $2 million of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties with a forgivable loan advance of up to $10,000. The amount that you are approved for is based off of the exact amount of economic injury you suffered due to COVID-19. This loan is applied for directly through the Small Business Association and has a broader allowance (e.g. financial obligations and operating expenses that could not be met due to crisis) as to how you can use the funds in comparison to the PPP. For more information or to apply please visit the Small Business Association webpage.

Employee Retention Credit
  • The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages eligible employers to keep employees on their payroll, despite experiencing economic hardship related to COVID-19. While the aforementioned Families First Coronavirus Relief Act requires certain employers to pay sick or family leave wages to employees who are unable to work, employers may be entitled to refundable tax credits for the required leave paid. For full details please visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

Health/Wellness

Emotional support
Food Insecurity

Beware of scams!

Please continue to stay vigilant against potential scams.

• Exercise caution when purchasing items on the internet; only buy from trusted retailers, and make sure the websites begin with "https:" (the "s" at the end being the important part) when inputting any card information.

• Be wary of any e-mails or phone solicitations of claims of 'immediate cures', 'vaccines' or any 'get rich quick' schemes that may be linked to the virus. Phishing campaigns can prey on a would-be victim's fear and anxiety.

• As always, do not click on any links or e-mail attachments; these can install malware on your device.

Read our article on Fraud Prevention During The COVID-19 Outbreak for more tips on staying vigilant against potential scams.

Additional Resources: 
Federal Trade Commission Article - Coronavirus Scams and What The FTC Is Doing
FBI Public Service Announcement