COVID-19 Information for Individuals and Businesses
Stay Safe. Get Vaccinated!
Visit CT.gov's Vaccine Portal here to check your eligibility, book a vaccination appointment, and get answers to questions about the vaccine.
COVID-19 FEDERAL RELIEF PROGRAMS
What has Congress done to address the pandemic?
On March 25th, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion relief bill to help individuals and businesses dealing with the negative impact of COVID-19. This link answers many of the essential questions Americans are asking when it comes to what the bill covers and how it affects them.
One of the most significant parts of this federal act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which provides small businesses, nonprofits, and other entities with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million based on average monthly payroll costs. Up to eight weeks of average payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments can be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. Small businesses and other eligible entities will be able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. This program would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, in order to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. For more information and to apply, click here.
The most recent coronavirus relief bill contained an additional $321 billion for the program, with $60 billion set aside for community banks and credit unions to lend. The bill also contained an additional $60 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and ensured that farmers and ranchers are eligible for loans. For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program and to apply, click here.
In addition to relief for small businesses, the latest relief package - the fourth since the crisis began - included $75 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers, $25 billion for state-led COVID-19 testing plans and for research, development, and other testing support from key federal agencies like the CDC and NIH. The bill totaled $484 billion in relief and future legislation is expected to address funding for local governments to address budget shortfalls, additional cash payments for Americans, extended unemployment benefits, and aid for first responders.
Business and Banking Help and FAQ's
I own a farm here in Connecticut. What resources are available to me?
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the launch of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)on April 17th. This new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. President Trump directed USDA to craft this $19 billion immediate relief program to provide critical support to our farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of our food supply chain, and ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need.
“During this time of national crisis, President Trump and USDA are standing with our farmers, ranchers, and all citizens to make sure they are taken care of,” Secretary Perdue said. “The American food supply chain had to adapt, and it remains safe, secure, and strong, and we all know that starts with America’s farmers and ranchers. This program will not only provide immediate relief for our farmers and ranchers, but it will also allow for the purchase and distribution of our agricultural abundance to help our fellow Americans in need.”
CFAP will use the funding and authorities provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and other existing USDA authorities. The program includes two major elements to achieve these goals.
1. Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers: The program will provide $16 billion in direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted and will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.
2. USDA Purchase and Distribution: The USDA will partner with regional and local distributors whose workforce has 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. We will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.
On top of these targeted programs the USDA will utilize other available funding sources to purchase and distribute food to those in need.
● The USDA has up to an additional $873.3 million available in Section 32 funding to purchase a variety of agricultural products for distribution to food banks. The use of these funds will be determined by industry requests, USDA agricultural market analysis, and food bank needs.
● The FFCRA and CARES Act provided at least $850 million for food bank administrative costs and USDA food purchases, of which a minimum of $600 million will be designated for food purchases. The use of these funds will be determined by food bank need and product availability.
Further details regarding eligibility, rates, and other implementation information will be released at a later date.
I am a small business owner or nonprofit - what resources are available to me?
Programs for Businesses:
Shared Work Program
Website: Why Choose the Shared Work program?
Summary: The program allows employers to reduce the hours of full-time employees by as much as 60 percent, while their workers collect partial unemployment benefits to replace a portion of their lost wages.:
Phone Number: (860) 263-6660
Disaster Loan Program
Summary: The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters.
Phone Number: 800-659-2955
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Website: SBA - Disaster Loan Assistance
Summary: EID loans are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested businesses are encouraged to diligently obtain the necessary application materials and work with knowledgeable professionals when needed. Collateral is required for all EID Loans over $25,000 and applicants should anticipate providing a personal guarantee.
Phone Number: 800-659-2955
Disaster Assistance Website
Summary: Businesses not yet given a disaster declaration are eligible to apply for FEMA Disaster Assistance. More information can be found on the website.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
Agency: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Summary: The interim guidance provided by CDC is based on the most up the date information they have on the virus and how to counteract it. It will be updated regularly.
COVID-19 Response Fund
Agency: Hartford Foundation
Summary: The Hartford Foundation has set up a coronavirus response fund to deploy flexible resources to nonprofits in Greater Hartford that support residents who are most vulnerable to the health-related and economic impacts caused by the pandemic. The fund will also support grants to stabilize nonprofit organizations experiencing lost revenue during the crisis.
I am a woman who owns a business. What resources are available to me?
The Women’s Business Development Council offers information on grants, town hall events with state and federal legislators, and opportunities to connect with other business owners. Click here to learn more.
As an essential business, how do I keep my employees and customers safe?
OSHA Guidance on Requirements to Protect Workers from Coronavirus
Summary: This webpage provides information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus outbreak first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The information includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, the novel coronavirus—now officially named COVID-19.
Are my taxes due on April 15th?
State and Federal taxes are due May 17th, 2021.
Banking Information for Individuals
For starters, Connecticut’s banks are better capitalized now than they have ever been. The Bankers Association and the Credit Unions have been in regular contact with the Governor’s office and financial services have been designated as an essential service.
As such banks will continue to provide access to customer’s money through ATMS and drive thru. Banks are also allowed to conduct all other necessary functions.
The following banks and financial institutions have taken steps to help guide their customers through the financially uncertain times caused by COVID-19. Customers are urged to contact their banks directly to get information on relief programs and how that impacts you financially.
For more information on their new rules of operations and the different relief programs they are running, check out the information below:
Focus: Bank, Loan, Mortgage Relief - Website: Ally community about coronavirus (COVID-19)
Bank of America
Focus: Bank, Loan, Mortgage Relief - Website: Bank of America - Client information - We’re here to help
Focus: Loan, Free Waiver, CD Relief - Website: BBVA COVID-19 Information
Focus: Free Waiver, Loan, Mortgage Relief - Website: citi - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Readiness: Updates and Resources for you.
Focus: Enhanced Relief for Borrowers Impacted by COVID-19 - Website: Freddie Mac - Our COVID–19 Response
Focus: Assistance Options for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 - Website: Fannie Mae - Our Approach to COVID-19
Marcus by Goldman Sachs
Focus: Loan, CD Relief - Website: Marcus:by Goldman Sachs - Information on COVID-19
Focus: Free Waiver, Loan, Repossessions/Foreclosures/Eviction Relief - Website: PNC - Important Updates for Our Customers About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Focus: CD Relief - Website: SanTander - Important: Changes to branch services and hours as of March 23, 2020
Focus: Loan, Mortgage, Free Waiver, Cashback Relief - Website: Truist - Coronavirus Response
Focus: Loan - Website: U.S. BANK - COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) INFORMATION - We’re here to help.
Focus: Repossessions/Foreclosures/Eviction, Fee Waiver, Mortgage Relief - Website: Wells Fargo - Coronavirus updates for commercial banking customers
Focus: Student Loan Debt -News Website: Forbes - Trump Stops Collection Of Student Loan Debt From Those In Default
Summary: President Trump has temporarily stopped the collection of student loans during the crisis.
Additional FAQ's for Individuals
Is there any additional aide for renters, homeowners, and residential landlords affected by COVID-19?
On June 29th, Governor Lamont announced a comprehensive plan to put more $33 million in state and federal resources to provide emergency assistance to renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Elements of this plan include:
- $10 million rental assistance program for Connecticut residents impacted by COVID-19, administered through the Department of Housing, which will provide payments to landlords on behalf of approved tenant applicants, with a priority on lower-income households who have been denied unemployment insurance;
- $5 million for eviction prevention to help renters who were in the process of eviction before the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
- $10 million to provide mortgage relief to homeowners who have suffered impacts from COVID-19 and whose mortgages are not federally insured, administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA);
- $2.5 million rental assistance program for those who are ineligible for emergency assistance through the federal CARES Act, including those who are undocumented, administered by the Department of Housing;
- Extending the residential eviction moratorium to August 25, bringing Connecticut’s measures in line with federal measures (the CARES Act prevents evictions from most properties until late summer); and
- Extending the opportunity to apply a portion of any security deposit worth more than one month’s rent toward rental payments.
For more information on these programs, please see the following websites:
- Connecticut Department of Housing: portal.ct.gov/doh
- Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA): www.chfa.org
- Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH): cceh.org
All protections against discrimination in housing apply during this health emergency. If you have any questions or concerns about fair housing protections, or believe you have experienced discrimination in housing, call the Center at (860) 247-4400 or (888) 247-4401 (toll free), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unemployed and looking to learn a new skill? Check out the information below learn more.
Governor Lamont today announced the statewide expansion of a program that will make free online learning licenses available to recipients of unemployment insurance, including those who have been impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 public health crisis. The SkillUp CT program will significantly expand access to comprehensive online course work from a leading global provider for thousands of Connecticut residents. Originally launched in eastern Connecticut, a sustained rollout of the program across the state over the coming weeks will enable recently laid-off workers to upgrade their skills and earn industry-recognized certifications even while the doors to most brick-and mortar education and training providers remain closed.
The program is coordinated by the Connecticut Workforce Development Council in collaboration with the Connecticut Governor’s Workforce Council and the Connecticut Department of Labor. Based on a successful model implemented by the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board, it is being offered through Connecticut’s five regional workforce development boards.
Eligible Connecticut residents will receive email instructions on obtaining a Metrix Learning license that provides them access to about 5,000 online Skillsoft courses in areas such as information technology, business analysis, customer service, project management, and digital literacy, among others. Anyone with an internet connection and a computer can access courses. SkillUp CT also offers training tracks leading to over 100 industry certifications and will provide career coaching through the workforce boards.
To enroll in SkillUp CT, unemployment insurance claimants in Connecticut should visit ct.metrixlearning.com/landing.cfm.
For more information, read the press release issued today by Governor Lamont.
I’m looking for a job. What resources are there for me?
CTHires (Connecticut Helping Individuals and Employers Reach Employment Success) is the Connecticut Department of Labor’s comprehensive workforce development system. In addition to being able to search for available positions, the site can connect you with training opportunities and help you build a résumé. Click here to find out more.
I’m a working parent who is struggling with childcare during COVID-19. What resources are there for me?
With childcare becoming a growing area of concern during this pandemic, the Office of Early Childhood, headed by Commissioner Beth Bye, has been working in coordination with the Governor’s office to offer different programs to parents. If you are struggling to find childcare or just want more information, please click here.
I’m a service worker who lost their job. What resources are there for me?
- The One Fair Wage Emergency Relief Fund provides free, cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped workers and service workers — who are seeing their income decline during this disaster, or aren’t able to work because of quarantines or other health concerns. To learn more click here.
- The USBG National Charity Foundation is providing bartender emergency assistance program available to all bartenders or the spouse or child of a bartender. To learn more click here.
- CORE Gives is providing grants support to children of food and beverage service employees navigating life-altering circumstances. To learn more click here.
I’m an artist in need of work. What resources are there for me?
Visit the New England Foundation for the Arts' COVID-19 resource page for information on aid to the arts.
I’m struggling to pay my rent. What resources are there for me?
There are currently two eviction moratoriums in place for people who live in Connecticut:
- The federal moratorium has been extended until at least 3/31/21.
- The Connecticut eviction moratorium has been extended until the end of the public health emergency, which is currently set at April 20, 2021.
I’m struggling to pay my mortgage. What resources are there for me?
If you are struggling to afford your mortgage due to the impact of COVID-19, click this link to see if you’re eligible for mortgage relief.
I was recently laid off or had my employer completely cut my hours. What resources are there for me?
Laid off and furloughed workers are eligible for unemployment insurance. Visit filectui.com and click first on the message above the blue button that states “for quicker payment of unemployment benefit, please follow these instructions.” The link will bring you to a page that offers guidance on filing claims as a “temporary shutdown” option and what to enter for the “return to work” date.
I am self employed, or an independent contractor, and am not able to work because of the pandemic. Am I eligible for unemployment?
Self-employed and independent contractors are generally not eligible, but the federal CARES Act extended unemployment benefits to gig workers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals. According to the federal relief bill, these workers are eligible to receive half of the state’s average weekly unemployment benefit plus $600 a week. However, the Connecticut Labor Department is awaiting guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and working with technical experts to develop additional programming within the state’s system to accommodate these new programs. If you are self-employed or an independent contractor, you should apply using the link above and check the CT Department of Labor’s FAQ website daily for updates. You can access the FAQs here.
I have been laid off. How much will I receive?
The amount you receive is based on the amount you had been earning at your employer. According to the Department of Labor, unemployment pays about 50% of your weekly gross earnings over the previous 15 months. The average weekly benefit is $376 and it is capped at $649. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provides an additional $300 per week to all claimants. There is also a “dependency allowance,” which could credit you an additional $15 per child for whom you support.
How much will I be compensated if my hours were reduced?
You can expect to make 75 cents for every $1 you were typically paid for the hours that you are not working. You should, if possible, include a return-to-work date in order to receive your benefits more quickly.
When will I receive the money?
The Department of Labor is working diligently to process claims. Everyone who filed a claim can still receive their money dated back to when the claim was first made. The process will be quicker for those who are getting benefits through direct deposit, rather than on a debit card.
I am a tipped worker. How will my claim be treated?
Your tips will not count toward your weekly income unless you were being taxed on those tips.
How long will I receive unemployment benefits?
You are eligible to receive up to 39 weeks of unemployment insurance - 13 weeks longer than typically provided because of the pandemic.
Who do I contact if I have a question about unemployment?
I am struggling with food insecurity, what do I do?
You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Stamps. For more information and for help applying, visit EndHungerCT.org or call their SNAP helpline at 866-974-7627.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as the WIC Program, provides supplemental food and other services to pregnant and postpartum women and children up to age five. Learn more here.
If you are over 60, housebound, and meet certain income thresholds, you may be qualified for meal deliveries through Meals on Wheels. Go to this website to find information and type in your zip code to find providers in your area.
Foodshare is the largest anti-hunger organization in the Greater Hartford area serving Hartford and Tolland counties through a network of 280 food pantries, meal programs, and Mobile Foodshare sites. Go to their website to learn more.
I am currently uninsured; can I get health insurance?
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law. One of the benefits of this law is it allowed the State of Connecticut to extend Medicaid and CHIP (“HUSKY Health”) coverage in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, individuals who were enrolled in HUSKY Health on or after March 18, 2020 may have their benefits extended for the duration of the public health emergency - except under the following circumstances:
- Relocation outside of CT
- Verified ineligible immigration status
- Voluntary Disenrollment
- Exceeding age limit for HUSKY B (CHIP)
For more information, click here.
Has the deadline to file federal and state taxes been extended?
Yes. All federal and state taxes are due on May 17th, 2021.
What about my property taxes?
The Governor's Executive Order R9 requires towns to provide options for temporary tax collection forbearance and reduced interest on certain delinquent taxes. Contact your local town hall or tax collector to learn more.
What resources are there for veterans?
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.
You may be eligible for veterans' tax benefits. Click here and contact your town or city hall for more information.
I’m worried about my utilities being shut off.
The State of CT Public Utilities Authority (PURA) has announced a residential utility shut-off moratorium for the duration of the Emergency Order declared by Governor Lamont March or another date determined by PURA. Read more here.
The Metropolitan District (MDC) in Harford has pledged not to turn off water until further notice. Check their website for updates.
I can’t afford monthly internet or cellular data plans but my children need to go online for school.
Contact your carrier to see what assistance they are offering.
I have an upcoming deadline with the DMV.
Deadlines have been extended for the following DMV-related items:
- Driver's Licenses, Disability Placards, Learner's Permits and Identity Cards
- If the item has/will expire from MARCH 1, 2020 to DECEMBER 31, 2020, it remains valid for ONE (1) YEAR after the expiration date printed on the credential.
- If the item has/will expire from JANUARY 1, 2021 to MARCH 31, 2021, it remains valid through DECEMBER 31, 2021.
- Commercial Driver’s Licenses
- If the item has/will expire from MARCH 1, 2020 to DECEMBER 31, 2020, it remains valid for ONE (1) YEAR after the expiration date printed on the credential.
- Commercial Learner’s Permits
- If the item has/will expire from MARCH 1, 2020 to DECEMBER 31, 2020, it remains valid until FEBRUARY 28, 2021.
In addition to extending the expiration date of DMV credentials, late fees associated with eligible expired credentials will be waived during the time period of the extension for qualifying credentials.
I would like to know more about resources in my local area.
Call 211 or visit www.211ct.org for more information on locally based resources.