Covid-19 Action Plan

The Policy Plan

Policies to protect ALL Pennsylvanians

Good healthcare policy is just not enough to protect us from the economic damage this virus will bring. The ongoing pandemic has been creating unique challenges to our community’s economic wellbeing and threatens the livelihoods and housing of millions of Pennsylvanians.

This campaign has created a COVID-19 Housing and Debt Crisis Relief Plan. In order to properly address the the ongoing crises in housing and economic precariousness among Pennsylvanians, a new set of protections must be put in place.

  • Mandate a moratorium on mortgages and freeze rents
  • Halt all evictions and stop utility shut-offs .
  • Waive payments on student loans for all state colleges.
  • Increase quality shelter space for displaced populations and people experiencing homelessness.

In addition to this expansion of economic protection, Pennsylvania and the federal government must also increase the social safety net for the unique circumstances of the day, beyond what the CARES Act calls for.

  • Expand unemployment benefits beyond 26+13 weeks established by the CARES Act.
  • Institute free childcare for essential employees.
  • Expand food stamps (SNAP) by working with the federal government to doubling the minimum monthly benefit and increasing the maximum benefit by 15 percent; also, to include food deliveries and more expensive goods during food shortages.
  • Increase bankruptcy protection for individuals and small businesses.
  • Investigate price-gouging of essential materials.

This campaign is built on real healthcare experience.

Our commonwealth was not prepared at first to deal with COVID-19 and the enormous implications it brings to our community. We must improve Pennsylvania’s healthcare system.

I promise to fight tirelessly for the policies that will keep you and your families healthy and safe, just as I spent years in healthcare fighting for patients and lower prescription costs in DC and Harrisburg.

  • Mandate paid sick leave for all employees and take advantage of federal funds to help protect overwhelmed small businesses. This will transition into a permanent system for all Pennsylvanians.
  • Create health departments in every county in the commonwealth and increase their access to state grants.
  • Create a public option through a universally affordable medicare buy-in and encourage medicare and medicaid expansion.
  • Waive all co-pays during the pandemic and provide more state grants for hospitals, labs, and research facilities.
  • Protect reproductive rights and access to reproductive healthcare.

This may be a scary time, but this campaign will fight for quality healthcare for you and your families. With this COVID-19 Healthcare Action Plan, and the campaign’s full Healthcare Plan, we can make better public health decisions on behalf of all Pennsylvanians.

These are just some of the policies we need to institute immediately in order to protect Pennsylvania’s residents and economy from lasting damage. In the coming weeks, as the situation becomes more clear, we will be updating this list with further policy options, some of which Pennsylvania will address.

 

Help for Families

Unemployment Insurance

The CARES Act has dramatically changed the eligibility requirements and benefits for the unemployed to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For those who are newly eligible, such as those who normally fill out 1099 forms, there is a new portal to apply for you.

Please stay tuned for more information, such as the paperwork for individuals who normally file 1099 forms.

Newly eligible individuals:

  • Self-employed individuals who normally file 1099 forms.
  • Caregivers who had to leave work to care for a child or someone with COVID-19.
  • Those who are not able to work because of quarantines or stay-at-home orders.
  • All COVID-19 related layoffs, including those who accepted a job offer that was later rescinded.
  • Families whose primary breadwinner passed away from COVID-19

New benefits

  • The Pennsylvania unemployment benefits sliding scale remains unchanged.
  • An additional 600 dollars a week will be given on top of this sliding scale through July 31.
  • An additional 13 weeks of UI will be available on top of the 26 weeks usually allotted by Pennsylvania.

Stimulus Checks

Under the CARES Act, individuals and married couples will receive a one-time check from the US government in order to help stimulate and protect the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. While this will phase out at higher income levels, the vast majority of Americans will receive the full amount.

At this point, the timeline is unclear about when they will be sent out and deposited, but hopefully it will happen sometime within the next month.

How to claim?

  • File a 2018 or 2019 tax return, OR fill out the shorter form by the IRS for those who do not normally file. Note that the deadline for 2019 has been extended to July 15.
  • If you have set up direct deposit with your bank for your tax refund, it will be automatically deposited in your account.
  • If you have not set up direct deposit, an online portal should be set up in the coming months to help you get your money.
  • SSI recipients do not need to file any tax returns and it should automatically be deposited in their accounts.

How much and for whom?

  • Over 90% of Americans will be eligible to receive their stimulus checks.
    • The base amount for adults will be $1200 for individuals, and $2400 for married couples
    • The parents of children 17 and under will receive an additional $500 per eligible child/dependent
  • There is a sliding scale that will decrease the amount of money for higher income individuals. For more information on the exact amount, click here.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT AND STIMULUS CHECK EXPLAINED IN UNDER 8 MINUTES!

Explanation of the new unemployment regulations and the 1200 dollar stimulus checks for over 90% of Americans. I know this is a scary time, but my campaign for PA Senate is here to help. Don't hesitate to comment or reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Individuals who are applying for unemployment under the new guidelines, such as the self-employed, should wait for the proper forms—we will share when they are available. (closed captioning available)

Posted by Brett Burman for PA Senate, District 9 on Saturday, April 4, 2020

Resources

Help for Small Business

There are new resources available for small businesses.

Let’s break them down for you

Delaware and Chester Counties were built on small businesses. The campaign has compiled information and links on how your small business can get access to these benefits, which are totaled at more than $377 billion.

Navigating the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act can seem daunting to small business owners. We have compiled all information regarding available benefits and how to claim them.

Loans and Grants:

  • Expanded Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to $2 million at an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits.
    • Emergency grants of $10,000 will be available to EIDL applicants for employee sick leave, maintaining payroll or meeting other needs such as rent.
    • Payments can be deferred for up to 4 years and do not need a personal guarantee if under $200,000.
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans of up to $10 million will be guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
    • Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination
      • Otherwise, interest rate of 0.5%, maturity of 2 years, first payment deferred for six months.
      • 100% guarantee by SBA, no collateral, no personal guarantees.
    • Apply through an approved lender starting April 3rd, or April 10th if you are an independent contractor.

As a former small business owner, I wanted to provide a resource for those who are unsure what the #CARESAct stimulus means for their businesses. This week, my campaign will be taking calls and messages for your small business questions about how to get relief. Like to get further updates.Call 610 283 3887 and I will get back to you ASAP.

Posted by Brett Burman for PA Senate, District 9 on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Taxes:

  • The tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15.
  • Payroll taxes and income taxes cannot be covered by PPP loans.
  • Affected employers can claim 50 percent credit on up to $10,000 of wages to furloughed employees that they continue to pay.
  • Employers can defer payment on 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
  • Businesses can get tax refunds by carrying back losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the previous 5 years.
  • Businesses can claim tax refunds from cost recovery for investments in Qualified Improvement Properties from 2018 and 2019.

Resources:

More Information

What to do:

By following CDC and broader government guidelines regarding social distancing and proper hygiene, we can do our part to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities.

  • Use the phone and internet to check in often with friends and family, especially those who are vulnerable to infection.
  • Stay home except for essential activities.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor.
  • Wear a face mask.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands often.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items and clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.
  • Check the Department of Health and CDC websites often for updates.

How to help:

If you are a senior who is worried or confused about current health guidelines or believe you have been the victim of abuse—financial or otherwise—call the Senior Law Center at 1-833-327-8311 or go to their website at http://www.seniorlawcenter.org/