NEW ORLEANS - District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett has released the following statement with important information and resources for residents relative to COVID-19:
"The global and local impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has been far-reaching and devastating. It has brought life as we know it to a grinding halt as we come together to try to stop the spread of this pandemic that has quickly overwhelmed our healthcare system.
But the good news in these trying times is that government help is available and on the way to many who need it.
In response to the significant harm that COVID-19 has caused our healthcare system and economy, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") to assist individuals and families, support hospitals and healthcare workers, and provide relief to businesses facing financial difficulties due to the crisis.
Recovery Stimulus Payments
The CARES Act provides critical stimulus payments directly to individuals and families below a certain income threshold. The payments are an advance refund of a newly created 2020 tax credit.
All U.S. residents or citizens with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 married), who are not claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security Number, are eligible for a stimulus payment. The stimulus amounts are:
- $1,200 for an individual
- $2,400 for a married couple
- $500 for children under the age of 17.
The amount of the stimulus payment is completely phased out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
For the majority of residents, no action is required in order to receive a stimulus payment as the IRS will use the information reported on a taxpayer's 2019 tax return if filed, or in the alternative their 2018 tax return.
The legislation also provides eligibility to low-income individuals who receive Social Security benefits.
While more still needs to be done, the stimulus payment for individuals and families is critical for many Louisianans who are facing unemployment or reduced hours due to COVID-19 and need relief immediately.
This legislation helps individuals who are eligible for unemployment benefits, including people who are furloughed or out of work as a direct result of COVID-19, self-employed or gig workers, and those who have exhausted all of the unemployment benefits available to them under existing state and federal law.
The stimulus package provides individuals an increase of $600 per week in addition to the amount customarily provided by the state of Louisiana. This increase applies to unemployment payments made from the date of the law's enactment through July 31, 2020 (approximately four months).
The legislation allows states to waive the waiting period for receipt of benefits so that individuals in need do not experience gaps in income.
If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits due to the CARES Act from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Click here or call 866-783-5567 to learn more and file your claim.
Foreclosure Moratorium and Right to Request Forbearance
- The Act prohibits foreclosures on all federally-backed mortgages for a 60-day period beginning on March 18, 2020.
- It also provides up to 180 days of forbearance, regardless of delinquency status, for borrowers experiencing direct or indirect financial hardship relating to the COVID-19.
- This period can be extended another 180 days at the request of the borrower.
Prohibition on Eviction Filings
- For 120 days from the enactment of the CARES Act (March 27 until July 25, 2020), landlords are prohibited from initiating evictions or charging fees, penalties, or other charges to tenants related to the past due rent.
- This applies where the landlord's mortgage on that property is insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted in any way by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
My heart goes out to all affected by COVID-19. As more help becomes available, my office and I will work tirelessly to continue to review the legislation and give you updates to assist you through these challenging times.
Together we can and will make it through this."