Below are links to information on the coronavirus and government resources available to you. If you need help with a federal agency or have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to call my office at 202-225-4931 or send me an email.
Click here to see our final report from the Economic Recovery Task Force, established at the request of Governor Ivey to provide recommendations to reopen the local economy.
Help Stop the Spread
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. This is why social distancing is very important. Avoid any unessential travel and stay home whenever possible. If you must go into public, try to maintain six feet of distance between you and anyone else.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Click here for specific information if you suspect you or someone in your family may have the Coronavirus.
- For additional information on how you can help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, click here.
Beware of Scams
The Scammers are using the phone, text messages, and emails to target taxpayers and steal economic impact payments and other personal information. The IRS has provided a list of red flags to look for. Scammers may:
- Emphasize the words “Stimulus Check” or “Stimulus Payment.” Those are incorrect. The official term is economic impact payment.
- Ask the taxpayer to sign over their economic impact payment check to them.
- Ask by phone, email, text, or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up their economic impact payment.
- Suggest that they can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on the taxpayer’s behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
- Mail the taxpayer a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell the taxpayer to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.
Additionall, the Treasury Department has provided an online tool for taxpayers to learn about and report scams related to COVID-19 relief checks.
Federal and State Resources
- For the latest, up-to-date information on best practices and the number of positive coronavirus cases in the U.S., visit the CDC website.
- For the latest Alabama-specific coronavirus information and resources, visit the Alabama Department of Public Health’s website.
- For guidance from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s office, click here.
Assistance for Individuals
- Most Americans will receive an Economic Impact Payment from the federal government. You can click here to check the status of your payment.
- Individual adults with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 and married couples making up to $150,000 are eligible to receive up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child. For individuals with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. No income is necessary to qualify for the rebate, and individuals on Social Security and veterans benefits will be eligible.
- For individuals who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. Thus, for the vast majority of Americans, no action will be necessary to receive the rebate.
- Additionally, Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Railroad Retirement recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return DO NOT need to take any additional action in order to receive the check.
- Those who have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and those who receive veterans disability compensation, pension, or survivor benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can enter their information into a secure portal on the IRS website in order to ensure your payment is received in a timely and accurate manner. Click here to enter your information securely to the IRS. As a reminder, most Americans will not need to enter this information. Only those meeting the criteria outlined above should enter their information into the website.
- If you have additional questions about the process, I'd encourage you to visit IRS.gov/coronavirus for more information.
Assistance for Small Businesses
- Working with the Trump Administration, we have provided significant resources to help support our nation’s small businesses. The best place to start is to contact your banker, accountant, and lender for the best information about options for your business.
- The Paycheck Protection Program has been created to help small businesses retain their employees with the assistance of a low-interest, forgivable loan. Click here for more information.
- Small businesses can also apply for an Economic Injury Disaster loan through the Small Business Administration. These loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and a $10,000 advance that does not have to be repaid. They can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Click here for more information.
- For a comprehensive summary of the loans and resources available to your business, visit the SBA website.
Assistance for Students
- To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Click here for more information.
- Alabama’s K-12 Public Schools have moved to distance and digital learning for the remainder of the school year. Click here for additional information from the Alabama Department of Education.
Assistance for Business Owners and Employees
- For a general overview how recently passed legislation on paid sick leave will affect businesses and employees, see this U.S. Department of Labor FAQ.
- For safety tips employers can follow to help protect retail workers from exposure to coronavirus, see this OSHA alert.
Byrne in the News
- Byrne Releases Economic Recovery Task Force Report
- Byrne Announces Task Force to Support Economic Recovery
- Byrne Calls to Restore Bipartisan Small Business Aid
- Byrne Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging More Help for Small Businesses
- Byrne Applauds Coronavirus Aid for Alabama Hospitals
- Byrne Warns of Coronavirus Relief Check Scams
- Byrne on Phase 3 Coronavirus Bill: “Help is On the Way”
- Byrne Announces Release of South Alabama Group from Peru
- Coronavirus Telephone Town Halls: March 18, March 26, April 2
- Column: At the Peak of the Coronavirus
- Column: Approaching the Peak of the Coronavirus
- Column: Love in the Time of the Coronavirus
- Column: Hope in the Time of the Coronavirus
- Column: Slowing the Spread Requires All Hands on Deck
- Column: Embrace Precaution, Not Panic, For Coronavirus Safety
- Column: Combatting Coronavirus Misinformation