Illinois COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-889-3931
There is a continued decline in the rate of infection in new COVID-19 cases. Hospitals have capacity and can quickly adapt for a surge of new cases in their communities. Additional measures can be carefully lifted allowing for schools and child care programs to reopen with social distancing policies in place. Restaurants can open with limited capacity and following strict public health procedures, including personal protective equipment for employees. Gatherings with 50 people or fewer will be permitted. Testing is widely available, and tracing is commonplace.
Gatherings: All gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance
Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance
Health care: All health care providers are open
Education and child care: P-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Outdoor recreation: All outdoor recreation allowed
Post-pandemic: Vaccine, effective and widely available treatment, or the elimination of new cases over a sustained period of time through herd immunity or other factors.
IDPH will closely monitor data and receive on-the-ground feedback from local health departments and regional healthcare councils and will recommend moving back to the previous phase based on the following factors:
Employers and business owners can find industry re-opening guidance at https://dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois/restore-illinois-phase-4/. For more information about the phases of the Governor’s re-open plan, please visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/restore-illinois-introduction. For regional COVID-19 data, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore. And for answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/restore/restore-faqs.
If I get an Economic Injury Disaster Loan and/or an Emergency Economic Injury Grant, can I get a Paycheck Protection Program loan?
Whether you’ve already received an EIDL unrelated to COVID-19 or you receive a COVID- 19 related EIDL and/or Emergency Grant between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, you may also apply for a PPP loan. If you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP. However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan. For example, if you use your EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, you cannot use PPP for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April. Read more in the Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES ACt.
Are individuals who have no reportable income or are receiving Social Security benefits eligible to receive the direct cash payment from the Federal Government?
Yes–and the Treasury Department has reversed their original policy that seniors and others would have to file a tax return in order to get the check. That is no longer the case.
“Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. (Read the full story in USA Today)
You can also find complete information and details at IRS.gov/coronavirus
Can workers who have reduced hours or pay apply for Unemployment benefits? Yes. You may claim some benefits for a week if you work less than full-time because of lack of work. Your earnings for the week must be less than the weekly benefit amount you would receive if you were totally unemployed for the week. For more information, refer to the Illinois Department of Insurance’s Unemployment Insurance Benefits Handbook, page 17.
How can I find out if my small business is “essential” as defined under Governor Pritzker’s “Stay at Home” order? You can visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity (DCEO) website on essential businesses and operations. If that webpage does not address your concerns, you can call the DCEO hotline at 1-800-252-2923 or e-mail CEO.firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Phase 2 Federal Stimulus) affect employer paid leave requirements? The 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. For more information, you can visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division website on changes to paid leave requirements under the Act.
Has there been discussion about relief or changes for Illinois employee expense reimbursement provisions?
We are reviewing this question and will have an answer shortly.
Where can I find information on the Paycheck Protection Program?
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The US Department of the Treasury just released an application, rules, and information for this new program. Click here for an overview, here for details for borrowers, and here to see an application. Applications begin April 3.
Are businesses able to apply for both Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Loans with the SBA?
At this time, no. SBA rules state that businesses who have received Economic Injury Disaster Loans are not eligible to apply for Paycheck Protection Loans. Rules are being considered to allow Disaster Loan recipients to refinance their loans into a Paycheck Protection Loan, but those rules have not been adopted at this time.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESSES
Local school districts are working to follow new guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health for re-opening schools and safely conducting classes. My office welcomes your feedback as these plans come together, but also encourages you to stay in communication with your local school district as they develop their individual plans.