This post was last updated on April 3rd at 3:30pm
To the Residents of the 14th District,
This week, my office has created a COVID-19 webpage with up to date information for you and your family. We will continue to provide weekly summaries of new information as well. You can read last week's update here.
As of today, Illinois has 8,904 reported cases and 210 reported deaths. Daily updates on case count and general resources have been compiled by Gov. Pritzker here.
Late last week, the US Congress passed the CARES Act, which provides direct financial relief for individuals and small businesses.
1) For Families with Children: Schools in Illinois will implement remote learning until the end of April. There is no update for the remainder of the school year. Please check the Illinois State Board of Education for more information here.
If you're looking for things to do with your family, our office has pulled together new online resources here. The Cook County Forest Preserves are still open for outdoor recreation. All buildings (including restrooms) are closed, there are also some specific trail closures. Check their website before visiting your local preserve.
2) For Taxpayers: Under the CARES Act, millions of Americans will receive direct payments from the IRS for those who filed federal income tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Single adults will receive up to $1,200, joint filers will receive up to $2,400, and up to $500 for each child under 17. Benefits phase out (reduced by $5 for every additional $100 of income) at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for join filers. The payments will be delivered automatically by electronic direct deposit or mailed check. Currently the US Treasury Department expects most people will receive their payments by April 17th. More information is here.
3) For Diners: an ongoing list of local restaurants offering take out is here.
4) For the Recently Unemployed: Expanded unemployment insurance: the CARES Act expands unemployment benefits in two ways. First, for those who are eligible for Illinois Unemployment Insurance, you will now receive additional money in your benefit (an additional $600 per week) and your eligibility period has been extended by 13 weeks. Previously, Illinois unemployment insurance had waived the waiting period, redefined "actively searching for work," and expanded to cover those who are unable to work because they must care for someone else. Details on the Illinois Unemployment Insurance program are here.
Second, Disaster Unemployment Assistance is being established for those who don't traditionally qualify for unemployment insurance (including self-employed, freelance, and gig workers). Information is not yet available, but will be included on the Illinois Department of Employment Security website when they are available.
5) For Renters and Homeowners: Illinois has suspended evictions in Executive Order 2020-10 until April 7th. Illinois is also discouraging utility shutoffs until May 1. Details from the Illinois Commerce Commission on utilities are here.
Under the CARES Act all federally backed mortgages (including those issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) are not allowed to be foreclosed upon and are eligible for mortgage forbearance. More details from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau are here. You can check if your mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac with these links.
Many other mortgage companies are also offering temporary relief on mortgage payments. Please contact your mortgage servicer directly.
Property tax notices and appeals are suspended temporarily. Please contact the Cook County Assessor's Office for more information.
Tax delinquent property auctions have also been suspended. You can read more from the Cook County Treasurer's Office here.
6) For Small Business Owners: There are new resources under the CARES Act for businesses and nonprofits with less than 500 employees. They include:
Paycheck Protection Loans: This program provides cash-flow assistance through federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll. If an employer maintains their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. Loans are available to businesses (including nonprofits) with fewer than 500 employees who have been impacted by COVID-19 between 2/15 and 6/30. Loans are available for up to 250% of your payroll costs. Additional information is here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants: Grants for an emergency advance of $10,000 for small business and nonprofits (with fewer than 500 employees) who have also applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. First apply for the EIDL and then request the Economic Injury Grant. The grant does not need to be repaid and can be used for payroll costs, production costs, debts, rent, or mortgage payments. More information on the loans and additional grants are here.
Commissioner Scott Britton