Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

Coronavirus Update: Frequently Asked Questions

April 6, 2020
Press Release

Coronavirus Update: Frequently Asked Questions


It seems that with each passing day there is more news and information to consume about the Coronavirus. Here in Alabama we are feeling the impacts of it greatly, with President Trump granting our state a Major Disaster Declaration and predictions surfacing that the curve will peak on April 10, seven days from now. To add to this, the CARES Act that Congress passed last week is in effect, but questions have come up about how this will actually work for individuals, families, and small businesses.


Today, I would like to address some of the frequently asked questions that have come up since last week. A more complete and up to date list is on my website, please visit for more information on each of these topics.


IRS: Direct Payment Information


Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers 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.  Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.


The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.


Unemployment Insurance


Unemployment Insurance for normally ineligible institutions

UI is a state-administered program. The CARES Act includes a provision to reduce the amount by which nonprofits, Indian Tribes, and governmental entities are required to reimburse states for benefits paid to their workers who claim unemployment insurance by 50 percent through December 31, 2020. This provision would also allow the Secretary of Labor to issue guidance to states to provide flexibility for employers in making reimbursement payments.


The amount of unemployment they would receive is based on their state eligibility requirements, however, the CARES Act included provisions to provide an additional $600 per week in “federal pandemic unemployment compensation” to individuals receiving unemployment benefits. The extra payment would remain available through July 31, 2020.


Small Businesses


Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.


Who is eligible for the loan?

You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Nonprofit organizations are subject to SBA’s affiliation standards. Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible. Eligible franchises can be found through SBA’s Franchise Directory.


When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Applicants are eligible to apply for the PPP loan until June 30th, 2020.


Safer at Home – AL Public Health Order


May businesses or venues not specifically listed for closure continue their normal operations?

Businesses or venues not specifically listed in the order for closure may continue their normal operations, subject to the laws and regulations they must ordinarily follow as well as the other parts of the order.


Are parks still open and is it okay to exercise outside?

Yes, parks are still open, and it is still okay to exercise outside. Just do not gather with more than 10 people or with any number of people if you cannot maintain a consistent 6 feet of separation.



As details and general information become available, I will continue to update my website in the Frequently Asked Questions section, which you can find here: Additionally, please follow my Twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout each day. During this difficult time, it’s important that information is widespread and easily accessible, and it is my aim to make known every resource possible.