COVID 19 Resources
Important Information about your Economic Impact Payment
Congress has passed a bill to help the people whose finances are taking a beating from the pandemic. Once again, some of us will be getting money by check or direct deposit. Scammers try to impersonate the Government, stay alert:
- The government won’t ask you to pay anything up front to get this money. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- The government won’t call, text, email, or contact you on social media to ask for your Social Security, bank account, or credit card number. Anyone who does is a scammer.
- There’s no such thing as getting your money early, or faster. Anyone who says they can hook you up now (or soon) is both lying and a scammer.
For trusted information and updates about IRS payments – including eligibility, how to sign up for direct deposit, or where to file a short tax form – always start with irs.gov/coronavirus. Learn how to avoid scams by subscribing to the FTC’s consumer alerts, and report scams to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
Resources from the Iowa Department of Human Services
- Iowa Department of Public Health — Up-to-date information on the impact of COVID-19 in Iowa, plus travel considerations, prevention tips and general information.
- US Center for Disease Control and Prevention — General information from the CDC on the virus, the situation in the U.S., risk assessment, the CDC’s response and more.
- World Health Organization — General information on the virus, the WHO’s response, global monitoring of the situation and more.
- Social Distancing — Information from the Iowa Department of Public Health on the concept of social distancing.
- Clinton Regional Development Corporation - Wealth of resources for local businesses and individuals.
- Small Business Administration -- Resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Society for Human Resource Management — Information on how to prepare your workforce for the potential issues that can come during a communicable disease outbreak.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration — Information for workers and employers about the evolving Coronavirus outbreak.
U.S. Small Business Administration Issues Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for Iowa
Financial Assistance Available to Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued a disaster declaration for the state of Iowa as of January 31, 2020 and continuing. The declaration allows pandemic-impacted small businesses to apply for low-interest support loans. The declaration comes after Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds submitted a federal funding request via the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
“This SBA Disaster Loan program is vital in assisting our small businesses that have been so heavily impacted by these unprecedented times,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I will continue to work with President Trump and his administration to provide relief to Iowa small businesses as we combat the spread of COVID-19 in Iowa.”
The SBA is now making loans available statewide to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
Applications can be made via the SBA’s website: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. (If you have trouble with this link, try typing in the URL. This website is currently getting a lot of use and you may have to try several times)
Applicants can monitor the status of their applications online after submission.
For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email email@example.com.
Fraud is on the Rise
Sadly, any time there are new social challenges, an opportunity is presented for fraud to rise. Particularly with an ongoing health pandemic such as the coronavirus, the uncertainty and fear across the population currently leaves some of us more vulnerable to unscrupulous tactics.
Do not give out any information such as social security numbers, account numbers or any other personal information, to someone you do not know or who has contacted you unexpectedly. If you feel you have had any information compromised or given out inadvertently, please contact us immediately at 563.243.6000 so we can work to safeguard your accounts.
Keep your Guard Up
Be aware that scammers are sending emails and text messages with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes.
Scammers have no shame, and nothing – not even a global health crisis – is off limits. Examples of schemes:
Most people who qualify for a stimulus check will automatically get it direct deposited by the IRS. As details emerge about how and when payments will arrive, some scammers may start using official-looking fake checks to steal money and confuse people into turning over personal information. Remember:
- The IRS will not send you an over-payment and make you send the money back in cash, gift cards, or through a money transfer. If you get an official-looking check for more than what you were expecting – say, for $3,000 – the next call you’re likely to get is from a scammer. They’ll tell you to keep your $1,200 payment, and return the rest by sending cash, gift cards, or money transfers.
- That’s not the IRS calling, texting, or emailing. Scammers are sending official-looking messages – including postcards with a password to be used online to “access” or “verify” your payment or direct deposit information. The IRS will not contact you to collect your personal information or bank account. It’s a scam.
For trusted information and updates about IRS payments – including eligibility, how to sign up for direct deposit, or where to file a short tax form – always start with irs.gov/coronavirus.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warns individuals to remain vigilant for scams related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to COVID-19.
The CISA encourages individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
- Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID – 19.
- Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites for up to date, unbiased information about COVID – 19.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Important Information for Farmers – Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)
FIND YOUR OFFICE
Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and through forms asking for this type of information:
Personal, including your Tax Identification Number
Farming operating structure
Adjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility
Direct deposit to enable payment processing
Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call.