To all Vincentians, thank you for your compassionate dedication to helping our clients in these challenging times from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak. This repository is intended to inform you of the changes to SVdP Georgia operating procedures and a reference point as you navigate thru uncertainty while serving those in need.
It is our objective to provide timely email notification updates to help you during this period until we are back to normal. We will continuously monitor and update the information on this page, so please feel free to check back often for the most up-to-date information.
While there has not been a final determination, all indications are that the qualification will be based on Adjusted Gross Income on either your 2018 Federal Tax Return or 2019 if already filed. This also means that a return will need to be filed to qualify and if a 2018 tax return was not filed (because of income reported) then one will have to done. It has not worked out when the credit will be provided. It appears that the credit would be provided as a credit on your 2019 tax return. The direct aid could be provided as early as 3 weeks from enactment based on how taxpayers have set up receiving tax payments. The shortest time to get relief will be for those individual that have a direct deposit set up for Federal tax transactions. Others will have to be issued via mailed checks. It has yet to be determined how the unbanked will be paid.
Since the credit is based on AGI, if the income is represented in federal tax return and is part of Adjusted Gross Income then it will determine eligible and amount of credit.
The credit is provided as a tax credit thru the tax return so it is provided to the filer(s) of the return.
On average, the federal government will pay workers full salary for four months if they are been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus virus. People who are unemployed will get an extra $600 per week up to four months, on top of state unemployment benefits to make up for 100 percent of lost wages. This will be thru the existing state administered program.
The significant changes that we understand from the bill is that GIG workers (Uber / Lyft, freelancers) could be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Also, applications can be completed online. I would refer to the Georgia Department of Labor website ( DOL.GEORGIA.GOV ) and some specific sections:
Intake workers should ask if the potential client has applied for coronavirus aid and have a discussion as to why they feel they do not apply (or have note). Also, caseworkers should note in CMS if the client is eligible for relief check as well as unemployment compensation. I believe there is a category in the financial situation for income from unemployment compensation. I would note relief check eligibility in the situation sections. These reliefs and the timings of the aid should be note especially if we are helping over a period of time. Also, we should denote if COVID-19 is applicable in the Underlying Cause Section. We plan to have instructions on eligibility on our website.
- There’s a service called Free Conference Call at www.freeconferencecall.com It’s very easy to get started. You can have as many people call into the line as you want. When you get set up, you may experience some scratchy issues on the call. Be patient; they are trying to keep up with the increased demand for their services and are constantly upgrading their capacities.
- Another option is Zoom Video Communications at www.zoom.us A free video version of Free Conference Call. This way you get to see each other’s smiling faces. A great thing!
- It’s a good idea to ask those on the call to “Mute” their phones when they’re not talking to reduce distractions and background noises. You can do that on your phone or usually by dialing *6. To unmute you would dial *6 again.
- The Neighbor/Landlord can scan and email the lease and income verification or take pictures with their phones and email to you.
- For the ID, have the neighbor read to you their date of birth and expiration date on the ID.
- For the Confidentiality form, read the form to the Neighbor over the phone, ask for their approval, and let them know you’re going to date and initial it with their knowledge.
Many Conferences have set up a G-Mail address to handle those communications. It easy and free. You’ll want to personalize the address such as, email@example.com Conferences with names that are the same as other Conferences—Sacred Heart, Immaculate Conception etc. should further personalize it with something like atl for Atlanta or pc for Peachtree City.
Serving Our Neighbors in Need
In order to protect you, as well as our clients, in-person visits should be suspended until further notice. Assistance should be conducted remotely through telephone and email communications. Because the virus can be transmitted by someone who is showing no symptoms, we can not rely on how the caseworkers or clients feel to determine any risk of transmission. While remote interactions provide limited ability to truly understand our client’s situation, we can still strive to bring our clients compassion and respect via telephone and email interaction. Since caseworkers will not be able to view client documentation in person, you should verify either thru contacting the vendors or having the clients email documents directly to you.
Please also visit the CDC website for guidelines on preventing the spread of the coronavirus.
SVdP Georgia COVID-19 TOWN HALLS : April 1-3, 2020
If you’re wondering how you can ensure that the seniors in your community are well cared for and have access to healthy resources, beyond the support from St. Vincent de Paul, especially during the pandemic, you’ll find the answers within this article written by Guest blogger, Beverly Nelson.
Conference Food Programs
For those Conferences with food programs, pantry operations should be adjusted in coordination with your pastor or parish administration. For those that deliver food to clients, please do so in a way that you adhere to CDC and government recommendations on social distancing.
Click here to view some ways other Conferences have adjusted their food pantry services.
Your Spiritual Journey
With the temporary suspension of our parish mass celebration and other spiritual social gatherings, you may be needing of alternate forms of support. We encourage you to check out these sites:
Meditation Monday with Deacon Keith G. Kondrich for reflection videos
Conference Support Center Operations
We will continue to operate and support our conferences as best we can that keeps our staff and community safe and healthy and continue to update the status of these operations as things are fluidly changing. Here are the current modifications we have made to our services:
- In-home donation pick ups of furniture and household goods has been suspended until further notice.
- The annual Regional membership meeting, Spring to Life, scheduled for April 4th, has been canceled and we will re-visit rescheduling as things progress.
- The CSC staff has temporarily moved to a remote work schedule, with in-office visits as needed. All staff will continue to be accessible via phone and email.
Council Food Distribution / Council Food Pantry
- Out of abundance of caution we have suspended in-person food pantry appointments at Chamblee and Lakewood. Currently, we are operating a home delivery service model that deploys out of the Chamblee Family Support Center on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. If you would like to help make contactless deliveries, we are seeking more volunteers. Please visit our volunteer page for more information on available slots.
- Our Food Recovery & Distribution Program in partnership with Kroger stores and a couple of Aldi and Sam’s stores has suspended the collection of food from the retailers.
Thrift Stores / Family Support Centers
- The Family Support Centers in Chamblee and Lakewood have suspended food pantry appointments at this time as food pick-ups through the Food Recovery & Distribution Program has been low or none. However, we will continuously review these operations and open appointments as food becomes available.
- The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program will continue to operate on an appointment-only basis, but applications will be conducted over the phone.
- The SVdP Georgia Thrift Stores will be closed until further notice. At this time, all of the stores are accepting donations with some staffed daily and others that are checking in periodically to retrieve donations left at the door. Because the situation is ever-changing, we highly suggest that you contact your local store for their current status.
Key Websites / Phone Numbers
Please visit these websites to stay current regarding changes in the Coronavirus response.
- Federal Government Info / Guidelines: ( www.coronavirus.gov )
- State of Georgia hotline: (844) 442-2681
- Georgia Dept of Health: ( dph.georgia.gov ) for current statewide and local status on coronavirus
- CDC : ( www.coronavirus.gov )
- Archdiocese of Atlanta: ( www.archatl.com/covid-19 )
Community Response to Coronavirus
Mayor, city offering rent help for residents living in Atlanta Housing: The program is to help seniors, families, and other residents who live in AH-owned or subsidized units who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Housing Choice Voucher Program participants.
Internet & Phone
Most internet and mobile phone providers are suspending disconnects and providing additional free data services.
Moratorium on Utility Disconnections
Many utility companies have suspended utility disconnects. The following companies have publicly announced suspension for disconnection services:
- Atlanta Gas Light: Through April 13.
- Georgia Power – Click here for more details
- Planters Electric Membership
- Cobb EMC
- Blue Ridge EMC
- Gas South
- Amicoalola EMC: Through two weeks from March 16
- Canoochee EMC: For two weeks from March 16. Late fees also suspended.
- Clayton County Water Authority: Until further notice.
- Columbus Water Works: Through April 13.
- City of Sylvanis: Until April 13. Late fees for payment after March 15 will still be charged
- Coweta-Fayette EMC: Until further notice.
- GreyStone has extended the suspension of disconnections of service for residential members, which includes prepaid members, until April 15.
- Habersham EMC: Until further notice. Late fees also suspended.
- Jackson EMC: Through March 27.
- Macon Water Authority: Until further notice.
- Newnan Utilities: Until further notice, but residents encouraged to make payments.
- Norcross Power: Until April 15.
- North Georgia EMC: Until further notice.
- Okefenoke Rural EMC: Through April 3. Late fees also suspended.
- Planters Electric Membership Corporation: until April 15.
- Tri-County EMC: Through at least March 31.
- Scana Energy: Until at least April 13.
- Southern Company: Until further notice.
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Foreclosures and evictions are on hold for single-family homeowners for 60 days.
- Walton EMC: Until further notice.
- Water Utility Management: Until March 31
- Windstream: Until May 12
- Xfinity/Comcast: For 60 days, but you must contact customer service
Please check with you local utility company as to whether or not they are also making accommodations during this period. Please let us know if they have changed their policies and we will update this list.
Food Pantry Organizations
- Local Education Food Distribution Sites Serve Atlanta Students During Coronavirus Closure
- COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Schools
- Homeless Shelters: Many shelters remain open during this period, however, they are operating with reduced staff as they are asking volunteers to not come into work. The following are still in operation.
Medical Service Providers
Many service providers are still open and servicing clients, however, they are curtailing non-essential medical procedures. Please visit the Georgia Department of Health website for the latest on procedures for those that believe they have contracted the coronavirus.
- Please visit FREE AND INCOME BASED CLINICS IN GEORGIA for the operations of local free clinics in your area.
- MercyCare continues to provide free medical services including Coronavirus screenings in the metropolitan Atlanta area.
- Georgians for a Healthy Future
- Komen Atlanta Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP)
Government Programs and Services
- The Supreme Court of Georgia extended filing deadlines (including eviction proceedings) through midnight May 13, 2020.
- Division of Family and Children Services continues to be open
- Department of Labor: Open but suspended in-person requirement for employment services. Services available can be found on their website.
- Important to note that clients who have been furloughed should visit the website and file a claim online to unemployment compensation.
- NEW Information for filing for unemployment
- Expanded school meal service
- HUD Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.
- Gwinnett County Assistance for those living in Extended Stays
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notice (as of 3/14/2020)
- Social Security Benefits Updates
- Social Security Benefits Updates en Español
- COVID-19 Unemployment Assistance
- New Guidance about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Beneficiaries from Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul ENGLISH SPANISH
- Rights of Tenants Living in Motels/Extended Stays- Clients who are having trouble with their extended stay housing mayapply for assistance at https://atlantalegalaid.org.
- State officials stagger rollout of food stamps
- Estimated $105B in aid
- Covers the next 12 months
- Provides for free coronavirus testing
- Expands food assistance for vulnerable children and families
- Paid sick Leave for of companies with 500 or less employees (potential exemptions for companies 50 or less) and public employees
- Subject to a federal, state or local coronavirus quarantine or isolation order;
- Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus concerns;
- Experiencing coronavirus symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis;
- Caring for someone else who is subject to a coronavirus-related federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order, or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to coronavirus-related concerns;
- Caring for a son or daughter if the child’s school or daycare has been closed, or the child’s care provider is unavailable, due to coronavirus precautions; or
- Experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Help is on the way to many of our clients with the passage of the $2T Coronavirus relief package passed by US Congress and signed into law. This will provide substantial relief for individuals, small businesses and some specific industries (healthcare, travel, etc.). Specifically, for many of our clients there is immediate relief with:
- Direct aid in the forms of monies:
- The federal government is providing $1200 per adult and $500 per child up to $3000 for a household.
- This aid will be distributed thru the Department of Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service.
- All US residents with a work-eligible Social Security number and an individual adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive the stimulus check. The income limit for those filing as head of household is $112,500 and $150,000 for couples filing jointly.
- Benefits are entirely phased out for individual filers who claim one child with an AGI above $145,500 or $198,000 for joint filers.
- The check amount will be based on either 2018 or 2019 tax filings.
- For those who collect Social Security payments and do not file a tax return, the government use the Social Security Benefit Statement form SSA-1099 to determine eligibility.
- Enhanced Unemployment Aid: Additional funding is being provided to state administered unemployment compensation services. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance will expand the types of workers who are eligible to apply, extend the duration of the time a recipient may receive unemployment benefits, and increase the maximum amount of money for unemployment payments.
- This will provide for increased benefits ($600 per week) for 4 months that would equate to affected individuals to have the equivalent of full salaries.
- The enhanced duration applies to claims for unemployment beginning on or after January 27, 2020 and ending on or before December 31, 2020.
- Clients can apply for the benefits thru Georgia’s department of labor website (https://DOL.GEORGIA.GOV) .
Employment (Click here)
Last Updated 4/29/2020