Our Government and COVID-19 Coronavirus: Watch what they do and not what they say!

Fact-Checking The Podium – Dollars and Cents

Everyone won’t get paid leave under coronavirus emergency relief package

The relief package gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined, or seeking a diagnosis or preventive care for the coronavirus, or if they are caring for ill family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus.

If you are sick or seeking care for yourself, you earn the full amount you are usually paid, up to a maximum of $511 a day. If you are caring for a sick family member or a child whose school or daycare is closed, you earn two-thirds of your usual pay, up to a daily limit of $200.

Most workers at small and midsize companies and nonprofits can get paid leave, as can government employees, as long as they’ve been employed at least 30 days.  However, those at companies with more than 500 people are excluded. Workers at places with fewer than 50 employees are included, but the Labor Department could exempt small businesses if providing leave would put them out of business.

This paid leave is not permanent and expires on December 31.  The Labor Department must issue full guidelines by April 2 to assist employers in calculating how much paid leave their employees should get.

USDA fights to purge food stamps recipients despite pandemic

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that it would appeal a judge’s ruling that it would be “arbitrary and capricious” to move forward with removable of approximately 700,000 from the SNAP (food stamp) program.  As many Americans are living with the real fear of food insecurity during a global health crisis and can’t work. The Federal government seeks to make changes that could force hundreds of thousands from the program.

The ruling by Federal Judge Beryl Howell stopped a set of changes that would have taken effect on April 1.  Under the current rules, non-disabled adults without dependents must show they’ve worked at least 80 hours per month for more than three months in 36 months to stay in the SNAP program.  Now individual states can waive that work requirement and time limit for areas of the state that have high unemployment rates.  The USDA seeks to remove that waiver ability from the states, starting on April 1

The USDA spokesperson responded to an Associated Press query with a brief email saying only that “USDA disagrees with the court’s reasoning and will appeal its decision.”

Coronavirus stimulus checks

At this time, the coronavirus stimulus check is in the proposal stage.

The current proposal calls for the stimulus checks to be issued on April 6 and May 18.  The amount of each check will vary.  Their income and family size determine each person’s exact amount.

People who received Social Security or disability payments from the government have not been confirmed to be receiving a stimulus check.

It’s also unclear whether the payments will come in the form of traditional checks to be mailed or whether payees can get direct deposits into their bank accounts.

LaToya Wright, Contributing Writer

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