NY12 Coronavirus Update 4/21

Apr 21, 2020

Dear Friend, 


Today, I released a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “Care of Pregnant Women in DHS Facilities.” This independent report documents troubling instances of inadequate care and complaints of mistreatment of vulnerable pregnant women in detention. Please remember to fill out your 2020 Cenus if you have not done so already. You can submit the form online, by phone, or by mail. More on this and other updates from the City and State below. 


As the CARES Act is implemented across the country, my office is here to help you navigate these new resources that are available from the federal government. If you need help with a federal agency and navigating the changes brought on by coronavirus mitigation efforts, please reach out to my office at 212-860-0606.


You can continue to expect these updates from me as verified and pertinent information becomes available.


Facts and Figures

United States:

- According to Johns Hopkins, there are now 787,960 positive cases across the United States with 42,374 deaths.


New York State:  

- Our state has confirmed 253,311 positive cases. We have lost 18,653 New Yorkers to COVID-19. We remain the most impacted state in the nation.


New York City:  
- The City has confirmed 141,235 cases with 14,604 deaths.


News Updates:


The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. This portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn't yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information here so that they will receive economic impact payments.


- Today, I released a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “Care of Pregnant Women in DHS Facilities.” This independent report documents troubling instances of inadequate care and complaints of mistreatment of these vulnerable pregnant women. This report comes at a time when the Administration is refusing to release hundreds of pregnant women and other medically at-risk individuals who are vulnerable to the coronavirus in crowded detention facilities. You can read the full report, which I released with Rep. Jamie Raskin, Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, here


- REMINDER: The National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) has issued guidance on applying for the $75 million it was allocated in the CARES Act. If a nonprofit cultural organization has received NEA support in the last four fiscal years, it is eligible to apply for a direct grants and should apply by tomorrow, Wednesday April 22. Eligible organizations can apply here



Important Information: Economic Impact Payments aka Stimulus Checks

- The IRS began sending out direct deposits on April 15.


- If you didn't yet receive your direct deposit, it is possible that the IRS doesn't have your direct deposit information. You can check on the status of your payment and enter your information if needed through the Get My Payment feature on the IRS website, or wait for a paper check in the mail. 


- If the Get My Payment tool indicates that the payment has been deposited, but it isn't yet showing on your statement, please give your bank a few days to process the payment. If the payment does not process, wait for a letter from the IRS. The agency is required to mail a letter to your last known address within 15 days of sending the payment. This letter will include the method by which the payment was made, the amount, and a phone number to contact the IRS to report that you have not received the payment. 


- If you receive a "Payment Not Available" notice on the Get My Payment site, it might be because:

1. Your adjusted gross income is too high to qualify for a payment;

2. You didn't file a tax return for 2018 or 2019;

3. Your recently filed return hasn't been fully processed; or

4. You receive social security, disability, or railroad retirement. 


- If you didnt file a tax return for 2018 or 2019, make sure to use the Non-Filers tool to share your information in order to receive this payment. If you already submitted, the IRS may still be processing your information.


- If you receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Social Security Disability Insurance, the IRS will use Form 1099 and your payment will be sent automatically. 


Additional FAQ from the IRS is available here.


New York State

NYS is extending the open enrollment period for New Yorkers without health insurance to May 15. Please get covered if you are not already. Enroll here


- The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a new, streamlined application for New Yorkers to apply for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance without first needing to apply for Unemployment Insurance. Prior to today, New Yorkers were required to apply for regular Unemployment Insurance and be rejected before applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This new application, which aligns with updated federal policy, allows New Yorkers to simply fill out one form to get the correct benefits without requiring applicants to call the DOL. The agency has installed more than 3,100 representatives solely dedicated to answering unemployment benefit needs seven days a week. The DOL previously had 400 representatives in the call center. The DOL has paid out $2.2 billion in unemployment benefits to 1.1 million New Yorkers so far. The new form is available here.


-  Governor Cuomo announced that New York State has launched a new partnership with Ready Responders to expand essential COVID-19 health care services to NYCHA residents, including to Queensbridge in NY-12. The other NYCHA communities included in this initial pilot program include Highbridge Houses, Edenwald Houses, Washington Houses, and Andrew Jackson Houses in the Bronx; Brevoort Houses in Queens; and Red Fern Houses and Hammel Houses in Brooklyn. 


- The Governor announced the creation of the Reimagine NY Task Force to improve systems in downstate New York once the state is no longer on pause. The task force will be led by the State, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. The group will be comprised of other local elected officials and housing and transportation experts. 


- SUNY is distributing more than 8,800 laptops and Chromebooks to students in need who are currently completing their spring semester coursework online amid the COVID-19 health crisis. A statement from the system states, "As SUNY and campuses began planning the shift to distance learning in March, SUNY System Administration surveyed all 64 campuses and colleges to gauge student technology needs, and is providing the laptops and Chromebooks based on those findings. SUNY will continue to monitor and fulfill technology needs while remote learning continues."


- The MTA has launched the Keep Them Covered public awareness campaign. It includes new signage and announcements on more than 7,000 digital screens, in stations, and on board trains, buses, and paratransit vehicles across NYC Transit, Metro-North, and the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR).


New York City

If you are a recovered COVID-19 patient, the NY Blood Center is asking for your plasma. If you had a positive COVID-19 test and have been symptom free for 14 days, please consider donating. You can sign up here.


- New York City has a crisis standard of sufficient supplies of face shields, N95s, surgical masks and gloves for the coming week and sufficient ventilators for the current week. Working with the federal government, the City has secured enough fabric to locally manufacture 400,000 gowns by May 23, with 40,000 done by this week, as well as 265,000 Tyvek suits to be delivered over the weekend.


- Medical emergencies in NYC are trending down. 


- City Harvest and Food Bank is distributing fresh food and household products at NYCHA developments throughout the city. Queensbridge is scheduled for this Saturday, April 25. You can find more information, including on dates, times, and locations of distribution here.


Census Update

- The response rate in our district, NY-12, is up to 40.8% and is climbing by the day! However, we are still below the New York State rate of 44.8% and the nationwide rate of 50.7%. Please fill out your census today if you have not already done so.


- As a reminder, it is illegal for the Census Bureau to share your information with law enforcement. You answers cannot be used to impact your eligibility for government benefits. Your answers are ONLY used to create statistics about our community, city, state, and country. 


- The Census is available online, by phone, and by mail. This week, paper questionnaires were mailed out with a reminder letter to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. If you were not able to answer via online or by phone, please fill out this paper form.


As always, if you need assistance with any federal matters, please call my office at 212-860-0606. Please forward this information to any of your friends, families, or coworkers and let them know that they can sign up for regular updates from me here.


Please, wash your hands, stay home, and thank the medical workers, first responders, grocery store employees, delivery workers, transit workers, childcare workers, mail carriers, take-out cooks, teachers and sanitation workers in your lives.



Carolyn B. Maloney

Member of Congress