COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered strain of coronavirus, a group of related viruses commonly carried by animals and occasionally transmitted to humans. First originating in the Wuhan province of China in mid-November, the coronavirus has spread to at least 177 countries, developing into a global pandemic. As you may be aware, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that is relatively minor in most cases but can lead to severe illness, organ failure and even death in others. While symptoms for the coronavirus vary, the most common include fever, shortness of breath or chest tightness, and newly developed coughs. The virus predominately affects individuals over the age of 65, people with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions. However, all populations are at risk of being infected by COVID-19 and should take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus for their own health and the health of those around them.
The spread of the coronavirus is an extremely serious situation, one that has upended everyday life in the United States and throughout the world. While I remain optimistic that we will recover from this deadly virus, it is essential that we listen to the guidelines communicated to us by the White House and our country’s health officials in order to curb the spread and overall impact of COVID-19. Additionally, it is critically important to ensure our medical providers and workers have all the necessary equipment they need, including N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves, ventilators, and testing capabilities in order to safely and effectively respond to this crisis. As your Representative in Congress, I am committed to ensuring the health and well-being of every individual impacted by this virus in the Sixth District, the state of Wisconsin, and the country as a whole.
Please use the information below to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak. You can also stay up-to-the-minute by following me on Facebook (Congressman Glenn Grothman), Twitter (@RepGrothman) and Instagram (@RepGlennGrothman).
Member of Congress
Payroll Tax Deferral Executive Order
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order to defer the employee portion of Social Security payroll taxes for certain individuals. On August 28, The U.S. Department of Treasury released guidance providing additional detail for the implementation of this executive order. It is important to note that this will not decrease the monthly benefits of social security recipients.
Economic Impact Payments (EIP)
The IRS launched an online tool called Get My Payment on April 15 to make it easy for you to check the status of your check.
Q: “Who is eligible to receive EIP?”
A: Any person that has a valid Social Security number (SSN), is not considered as a dependent of someone else, and whose income qualifies, including:
- Welfare beneficiaries.
- Social Security recipients.
- Spouses of military members without a SSN.
- Adopted children can use an Adoption Tax Identification Number.
Q: “How much is my EIP?"
A: Up to $1,200 (per individual) or $2,400 (married filing jointly) + $500 per eligible child based on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns.
- If you made $75,000 or less as an individual or $112,500 or less as a head of household, you will receive the full $1,200.
- If you made $150,000 or less as a couple, you will receive the full $2,400.
- Children claimed as a dependent on your tax returns must be under age 17 to qualify for the additional $500.
Q: “When will I receive my EIP?”
A: The IRS launched an online tool called Get My Payment on April 15 to make it easy for you to check the status of your check. Direct deposits began distribution on Saturday, April 11. If you do not have direct deposit set up for your normal tax returns or do not file federal taxes, you will receive a paper check in the mail according to the following schedule, which is based on adjusted gross income for 2018 or 2019 (whichever year you last filed taxes). Please note that each date marks the end of the business week, Friday, and indicates that you should receive your paper check by that date. If you do not receive your check by the end of that day, please contact my Fond du Lac office.
- Less than $10,000: April 24.
- $10,001 - $20,000: May 1.
- $20,001 - $30,000: May 8.
- $30,001 - $40,000: May 15.
- $40,001 - $50,000: May 22.
- $50,001 - $60,000: May 29.
- $60,001 - $70,000: June 5.
- $70,001 - $80,000: June 12.
- $80,001 - $90,000: June 19.
- $90,001 - $100,000: June 26.
- $100,001 - $110,000: July 3.
- $110,001 - $120,000: July 10.
- $120,001 - $130,000: July 17.
- $130,001- $140,000: July 24.
- $140,001 - $150,000: July 31.
- $150,001 - $160,000: August 7.
- $160,001 - $170,000: August 14.
- $170,001 - $180,000: August 21.
- $180,001 - $190,000: August 28.
- $190,001 - $198,000: September 4.
- Remaining checks: September 11.
Q: “How do I receive my EIP if I was not required to file taxes in 2018 or 2019?”
A1: If you did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019 for these reasons, you do not need to take further action and will receive payment:
- Receive Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or survivor benefits.
- Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and do not have a dependent child aged 17 and under.
- Receive Railroad Retirement benefits.
A2: If you do not meet any of the above requirements, you can enter your information here.
Other Frequently Asked Questions about EIP:
Q: “I have a daughter who is 18 that I claim as a dependent. Will I receive the extra $500 for her?”
A: No, only parents with dependent children aged 17 and under will receive the additional $500 per child.
Q: “We claim our 17-year-old son as a dependent, but he also has a job. Will he receive the EIP, too?
A: No, he will not receive the economic impact payment because he was claimed as a dependent.
Q: “I am a senior citizen living on Social Security. Will I receive an EIP?”
A: Yes, Social Security recipients will receive the economic impact payment.
Q: “My wife and I are seniors living on Social Security. We haven’t filed a tax return in years. How do we receive the economic impact payment?”
A1: If you currently receive your Social Security by direct deposit, then your economic impact payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account.
A2: If you receive your Social Security by mail, then you will receive your economic impact payments by mail.
A3: You can visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and click on the secure link “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” to input your banking direct deposit information to receive the economic impact payments electronically.
- This is the fastest way for seniors to receive the EIP if Social Security is received by mail. Otherwise, seniors will receive the checks by mail according to the schedule in the “When will I receive my EIP?” section.
Small Businesses in Need of Help
Though Congress is not physically in Washington, D.C., we are working around the clock to make sure small businesses have the resources they need to weather this storm and, most importantly, continue paying their employees. If you are a small business owner, please utilize the resources below. If you are an employee of a small business, please make sure your supervisors are aware of the tools available to keep your business open and a paycheck in your pocket.
Please visit the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to find information including:
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has begun taking applications for a grant program authorized through the CARES Act that is designed to help Wisconsin-based small businesses with fewer than 20 employees and less than $1 million in revenue. Click here for more information and to find out if you are eligible.
Staying Safe, Healthy and Informed
To view the spread of COVID-19 throughout Wisconsin, check out the Wisconsin Department of Health’s tracker, which breaks down the number of COVID-19 cases by county.
Federal Agency Guidelines
Resources for Veterans
- Please visit www.va.gov/coronavirus for more information on what the VA is doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
- If you are a veteran experiencing symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, please contact your closest VA facility.
- Your VA telehealth options can be found at My HealtheVet.
Wisconsin Educational Resources
- To better understand Wisconsin’s child care setting order, K-12 school closure order and mass gathering order, please click here.
- For information on child care and child welfare, please click here.
- For information on K-12 school closures, along with resources for teachers and administrators, please click here.
- Find the latest information on State Universities by clicking here and State Technical Colleges by clicking here.
- To access emergency internet resources and utility service help, click here.
- For DMV online services and other transportation needs, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s website.
- For resources on filing your taxes, please click here.
- Click here for information on lenders or if you are in need of a notary.
- If you are a Wisconsinite with immediate needs related to COVID-19, you can text COVID-19 to 211-211, call 2-1-1 or visit www.211Wisconsin.org.
- Many blood drives have been canceled due to COVID-19. There are people still in need and donating blood remains safe, even during the virus outbreak. To find out where you can donate, please visit redcross.org.
- Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Fox Valley is accepting donations of N95 respirator masks, plastic mask shields, surgical masks, safety glasses, disposable gowns, hand sanitizer and more from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
- United Way of Sheboygan County and other United Way chapters are providing non-profit organizations with the opportunity to apply for relief, along with keeping an up-to-date list of community coronavirus resources. To find your local United Way and for more information, please click here.
- Food pantries across the Sixth District continue to address hunger and have adopted “no contact” distribution procedures. If you would like to volunteer or donate, click here to locate a pantry near you.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared these tips for healthcare workers who have come in close contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- To learn more about optimizing personal protective equipment (PPE) resources and for general clinical guidance as you interact with patients on the frontlines, please click here.
- If you are working in a laboratory handling COVID-19 specimens, check out these best practices for handling and collecting specimens.
- If your hospital or healthcare facility has PPE or similar requests, please contact your local emergency manager. They can be found on pages 19-28 in the Wisconsin Emergency Management Directory.
- To receive Wisconsin’s Health Alert Network’s latest messages on Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, please click here.
- New studies show that people with blood type O may have lower risk of infection, while people with blood type A and AB may be at risk of more severe clinical outcomes.
For Children Staying Home From School
Are you a parent staying at home with your child because their school is closed? Something I've heard from other parents in your position is that it is difficult to fill the day with kid-friendly activities that don't involve television.
Here are some educational resources you can use from the Library of Congress (LOC):
- Read free Student Discovery Sets on iBooks – Student Discovery Sets include one-of-a-kind documents and historical artifacts on various topics from literature to science.
- Check out free classic children's books online, including historical narratives and time-honored tales.
- Explore past author programming at the Library of Congress through the Library of Congress’ YouTube Channel.
- Take a virtual tour through the Library of Congress to view the charming, timeless Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington.
- Delve into 400+ digital collections, which feature U.S. Presidents, historic American newspapers, photographs, musicians, inventors and more.
- Cook up a tasty meal – The Library has you covered from breakfast through dessert! Try Rosa Parks’ feather-lite pancakes, Niccolo Paganini’s ravioli with meat sauce, or Thomas Jefferson’s macaroni or ice cream.
- While the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. is cancelled, you can still learn about cherry blossoms by visiting the Library of Congress’ collections on the cherry blossoms.
- Ask a Librarian! Have a question? Need research assistance? Contact LOC librarians online to ask for help regarding an inquiry.
- A general guide to LOC resources that parents, teachers and students that can be used from home.
These Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education resources are from various federal government agencies:
- NASA has STEM resources broken down into sections for grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 on www.nasa.gov/stem. There are also DIY engineering projects, videos, and info about our solar system, along with educational games on www.nasa.gov/kidsclub.
- The Energy Information Administration has interactive resources to help you learn about the different types of energy, energy sources and smart uses of energy at www.eia.gov/kids.
- The Environmental Protection Agency has activities, lessons, games, and resources broken down by topic, including air, climate, ecosystems, energy, health, recycling and water on www.epa.gov/students.
- The National Science Foundation has collected resources from around the web on a wide range of STEM topics, which can be found at www.nsf.gov/news/classroom.
- The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has hands-on activities, multimedia and lesson plans on individual topics such as weather and tornadoes that can be accessed at www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections.com.
- The Smithsonian Institution has a long list of helpful and fun materials to get students engaged in STEM learning at www.si.edu/kids and www.ssec.si.edu/game-center.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab also offers free, high quality resources for educators and students transitioning to distance learning. Smithsonian educators are also offering digital "office hours" to offer customized help for teachers.
The National Gallery of Art has several resources on their website. Other resources include the NGAkids Art Zone app for iPad, Look Together Activities and Eye for Art, which offers a different way to engage with the Gallery’s collection.
The Capitol Visitors Center has a number of resources you can utilize. These are great not only for students, but anyone who is interested in learning more about the U.S. Capitol:
- A nine-minute general video tour suitable for all audiences which takes visitors on an informational trip through the Capitol Visitors Center (CVC) entrance and onto the public tour route that they would experience in the busy season at the Capitol. Explore the Crypt, Rotunda, National Statuary Hall and more!
- The CVC website provides a link for teachers with a variety of tools to help them share information about the Capitol and Congress with students.
- The Architect of the Capitol has also produced a number of virtual resources for students and families learning from home. These resources are grouped into elementary, middle school and high school levels. They range from activity guides and game sheets, to video series, lesson plans and essay questions. In addition, there are virtual field trips and online exhibits from the U.S. Botanic Garden and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
- A nearly 20-minute tour for middle school students that focuses on information relevant to their civics and social studies classes. This video is a curriculum-focused informational trip through the CVC entrance and onto the public tour route they would experience that explores the Crypt, Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall. Information about important legislation - discussed and passed in both of the old chambers - is highlighted in this video.
- The CVC has produced a number of supplemental e-learning resources that accompany the Middle School Video Tour such as follow-along worksheets and a video quiz. The follow-along worksheet allows students to follow-along with the narrator and answer the questions he poses throughout the video. This is a tool that teachers can use to confirm that students watched the video and developed original thoughts and opinions on the important topics discussed in each room of the tour. The middle school video quiz allows teachers to check on student comprehension of the material shared in the video.
Did I miss something?
Please call my office or send me an email if you have a question about something not listed or have another resource that you feel would be helpful.