The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American life. New Jerseyans have been subject to a series of escalating restrictions from banning group gatherings, to school and business closures and a stay at home order.
Across the United States, millions of workers have filed for unemployment, and hundreds of thousands more have been furloughed. Those who still have their jobs and are fortunate enough to work from home face another set of challenges. And essential workers who still must go into work face the obvious safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Petrillo & Goldberg Law we want to help you and your family through the challenges you are facing. Below is a list of COVID-19 resources for all New Jerseyans.
What Is COVID-19?
COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, is an infectious disease that is spread through the air. Primarily, the disease is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. COVID-19 can also spread when someone touches an infected surface and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.
What Are the Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms of the disease are similar to the flu, and include a dry cough, low-grade fever and difficulty breathing. However, many people who are infected with the virus (and therefore capable of spreading it) will have minimal symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Who Is Most at Risk
Most people who contract the novel coronavirus will recover. However, many will need to be hospitalized. The disease presents an increased risk for those over 60 years of age as well as individuals with certain pre-existing health conditions, most notably:
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic lung conditions
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Those who are immunocompromised – such as due to other conditions or medications – are also at a greater risk of suffering severe illness or death if they become infected.
How to Stay Safe?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, to combat the spread of the disease, everyone should:
- Stay at home and self-isolate if they are feeling unwell;
- Cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or mask, especially when out in public;
- Wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with liquid soap and water; and
- Follow social distancing protocol by avoiding close contact (at least six feet away) with other people whenever possible.
Where Can I Read Governor Brown’s Executive Order?
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency on March 9, 2020, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Executive Order No. 103 declares a state of emergency and public health emergency across all 21 counties in New Jersey.
Executive Order No.103 can be read in its entirety here.
A database of Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 news releases and other related information can be found here.
Learn More About COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis evolves daily, and so do the suggestions on how to best mitigate against its spread. To stay on top of all updates, you should occasionally visit or revisit the following links:
- Center for Disease Control
- World Health Organization
- New Jersey Public Health Division
- Latest COVID-19 statistics
To access the state’s COVID-19 resources and statistics New Jerseyans can visit the following sites:
To ask a COVID-19 questions:
- Ask your COVID-19 questions here.
- See New Jersey’s live COVID-19 updates here.
- Check COVID-19 symptoms with the New Jersey symptom checker here.
New Jerseyan’s can also call or text the following places with questions:
- General COVID-19 Questions 2-1-1 (7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
- Clinical Questions:1-800-962-1253 (24/7)
- Text NJCOVID to 898-211 to receive alerts.
New Jersey Court Updates and Resources
Until further notice, there are no in-person Municipal Court, Superior Court, and Tax Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters.) As many matters as possible (including case management conferences, motions, and hearings) will be handled by telephone or video conference.
Court offices and most municipal courts also are closed for in-person submissions. Filings may be submitted electronically or by mail or dropped off at a designated drop-box. Court-ordered payments may be sent by mail or made electronically.
Below are links to various resources related to the New Jersey judicial system:
Information on Other New Jersey Government Services
Support for Individuals and Families
Did you lose your job or have your hours reduced as a result of COVID-19? Businesses across New Jersey need thousands of workers for immediate hire. Learn more about who is hiring in your community.
Volunteer Options During COVID-19
The State is currently seeking health care professionals who can volunteer their skills and expertise. For more information and to sign up, visit here.
New Jersey Department of Labor Benefits
Unemployment benefits for gig economy employees
Applying for unemployment benefits. Read New Jersey guidelines here.
Click here to view the most up-to-date schedule (as of Sunday, April 19) for certifying for weekly Unemployment Insurance benefits. You can only certify benefits during the day(s) and time(s) assigned to your Social Security Number (SSN). To avoid delaying your payment, first read our guide to certifying for benefits during the coronavirus emergency.
If you need to submit a new unemployment claim, you can do so online anytime. Please read our coronavirus emergency FAQ before you apply.
Division of Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance – Leave Benefits
Most workers eligible for Temporary Disability or Family Leave Insurance due to coronavirus related issues are eligible for New Jersey Unemployment Insurance — which dramatically increased the benefit amount and length of coverage through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Here is an informational chart showing the programs you may be eligible for and where you can apply for them. Review the chart to see which program suits your needs best.
DCAid allows you to go through a screening process to see if you are eligible for New Jersey Assistance Programs such as rental assistance, homelessness and eviction prevention, home energy assistance, etc. Learn more at: https://njdca-housing.dynamics365portals.us/en-US/
Apply for NJ SNAP
Check your benefits at: https://www.connectebt.com/njebtclient/
New Jersey SNAP-Ed, a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a nutrition and physical activity program aimed at teaching New Jersey residents how to make healthy, budget-friendly food choices and lead more active lives. Learn more here.
The Division of Family Development (DFD) provides leadership and supervision to the public and non-profit agencies that deliver financial assistance and critical safety net services to individuals and families in New Jersey.
Among the programs within this agency are Work First New Jersey/Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (WFNJ/TANF) and WFNJ/General Assistance (WFNJ/GA) – the two programs that make up the state’s welfare program; NJ SNAP; Child Support services and Child Care services.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, child support payments continue to be processed. The New Jersey Family Support Services Center is available from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is experiencing extremely long call wait times. Case information is still accessible 24/7 via the mobile app, online at caseinfo.njchildsupport.org and the Interactive Voice Response System.
New Jersey Assistance Portal
To learn more about housing, employment, health and wellness help visit: https://nj.gov/nj/community/assistance/
New Jersey Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC)
More information about the Federal Economic Impact Payment – Stimulus Check can be found at: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
This payment is from the federal government. The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.
To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payments. This suspension of payments will last until September 30, 2020. If you choose, you can continue to make payments.
Learn more at: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments
The IRS is offering tax help for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by the coronavirus.
Small and midsize employers can take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act).
Find out more at: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus
Coronavirus Tax Relief for Businesses and Tax-Exempt Entities
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. You can get immediate access to the credit by reducing the employment tax deposits you are otherwise required to make. Also, if your employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, you may get an advance payment from the IRS.
COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources
Small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. Find out about your options at: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources