ASMP Seattle/NW Covid-19 Support Hub

ASMP Seattle/Northwest is providing this information as a service to the Pacific Northwest photography community. Please let us know if you have any updates or corrections, this page is a work in progress. You must check with your state and federal authorities to ensure what is referenced still applies. The links provided indicate no endorsement or guarantee from ASMP as to the current validity of the information presented — these are being shared as additional resources to all our members and visitors. ASMP and the Seattle/Northwest chapter is committed to helping our members, we will get through this difficult time together. For medical advice relating to Covid-19 please visit the CDC page. And thank you to all of our members who make this site possible!

Key takeaways –

*NEW* – Info from the state of WA on Resuming Professional Photography in Phase 2 counties AND the ASMP Safety While Shooting Guide

https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase2ProfessionalPhotographyMemo.pdf?utm_medium=email

https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19Phase2ProfessionalPhotographyGuidance.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Safety While Shooting: The ASMP Guide

• Most of us will receive stimulus checks starting around April 15th, check your status on this IRS page.

• There is substantial PUI “Pandemic Unemployment Insurance” money available for freelancers, gig workers and sole-proprietors – $600 per week on top of the amount from your state. Washington resident link here.

• There are small business loans available to cover payroll and regular business expenses which are 100% forgivable if used properly (Paycheck Protection Program). This program is administered through the SBA but we need to apply via our bank.

• There is a mortgage payment forbearance program available for homeowners with federally backed loans, along with renter protections.

• Student loan deferment, see below.

• Support for those directly impacted by the disease.

• IRA RMDs are not required for 2020.

Link to main ASMP Covid-19 Info Hubhttps://www.asmp.org/asmp-covid-19-info-hub/

**Watch this first!** – Very helpful video by Photographer Sal CincottaCARES Act Relief Bill For Small Businesses and Photographers

*Great explainer on the options for Small Business owners (From VOX)- https://www.vox.com/2020/4/3/21196191/cares-act-apply-small-business-loans-grants-ppp-eidl

PhotoShelter – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for Photographers – https://blog.photoshelter.com/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-resources-for-photographers

NPPA Covid-19 Resource Guide – https://nppa.org/news/nppas-covid-19-resource-guide-nppa-here-you

*The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program vs The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)https://www.krostcpas.com/news/the-economic-injury-disaster-loan-eidl-program-vs-the-paycheck-protection-program-ppp

CreativeLive is offering free streaming of all their Health & Wellness classes – https://www.creativelive.com/wellnessclasses

From Canon via Mike GurleyCleaning of Camera, Lens, Video, and Printer/Scanner Products

Washington Governor Inslee’s phased approach to reopening the state

Information from Washington Congressman Adam Smith

Supporting Workers by Expanding and Enhancing Unemployment Insurance:

  • Creates a new Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (UI) program to provide unemployment insurance (UI) to individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance (such as gig-workers, part-time workers, and the self-employed)
  • Increases weekly unemployment benefits by $600 per week (on top of normal benefit) through the end of July.
  • Expands the maximum number of weeks a beneficiary can receive UI by 13 weeks – so workers who exhaust regular benefits would be eligible to receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.

Workers who have been affected by COVID-19 and are not sure what to do can find helpful resources from Washington state HERE. King County Council has put together a list of resources to help navigate different agencies and how to file for unemployment or workers’ compensation. Anyone who has lost their job due to coronavirus, had to self-quarantine, or take care of an infected relative should file for unemployment insurance. Anyone whose job brought them into direct contact with an infected person should apply for workers’ compensation.

*New info on unemployment assistance from the State of Washington –

The ESD is preparing for the implementation of the federal stimulus programs included in the CARES act by upgrading their technology systems so that on April 18, they can begin accepting applications for the three main elements of the new law:

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance– expands benefits to those directly impacted by COVID-19 who are not otherwise eligible for Unemployment Insurance in Washington State. This will be available until December 26, 2020 and is retroactive to February 2, 2020.

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation– increases the weekly benefit amount by $600 increase for all unemployment assistance recipients (including those already on Unemployment Insurance or participating in SharedWork). It runs until July 25, 2020 and is retroactive to March 29, 2020.

Pandemic Emergency Compensation- adds 13 additional weeks of benefits on top of the standard 26 weeks (if needed). It runs until December 26, 2020 and is retroactive to March 29, 2020.

All of these benefits will be retroactively paid from the time people lost their jobs or otherwise became eligible under the federal CARES Act. So, once approved, they will receive a lump sum payment of all benefits that are owed to them at that point. They will then be able to file weekly claims for benefits moving forward.

Direct Cash Assistance: The government will send direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 per child, depending on your income.

  • Single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 will receive $1,200 in direct payments, as will joint filers up to $150,000.
  • Benefit decreases until eliminated for those making more than $99,000 filing single or $198,000 for those filing jointly.
  • Social Security recipients, those with no taxable income, as well as those whose incomes are derived entirely from non-taxable programs, are still eligible for this relief as long as they have a work-eligible Social Security Number.

Small Business: The CARES Act included crucial grant and loan aid for small businesses. Here is a brief overview of the new relief funding that will be available to small businesses:

  • Forgivable Loans: The bill includes nearly $350 billion in funding for a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that provides small businesses (and certain non-profits) with zero-fee loans of up to $10 million. Up to 8 weeks of average payroll and other costs will be forgiven if the business retains its employees and their salary levels. If the small business has already laid off workers, you can rehire these workers and then can take advantage of the provisions in this loan program.
  • Emergency Economic Injury Grants: The bill includes $10 billion in funding for a provision to provide an advance of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA economic injury disaster loan (EIDL) within three days of applying for the loan. The grant does not need to be repaid, even if the grantee is subsequently denied an EIDL, and may be used to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintain payroll, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.
  • Debt Relief for Existing and New SBA Borrowers: The bill includes $17 billion in funding for a provision to provide immediate relief to small businesses with standard SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans. Under this provision, SBA will cover all loan payments for existing SBA borrowers, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out an SBA loan within six months after the President signs the bill.
  • Resources for Business Counseling Services: The bill includes $275 million in grant funding to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), as well as the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Centers (MBDCs), to provide mentorship, guidance and expertise to small businesses.

We will continue sending updates as more information becomes available on applications, and in the meantime, you can find additional information about the small business supports included in the legislation HERE.

Protections for Renters and Homeowners:

  • Prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for 120 days provided the landlord’s mortgage is insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
  • Provides protections for single-family homeowners with federally backed mortgages (purchased by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, insured by HUD, VA, or USDA):
    Financial institutions are PROHIBITED from foreclosing on these properties for 60 days, beginning on March 18, 2020.
    Borrowers experiencing financial hardship related to the COVID-19 emergency may request up to 180 days of forbearance on their federally backed mortgage.
  • Supports multi-family owners of real property designed for five or more families with loans purchased, insured, or assisted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or HUD by providing up to 90 days of forbearance for those experiencing financial hardship.
    Borrowers receiving forbearance may not evict or charge late fees to tenants for the duration of the forbearance period. 
  • Find out if you qualify by visiting Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help and using Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643); or visiting Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 and using Freddie Mac’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).

Benefits for Student Loan Borrowers:

If you have federal student loan debt, the CARES Act has several provisions that provide relief to borrowers through September 30, 2020, including:

  • Pause payments for federal student loan borrowers who have Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), which means these borrowers will not be required to make any payments toward outstanding interest or principal balance.
  • Suspend interest accrual on those federal student loan loans so that these balances don’t accrue.
  • Avoid forced collections such as garnishment of wages, tax refunds, & Social Security benefits.
  • Halt negative credit reporting.
  • Ensure borrowers continue to receive credit toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, and loan rehabilitation.

For additional guidance on how to apply and learn about next steps as this relief becomes available, please refer to the U.S. Department of Education website.

Senator Tester Covid-19 resources for Montana residents – https://www.tester.senate.gov/coronavirusresources/