NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Sen. Sue Crawford

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at scrawford@leg.ne.gov

This resource page shares information and resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. My office will update this page with new information as it becomes available.

COVID-19 General Information

Visit the UNMC webpage and the DHHS website for the most updated information about COVID-19 in our state. The Sarpy/Cass Health Department is also maintaining their webpage, linked here, with local information and resources.

For local disaster recovery resources and information for those who were also impacted by the flood, visit Sarpy Disaster Recovery here.

For federal updates, visit the following websites:

CDC website – for official health information

Spanish Language resource page with CDC guidelines

USA.gov – for information about the government’s response

FEMA – for information about rumors and myths surrounding the virus

World Health Organization website – for public advice and technical guidance

Important Information for Small Businesses

Small Business Administration Loans: Small business guidance and loan resources are available at the SBA website. The loans and programs include, but are not limited to, the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) and SBA Express Bridge Loans. Follow this link to the SBA coronavirus page for more information.

Small Business Debt Relief Program: This program covers principal, interest and fee payments on current non-disaster SBA loans for six months as well as all payments on new loans taken out within the next six months.

Employee Tax Retention Credits: These tax credits are available to any employer that is not receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans and is either fully or partially suspended due to a governmental order related to coronavirus OR experiences a reduction of at least 50% in gross receipts from the same quarter in 2019. These credits cover up to 50% of wages paid by eligible employers during the crisis through December 2020.

Grants: The recently passed CARES Act provides for emergency grants for small businesses with less than 500 employees of up to $10,000. These are considered economic injury disaster loans but do not need to be paid back.The $10,000 may be used to maintain payroll, cover paid sick leave and service other debt obligations. This also applies to sole proprietors, those without employees and independent contractors. Information about these grants is available at the SBA website as well.

Helpful Websites: The Sarpy Chamber, Bellevue Chamber, and Greater Omaha Chamber are updating their websites regularly with relevant information, news and resources for business owners. The National Council of Nonprofits has also published helpful information on their website about the CARES Act.

The Department of Economic Development website is partnering with the Governor to keep businesses informed about the pandemic and assist them when possible. Their website is frequently being updated with available information and resources.

[Updated 4/10/20] The Nebraska Business Development Center has published a webpage with business resiliency resources here.

Important Information for Individuals

Federal Aid: The distribution of stimulus checks of $1,200 (plus an additional $500 for each dependent under 17) will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Please note that some seniors or others who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the stimulus payment. More details about eligibility and payments are available at this link.

Unemployment: Claims can be filed at NEworks.nebraska.gov or on the free NEworks app. Work requirements and the one week long waiting period has been waived. Unemployment benefits will be available for the self-employed and gig workers who usually don’t qualify.  The webpage linked here has detailed information about how to file claims and information about special programs. Note that the Department of Labor is experiencing high call volumes due to the influx in applications. For this reason, it is encouraged that you call and leave a callback number or that you utilize the online resources.

[Update 4/8/20] The DOL is still awaiting federal guidance on the software they are using to process applications from self-employed individuals and independent contractors. Though it may take 7-10 days to receive that guidance and get the software up and running, you can still file a claim now and are encouraged to do so. Be sure to mark “COVID-19 shutdown/layoff” when you apply, and your application will be processed even if it appears that you are denied.

Taxes: The Federal and State Income Tax Day has moved from April 15th to July 15th. This provides individuals and businesses with additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties for federal or state taxes. Governor Ricketts’ announcement about the tax filing deadline can be found here.

Housing: Governor Ricketts issued an executive order to waive the strict legal timeline for evictions that is currently in law. The order allows courts to stall or halt evictions for renters unable to pay rent due on or after March 13th because of economic hardship related to the pandemic. The executive order does not cancel rent payments, but it does defer a landlord’s right to a trial in an eviction action for non-payment of rent until May 31st when the nonpayment of rent is due to the Corona virus.

Child Care: Contact your child care provider for information about their plans. The Department of Health and Human Services has recently issued new guidance for providers. Lastly, if you still need to work but need care for your child you may be eligible for child care assistance. Contact DHHS at 402-595-1258 for help determining your eligibility.

Fraud/Scams: If you think you are the victim of a coronavirus fraud or scam, file a consumer complaint through the Nebraska attorney general’s website or send an email to ago.consumer@nebraska.gov. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Information is available on their website here.

Local Resources

The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office has established a helpline for the sick, elderly or caretakers who need assistance picking up prescriptions, groceries or other necessities.The number to call is 402-593-1593. Requests can be made Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Requests received after 4 p.m. will be addressed the following business day.

Heartland Workforce Solutions may be able to assist youth 14-24 with job applications,  questions about student loans, housing and other community supports. See their website for more information.

The Bellevue Housing Authority (BHA) has a special change form for families that have lost employment. For more information about these forms or how to complete them, contact Monica at monica@sarpyhousing.org or by phone at 402-502-8778.

Bellevue Fire Crews will provide a drive-by with lights and sirens for children’s birthday parties. To request a visit, email ems.captain@bellevue.net at least one day in advance. 

Teachers are now delivering lessons to students stuck at home. The programming is available on cable TV (Cox Channel 1116, News Channel Nebraska) or can be streamed online at any time in English here or in Spanish here.

A list of online Sarpy County services are available here including an online portal so you can pay your property taxes and access to DMV services.

See the Food Bank for the Heartland website for information about upcoming mobile pantries. 

[Updated 4/7/20] The Bellevue Food Pantry will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-noon and 1-4PM. Individuals must provide a photo ID and proof of residence as a piece of printed mail (like a utility bill) received within the past 30 days.

The Kim Foundation website is maintaining a page specifically for COVID-19 mental health resources which includes a list of telehealth providers.

The Nebraska Children and Families Foundation website has information about utility disconnection, food security, housing and more.

General Resources

[Updated 4/29/20] A Better Balance has published an FAQ page about COVID-19, pregnancy and workplace rights here. They also have a general FAQ page about paid leave. Another resource through their organization is a toll-free number where people can call for information on federal paid leave policies. That phone number is  1-833-633-3222.

Legal Assistance

Nebraska Free Legal Answers (NFLA) is providing legal assistance to those impacted by COVID-19. Please see their website here to see if you are eligible for their services. You must be a Nebraska resident, at least 18 years of age and meet low-income eligibility requirements.

Legal Aid of Nebraska may also be able to provide assistance dependent on your situation and what resources are available. Their website has more in depth information about how their offices can help here.

Information Hotlines

The DHHS COVID-19 information line is available 8:00am – 8:00pm, 7 days a week, at 402-552-6645. If you have questions about Nebraska cases, how to protect yourself or others, or Nebraska’s response to the virus please give them a call. 

If you have questions about resources or services, call the United Way’s 2-1-1 Resource Hotline.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects callers to trained crisis counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

Press Conferences

The White House Coronavirus Task Force streams their press conferences about the federal response here daily. Governor Ricketts is hosting press conferences daily at 2:00pm about the state’s response to the coronavirus here.The City of Bellevue is posting press conferences and updates occasionally on their YouTube channel here.

All the best,

Sen. Sue Crawford

District 45
Room #1012
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2615
Email: scrawford@leg.ne.gov
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