COVID-19 Resources in New Jersey
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COVID-19 Resources in New Jersey
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, took much of the country by surprise when it showed up in the United States earlier this year. While the initial “hot spot” was New York City, it did not take long for the virus to spread across New Jersey. New Jersey is second only to New York both in terms of the number of COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of people who have died from the virus.
The challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as the government’s response to prevent its spread, cannot be understated. Across the United States, millions of workers have filed for unemployment after being laid off, 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 while trying to acclimate to their new workplace. And, of course, essential employees who still must go into work face the obvious safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has impacted everyone across the state in a variety of ways and, at least for now, no one has it easy.
We Are Here for You During The COVID-19 Pandemic
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we understand the difficulties that you and your loved ones are experiencing, because as members of the tight-knit New Jersey community, we are also facing the same issues relating to COVID-19. We realize that not everyone will need the services of an experienced New Jersey personal injury lawyer, however, we want to do whatever we can to support you through this challenging time. If you are an essential worker or healthcare professional and have contracted COVID-19, we may be able to pursue a workers compensation claim, or lost a loved one due to a COVID-19 exposure in a nursing home, Veterans facility or hospital we may be able to help you pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation. We also handle all types of serious New Jersey personal injury claims. To learn more, and to see if we can help, call 973-920-7900 today.
- 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.
- Who Is Most at Risk
Many who contract the novel coronavirus will recover. However, they may 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, including:
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic lung conditions
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
Those who are immunocompromised – due to other conditions or medications – are also at a greater risk of suffering severe illness if they become infected.
- How to Stay Safe
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that, to combat the spread of the disease, everyone:
- Stay at home and self-isolate if they are feeling unwell;
- Cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing;
- Wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with liquid soap and water;
- Follow social distancing protocol by avoiding close contact (within six feet) with those who may have the virus; and
- Wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus, even if you do not have symptoms.
- 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, occasionally visit the following links:
- Where to Read Governor Murphy’s Executive Order?
Because there is no federal stay-at-home order in place, the states are left to create their own rules. The New Jersey government maintains a list of all the Governor Murphy’s executive orders, here. The first order relating to the COVID-19 pandemic is Executive Order 102, in which he established a coronavirus task force. Since then Governor Murphy has issued about 25 other executive orders. A few of the most important orders are:
- Executive order 104 – Social distancing and other mitigation efforts
- Executive order 107 – New Jersey stay-at-home order
- Executive order 110 – Closure of child-care facilities
- Executive order 115 – Allowing certain retirees to more easily re-enter the workforce to help in the fight against COVID-19
- Executive order 119 – Indefinite extension of the stay-at-home order
- Executive order 126 – Prohibiting cable and telecom operators from termination of internet and phone services
General New Jersey Government Information
For the most part, all New Jersey courts are closed, although some “extremely limited emergent matters” are still being heard. All filings relating to existing cases must be electronically filed, and hearings are to be held over the phone or through video. Some in-person court services have now resumed. Below is a list of resources related to the New Jersey judiciary:
- New Jersey Judiciary
- Supreme Court of New Jersey order regarding COVID-19
- Court closure information
- Electronic document submission
- New Jersey court records
- New Jersey jury service
- Representing yourself in an emergent matter
The New Jersey state government has developed several websites to help New Jersey citizens understand the pandemic, how to prevent its spread, and how to comply with the state’s stay-at-home order. Below is a list of important resources:
- New Jersey Department of Health statistics
- Official New Jersey COVID-19 information hub
- New Jersey stay-at-home rules
- New Jersey health insurance FAQs
- GetCovered New Jersey
Support for New Jersey Families and Individuals:
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in New Jersey in different ways. Regardless of the challenges you are facing, you are not alone. Below is a list of resources that may help you through this difficult time:
- Student Loan Information:
Under the recently-passed relief acts, many student loan borrowers will have their interest rate reduced to zero and some will have their loans placed into an emergency forbearance for the next few months. For those who qualify, payments will not need to be made. Learn more about student loan relief by the Federal Student Aid webpage or by contacting your loan provider.
- Stimulus Check Information:
Starting in the middle of April, the United States Treasury began issuing stimulus checks to qualifying Americans. Each qualifying individual will receive $1,200, and those with children under 17 years of age will receive $500 per child. Couples can receive up to $2,400 plus $500 per child. However, there are income limits, and individuals and families that make over a certain amount may not qualify, or may qualify for a reduced stimulus check. To learn more about the stimulus checks, visit the I.R.S. website. On April 15, 2020, the I.R.S. created a website where individuals can check the status of their stimulus check.
- Public Benefits and Food-Security Information:
The state government has implemented some important changes in how it administers public benefits. For example, WIC services can now be accessed by phone and SNAP benefits can be applied for online. NJ Helps is an organization through the New Jersey Department of Health that can assist qualifying individuals in getting set up with the benefits that they need. For those with preliminary questions, the state has set up a webpage addressing frequently asked questions.
The Community Food Bank of New Jersey remains open during the COVID-19 crisis, and provides food to those who need it. The organization has multiple locations across the state. Those in need of assistance can visit the Association’s website. The Food Bank of South Jersey is also operational during the pandemic, and can be accessed through its website.
For those experiencing homelessness during the pandemic, as well as those on the brink of homelessness, the New Jersey Department of Human Services has a website that can help needy individuals obtain food and housing.
- For Victims of Domestic Violence
As a result of the stay-at-home order, families are now spending more time together. While this may be a good thing for some, for those trapped in an abusive or otherwise dangerous relationship, home can begin to feel like a prison. The New Jersey domestic violence hotline can be reached at 1-800-572-7233. Those who are in immediate danger should not wait until the crisis passes, and should call 911 and report the abuse to the police immediately. The state government has also set up a webpage to address a few frequently asked questions. Here is a link to list of resources for the victims of domestic abuse. Those leaving abusive relationships may find additional assistance through the Women’s Shelters. Additional information can be found on the Department of Children and Families domestic violence webpage.
- Additional resources for individuals and families:
- Information on New Jersey tax appeals
- A description of the various benefits available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Child support payment options
- Housing and rental assistance
- Childcare resources
- Emergency childcare
- Information on New Jersey Schools and Universities
Resources for New Jersey Workers
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in tens of thousands of layoffs and furloughs. Many of those who still have their jobs are seeing their hours reduced. This only adds to the stress and anxiety many are already experiencing. Both state and federal lawmakers have implemented a series of measures to help employees through these employment challenges.
For example, the federal government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which requires many employers offer paid leave to employees who are affected by COVID-19. In addition, Governor Murphy signed a bill into law that will increase paid leave benefits for many New Jersey workers during the pandemic.
The New Jersey Department of Labor has created a website to address some of the most common employment-related questions.
Below are a few additional resources for employees, or those who have recently been laid off and are looking for employment:
- New Jersey unemployment benefits application
- Important information for those seeking new Jersey unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 emergency
- New Jersey state government hiring portal for state jobs
- New Jersey Department of Labor website containing information on workers’ benefits and protections during the COVID-19 pandemic
Support for New Jersey Small Businesses:
Many small businesses across the state are suffering as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last few months, lawmakers have passed a series of bills that provide much-needed help to New Jersey small business owners. Perhaps the most important assistance comes through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- Finding Help Paying Employees During the Crisis
Many small business employees are like family, and it can be devastating for a business owner to tell loyal, hardworking employees that they will no longer be receiving a paycheck. Laying off employees can also jeopardize the future of a small business. Thus, one of the most important part of the CARES Act for small businesses is the paycheck protection program (PPP). The PPP offers employers loans to cover payroll during the crisis. If employers are able to maintain payroll throughout the crisis, the loan may be forgiven. Learn more about the PPP here.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Lawmakers understand the difficulty the coronavirus pandemic has had on small business owners, through no fault of their own. Thus, under the CARES Act, lawmakers have loosened the restrictions to obtain an Economic injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). These low-interest loans can be up to $2 million. Most small business types are eligible, including sole proprietorships, limited liability corporations, independent contractors and cooperative or employee-owned businesses. To learn more about EIDLs, visit the Small Business Association’s website on EIDLs.
- Other Support for Small Businesses
While the PPP and EIDL programs are perhaps the most helpful programs for many small businesses, the CARES Act provides additional help. To learn more about what options small business owners have, visit the SBA’s website on the CARES Act.
- Additional Information for Small Business Owners:
We Are Here for You During The COVID-19 Pandemic
At the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm, we understand the difficulties that you and your loved ones are experiencing, because as members of the tight-knit New Jersey community, we are wrestling with many of the same issues. We realize that not everyone will need the services of a New Jersey personal injury lawyer, however, we want to do whatever we can to support you though this challenging time. If you are an essential worker or healthcare professional and have contracted COVID-19, we may be able to help you pursue a claim for compensation. We also handle all types of New Jersey personal injury claims. To learn more, and to see if we can help, call 973-920-7900 today.
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Being injured or having a family member injured can have serious and lifelong consequences. We can try to ease the burden. Contact us today to learn more about how our team of experienced New Jersey accident attorneys can support you through these challenging times.