Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY
Many CSWA Members have wondered about the risks and benefits of applying for the second round of relief funds from the CARES Act General Allocation Fund. Some of the guidance on applying for these funds is as ambiguous as the explanation for the first round of relief funds, but I will give you my understanding of what it means.
First, tomorrow is the last day for accepting or rejecting the first round of funds, which did not require an application, as the second round does. The first round of funding went to any LCSW who saw Medicare patients in 2019. There is some confusion about what accepting these funds, either through active attestation or no response, will mean. But anyone who does not actively reject the funds by tomorrow will be seen as eligible for the second round of funding.
To be considered for these new General Allocation funds, information on filing the application can be found at https://chameleoncloud.io/review/2977-5ea0af98f0fd0/prod . A couple of changes are 1) you must file your 2019 tax return, and 2) you must estimate your lost income for March and April of 2020. These funds will be available until they are exhausted and will go out as claims are validated.
There is no guarantee that you will receive these funds, or a formula for how they will be distributed. The main thing to remember is that if you want to be considered for receiving them, apply sooner rather than later. Giving our tax returns to HHS is a calculated risk. If the information is accurate, there should be low risk; if not, there could be an audit of your tax return. Estimating lost income may be difficult and could lead to problems if it is found to be overestimated. But for some LCSWs, it may be worth the risks of applying for these funds because of the need for more income at this perilous time.
Remember - this is a separate source of funding from the Payroll Payment Protection (PPP) funds, which LCSWs are also eligible for. PPP allows businesses to borrow 2.5 times our average monthly “payroll costs”, a bit of a misnomer, because when you look at the actual definition payroll costs include self-employment income, e.g. net income reported on Schedule C. This program applies to anyone with self-employment income and is a loan which must be repaid.
I hope this helps you make the decision that is right for you about applying for these funds. Let me know if you have any other questions.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice
PO Box 10Garrisonville, Virginia 22463