This webpage will provide Mississippians quick access to the many federal, state, and local resources available to help combat the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
During this time, my staff is working and available to serve the people of Mississippi. If you need immediate assistance, please call any of our offices or fill out our online contact form by clicking here.
This page will be updated regularly with new information as it becomes available. To get news from my office on the coronavirus outbreak and other email updates, please sign up for the Wicker Report here.
U.S. Senator Roger F. Wicker
Resources for Individuals and Families
Protect Yourself and Your Family
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
Do your part to help stop the spread of the coronavirus by taking steps to protect yourself and your family.
Check out the CDC guidelines on protecting yourself from coronavirus here..
If You or A Loved One Gets Sick
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Your provider can determine your options for care. Visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) webpage here for more information on symptoms and how to protect yourself and your family.
In Mississippi, the University of Mississippi Medical Center has partnered with C Spire to offer free telehealth visits to Mississippians who have coronavirus symptoms via the C Spire Health app. Click here for more information.
Financial Support for Individuals and Families
The Senate unanimously passed a massive relief package to help workers and families in almost every segment of our society, including businesses, hospitals, and non-profits. The bill will provide checks of up to $1,200 for low and middle-income individuals and up to $2,400 for married couples and joint filers who meet certain salary requirements, with an additional $500 for each child. The Department of the Treasury has also released guidance that Social Security recipients who do not normally file tax returns are automatically eligible for the full individual benefit.
If your direct deposit information is on file, your benefit will be automatically transferred to the bank account you provided on your 2018 or 2019 tax return or where you receive your Social Security benefit. Otherwise the IRS will mail you a check. If you are not sure the IRS has your correct mailing address you should contact them as soon as possible. The IRS has also put together an FAQ on how the financial assistance payments will be distributed, and what you can do to expedite your economic impact payment.
Information for Students
Congress has passed legislation to ease burdens on students and individuals currently repaying their federal student loans who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Check out the Department of Education's coronavirus resource page for more information.
For more information about federal student loans visit the Federal Student Loans resource page.
The deadlines to file and pay federal income taxes have been extended to July 15, 2020. However, the IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days. Check out the IRS coronavirus response page here for more information.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves also announced that Mississippi would be extending the deadline to file and pay state income taxes through May 15, 2020. Check out the Mississippi Department of Revenue site for more information on how to file your state income tax return.
Paid Sick and Family Leave
At President Trump's request, Congress passed legislation requiring paid leave for workers who have contracted the coronavirus and for parents who are forced to miss work to care for their children. For more information on these changes, check out the Department of Labor's frequently asked questions page here.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
If you have been laid off as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, Congress has passed legislation to greatly expand unemployment benefits. Visit the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website for more information on how to file for unemployment and check your eligibility.
Resources for Small Businesses
Financial Assistance Programs
Protecting public health during the coronavirus outbreak has required steps that were unimaginable only weeks ago. Businesses have shut their doors and nearly all public events have been canceled. Millions of Americans are working remotely, and many others are unable to work at all.
Recent actions by Congress and the President have made hundreds of billions of dollars of emergency relief available to individuals, families, businesses, and other organizations that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic through no fault of their own.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides support to businesses to retain employees through the duration of the coronavirus outbreak. The department has collected a number of resources to help businesses on their site, including fact sheets for lenders and borrowers.
The Small Business Administration has released new guidance for small businesses seeking assistance, including eligibility, how to apply, and details of the financial assistance that is available. Click here to visit their website.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also released advice for business owners on how to navigate the coronavirus response. Click here to visit their website.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Resource Page
How Your Business or Organization Can Help
If you or your organization are interested in helping the effort to combat the spread of COVID-19, FEMA has established a website with more information. Examples for the private sector include selling or donating medical supplies and volunteering in medical facilities.
Resources for Farmers and Agricultural Producers
The federal government's coronavirus response includes expanded support for farmers and agricultural producers that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Click here for more information on these programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Resources for Travelers
The CDC has requested that all Americans do their part to help stop the spread of coronavirus by reducing or eliminating unnecessary travel. If you must travel, check the CDC guidance for what travelers can do to minimize their risk of spreading or catching coronavirus. The CDC has resources for domestic and international travel here.
If you are abroad and are unable to return home due to the coronavirus pandemic, follow these steps.
- Register at STEP.State.Gov. This site is the first point of contact for all American international travelers requiring assistance.
- If you need to return home, inform the local consulate in your current country. If it is an after hours emergency, call the State Department emergency line at 1-888-407-4747.
- Call my Washington or Hernando office. My staff are standing by to assist Mississippians. You can find contact information for those offices on this page.
- Prepare for the possibility of remaining in place up to two weeks, but also be ready to depart for the airport with little notice.