COVID-19 FAQs

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TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

The North Dakota Department of Health has authorized providers to use their judgement on who should be tested for COVID-19. Contact a health care provider; they will determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

The North Dakota Department of Health has provided the following guidance to health care providers: Health care providers should not refer patients to the North Dakota Department of Health for medical consultation or screening to determine the need for testing.

Each facility within the state is making decisions on how to see patients who require COVID-19 testing. Some of those plans may include drive-through testing locations. Talk with your health care providers in your community to determine how and where they are receiving patients for testing.

Contact your health care provider for your test results. Results will usually be available in 24-72 hours, but may vary depending on a variety of factors (e.g., the time required to get the specimen to the lab, number of specimens that need to be tested, lab being used to do the testing). The North Dakota Department of Health is unable to release results to patients who have testing done at their health care provider.

The North Dakota Department of Health has developed a fact sheet for people who have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for results. The fact sheet can be found at:  https://www.health.nd.gov/sites/www/files/documents/Files/MSS/coronavirus/Fact_Sheet_for_People_Being_Tested.pdf 

Click here for information on test results from the Department of Health

Being in an indoor environment (e.g., store, workplace, restaurant) with someone who has COVID-19 is not necessarily considered having close contact. A close contact is defined as a person who spends a prolonged period of time (15 minutes) within 6 feet (2 meters) of a person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 up to 2 days prior to their illness onset. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Just being in an indoor environment with someone is not necessarily a close contact.

The North Dakota Department of Health will be conducting interviews with all persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to determine who their close contacts are. People who are identified as close contacts will be notified by the North Dakota Department of Health and will receive instruction on quarantine and monitoring. Click this link for a fact sheet on being a Close Contact.

If you have not been contacted by the North Dakota Department of Health after you have been in the same location with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, you are not considered a close contact but should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if you become sick. Click this link for a fact sheet for people who may have been around someone with COVID-19 but are Not a Close Contact. 

Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

For anyone wishing to self-monitor their temperatures, here is a tool to help you do that. 

TRAVEL

The amendment to the state health officer order allows people to travel freely within the United States and releases requirements for everyone except international travelers. Anyone traveling from another country, who is not merely passing through the state, must quarantine immediately upon entry to North Dakota for a period of 14 days or for the duration of the person's presence in North Dakota, whichever period is shorter.

Review the travel orders and official confinement order from the ND Dept of Health

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel warnings related to all international travel. Some countries have more strict recommendations than others. For up-to-date information related to travel warnings and recommendations, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html.

To request relief from the requirements from the State Health Officer Confinement Order relating to travel quarantine (pursuant to North Dakota Century Code § 23-01-05(12) Order # 2020-02), people will need to call the NDDoH health hotline at 1-866-207-2880 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or email health@nd.gov.  Please note that relief will only be granted for circumstances surrounding essential medical needs and/or essential work activities.  Please make these requests as far in advance as possible to allow for staff to generate the appropriate documents.  For persons under quarantine orders who exhibit signs and symptoms of COVID-19, please alert the hotline operators prior to seeking care if possible so they can document your compliance with the order.  If medical attention is an emergency, please seek medical care as needed.

FAMILIES FIRST HR 6201 - EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT

Paid sick time is calculated based on the employee’s required compensation and shall not be less than the greater of the following:

  1. The employee’s regular rate of pay
  2. The minimum wage rate in effect
  3. The minimum wage rate in effect for such employee in the applicable State or locality, whichever is greater, in which the employee is employed.

Paid sick time shall not exceed:

  1. $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for a use described in Q 1 (1), (2), or (3)
  2. $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for a use described in Q 1 (4), (5), or (6);

The number of hours of paid sick time to which an employee is entitled shall be as follows:

  1. For full-time employees, 80 hours.
  2. For part-time employees, a number of hours equal to the number of hours that such employee works, on average, over a 2-week period.

Paid sick time under this Act cannot carry over from 1 year to the next calendar year.

This leave is to be given in addition to any required paid leave provided by state or local law.

Yes. Paid sick leave requirements will automatically expire on December 31, 2020.

Failure to pay sick leave will be treated as a minimum wage violation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Remedies for a private cause of action include unpaid wages, liquidated damages (double damages), attorneys’ fees and costs. Employers should be conscious of the heightened risk for a collective action for failure to comply, as well as the potential for personal liability for owners, corporate officers, and other supervisors provided by the FLSA.

Discrimination or retaliation against employees who take leave under the Act or file a complaint relating to the Act is also prohibited. Employers contemplating cost saving measures, including a reduction in force, layoff, or hours reduction, against employees availing themselves to this benefit are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel to assess risk.

Each employer shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees are customarily posted, a notice, to be prepared or approved by the Secretary of Labor, of the requirements described in this Act.

Within seven days from enactment, the Secretary of Labor will provide a model of a notice that meets the above requirements.

Employees who work under a multiemployer collective bargaining agreement into which their employers make contributions to a multiemployer fund, plan, or program may secure pay from such fund, plan, or program based on hours they have worked under the multiemployer collective bargaining agreement.

An employer is required to provide paid sick leave to a full-time or part-time employee who is unable
to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because of one of the following circumstances:

  1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in point (1) or has been advised as described in point (2)
  5. The employee is caring for a son or daughter, of such employee, if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of  such son or daughter is unavailable due to COVID–19 precautions
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor. Except that an employer of an employee who is a health care provider or an emergency responder may elect to exclude such employee from the application of this subsection.

Private, individual and public businesses are eligible with some exclusions:

  1. Private entity or individual with fewer than 500 employees are subject to the statute.
  2. Public agency or any other entity that is not a private entity or individual, with 1 or more employees

The Secretary of Labor has authority to:

  1. exclude certain healthcare providers and emergency responders
  2. small employers with fewer than 50 employees where the added expense would jeopardize the business.

Under certain circumstances, the requirement to restore employees to their employment will not apply to businesses with fewer than 25 employees.

Full-time or part-time employees are unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because of one of the circumstances listed in (Q1). Unlike the FMLA expansion, there is no tenure requirement.

However, an employer of employees who are healthcare providers or emergency responders may exclude these employees. Employers appear to have the discretion to exclude health care providers and emergency responders, though this language of the statute is in tension with the delegation of rulemaking authority to the Secretary of Labor to determine such exemptions.

Immediately, regardless of how long the employee has been employed by an employer. There is no accrual or waiting period.

Employees who are unable to telework may use this leave for COVID-19 related medical leave, including self-isolation due to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis; obtaining a medical diagnosis or care if the employee is experiencing coronavirus symptoms; complying with a recommendation or order of a public health official or healthcare provider; caring for a family member who is self-isolating because of a positive diagnosis or experiencing coronavirus symptoms; or is experiencing any other “substantially similar condition” specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

As with the FMLA component above, coverage will also be triggered where an employee must care for a child following the closure of a school or daycare, or other unavailability of childcare due to the coronavirus.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - EMPLOYEE

Yes, if you cannot work due to contracting COVID-19 but will be returning to your employer, you would be eligible to receive benefits based upon recent federal guidance relating strictly to COVID-19.

The waiting week is a one-week delay between the date a claim is filed and the date of the first payment issued. It has been built into the Job Service North Dakota mainframe since before online filing became commonplace. It allows Job Service to verify statements made on claims and is a tool in the fight against insurance fraud. Governor Burgum waived the waiting week on April 1, 2020 in an executive order

Yes, if you are quarantined and physically able to work but cannot work from the quarantine location do to other reasons, you would be eligible to receive benefits based upon recent federal guidance relating strictly to COVID-19.

Yes, as of April 1. Waiting week payments began going out the week of April 5, and will be back-paid to all claims filed March 8 through April 4.

Yes, generally your employees will be eligible for benefits, if they cannot report for work because they no longer have childcare available to them. If childcare is available, and they choose to not use it, and do not report for work they would most likely be found ineligible as they are not available for work.

Waiving the waiting week does not increase the amount of money an individual will be eligible to receive; however, it does help get benefit payments into the hands of claimants sooner

All individuals filing claims with a week ending date of March 14 and going through the duration of this pandemic situation WILL NOT be required to serve a waiting week

No. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th directing that individual base period employers accounts will be relieved of charges (I.e. No Charged) on claims filed as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19.

No, the benefit payment will be automatic, so individuals do not have to contact Job Service to ask about it or receive it.  In fact citizens are encouraged NOT to call Job Service about it simply because of the call volume they are currently experiencing.

Yes. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th to assist business owners in the receipt of Unemployment Insurance by temporarily eliminating income reduction requirements for business owners.

We expect the programming associated with waiving the waiting week to be completed sometime during the week of March 30, and payment of these weeks should be made the week of April 6, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

No, all individuals filing unemployment insurance claims will have their waiting week waived.  Remember, this does not increase or decrease the benefit amount people receive, it simply speeds the process for receipt of that benefit.

Because of the many programming changes associated with new programs introduced in the CARES Act, Job Service North Dakota recognizes the critical need to get each of these programs in place. We had to prioritize the order of programming all while weighing the risk of complete system failure, which could have resulted in the inability to provide any individual a benefit payments at all.  We also took into account the fact that no benefits would be lost by anyone if we could not find a way to program it.

At this time, the federal government still has not provided the guidance necessary to program the new CARES Act programs and has told the states not to act until they have completed it.  We have updated our systems to accept claim applications to PUA and PEUC but will not be processing these types of applications until we receive guidance from the US Department of Labor.

We have waived the waiting week and are currently back paying UI claims filed March 8 through April 4.

There are several reasons your claim could be denied, but it is important to remember that with the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), almost all individuals will be eligible for benefits if they are unemployed due to the pandemic.  The federal government considers PUA and PEUC to be programs of last resort.  This means that they are only available to individuals who are not eligible for regular state unemployment insurance, or those who have been denied regular state unemployment insurance.

Following are some details explaining why you may have been denied regular UI benefits and what you should do next:

  • Your earnings do not qualify you for regular unemployment insurance benefits
  • You filed a claim less than a year ago but you have used up all of your benefits (exhausted your claim)
  • You are unemployed for a reason other than the pandemic
    • If you are unemployed for a reason not related to the pandemic, you will need to follow normal procedures in place for state unemployment insurance benefits (click “File a Regular UI Claim”).  The most common reasons for these types of denials will be if you quit a job or were terminated by your employer.  You will be notified of your eligibility with a Non-Monetary Determination.  This determination will provide you with information and actions you should take if you do not agree with the determination. 

With the passage of the CARES Act those who have current Benefit Year Ends and have exhausted their benefits would most likely be eligible to receive the PEUC extension of 13 additional weeks of regular UI. Other regular claims would be potentially eligible for PEUC at the point they exhaust. We are awaiting guidance on claims where the benefit year has expired and how they might be processed.

CARES Act – Unemployment Insurance Benefits The CARES Act includes expansion of unemployment insurance benefits:

Expands eligibility for unemployment insurance and provides people with an additional $600 per week on top of the unemployment amount already offered by North Dakota Unemployment benefits.

  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits for regular claims that exhaust benefits and whose benefit year has not expired
  1. Weekly benefit amount is the same as what was paid on the regular claim
  2. Eligible to receives the $600 supplemental payment for each week certified
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  1. Available to those who do not qualify for a regular unemployment claim
  2. Receives the $600 supplemental payment for each week certified and found eligible

The additional unemployment compensation provided is not considered “income” for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP

Included in the CARES Act is Pandemic Unemployment Assistance which is a program for those who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits. You can apply at this link for PUA benefits. Please know that the applications for these benefits will not be processed until the federal government provides guidance to the states on implementing this new program.

Initially, they will not lose unemployment benefits. With the opening being voluntary, we would be more considerate on the circumstances surrounding why they are not open yet. If it can be tied back to COVID-19, it will be easier to keep them on unemployment benefits.

If you have work and need your employees to come back to their jobs, they have to return to work. If you have an issue with your employees not responding to call back, you need to contact JSND. The phone number is (701) 328-2814

If a business does open and a worker does not feel safe working there, they could still receive unemployment benefits. It would have to looked at on a case by case basis on the reason why the worker feels unsafe.

No. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th that temporarily waives the work search requirement for all claimants. Job Service has adjusted our systems so that you will not be asked to enter any work searches you have completed when you certify your weekly eligibility.

If your employer shuts down or lays you off due to lack of work caused by the impact of COVID-19 on the business, you will generally be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

 

Yes, employers will not be directly charged for benefit payments due to the pandemic.  During this time, benefit charges will be charged to the statewide pool of employers.

It is critical that employers respond to Notices of Claims they receive if an individual quits or refuses to return to work when work is available.  Employers can also write or call separate from the Notice of Claim if they run into issues with their employees wanting to remain on UI when work is available.  These are disqualifying situations.

If you get denied through regular UI process and you meet the COVID-19 circumstances, you should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance PUA). The PUA application went online April 4th. Once your application is in the system you do not have apply again. We are in the process of having the PUA applications synched with our IT main frame. Hopefully, this will happen in next couple of weeks.

LIFE INSURANCE

Yes, if the denial is based on their underwriting guidelines and the guidelines comply with North Dakota law.

No. Your disability policy will only pay if you meet the definition of disability in the policy and have satisfied any elimination period. Review your policy closely as there may be various details around elimination periods and how long you are out of work. 

A life insurance policy must pay a death benefit based on the policy. An insurance company may deny claims within two years after the date the policy is issued if there were material misrepresentations on the application.

LABOR

Review the terms of your contract.  Generally, the contract will govern how an employee will be paid under these types of circumstances. 

The employer has sole discretion to make designations, and may treat essential and non-essential employees differently with regard to their PTO policies, so long as the different treatment is not related to any protected class.

A travel order was put in place on March 28 and amended on April 8 with an update on individuals who are exempt from the required 14-day quarantine upon return from international locations and states in the U.S.

The list of exemptions includes:

  • Essential critical infrastructure workers, as defined by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
  • People commuting to and from North Dakota for work or for essential supplies and services.
  • People engaging in outdoor activities (e.g., walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting, or fishing), and going to available public parks or other public recreation lands, so long as they remain at least six feet apart from individuals from other households.

Additional guidance and updates from the North Dakota Department of Health can be found here.

If an employer is requiring an employee to undergo COVID-19 testing, the employer is responsible for the cost of the testing.

No. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th directing that individual base period employers accounts will be relieved of charges (i.e. No Charge) on claims filed as a direct or indirect result of COVID-19.

Yes. Governor Burgum signed an Executive Order on Friday, March 20th to assist business owners in the receipt of Unemployment Insurance by temporarily eliminating income reduction requirements for business owners.

Employees may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of twelve weeks of paid leave. They may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides for an initial two weeks of paid leave. This period thus covers the first ten workdays of expanded family and medical leave, which are otherwise unpaid under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act unless the employee elects to use existing vacation, personal, or medical or sick leave under the company’s policy. After the first ten workdays have elapsed, the employee will receive 2/3 of their regular rate of pay for the hours s/he would have been scheduled to work in the subsequent ten weeks under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Additionally, if an employee takes expanded family and medical leave, you must require them to provide you with documentation that supports the reason for taking this leave. This may include a notice that has been posted on a school, daycare, or government website, published in a newspaper, or an email notification sent by the school district, child care provider, etc. You should retain these documents for your records if you plan to claim a tax credit under FFCRA.

No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leave exceeds ten days. This includes only leave taken because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

No state or federals require an employer to provide its employees PTO. Therefore, an employer can set all of the terms and conditions for the use of and/or awarding of PTO.

In North Dakota, generally, PTO which is earned and available for an employee’s use must be paid out upon “separation” from employment.  If an employer lays off employees for an indefinite period of time, or with no expectation of bringing some or all of its employees back at a certain date, PTO should be paid out to the employee.

A non-exempt employee is paid based on the work performed, on an hourly, salary, daily and/or piece rate.  A non-exempt employee is entitled to an overtime rate for any hours worked over 40 in a single workweek.  An exempt employee is paid on a salary basis for the job performed, not the number of hours of work performed. An exempt employee is not entitled to overtime wages.

A non-exempt employee does not have to be paid if no work was performed.  Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an exempt employee is entitled to receive their regular salary if they are “ready, willing and able to work,” but no work was available. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/70-flsa-furloughs

Yes. An employer can set the terms and conditions of employment, including adding job duties.

The employer can set all of the terms and conditions of employment.  For example, some employers may ask employees to keep their regular schedules, including breaks, even if they are working remotely.  In other cases, an employer and employee can work out alternative schedules, keeping in mind reasonable accommodations are made for employees who may need them.

LANDLORDS/PROPERTY OWNERS GUIDANCE

Landlords/property owners should review their insurance policy for rent loss. You may have business interruption coverage available through your property insurance policy.

Treat each resident with empathy and care. Work with the resident with a COVID-19 related hardship on a payment plan to pay the rent over a period of time. You could also consider using the resident’s security deposit for their rent payment for full or partial month and have them pay back the security deposit at a later date.

The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered an emergency suspension of eviction proceedings until further notice. Although reasoning of good cause in a specific case may still allow a landlord or property owner to proceed in trial court, substantial delays will occur due to current court closures and law enforcement restrictions. If non-payment is not based on COVID-19 related loss of income, work with your attorney to obtain possession of the property and pursue your financial claims through the legal system.

Residents who are not affected by COVID-19 should still pay rent, the full amount due and pay on time. For residents who are affected and cannot afford to pay the full amount or partial rent, work with residents on a repayment plan or use their deposit as part of the rent and allow the resident to pay the deposit back at a later date. Rent should not be postponed and instead a rental payment plan should be put in place. The time frame for repayment is up to each housing provider, but the best option is for the landlord or property owner to work with the resident to talk to each other and develop a plan moving forward.

A landlord or property owner can never disclose the name or unit number of the resident known to be sick according to HIPPA Guidelines. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines recommend cleaning all community areas, using protective gear, and enforcing social distancing if maintenance must enter any unit during this time.

NDDOT SMART RESTART

Beginning March 30, 2020, Commercial Driver License activity is being conducted by appointment ONLY at all full-time driver license sites across the state. This includes all commercial road tests. To make an appointment please call 855-633-6835 or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

Starting Monday, May 11, 2020, obtaining a North Dakota learner’s permit will be conducted by appointment only at all full-time driver license sites.  Please call 855-633-6835 to make an appointment or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

Currently, North Dakota learner’s permits are not obtainable online.

All road tests that were previously scheduled and canceled due to COVIC-19 will take precedence over new appointments. The NDDOT staff will be contacting the people who made these appointments to re-schedule.

You can also contact the NDDOT by calling 855-633-6835 or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

We are doing all we can to keep NDDOT customers and staff safe during this pandemic, so we are asking you to please follow these guidelines:

  • If scheduled for a service (other than road test): please proceed to the entrance of the Driver License location upon your appointment time while keeping social distancing of others.
  • If you have a mask, please wear it.
  • You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms at the door or the road test vehicle through a medical screening and temperature check.  If you are sick you will be required to reschedule.
  • If scheduled for a road test appointment, please remain in your car in the parking lot until NDDOT calls you.  Please follow these additional steps:
    • Have the inside of your car clean
    • You are required to wear a mask and gloves during the test (will be provided for you).  Refusal to wear the PPE will require the test to be rescheduled.
    • There cannot be any additional individuals accompanying the tester besides the required legal guardian, parent, or licensed driver.  These individuals will not be allowed to enter the testing/office location to maintain the social distancing guidelines.
    • Provide $5 cash or check and your learner’s permit
    • Vehicle insurance card ready
    • Provide current vehicle registration unless they fall within the March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 extension. 
    • Arrive 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.  If you are 5 minutes late, you will have to reschedule.

We appreciate your understanding during this time and encourage you to refer to our website for continued updates and additional information.

Please contact phone number to make an appointment 855-633-6835 to make an appointment or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

Yes. If a driver license expired on or after March 1, 2020, per the Governors Executive order this license is still valid until further notice.

If you purchased the vehicle from a North Dakota dealership, they provide temporary registration for 75 days. You also have the option to obtain a 30-Day temporary registration here: https://apps.nd.gov/dot/mv/mvrenewal/thirtyDayRegWelcome.htm 

Here is some additional information you may find helpful:

https://www.dot.nd.gov/divisions/mv/docs/faq-buying-a-vehicle.pdf

Yes. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements identified on the website at https://apps.nd.gov/dot/dlts/dlos/renewal/welcome.htm

Also just a reminder based on an executive order issued by Governor Burgum all drivers licenses expired on March 1, 2020 or after are deemed valid until further notice.

Starting May 11, 2020, testing for learner’s permits will be conducted by appointment only at all full-time driver license sites.  Please call 855-633-6835 to make an appointment or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

As long as your medical card was valid as of February 29, 2020, it will be deemed valid until further notice.

No, the NDDOT only maintains the state highway system. Each county is different, you will need to contact the county or go to their load restriction map to find out this information.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is extending the REAL ID enforcement to October 1, 2021.

All Real ID and Driver License renewal transactions will be postponed until a later date to allow our staff to catch up with a backlog of other license issues.

If your Driver License expired March 1, 2020, or after, the Governor’s Emergency Declaration waived expiration dates for driver licenses from March 1, 2020, until further notice.

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it is extending the REAL ID enforcement to October 1, 2021.

All Real ID and Driver License renewal transactions will be postponed until a later date to allow our staff to catch up with a backlog of other license issues.

If your Driver License expired March 1, 2020, or after, the Governor’s Emergency Declaration waived expiration dates for driver licenses from March 1, 2020 until further notice.

You may be eligible to renew your license online if you meet eligibility requirements which are available at https://apps.nd.gov/dot/dlts/dlos/renewal/welcome.htm If you are over 65 you must renew in person.

If your license expired on or after March 1, 2020, per the Governors Executive order you license is still valid until further notice.

If you are 65 or older and your license expired before March 1, 2020, please call 855-633-6835 to make an appointment or visit our website at dot.nd.gov to complete an online request for an appointment.

We will be conducting this process electronically. You will need to complete this online Road Test Waiver application:  https://www.dot.nd.gov/forms/sfn61317.pdf

Please submit this application along with your Certificate of Course Completion in a PDF form to rmount@nd.gov

Your license will be mailed to the address on record.

PERSONAL, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT

North Dakota Department of Human Services – Behavior Health Division

www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/covid-19

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be stressful for people and communities. The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is offering resources to support North Dakotans’ behavioral health during this time.

FirstLink 2-1-1 (available 24/7): https://myfirstlink.org/ or call 2-1-1 or 701-235-7335

FirstLink maintains a directory of community resources spanning across the entire state of North Dakota and western Minnesota.

In addition to providing information on resources (e.g., financial assistance, food banks), the 24/7 2-1-1 Helpline (dial 2-1-1 or 701-235-7335) is available to provide listening and support to those in need during these trying times.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Individuals struggling with thoughts of suicide

North Dakota Department of Human Services – Behavior Health Division

www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/covid-19

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be stressful for people and communities. The North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Behavioral Health Division is offering resources to support North Dakotans’ behavioral health during this time.

Recovery Talk: 1-844-44TALK2

Individuals with a substance use disorder that need support are encouraged to visit with a trained peer support specialist in the state who has lived experience in addiction.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746

Available to provide crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. TYY 1-800-846-8517 for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

Individuals struggling with thoughts of suicide

Parents, family members, and other trusted adults play an important role in helping children make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear. Visit http://www.parentslead.org/COVID-19 for resources to guide your conversations.

North Dakotans are encouraged to use the North Dakota Department of Human Services self-service portal at www.nd.gov/dhs/eligibility/index.html to apply for Medicaid health care coverage and other help, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), child care assistance and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Some individuals can also use the portal webpage to complete required reviews, report changes in income, household size and other circumstances, and to securely upload documents. TANF monthly reporting has not been automated yet, and clients should continue to submit completed reports to their local human service zone offices (formerly known as county social service offices). These can be submitted by email, fax or dropped off at a zone office.

Individuals can find information about how to apply for heating assistance at www.nd.gov/dhs/services/financialhelp/energyassist.html or by contacting their local human service zone office.

Parents can also find resources and information and access online Child Support services at www.childsupportnd.com. Parents with questions about their case can also call Child Support customer service at 701-328-5440, toll-free at 800-231-4255 and 711 (TTY).

BUSINESS INSURANCE

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you will find coverage through your business disruption coverage. Generally, the triggering event for coverage would include physical damage; a pandemic is not considered physical damage. Also, under business disruption coverage there can be Civil Authority coverage, this too generally is triggered by physical damage. 

Standard policies also usually contain an exclusion for viral pandemics or pandemics. These exclusions arose in or around 2003, during the SARs outbreak and are traditionally maintained in the standard language of commercial insurance. Keep in mind that policies can differ greatly, so it’s always important to talk with your licensed insurance agent to clarify exactly what is or is not included in your coverage.

  • Business interruption insurance coverage protects against losses sustained due to periods of suspended operations; it pays loss of revenue that would have been earned if there was no business interruption. It typically provides coverage only if a physical loss to property occurs and may have specific exclusions for viral infections such as COVID-19.
  • Contingent business interruption insurance policies protect against losses from supply chain disruptions but may require the occurrence of property damage to trigger coverage. 
  • Event cancellation insurance provides coverage for expenses arising from delays, rescheduling or cancellations due to unforeseen covered events. Typically, contingent business interruption and event cancellation insurance policies exclude coverage for communicable diseases, such as COVID-19.

It is very important to review the provisions in your business polices, particularly business income policies. Here are some things to look for in your policy;

  • Business income polices reimburse an owner due to loss of income due to a suspension of operations.  
  • Common Policy Verbiage:  We will pay for the actual loss of Business Income you sustain due to the necessary "suspension" of your "operations" during the "period of restoration". The "suspension" must be caused by direct physical loss of or damage to property at premises which are described in the Declarations and for which a Business Income Limit Of Insurance is shown in the Declarations. 

The Insurance Department recommends that you contact your agent to review your policy and ask additional questions.

While a loss does not need to occur to your business for Civil Authority additional coverage to be triggered, a loss does need to occur to another business for there to be coverage. Again, the Department recommends that you review your policy with your agent.  
 
Common policy verbiage: In this Additional Coverage, Civil Authority, the described premises are premises to which this Coverage Form applies, as shown in the Declarations.  When a Covered Cause of Loss causes damage to property other than property at the described premises, we will pay for the actual loss of Business Income you sustain…  

 

Contingent business income provides coverage when a supplier has suffered a loss, therefore forcing your business to not be able to function. The trigger for contingent business income would be a loss to the supplier’s property. 

 

Most policies contain similar definitions to those listed below, however, the Department recommends reviewing your specific policy for accurate definitions.   
 
Losses are broken down under three main coverages: 

  • Basic – named perils needs to be listed in the policy. 
  • Broad – named perils needs to be listed in the policy. 

Example of a named peril: 
Infectious Diseases – this includes loss caused by the complete interruption of your operations by an infectious disease acquired by your employees or staff. 

  • Special – covers any loss not excluded in the policy, must be direct physical loss. 

Example of an exclusion: 
Virus or Bacteria – any virus, bacterium or other microorganism that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease. 

 
Common Policy Verbiage: When Special is shown in the Declarations, Covered Causes of Loss means direct physical loss unless the loss is excluded or limited in this policy.

There are discussions underway at both the state and federal level about finding a way to make this pandemic a triggering event. While that would potentially bring coverage, it would have a massive effect on the insurance industry. Insurance is a product that is risk rated and sold based on those risks that are covered in the policy. This type of event was excluded from many policies, and to retroactively enact coverage would put the entire insurance industry at risk of insolvency. This move could also lead to dramatic rate increases, which could also make insurance unaffordable to businesses as we look to recover from this pandemic. 

Additionally, the government retroactively amending contracts (insurance agreements) would also face significant constitutional issues and would ultimately be challenged in court. 

The best option at this point may be to explore what resources are available in North Dakota and through the federal government. To learn more about disaster loans and other programs to help business owners during this difficult time, visit ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources

ECONOMIC RESILIENCY GRANT - APPLICATION PROCESS

The application portal will close when all funds are committed. The funds are awarded on a first come first serve basis and based on eligibility of expenses.

To apply visit www.ndresponse.gov and click “Apply”.

The online application portal is OPENING SOON!  

The contact should be an owner, manager, or other key individual within the company who is available to respond to email communications during and outside of business hours.

No, the application must be submitted by the requesting business. We do encourage you, however, to consult with these groups to ensure a complete application prior to submittal.

The contact will receive all communications related to the grant. They must submit all documents and are responsible for providing any materials requested during the evaluation process. The contact will have only 48 hours to respond to any inquiries and resubmit required documentation. Failure to respond within this time constraint will result in denial of the request. The contact will be notified if the application is approved or denied. The contact (in addition to the business) is responsible for the information contained within the application.

The Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) have access to equipment to help the applicant fill out the ERG application.  Contact your closest SBDC (Small Business Development Center) office or call (701) 777-3700 to get the right contact information.

Documents you need to provide at application are quotes or receipts for your purchase. You will need to provide an NAICS number for your business, EIN, Social Security Number or your Secretary of State’s Registration number.

To receive support in other languages and/or support for immigrant-owned businesses contact the person listed in the geographic area closest to your location:

For assistance in Grand Forks and Fargo, including day-of support, please reach out ahead of time to schedule a meeting.   

Check your junk mail for the email. If you still have not received your confirmation, log back into the portal and verify that your status appears as “Submitted.” If it does, please email the help line at businesshelpcovid19@nd.gov.

No. We will reserve the funds requested by the applicant for 48 hours. Failure to respond within the 48 hour window will result in a denial of your application and release the funds to be awarded to other applicants. Should this occur, you may apply again 30 days from the date of your denial notice.

Companies must use funds and submit all receipts within 45 days or by December 29th , whichever is earlier. One 30-day extension may be authorized under unique circumstances, e.g. difficulty in securing equipment due to high demand. After the one extension, companies must submit receipts and/or refund the state. Eligible expenses must be purchased on or after March 27, 2020. 

The ERG grant requires only one bid/quote per expense item. Please note this bid/quote will be used in determining your final grant amount.

You must upload receipt dated after March 27th, 2020 for each line of reimbursable expenses. You must upload a quote for each line of proposed expenditures. You may need to upload the same receipt or quote on more than one line if it contains multiple items.

Yes. You must submit proof of purchase 45 days after you receive the funds (or prior to December 29, whichever comes first).  Failure to do so will require you to return and/or reimburse the remainder of the award.

No. You will be required to return all funds spent on items not listed and approved on your application.

You are required to return any unspent grant funds.

No. You will be required to return any funds that were spent on items not listed and approved on your original grant application.

If funds were disbursed, you will be required to return any funds that were not spent.

No. All documentation must be submitted via the online application.

No.  The application process requires a valid email address.  All documentation must be submitted via the online application.

No. These funds are not considered 1099 reportable income.

No. You must review your application for accuracy and completeness as changes cannot be made after final submission.  

Changes cannot be made to your application after final submission.  Your business is eligible to apply a second time 30 days after the first application is submitted. 

The next steps will be outlined in your award notification email.

Each line item in your application will be reviewed individually for eligibility and accuracy. Potential reasons for adjustments in the award amount may include ineligible expenses, insufficient documentation, incorrectly entered qualifying cost amounts, etc. If the award amount was adjusted from your requested amount, the reason will be explained in the email notifying you of your award amount. 

No. Due to the compressed timeline for this program, there is no dispute of denial process.  Businesses can reapply 30 days from the denial notification.

EXPOSURE TO CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

The North Dakota Department of Health will be conducting interviews with people that have been confirmed to have COVID-19 to determine who their close contacts are.

Being in an indoor environment (e.g., store, workplace, restaurant) with someone who has COVID-19 is not necessarily considered having close contact. A close contact is defined as a person who spends a prolonged period of time (15 minutes) within 6 feet (2 meters) of a person that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 up to 2 days prior to their illness onset. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

The North Dakota Department of Health will be conducting interviews with all persons diagnosed with COVID-19 to determine who their close contacts are. People who are identified as close contacts will be notified by the North Dakota Department of Health and will receive instruction on quarantine and monitoring. 

If you have not been contacted by the North Dakota Department of Health after you have been in the same location with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, you are not considered a close contact but should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if you become sick.

Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

People being tested for COVID-19 and others living in their household should stay home until results are available.  For more information about being tested for COVID-19 and what you should do, see this fact sheet.

HEALTH INSURANCE

A: Yes, Gov. Burgum issued an executive order on March 20 that ordered insurance companies to expand telehealth services to consumers. Insurance carriers must start or continue to provide covered services via telehealth. Click here to read the bulletin issued by Commissioner Godfread.

If you have a health benefit plan regulated by the State of North Dakota, you should not have to pay for the test. A health benefit plan is generally defined as an individual (including family), small group, large group, or short-term limited duration plan. The Department recommends that you contact your health benefit plan at the number listed on your identification card to see if your specific plan is regulated by North Dakota and is not self-funded.  

Pursuant to Bulletin 2020-1 issued by Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, health carriers have been asked to waive any cost-sharing, including co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended laboratory testing of COVID-19.  In addition, health carriers have also been asked to waive cost-sharing for an in-network provider office visit, urgent care center visit, or an emergency room visit when testing for COVID-19. This includes short-term limited duration policies but does not include health sharing ministries as those plans are generally not subject to any regulation.

Health benefit plans cover medically necessary treatment for disease but the treatment may be subject to deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. You will need to pay those amounts, even if the care is covered. If you have a short-term limited benefit plan, there may be additional limits on what is covered.

Pursuant to Bulletin 2020-1, in the event an immunization becomes available for COVID-19, the Department has requested that health carriers immediately cover the immunization at no cost sharing for all covered members. 

Health insurance may not be canceled based on a new diagnosis. If you have a short-term medical plan, your claims may be reviewed to see if you had a pre-existing condition.

During the standard open enrollment period, or if you have a special enrollment period for a health benefit plan, you cannot be denied coverage that qualifies as a health benefit plan under the Affordable Care Act. Being diagnosed with COVID-19 would not qualify for a special enrollment period. If you are applying for a short-term medical plan, hospital indemnity plan or other health insurance that is not a health benefit plan under the Affordable Care Act, the insurer can refuse to sell you insurance if you do not meet their underwriting guidelines.

Medicare Part B covers many preventive services, such as screenings, vaccines and counseling. If you meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines for a preventive service, you must be allowed to receive the service. This is true for Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans, however, your plan’s coverage rules may apply.

If you have questions or concerns about your Medicare insurance coverage, contact the State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) program by phone at (701) 328-2440 or (800) 247-0560 or via email at insurance@nd.gov.

A short-term medical plan is a temporary health insurance policy typically offering “bare-bones” coverage designed for use during unexpected coverage gaps. An individual can only hold a short-term medical plan for a short period of time, less than one year. These plans are nonrenewable. Furthermore, they do not meet the coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning an individual may have to pay a monetary penalty for not carrying acceptable health insurance coverage.

With the regulations established by the ACA, short-term medical, limited benefit and discount medical plans have become increasingly popular. However, consumers must be aware of what they are purchasing before replacing their comprehensive major medical coverage with one of these options. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Short-term Medical, Limited Benefit and Discount Medical Plans Guide

NORTH DAKOTA SCHOOL CLOSURE QUESTIONS

Due to the indefinite closure of North Dakota schools, NDDPI has made the difficult decision to cancel all ACT Makeup Testing dates for this spring. ACT has offered North Dakota and its juniors who were not able to test on the initial test date of March 3, 2020, the opportunity to take the ACT with Writing on either the June 2020 or July 2020 national test date, at no cost to them.

NDDPI is currently working with ACT to obtain vouchers. This process will take several weeks. NDDPI will share the vouchers with schools when available.  Schools will be responsible to deliver the vouchers to students. Students will need to go to ACT’s Website to register for the national June 13, 2020 or July 18, 2020 test date, using the state provided voucher, by the registration deadline. On this registration site, students will be able to choose an available test center nearest to them.

Schools must email the Office of Assessment by Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to request vouchers for their juniors who were not able to test on the initial state ACT test date. In the email, please provide the number of juniors who need vouchers for either the June 13, 2020 or July 18, 2020 national test dates. Only one voucher will be allowed per student, but vouchers will work for either test date.

For more information please visit https://www.nd.gov/dpi/school-closure-faq

Meals are still being offered at no charge for children. For more information on meals please visit: https://www.nd.gov/dpi/school-closure-faq

Currently all physical sports have been postponed, further detail is available at https://www.nd.gov/dpi/school-closure-faq

Currently school-buildings are closed to students until further notice. Distance learning is online learning that allows students to continue their education while school-buildings are closed. 

For more information on school-building closures and distance learning please visit https://www.nd.gov/dpi/school-closure-faq

EMPLOYMENT / BUSINESS / SCHOOLS / CHILDCARE

The guidance for schools and daycares can be found at:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-schools.html

There was a webcast on March 10, 2020, that discussed questions that many childcare/daycares have relating to coronavirus (COVID-19). That webcast can be found at: http://ndhealth.gov/ET/WebcastCalendar/

While recommendations around social distancing and mass gatherings indicate people should not congregate in groups of 10 people or more, this does not apply to the school, work, business owners or childcare settings at this time.  

FirstLink 2-1-1 (available 24/7): https://myfirstlink.org/ or call 2-1-1 or 701-235-7335

FirstLink is maintaining a list of agencies with significant changes or closures across the state on their website. This list will be updated in real-time as such information is shared with them.

Yes, people who are not sick and are not under advisement for other reasons (e.g., travel from a Level 3 location, close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19) can report to work. 

All people should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if sick. Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

All people should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if sick. Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Guidance for employers on response plans to COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Secondary contacts (contact to a contact) can report to work as long as they are not sick. Unless you have been told to stay home by the North Dakota Department of Health, you can report to work as long as you remain well.

All people should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if sick. Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The North Dakota Department of Health cannot release an individual’s test results to unauthorized persons because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Laws. However, we will work with individuals to identify any close contacts that need to be notified.

It’s important to discuss with your health care provider about your risk of complications if you would also acquire coronavirus (COVID-19). Decisions between your health care provider and your employer could help you decide what is best for your health.

All people should continue to follow social distancing guidance, good handwashing hygiene and staying home if sick. Any person with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who was not tested, should stay home until at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications) and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has information translated in Mandarin and Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

The Minnesota Department of Health has information on coronavirus (COVID-19) in multiple languages (Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Hmong, Karen, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese): https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/index.html

Alternate language information is also available through NDDoH website.

FAMILIES FIRST HR 6201 - EMERGENCY FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT

An employer is required to provide a public health emergency leave to an employee who is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave:

  • To care for the son or daughter under 18 years of age of such employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or  daughter is unavailable, due to a public health emergency.

An employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days by the employer.

However, an employer of employees who are healthcare providers or emergency responders may exclude these employees.

Employers of fewer than 500 workers. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempted for from the requirements of this Act when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Employers are required to provide up to 12 weeks paid leave for an employee who cannot work because the school or child-care provider of that employee's child is closed as a result of a public-health emergency.

Employees who work under a multiemployer collective bargaining agreement into which their employers make contributions to a multiemployer fund, plan, or program may secure pay from such fund, plan, or program based on hours they have worked under the multiemployer collective bargaining agreement.

ECONOMIC RESILIENCY GRANT - ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURES

If the purchases made qualify as eligible expenses and were purchased on or after March 27, 2020, you can submit the receipts from the purchases and receive reimbursement.

Potentially. If the redesign of your facility can reduce the spread of COVID-19, those costs associated may qualify.

Yes. The application provides a space to justify your purchases and explain how they are related to the purpose of the grant. If the expense is deemed justifiable, it will be approved and awarded.

No.  Taxes CANNOT be included in the application.  Sales taxes are the applicants cost.

No. Due to the compressed timeline for this program, there is no dispute of denial process.  Businesses can reapply 30 days from the denial notification.

No.  Employee costs are not allowable on this grant application.  Training related to COVID related topics are eligible.

No.  Purchases for employees only are not eligible. The intent of the grant is to reassure confidence in the economic marketplace and encourage people to feel safe about going back to stores.

No.  This grant is intended to increase activity and confidence in utilizing the marketplace and storefronts. 

No, the business must have a physical presence in North Dakota.

No.  Only North Dakota locations qualify for this grant.

Yes, as long as the business can prove a financial loss due to the COVID pandemic, was viable prior to March 1, 2020 and the application for COVID related expenses will encourage consumer confidence.

No, the ERG spirit of intent is to encourage consumer confidence in the marketplace through improvements to the business.  Regular repair and operation are not considered part of this grant.

Yes, shipping and handling charges can be included in the grant application.  Sales tax IS NOT allowable for this grant.

The application must include receipts or estimates for products which will be used in the North Dakota  businesses.  The applicant must have a physical location in North Dakota and be signed by an authorized legal representative of the company.  The ERG does not cover employee only items unless the company is part of essential supply chain and the products increase consumer confidence.

FAMILIES FIRST HR 6201 - TAX CREDITS FOR PAID SICK, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

Section 7001 of the Act allows a credit against payroll taxes for 100% of the employer-paid qualified sick leave wages paid each calendar quarter, subject to specified limitation. The amount of sick leave wages taken into account for purposes of the credit may not exceed $200 for any employee ($511 per day employees as defined under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act) and the aggregate number of days taken into account is limited to 10 over the number of days taken into account for preceding calendar quarters.

Section 7002 of the Act allows a refundable income tax credit for 100% of sick leave amounts of self-employed individuals under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. For other employees, the credit percentage is 67.

Section 7003 of the Act allows an employer a 100% payroll tax credit for qualified family leave wages paid by such employer for each calendar quarter. The amount of qualified family leave wages that may be considered for each employee is limited to $200 per day and $10,000 for all calendar quarters.

Section 7004 of the Act allows a refundable income tax credit for 100% of the qualified family leave amounts of self-employed individuals, subject to a specified formula for determining the leave amounts.

Section 7005 of the Act provides that wages required to be paid to employees under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act shall not be considered wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Transfers to specified Social Security trust funds are authorized to cover reductions in revenues.

The tax credit applies only to paid wages beginning on the effective date of the law (15 days after its enactment) and will expire on December 31, 2020. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is expressly empowered to issue additional guidance implementing these changes, and the bill includes additional funding reserved to the IRS for this purpose.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Pursuant to Bulletin 2020-1, unless a travel insurance policy contains an exception applicable to COVID-19, a policy of travel insurance that covers the risks sickness, accident or death incident to travel presumptively must cover such risks relating to COVID-19 including emergency transportation within a foreign country, as well as the costs of returning to the U.S. for further treatment.  

Trip cancellation coverage is subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. You can review the fulfillment materials you received and the policy itself to see what type of cancellation coverage you purchased.

CARE19 APP

The Care19 app is a state-of-the-art location tracing application that allows you to take an active role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and make a difference in the health of your loved ones and your community. The app also will help the NDDoH understand and predict the infection rates across North Dakota. It will be used to plan better for testing and prepare health care services needed to fight the virus. The initial version will collect data to assist the NDDoH in making better decisions and allow users to see at a glance the locations they’ve been to help identify close contacts if they  contract COVID-19.  

One of the most effective tools that we have in our battle against COVID-19 is the ability to isolate people who have contracted the disease and to identify others they came in contact with so they can isolate as well.  This is effective because it reduces the spread of this very contagious virus.  The more effective we are at identifying people who have had exposure to the virus the better we will be able to flatten the curve and reduce the spread in our communities.  This application will help us be more effective at contact tracing.  The sooner we have better data the sooner we will be better at saving lives. 

The information will  be used by our contact tracing teams, who review all the recent contacts of each person who has tested positive for COVID-19. The data will be used to help the interviewer remind the person infected with COVID-19 where they have been recently to help them identify others they may have been in contact with.  In addition, at the anonymous level it will help inform the infection rates of different classifications of mobility.  The rates will be used to more accurately model what is needed by our health care system to keep up with the spread of the virus. 

By downloading the app, you are taking an active role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and making a difference in the health of your loved ones and your community.  

Your information is 100% anonymous and will be used in an aggregated form.  In the event you test positive for the virus you can consent to make your information available at your discretion to the North Dakota Department of Health. 

The application does not have any information that is tied to an individual person.  Only if an individual does test positive will they be asked to provide their permission to access their mobility history to aid the interview process. 

Yes, this application works like any other application and may be deleted at any time from your device.  In addition, you have the ability through the “About Screen” in the application to delete all data that has been collected from your use of the application as well as see the data that has been collected.  This application complies with the California Consumer Privacy Act. 
 

In short, what’s in it for you is what’s in the best interest for all of us. This application will have the best chance of succeeding and helping if every single resident of the state installs and uses the application.  You hear a lot about models recently in the news.  Models are used when it is not possible to collect all the actual information.  Models are based on assumptions.  If we all join together and reduce the margin of error in our assumptions, we have a better chance of reducing the impact of COVID-19. 

A small group of local employees, whose members had all worked with Governor Burgum at Great Plains, reached out and offered to help the state in any way that they could in their personal capacities.  When the Governor was introducing Tim Brookins of the developers to his leadership team on COVID-19, he mentioned that Tim was the developer of the Bison Tracker, and the team got very excited because they could see how something like that application could have a very positive impact for the state. The application was defined, built and tested over the past week.

ProudCrowd is the company that Tim Brookins formed when he created the Bison Tracker.  ProudCrowd is providing its technology as the foundation for the Care19 product free of charge.  Having access to years of development and testing allowed the Care19 application to be created in an incredibly short amount of time. 

Microsoft is not affiliated with the Care19 application.  Microsoft employees have been involved with this as a personal project, collaborating to create and test Care19. 

The state has an obligation to do whatever it can to help our residents. The use of new technology is one of the ways in which we can help ourselves be more effective at fulfilling that obligation.  The Care19 app is being developed to help us be better at fighting the COVID-19 virus and for no other reason. 

This application cost the state nothing to create.  Existing IP was donated from ProudCrowd LLC  which donated its time and effort to bring Care19 to life. Depending on the scale of adoption, there may need to be additional funding to pay for the servers to run the app.  

At this time, since we are just now launching the application there are no other states committed to launch the application.  However, it was built so that it could be provided to other states to run their own versions if they choose to do so.  We are all in this together! 

At the time we started this process we were not aware of any other applications that met our needs.  In the past week there have been some other applications in the genre being talked about in the press.  We tuned Care19 specifically for our needs and the engineering cycle was extremely short.  We feel it is best to move forward with our current application. 

NO!  The map does not show infected people.  In fact, it doesn’t show people at all.  The map displays a dot on each city where someone is using the Care19 app.  The size of the dot is proportional to the number of users in that city.  The purpose of the map is to help build community.  It enables people to see how their friends and fellow citizens across the state are pitching in to help the fight against COVID-19 

If an individual travels out of state, once they stop for a period of 15 minutes, their location would be documented.  

The map represents cities where people are using the Care19 app.  The size of the dot reflects how many people.  The map does NOT display individual people, nor does it display anything about positive cases.  

The app requires iOS 13.0 or above.  Any iPhone that can run iOS 13 will be able to use the app. IOS 13 is compatible with these versions of phones:   

  • iPhone XS 
  • iPhone XS‌ Max 
  • iPhone XR 
  • iPhone‌ X 
  • iPhone 8 and ‌iPhone 8‌ Plus 
  • iPhone‌ 7 and 7 Plus 
  • iPhone‌ SE 
  • iPhone‌ 6s and 6s Plus 

 

ECONOMIC RESILIENCY GRANT - BUSINESS ELIGIBILITY

Typically, a business who has a consumer and a marketplace will be eligible. Private, for profit, nonprofit 501c3 and 501c6, and tribal companies are included in this grant.

The grantee must be:

  1. Any entity whose business is physically located in North Dakota;
  2. Be able to demonstrate they were financially viable prior to the Coronavirus pandemic (including operational and workforce needs);
  3. Must demonstrate they had a negative financial impact by the Coronavirus pandemic;
  4. The business must demonstrate how the grant will improve facility COVID-19 resiliency, e.g. purchase using grant proceeds will improve business conditions from a health and welfare or consumer confidence perspective;
  5. The business must be in good standing with the ND Secretary of State or Tribal business license authority;
  6. Must have made the investment on or after March 27, 2020 and use the money on or prior to December 29, 2020.

Government entities, such as counties, cities, schools and universities are not eligible to apply for ERG funds. Exceptions to this would be governmental owned, public facing facilities such as tribal manufacturing and  city/tribal  owned for-profit businesses. Typically, businesses who can relocate their employees to remote and/or home-based work will be ineligible.  Businesses operated out of residential home.  Exceptions to this would be childcare facilities and agriculture related tourism businesses. ERG funds cannot be used for lobbying expenses.

A business with one physical ND location is eligible for up to $50,000.  A business with multiple physical locations in ND is eligible for up to $100,000. The maximum grant per business is $100,000.

Your business will be eligible to receive an award equal to the sum of qualified purchases made after 3/27/2020 and expected to be made within 45 days after receiving grant approval. Each line item will be individually reviewed, and you will receive the total of the approved expenses not to exceed $50,000 for one location and $100,000 for two or more locations.

Yes.  A business with one physical ND location is eligible for up to $50,000.  A business with multiple physical locations in ND is eligible for up to $100,000.  The maximum grant per business is $100,000.

A business with one physical ND location is eligible for up to $50,000.  A business with multiple ND locations is eligible for up to $100,000.

No. We need to verify that the business has a physical address in North Dakota open to customers. PO Boxes may be used for mailing addresses.

No.  It must be a physical location open to customers.

Your business is eligible to apply a second time 30 days after the first application is submitted.  

Yes.  As long as they have at least one physical address in North Dakota open to customers and do not use funds towards lobbying activities.

Yes, if the business was a viable business prior to March 1, has been impacted by COVID-19 the grant application will be evaluated for COVID-19 related expenses.

Yes, religious entities which are 501c3 nonprofits and are in good standing with the state are eligible and the grant will be reviewed for COVID-19 related expenses or estimates. 

Unless replacement is related to higher standard COVID-19 materials, this would not qualify.

A negative fiscal impact will be self-certified at the beginning of the application and could be asked if the businesses is audited after the grant award.  This impact could be loss of business, delay of business activities, additional purchases for health, safety and continued business operation or business temporary closure. 

Yes, private schools are eligible to apply for ERG funds if they can provide information on how the funds would be used to increase the health and safety of the students and increase consumer confidence.  Technology items would be part of this application.

Yes, they would be eligible because it is first-come, first-serve; and there are objective criteria, thus, there is not enough discretion to create a conflict. 

No, they would be eligible because it is first-come, first-serve; and there are objective criteria, thus, there is not enough discretion to create a conflict.

NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS AND THE COVID-19 FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

A nonprofit organization is eligible for PPP only if it:

  1. was in operation on February 15, 2020,
  2. “(vii) the term ‘nonprofit organization’ means an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code;
  3. IRC section 501(c)(19) veterans organizations (501(c)(19) veterans organizations), and tribal business concerns) on the terms set forth in the CARES Act.
  4. with fewer than 500 employees

Nonprofits businesses who primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (13 CFR § 120.110 (r)) or derives over 50% of its gross annual revenue from political or lobbying activities are not eligible.

A nonprofit organization is eligible for EIDL only if it:

(a) was in operation before January 31, 2020, and

(b) with fewer than 500 employees

Nonprofits businesses who primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities (13 CFR § 120.110 (r)) or derives over 50% of its gross annual revenue from political or lobbying activities are not eligible.

Please note:

The PPP is limited in scope to section 501(c)(3) and section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, while all non-profit organizations are eligible for emergency EIDL grants.

  • No collateral or personal guarantee required for PPP loans
  • The EIDL loans waives personal guarantee up to $200,000, and requirement of inability to obtain credit elsewhere.

Most nonprofit organizations do not pay per-worker unemployment taxes and instead have “reimbursable arrangements” with state unemployment programs, which require them to reimburse the state for 100 percent of the cost of unemployment compensation paid to their laid off or furloughed workers. 

The CARES Act - Sec. 2103. Emergency Unemployment Relief for Governmental Entities and Nonprofit Organizations does offer flexibility in paying reimbursement where  provisions would reduce the amount that nonprofits organizations are required to reimburse states for benefits paid to their workers who claim unemployment insurance by 50 percent through December 31, 2020. .  Check with the ND Job Service https://www.jobsnd.com/ and your nonprofit employer to determine if unemployment benefits were paid to the state.

Workers at nonprofit organizations are also eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation supplement ($600 a week).

FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS AND THE COVID-19 FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

Yes, faith-based organizations are eligible for PPP if:

  1. was in operation on February 15, 2020,
  2. is either (a) an organization that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and
  3. with fewer than 500 employees
  4. https://www.sba.gov/document/support--faq-regarding-participation-faith-based-organizations-ppp-eidl for more information

A faith-based organization is eligible for EIDL only if it:

(a)  was in operation before January 31, 2020, and

(b)   with fewer than 500 employees

(c) https://www.sba.gov/document/support--faq-regarding-participation-faith-based-organizations-ppp-eidl  for additional information

  • No collateral or personal guarantee required for PPP loans
  • The EIDL loans waives personal guarantee up to $200,000, and requirement of inability to obtain credit elsewhere.

 

Most faith-based organizations do not pay per-worker unemployment taxes and instead have “reimbursable arrangements” with state unemployment programs, which require them to reimburse the state for 100 percent of the cost of unemployment compensation paid to their laid off or furloughed workers. 

The CARES Act - Sec. 2103. Emergency Unemployment Relief for Governmental Entities and Faith based Organizations does offer flexibility in paying reimbursement where provisions would reduce the amount that faith-based organizations are required to reimburse states for benefits paid to their workers who claim unemployment insurance by 50 percent through December 31, 2020.  Check with the ND Job Service https://www.jobsnd.com/ and your faith-based employer to determine if unemployment benefits were paid to the state.

Workers at faith-based organizations are also eligible for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation supplement ($600 a week).

BUSINESS INCOME TAX

Yes. It the waiver applies to any income tax return or payment with a due date falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020.

Yes. It the waiver applies to any income tax return or payment with a due date falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020.

Yes. It the waiver applies to any income tax return or payment with a due date falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020.

Yes. It the waiver applies to any income tax return or payment with a due date falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020.

 Yes. The waiver applies to any income tax return or payment with a due date falling between April 1 and July 15, 2020, including a due date which was previously extended. 

No. The automatic waiver applies only to penalty and interest related to the original return and payment that was due between April 1 and July 15, 2020.  Also, any due date to respond to the Notice of Determination or any other correspondence which requests a response is not affected by the announcement. If additional time is needed to respond, contact our office.

If the telecommuting is attributable to a COVID related response and is intended to be temporary, North Dakota will not assert income tax nexus on that basis alone.

If the telecommuting is attributable to a COVID related response and is intended to be temporary, North Dakota will not require inclusion of that payroll in the numerator of the payroll factor.

CHILDCARE

To receive payment, providers need to complete a new payment request form via the online survey link in the provider portal. This will need to be done once every two weeks. The payment request form is your opportunity to attest to the fact that you are open and serving families (evidenced by numbers of kids attending), and that you continue to follow the program requirements.

 

Dates of Service

Payment Request form Due 8:00 p.m.

Payment Date

March 30 – April 10

April 5

April 10

April 13 – April 24

April 19

April 24

April 27 – May 8

May 3

May 8

May 11 – May 22

May 17

May 22

May 25 – June 5

May 31

June 5

You can contact Cory Pedersen, director of the North Dakota Department of Human Services’ Children and Family Services Division at ctpedersen@nd.gov  or (701) 328-3587.

First, you should login to make sure your ND provider account is current and complete the baseline Childcare Emergency Operating Grant (CEOG) survey. That’s the only enrollment that is needed. If you are licensed by the North Dakota Department of Human Services (ND DHS) and agree to the attestations in the baseline survey, you are approved to receive the funding.

If you do not have an account, please login and create one.  Help is available at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/covid-19/provider-resources.html under “Provider Sign-up for CEPG” heading.

Once you complete your provider account setup, it will be in the queue for one of our staff to go through and complete the registration process. We are working hard to address new applications within 2 business days. Once your account is setup, the next step is to complete the baseline survey. This is the only enrollment that is needed. If you are licensed by ND DHS and agree to the attestations in the baseline survey, you are approved to receive the funding.   

The payment is calculated based on licensed capacity, as noted in the state’s childcare licensing system.

The grants issued for the first service period utilized rates that were calculated with more precision than the matrix online (two decimal places, as opposed to the rates on the matrix, which were rounded up to the nearest dollar). The difference in rate is 0.2 – 0.3%. (the difference in rate is $0.20 to $0.45 per child).

For all future service periods, the CEOG calculation will utilize the rounded dollar rates as shown in the matrix online.

ND SMART RESTART - GENERAL OPERATION

Except theaters, event centers, large athletic centers and music venues,  businesses which are able to follow industry and universal protocols may open on May 1, 2020. 

No. But if you get a question from an employee or OSHA about what steps you are taking to keep your workplace and employees safe, you need to have an answer. For example, have a policy you communicate to your employees that you are routinely disinfecting our workplace, including wiping down open surfaces, doorknobs, and other repeatedly touched objects.

Churches and faith-based locations were never covered under the Governor’s Executive Orders to close during the COVID 19 pandemic.  If the location chooses to open, we encourage entities to follow the CDC guidelines along with the Universal Protocols to prepare and clean the facility. In addition, encourage good hygiene and adequate social distancing during services and gatherings.  It is also important to remind parishioners and faith-based membership to make good choices regarding the high risk and most vulnerable members.

Capacity for events should follow the Smart Restart health risk guidelines for gatherings.

Yes. However, employers should implement a temperature check protocol to ensure that temperature checks are designed to reduce the threat that an employee with COVID-19 poses to the workplace.  In particular, temperature checks should be reliable, effective, performed consistently, and respect employees’ privacy.  For example, all employees entering facilities should be checked only by trained personnel and the results should be treated as confidential.

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture Pride of Dakota Division has an updated list of non-surgical cloth masks.  https://www.prideofdakota.nd.gov/news/Masks/

TAX - TAXPAYER GUIDANCE

We are currently aligned with the IRS extension date. Individuals or businesses who are unable to file an income tax return or pay the tax by the April 15th deadline, can file and make payment through July 15, 2020, without penalty and interest.

As a North Dakota taxpayer, you have the ability to request additional time if you believe you will be unable to file a return or pay the tax in a timely manner because of a COVID-19 related situation, please contact the Office of State Tax Commissioner.

The waiver of penalty and interest through July 15 applies to all income taxes, which includes individuals (Form ND-1), corporations (Form 40), S-corporations (Form 60), partnerships (Form 58), and Fiduciaries (Form 38). It does not apply to employer's quarterly wage withholding tax that is due April 30, 2020. It also does not apply to sales tax or any other tax.

No. Refunds are being issued in a timely manner. Use the Where’s My Refund tool to check on your refund status.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota, many free income tax preparation sites have closed for 2020. You may be eligible to file your return electronically for free. See if you qualify.

If you have questions, please contact the Office of State Tax Commissioner. Because of staffing during the COVID-19 period, we encourage contact us by email at individualtax@nd.gov, or call us at 701-328-1247.

If you have more specific questions, please refer to our expanded Income Tax & COVID-19 Impact FAQ's section below. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to keep our citizens and staff safe!

SBA DISASTER LOANS (EIDL)

EIDL loans are lower interest loans of up to $2 million, with principal and interest deferment at the Administrator’s discretion, which are available to pay expenses that could have been met if the disaster had not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.

Emergency Economic Injury Grant and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) recipients who are eligible may apply for and take out a PPP loan if there are no duplication in the uses of funds.

Those eligible are the following with 500 or fewer employees:

  1. Small Businesses
  2. Sole proprietors, with or without employees
  3. Individual contractors
  4. Tribal Business
  5. Private Nonprofit Organizations
  6. Small Agricultural Cooperatives
  7. Small business with more than 1 physical location (e.g. Accommodation and Food Services)
  8. Business operating under affiliated rules (e.g. a franchise business)
  9. Cooperatives with fewer than 500 employees
  10. ESOPs with fewer than 500 employees
  11. Recognized nonprofit 501(c)(3)

Additionally, you must have been in business as of January 31, 2020. 

Yes, if you are a private non-profit with an effective ruling letter from the IRS, granting tax exemption under sections 501(c), (d), or (e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or if you can provide satisfactory evidence from the State that the non-revenue producing organization or entity is a non-profit one organized or doing business under State law. However, a recipient that is principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting, or primarily engaged in political or lobbying activities is not eligible to receive an EIDL.

The law authorizes loan terms up to a maximum of 30 years.  SBA will determine an appropriate installment payment based on the financial condition of each borrower, which in turn will determine the loan term.

The interest rate is determined by formulas set by law and is fixed for the life of the loan. The maximum interest rate for this disaster is 3.75 percent.

Yes. If you received an EIDL loan related to COVID-19 between January 31, 2020 and the date at which the PPP becomes available, you would be able to refinance the EIDL into the PPP for loan forgiveness purposes. However, you may not take out an EIDL and a PPP for the same purposes. Remaining portions of the EIDL, for purposes other than those laid out in loan forgiveness terms for a PPP loan, would remain a loan. If you took advantage of an emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000, that amount would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under PPP.

An advance provided under this subsection may be used to address any allowable purpose for a loan made under section 7(b)(2) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(b)(2)), including:

  • Paid Sick Leave - providing paid sick leave to employees unable to work due to the direct effect of the COVID–19
  • Payroll Costs - maintaining payroll to retain employees during business disruptions or substantial slowdowns
  • Rent Payments - paying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses
  • Mortgage Payments - repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses
  • Increased costs to obtain materials - meeting increased costs to obtain materials unavailable from the applicant’s original source due to interrupted supply chains
  • Mortgage or Loan repayments - repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses

The law limits EIDLs to $2,000,000 for alleviating economic injury caused by the disaster. The actual amount of each loan is limited to the economic injury determined by SBA

Application Filing Deadline is December 31, 2020.

Expanded eligibility criteria and the emergency grants are only available between January 31, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

The Emergency Economic Injury Grants. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).

To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending and will be forgiven. The advance may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments. If an EIDL recipient later refinances into a PPP loan, any advances would be offset against any payroll related loan forgiveness.

Those eligible for an EIDL and who have been in operation since January 31, 2020.

An eligible recipient applying for an EIDL shall make a good faith certification:

  1. That the uncertainty of current economic condition makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient;
  2. Acknowledging that funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments;
  3. That the eligible recipient does not have an application pending for a loan for the same purpose and duplicative of amounts applied for or received under a covered loan; and
  4. During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, that the eligible recipient has not received amounts for the same purpose and duplicative of amounts applied for or received under a covered loan.

During the covered period, the requirement that a small business concern is unable to obtain credit elsewhere, as defined in the CARES Act, shall not apply to a covered loan.  During the covered period, with respect to a covered loan, a loan over $25,000 will have collateral requirements.

WORKFORCE SAFETY INSURANCE FOR MEDICAL PROVIDERS

In conjunction with state health officials, including the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), the CDC is helping the public prepare for and deal with COVID-19 in the U.S.

For medical providers, the CDC has issued Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), March 2020, with recommended strategies and planning considerations. 

The American Medical Association (AMA) also offers a resource center for providers at www.ama-assn.org.    

No. Diseases to which the general public outside of employment are exposed are specifically excluded from workers’ compensation coverage in North Dakota. COVID-19 fits into this exclusion. Even though it may be contended an employee contracted COVID-19 while working, the employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for this type of illness.

Governor Doug Burgum has issued Executive Order 2020-12 and Executive Order 2020-12.1 for extending workers’ compensation coverage for COVID-19 for frontline health care workers, first responders, and funeral service personnel. For more information please see WSI’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions for Employees.

Yes. Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) is temporarily expanding eligible telemedicine services during the duration of the emergency declaration.

General Information

  • WSI developed these guidelines based on a recent waiver authority issued by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Originating site may include the injured employee’s home.
  • Bill must include appropriate HCPCS or CPT code and Place of Service (POS) 02.
  • Medical documentation must accompany the bill and support the telemedicine service charged.
  • WSI does not apply POS differentials to the reimbursement rate. However, reimbursement for telemedicine services does not include any originating site facility fees, cells phones, internet connection or other equipment needed to establish the telemedicine service.

Telehealth Visit

  • Description: Visit with a provider using an interactive audio-video or audio only telecommunication system.
  • Telehealth services must have modifier -95 appended to applicable service line item(s).
  • Common telehealth visit codes include:
    • 99201-99215 (Office or other outpatient services)
    • G0425-G0427 (Telehealth consultations, emergency department or initial inpatient)
    • G0406-G0408 (Follow-up inpatient telehealth consultations
  • A provider may review CMS’ Covered Telehealth Services for Public Health Emergency for the COVID-19 Pandemic for a complete list. WSI will honor a code from this list if the code is reimbursable in accordance with WSI Fee Schedule.

Virtual Check-In

  • Description: Brief communication with a provider via telephone or other telecommunication device to decide whether an injured employee needs to have an office visit or other service; remote evaluation of recorded video and/or images submitted by an injured employee.
  • Billable Codes:
    • 99441-99443 (Non-face-to-face telephone services)
    • G2012 (Brief communication technology-based service)
    • G2010 (Remote evaluation of recorded video or images)

E-Visit

  • Description: Communication initiated by an injured employee to a provider through a portal.
  • Billable Codes:
    • 99421-99423 (Online digital E&M service)
    • 98970-98972 (Qualified nonphysician online digital E&M service)
    • G2061-G2063 (Qualified nonphysician online assessment)

Yes, therapy services applicable to a remote environment will be allowed. The significant elements for therapy via telehealth are as follows:

  • Originating site may be the injured employee’s home.
  • Utilization Review (UR) requirements and parameters for a therapy service will remain the same. An approval will be honored whether performed in a clinic or via telehealth. A provider may refer to the Utilization Review (UR) Guide for prior authorization requirement details.
  • Bill must include appropriate CPT code with Place of Service (POS) 02 and modifier 95.
  • Medical documentation must comply with WSI’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Time-Based Services Policy. It must also reference the reason for using telehealth and the delivery method.

No. WSI will continue to issue checks weekly. Current turnaround time for a billed charge is approximately 40 days. Delays due to COVID-19 are not anticipated. In the event unforeseen interruptions occur, WSI will notify providers as soon as possible.

No. WSI will waive the 90-day timeframe for surgery approvals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As directed by Executive Order 2020-05.1 and as part of NDDoH's response to COVID-19, licensing requirements have been suspended for health care and behavioral health professionals currently licensed and in good standing in other states.

Interested health care and behavioral health professionals may complete the Emergency Licensure Application online with proof of identity, licensure and a letter of good standing from another state. If approved, a temporary emergency license will be issued at no cost. Licensure will be valid for the duration of the declared state of emergency only.

While standards of care should be maintained, the CDC recommends taking a cautious approach. Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be asked to wear surgical masks and evaluated in a private room with a closed door. Any healthcare personnel entering the room should use Standard and Transmission-based Precautions.

The CDC recommends taking the following actions:

  • Work with local and state public health organizations, healthcare coalitions, and other local partners to understand the impact and spread of the outbreak in your area.
  • Designate staff who will be responsible for caring for suspected or known COVID-19 patients and ensure that staff is trained on the infection prevention and control recommendations for COVID-19 as well as the proper use of personal protective equipment.
  • Monitor healthcare workers and ensure maintenance of facility staff and operations based on the CDC’s recommended work restrictions and monitoring guidance.

Health care organizations across the globe are working hard to arm everyone with knowledge they need to protect themselves. Here are some links to credible organizations that offer more information:

DIRECT ONE TIME TAX REBATE

Up to $1,200 per individual; $2,400 in the case of eligible individuals filing a joint return; plus $500 for each eligible child.

The amount you will receive is based on the adjusted gross income (AGI) in your 2018 or 2019 tax return. The full amount will be sent to anyone with an AGI at or below $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples. The rebate is phased out gradually and individuals with an AGI of $99,000 or $198,000 for married couples will not receive rebates.

Either the 2018 or 2019 tax year filing

Any nonresident alien individual, any individual with respect to whom a deduction under section 151 of Subchapter B of chapter 65 of subtitle F of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is allowable to another taxpayer for a taxable year beginning in the calendar year in which the individual’s taxable year begins, and an estate or trust.

There are two ways an individual who has not filed a tax return may receive the tax rebate:

  • by filing a tax return for the 2019 tax year by July 15, 2020; or
  • people who receive Social Security benefits but don’t file tax returns are eligible too – their checks will be based on information provided by the Social Security Administration. 

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP AND THE COVID-19 FEDERAL ASSISTANCE

Yes you may. The CARES Act states: “…individuals who operate under a sole proprietorship or as an independent contractor and eligible self-employed individuals shall be eligible. Applicants who fall in this category will need to provide documentation such as “payroll tax filings reported to the Internal Revenue Service, Forms 1099–MISC, and income and expenses from the sole proprietorship, as determined by the (SBA) Administrator and the (Treasury) Secretary.” 

Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders

The basic answer is that the maximum loan amount is 2.5 times the average monthly payroll for the 12 months preceding the date the loan is made, up to a maximum of $10 million.  

However, if you are a seasonal business, you can apply to borrow 2.5 times your payroll for either the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2020 and ending May 10, 2020, or the period of March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

If you were not in business for the time period beginning on February 15, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2019, then you can use your average total monthly payroll costs incurred from January 1, 2020 to February 29, 2020 and multiply that by 2.5. 

No personal guarantee is required.  In addition, these will be non-recourse loans as long as proceeds are used for covered purposes. (Non-resource means the government won’t be able to collect if you default.) 

No.  The requirement for collateral has been waived for this.

Payments on any unforgiven amounts will begin on either (i) the date on which loan forgiveness is determined or (ii) 10 months after the end of the borrower’s covered period if forgiveness is not requested.

If you get one of these loans, you can request forgiveness of the principal portion of the loan for either (i) the date on which loan forgiveness is determined or (ii) 10 months after the end of the borrower’s covered period if forgiveness is not requested.

  • Payroll costs
  • Interest on a mortgage
  • Rent 
  • Utilities 

However, no more than 40% of the forgiven amount can be attributed to non-payroll costs.

No, independent contractors can apply for a PPP loan on their own and do not count as employees. 

Individual lenders are the first stop to apply for the PPP loan.  The application and more information on the SBA programs can be found at https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

  • payroll costs; 
  • costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • employee salaries, commissions, or similar compensations;
  • payments of interest on any mortgage obligation (but not to pay principal or to prepay a mortgage)
  • rent (including rent under a lease agreement); 
  • utilities; 
  • interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period,
  • refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020

Yes you can apply for both but you cannot “double dip” and get funds from both loan programs for the same purpose.

There is a payroll tax credit of up to 50% of qualified wages for certain businesses whose operations have been fully or partially suspended by a government order or whose gross receipts in a quarter have fallen by at least half compared to a similar quarter the year before. 

Your business cannot receive both the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit and a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan, so if you are considering both make sure you consult with your legal or financial advisor. 

How you calculate your maximum loan amount depends upon whether or not you employ other individuals. If you have no employees, the following methodology should be used to calculate your maximum loan amount:

Step 1: Find your 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C line 31 net profit amount (if you have not yet filed a 2019 return, fill it out and compute the value). If this amount is over $100,000, reduce it to $100,000. If this amount is zero or less, you are not eligible for a PPP loan.

Step 2: Calculate the average monthly net profit amount (divide the amount from Step 1 by 12).

Step 3: Multiply the average monthly net profit amount from Step 2 by 2.5.

Step 4: Add the outstanding amount of any Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020 that you seek to refinance, less the amount of any advance under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because it does not have to be repaid).

Regardless of whether you have filed a 2019 tax return with the IRS, you must provide the 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C with your PPP loan application to substantiate the applied-for PPP loan amount and a 2019 IRS Form 1099-MISC detailing nonemployee compensation received (box 7), invoice, bank statement, or book of record that 7 establishes you are self-employed. You must provide a 2020 invoice, bank statement, or book of record to establish you were in operation on or around February 15, 2020.

The proceeds of a PPP loan are to be used for the following.

  1. Owner compensation replacement, calculated based on 2019 net profit as described in Paragraph 1.b. above
  2. Employee payroll costs (as defined in the First PPP Interim Final Rule) for employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States, if you have employees.
  3. Mortgage interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments or principal payments) on any business mortgage obligation on real or personal property (e.g., the interest on your mortgage for the warehouse you purchased to store business equipment or the interest on an auto loan for a vehicle you use to perform your business), business rent payments (e.g., the warehouse where you store business equipment or the vehicle you use to perform your business), and business utility payments (e.g., the cost of electricity in the warehouse you rent or gas you use driving your business vehicle). You must have claimed or be entitled to claim a deduction for such expenses on your 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C for them to be a permissible use during the eight-week period following the first disbursement of the loan (the “covered period”). For example, if you did not claim or are not entitled to claim utilities expenses on your 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C, you cannot use the proceeds for utilities during the covered period.
  4. Interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020 (such amounts are not eligible for PPP loan forgiveness).
  5. Refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020 (maturity will be reset to PPP’s maturity of two years). If you received an SBA EIDL loan from January 31, 2020 through April 3, 2020, you can apply for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was used for payroll costs, your PPP loan must be used to refinance your EIDL loan. Proceeds from any advance up to $10,000 on the EIDL loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount on the PPP loan.

The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, determined that it is appropriate to limit self-employed individuals’ (who file a Form 1040 Schedule C) use of loan proceeds to those types of allowable uses for which the borrower made expenditures in 2019. The Administrator has determined that this limitation on self-employed individuals who file a Form 1040 Schedule C is consistent with the borrower certification required by the Act; specifically, that the PPP loan is necessary “to support the ongoing operations” of the borrower. The Administrator and the Secretary thus believe that this limitation is consistent with the structure of the Act to maintain existing operations and payroll and not for business expansion. This limitation on the use of PPP loan proceeds will also help to ensure that the finite appropriations available for these loans are directed toward maintaining existing operations and payroll, as each loan that is made depletes the appropriation. Finally, although the Act makes businesses in operation on February 15, 2020 eligible for PPP loans, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that self-employed individuals will need to rely on their 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C, which provides verifiable documentation on expenses between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019. For individuals with income from self-employment from 2019 for which they have filed or will file a 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C, expenses incurred between January 1, 2020 and February 14, 2020 may not be considered because of the lack of verifiable documentation on expenses in this period. SBA will issue additional guidance for those individuals with self-employment income who: (i) were not in operation in 2019 but who were in operation on February 15, 2020, and (ii) will file a Form 1040 Schedule C for 2020.

Yes.  At least 60 percent of the PPP loan proceeds shall be used for payroll costs.  For purposes of determining the percentage of use of proceeds for payroll costs (but not for forgiveness purposes), the amount of any refinanced EIDL will be included. 

The amount of loan forgiveness can be up to the full principal amount of the loan plus accrued interest. The actual amount of loan forgiveness will depend, in part, on the total amount spent over the covered period on:

  1. payroll costs including salary, wages, and tips, up to $100,000 of annualized pay per employee (for eight weeks, a maximum of $15,385 per individual), as well as covered benefits for employees (but not owners), including health care expenses, retirement contributions, and state taxes imposed on employee payroll paid by the employer (such as unemployment insurance premiums);
     
  2. owner compensation replacement, calculated based on 2019 net profit as described in Paragraph 1.b. above, with forgiveness of such amounts limited to eight weeks’ worth (8/52) of 2019 net profit, but excluding any qualified sick leave equivalent amount for which a credit is claimed under section 7002 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Public Law 116-127) or qualified family leave equivalent amount for which a credit is claimed under section 7004 of FFCRA;
     
  3. payments of interest on mortgage obligations on real or personal property incurred before February 15, 2020, to the extent they are deductible on Form 1040 Schedule C (business mortgage payments);
     
  4. rent payments on lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020, to the extent they are deductible on Form 1040 Schedule C (business rent payments); and
     
  5. utility payments under service agreements dated before February 15, 2020 to the extent they are deductible on Form 1040 Schedule C (business utility payments).

The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that it is appropriate to limit the forgiveness of owner compensation replacement for individuals with self-employment income who file a Schedule C to eight weeks’ worth (8/52) of 2019 net profit. This is most consistent with the structure of the Act and its overarching focus on keeping workers paid and will prevent windfalls that Congress did not intend.

Congress determined that the maximum loan amount is based on 2.5 months of the borrower’s payroll during the one-year period preceding the loan. Congress also determined that the maximum amount of loan forgiveness is based on the borrower’s eligible payments—i.e., the sum of payroll costs and certain overhead expenses— over the eight-week period following the date of loan disbursement. For individuals with self-employment income who file a Schedule C, the Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, has determined that it is appropriate to limit loan forgiveness to a proportionate eight-week share of 2019 net profit, as reflected in the individual’s 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C. This is because many self-employed individuals have few of the overhead expenses that qualify for forgiveness under the Act.

For example, many such individuals operate out of either their homes, vehicles, or sheds and thus do not incur qualifying mortgage interest, rent, or utility payments. As a result, most of their receipts will constitute net income. Allowing such a self-employed individual to treat the full amount of a PPP loan as net income would result in a windfall. The entire amount of the PPP loan (a maximum of 2.5 times monthly payroll costs) would be forgiven even though Congress designed this program to limit forgiveness to certain eligible expenses incurred in an eight-week covered period.

Limiting forgiveness to eight weeks of net profit from the owner’s 2019 Form 1040 Schedule C is consistent with the structure of the Act, which provides for loan forgiveness based on eight weeks of expenditures. This limitation will also help to ensure that the finite appropriations are directed toward payroll protection, consistent with the Act’s central objective. Finally, 60 percent of the amount forgiven must be attributable to payroll costs.

A business that is otherwise eligible for a PPP Loan is not rendered ineligible due to its receipt of legal gaming revenues if the existing standard in 13 CFR 120.110(g) is met or the following two conditions are satisfied:

  1. the business’s legal gaming revenue (net of payouts but not other expenses) did not exceed $1 million in 2019; and
     
  2. legal gaming revenue (net of payouts but not other expenses) comprised less than 50 percent of the business’s total revenue in 2019.

Businesses that received illegal gaming revenue are categorically ineligible. The Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary, believes this test appropriately balances the longstanding policy reasons for limiting lending to businesses primarily and substantially engaged in gaming activity with the policy aim of making the PPP Loan available to a broad segment of U.S. businesses and their employees.

ND SMART RESTART - EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE

There are industry specific requirements depending on the closeness you will be to your clients and conditions of the business.  Please review industry specific guidelines for these recommendations.

Specific industries are making recommendations on mask coverage (see industry specific recommendations.) CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. OSHA recommends allowing workers to wear masks over their nose and mouth to prevent them from spreading the virus.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance on April 23 on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and coronavirus, explaining that employers may screen employees for COVID-19. Any mandatory medical test must be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Yes. Employees should be sent home if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms even if the employee is not self-reporting

The federal government has issued guidance directing that employers may ask about COVID-19 symptoms at this time

Employees may be required to stay home if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19, or if they have traveled from an area with widespread transmission.

Employers may also choose to lay off employees for any non-discriminatory reason.

Yes. An employer may encourage or require employees to telework as an infection-control or prevention strategy, including based on timely information from public health authorities about pandemics, public health emergencies, or other similar conditions.

But employers must not single out employees either to telework or to continue reporting to the workplace on a basis prohibited by any of the Equal Employment Opportunity laws (e.g., race, gender, country of origin).

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), employees may refuse work if they “reasonably believe they are in imminent danger.” That fear typically includes the threat of death or serious physical harm. Generalized fear about the virus, that’s not based on fact, would not likely be sufficient to refuse to work. However, if the workplace currently has a number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, their fears may be justified.

For workers who are at higher risk for negative outcomes if they contract COVID-19, such as those with underlying medical conditions or workers who are immunocompromised, even generalized fears may be legitimate. Businesses should work with these staff members to alter the work environment as much as possible to mitigate risk, if they can.

  • Positive result for, or other diagnosis with, COVID-19;
  • Symptoms of infection with COVID-19, e.g., fever of or over 100.4°F, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat;
  • “Close contact” (as defined by the Centers for Disease Control) with any person who has tested positive for, or has otherwise been diagnosed with, COVID-19 infection within the preceding 14 days;
  • Whether the employee has been asked to self-quarantine by a health official within the preceding 14 days;
  • Whether the employee has traveled to, or stopped over in, a country for which the CDC has issued a Level 3 travel health notice

Yes. But it is only permissible because COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic. Also, please remember COVID-19 is highly contagious. It may be best to have employees take their own temperature and text or e-mail you the results before they come in. If you or an employee is going to take the temperature of another worker, you should consult with a physician on how best to accomplish this without risking infection of the person taking the temperature of employees.

After re-opening, the same unemployment insurance programs will remain available.  As is the case currently, individuals unemployed due to the pandemic will potentially remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.  The primary impact of reopening will be that if suitable work is available because an individual’s employer has reopened, but the individual chooses to not return to employment, they may be found ineligible for benefits.  Eligibility for future benefit payments is done on a case-by-case basis and could vary by situation.  Reopening, or the expiration of existing Executive Orders relating specifically to business operations, will not affect the Governor’s Executive Orders relating to items such as the temporary suspension of the unemployment insurance work search requirement.  These Orders will remain in force until the Governor specifically rescinds them.  There is not a sunset or expiration date on these particular orders.

ND SMART RESTART - RESTAURANT

Including the existing guidelines written by a working group of the bars and restaurants owners,  the Department of Health has allowed the option of plexiglass placed between machines (where the minimum distance of 6 foot separation is not able to be achieved) to allow continued safety for the patrons of the facilities. 

As with all of the industry protocols and guidelines, working groups of business owners provided the recommendations and suggestions keeping in mind the safety of their customers and developing confidence to continue operating. 

HOUSING

Contact your mortgage servicer or landlord to discuss your situation. Servicers provide their contact information on monthly statements or in a payment coupon book. Landlords provide contact information on leases. It is typically available at apartment building entrances as well.

 

Contact your landlord or mortgage servicer to discuss the situation. It will be up to your landlord or mortgage servicer to decide if they will offer a repayment plan and/or waive late fees.

A payment holiday doesn’t mean that your friend won’t have to make a payment, it means the payment was deferred or delayed. Eventually, the payment will be required. Each mortgage loan servicer or landlord has different financial circumstances dictating what they are able to offer. Talk to your loan servicer or landlord to learn what options they can provide.

The moratorium on foreclosures has been extended to June 30, 2020, on federally backed mortgages only. If you can make your mortgage payment, yes, you should continue to do so. The moratorium doesn’t mean that payments are no longer required. It means that households who are unable to make payments cannot be foreclosed on. Contact your mortgage servicer to learn more.

While some offers of assistance are legitimate, many are not. Some red flags include:

  • Guarantees that a business can stop a foreclosure or eviction, regardless of circumstances.
  • Asking for payment before any services are performed.
  • Instructions to make mortgage or rent payment to someone else, not to your loan servicer or landlord.
  • Asking you to sign incomplete or blank paperwork or pressuring you to sign a document you have not had time to read thoroughly.
  • Do not respond to emails, texts or social media notifications that you can receive or are qualified for assistance. Call your mortgage servicer or landlord to discuss your situation.

Additional information can be found on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

On March 27, 2020, the president signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act into law which put into place a 120-day moratorium on evictions in federally subsidized properties. This moratorium only applies to properties included in the federal order. Learn if your property is covered by the order.

The moratorium restricts housing providers who own/manage federally subsidized properties from filing new eviction actions for non-payment of rent. It also prohibits charging fees, penalties, etc. related to nonpayment of rent.

The moratorium does not apply to evictions:

  • That were filed before the moratorium took effect or that are filed after the 120 days has passed.
  • That involved lease violations not related to non-payment of rent.

WORKFORCE SAFETY INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES

The CDC, in conjunction with state health officials, including the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), is helping the public prepare for and deal with the COVID-19 in the U.S.   

No.  Generally, coverage for illnesses even when contracted through employment are not considered compensable injuries. Diseases to which the general public outside of employment are exposed are specifically excluded from workers’ compensation coverage in North Dakota. COVID-19 fits into this exclusion. Even though it may be contended an employee contracted COVID-19 while working, the employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for this type of illness.

On March 25, 2020, Governor Doug Burgum issued Executive Order 2020-12 for extending workers’ compensation coverage for COVID-19 to first responders and front-line health care providers. On April 16, 2020, Governor Burgum amended the order, Executive Order 2020-12.1, to include funeral service personnel. The executive order specifically alters the statutory application for three groups of employees in North Dakota: frontline health care workers, first responders, and funeral service personnel.

These orders expand COVID-19 coverage to three employee groups:

1. Frontline health care workers This group includes medical providers extending direct patient care that exposes them to contact with the virus. The following lists who is considered and not considered frontline health care workers; it is not inclusive but shows the intention of the executive order.

  • Frontline health care workers include doctors, nurses, certified nursing assistants, lab personnel and technicians, radiology/imaging personnel and technicians, physical therapist, occupational therapist, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, social workers, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, dietary aids, custodial staff, patient registration staff, laundry attendants, coroners, receptionists and patient intake coordinators, hospital social workers, and hospital security staff.
  • Frontline health care workers do not include billing and coding staff, document processing staff, administrative office personnel, and information technology staff.

2. First responders This group includes licensed, certified, or recognized responders whose job duties expose them to direct citizen contact. The following lists who is considered first responders; it is not inclusive but shows the intention of the executive order.

  • Medical first responders include emergency medical technicians, ambulance personnel, state troopers, police, or deputies (paid or volunteer), firefighters (paid or volunteer).
  • Non-medical first responders include court and judicial personnel including judges, judicial referees, bailiffs, court staff, Bureau of Criminal Investigation investigators, state troopers, police or deputies (paid or volunteer), parole and probation officers, parks and recreation officers, firefighters (paid or volunteer), department of corrections staff, jailers, crime lab personnel, and staff of the North Dakota jails and prisons having direct inmate exposure, including janitorial and food service personnel.

3. Funeral service personnel This group includes funeral directors and other individuals employed in funeral homes, who provide for the care removal and final disposition of the deceased. The personnel must demonstrate the virus resulted from exposure to a deceased individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

If you are an employee described above and can show that you have contracted COVID-19 through a work-related exposure, you may file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits including wage-loss, medical, and death benefits.

If you are subject to quarantine per an order of a health care provider or public health officer, you may receive medical and wage-loss benefits for the quarantine period. Eligibility for wage loss benefits only applies if you are not eligible for wage-loss benefits from another source. For example, as of April 1, 2020, federal law mandates most employers provide paid leave for employees in quarantine (https://ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources/covid-19-faqs).  As a result, this wage-loss benefit provides a safety net for those not already covered by another resource. 

For quarantines prior to April 1, 2020, WSI will pay wage-loss benefits if you must use accrued PTO or sick leave for the quarantine period. However, if an employer grants additional leave or continues to pay wages for the quarantine period, WSI will not pay benefits.

Coverage applies for claims occurring between March 13, 2020, and the date the emergency is declared over, or the order is ended by the Governor, whichever occurs first.

Yes. As the claim originates from an employer, they will become part of the employer’s claim history.

Yes. WSI staff are teleworking and have access to all our systems. We are working with medical providers and employers to make timely decisions on pending claims.

Yes. Our staff are teleworking and can be reached by calling WSI’s Customer Service at 800-777-5033; please have your claim number ready.

Processing payments for injured employees is WSI’s highest priority and we are working hard to ensure your disability payments are made every 14 days if you remain off work due to your work injury.

Please contact your claims adjuster to discuss your medical release and how it changes future disability benefits.

WSI understands some medical providers have cancelled medical appointments due to COVID-19. Please contact your medical provider to discuss if telemedicine options are a way for ongoing appointments.

In addition, please contact your claims adjuster to discuss your medical appointments.

There are still opportunities to do good faith work search for positions that fall within your physical restrictions, such as online inquiries and postings of positions. Please contact your claims adjuster to guide you through the process.

WSI understands some medical providers have cancelled medical appointments due to COVID-19. Please contact your medical provider to discuss if telemedicine options are a way for ongoing appointments.

Health care organizations across the globe are working hard to arm everyone with knowledge they need to protect themselves. Here are some links to credible organizations that offer more information:

WORKFORCE SAFETY INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYERS

Contact your WSI Underwriter at 800-777-5033 so they can adjust your advance payroll estimate accordingly. You may also submit a written request to WSI or submit the revised estimated payroll upon submission of annual payroll report

WSI will continue to send annual payroll reports and follow-up requests if the report is not received by the due date.

If your business has been negatively affected by COVID-19, indicate this on the Additional Comments section when you are completing your payroll report. Your WSI Underwriter will be able to adjust your advance estimate accordingly.

It is recommended you continue to submit payroll by the due date, however for late payroll reporting due to COVID-19, no penalties will be assessed through June 30,2020.

WSI encourages you to pay the minimum balance due if possible. If you are unable to pay the regular monthly installment WSI will suspend any interest charges through June 30, 2020. You should also contact WSI to set up a reasonable payment plan.

No. Diseases to which the general public outside of employment are exposed are specifically excluded from workers’ compensation coverage in North Dakota. COVID-19 fits into this exclusion. Even though it may be contended an employee contracted COVID-19 while working, the employee is not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for this type of illness.

Governor Doug Burgum has issued Executive Order 2020-12 and Executive Order 2020-12.1 for extending workers’ compensation coverage for COVID-19 for frontline health care workers, first responders, and funeral service personnel. For more information please see WSI’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions for Employees.

Yes.  In general, workers’ compensation coverage extends to employees who telecommute.  Keep in mind WSI must evaluate the facts and circumstances of each claim before a coverage determination can ultimately be made.

If you suspect an employee has been exposed:

  • Instruct the employee to stay home and not come to work.
  • Advise the employee to contact their health care professional if they have developed symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if the employee has recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

If you have employees with upcoming travel plans, the CDC recommends these preventative measures:

  • Do not travel while sick.
  • Consider bringing hand sanitizer, tissues, and other hygiene products as they may be limited.
  • Pay attention to your health during travel and for 14 days after you leave.
  • Consider if COVID-19 is spreading at the destination, you may be at a higher risk of exposure.

We encourage you to follow guidelines from reputable health organizations such as: NDDoH, CDC, World Health Organization and OSHA. Check these resources regularly since the situation is changing daily.

The CDC has issued Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers: Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020, with recommended strategies and planning considerations for employers.  Information for specific industries is also available from the CDC.

There are several ways the coronavirus can spread:

  • Person-to-person spread
    • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person.
  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects
    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
  • Can someone spread the virus without being sick?
    • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
    • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. There have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Health care organizations across the globe are working hard to arm everyone with knowledge they need to protect themselves. Here are some links to credible organizations that offer more information:

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM/CARES ACT

Paycheck Protection Program is a loan program that a business, which has experienced business concern as a result of COVID–19, can use to keep its employees paid and employed. This loan program enables businesses to cover the following eligible expenses:

  1. Payroll costs, meaning the sum of payments of any compensation with respect to employees that are salary, wage, commission or similar compensation; payment of cash tip or equivalent; payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for dismissal or separation; payment required for the provisions of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; payment for any retirement benefit; or payment of State or local tax assessed on the compensation of employees.  The sum of payments of any compensation to or income of a sole proprietor or independent contractor that is a wage commission, income net earnings from self-employment, or similar compensation and that is in an amount that is not more than $100,000 in 1 year, as prorated for the covered period.
  2. Costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  3. Employee salaries, commissions, or similar compensations;
  4. Payments of interest mortgage payments (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a mortgage obligation);
  5. Rent (including rent under a lease agreement)
  6. Utilities; and
  7. Interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020.

The funding is in the form of a covered loan, ONLY with the option to become a forgivable loan if the employer follows the payroll continuity.

A covered loan is a loan made during the period beginning on  February 15, 2020 and ending on June  30, 2020.

Four eligible types of businesses which are covered in this act are:

  1. A small business, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, veteran's organization, or Tribal business which employs:
    • not more than 500 employees;
    • if applicable, the size standard in number of employees established by the Small Business Administration for the industry in which the business concern, nonprofit organization, veteran's organization, or tribal business concern operates.
  2. Sole proprietorship, or independent contractor and eligible self-employed individuals;
  3. business with more than one physical location but meeting certain given conditions;
  4. business operating under affiliated rules e.g. a business operating as a franchise.

The amount of a covered loan is the lesser of:

  1. the product obtained by multiplying the average total monthly payments by the applicant for payroll costs incurred during the one-year  period  before the date on which  the loan  is made, except that, in the case of an applicant that is seasonal employer,  as  determined  by the administrator, the average total monthly payments for payroll shall be for the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or at the election of the eligible recipient, March 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019 by 2.5; or
  2. if requested by an otherwise eligible recipient that was not in business during the period beginning on Feb. 15, 2019 and ending on June 30, 2019, the product obtained by multiplying the average total monthly payments by the applicant for payroll costs incurred during the period beginning on Jan. 1, 2020 and ending on Feb. 29, 2020 by 2.5; or
  3. (ii) $10,000,000. maximum per business.

A covered loan is a fee-free loan and has an interest rate not exceeding four percent. 

The covered period is March 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.

A loan is eligible for forgiveness in the amount equal to the cost of maintaining payroll continuity during the period of March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.

Payroll costs do not include:

  1. the compensation of an individual employee in excess of $33,333 during the covered period;
  2. qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages in which a credit is allowed under the H.R. 6201 - Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

The amount of loan forgiveness under this section shall not exceed the principal amount of the financing made available under the applicable covered loan. The amount of loan forgiveness shall not exceed  the sum of:

  1. The total payroll costs incurred by the eligible recipient during the covered period; and
  2. The amount of payments made during the covered period on debt obligations that were incurred before the covered period.
    • The covered period is March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020
  3. The amount of loan forgiveness is reduced if the businesses full-time equivalent (FTE) count has a reduction in FTE.

An eligible recipient shall be eligible for forgiveness of indebtedness on a covered loan in an amount equal to the sum of the following costs incurred and payments made during the covered period:

  1. Payroll costs;
  2. Any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation);
  3. Any payment on any covered rent obligation;
  4. Any covered utility payment.

An eligible recipient applying for a covered loan shall make a good faith certification:

1)  That the uncertainty of current economic condition makes necessary the loan request to support the ongoing operations of the eligible recipient;
2)  Acknowledging that funds will be used to retain workers and maintain payroll or mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments;
3) That the eligible recipient does not have an application pending for a loan for the same purpose and duplicative of amounts applied for or received under a covered loan; and
4) During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on December 31, 2020, that the eligible recipient has not received amounts for the same purpose and duplicative of amounts applied for or received under a covered loan.

During the covered period, the requirement that a small business concern is unable to obtain credit elsewhere, as defined in the CARES Act, shall not apply to a covered loan.  During the covered period, with respect to a covered loan, no personal guarantee and no collateral shall be required for the covered loan.

With respect to a covered loan that has a remaining balance after reduction based on the loan forgiveness amount under section 1106 of the CARES Act:

1)  The remaining balance shall continue to be guaranteed by the SBA; and

2)  The covered loan shall have a maximum maturity of 10 years from the date on which the borrower applies for loan forgiveness.

Yes.  Complete payment deferment relief for a period of not less than 6 months, including payment of principal, interest, and fees, and not more than 1 year.

The authority to make loans is extended to additional lenders as determined by the Small Business Administration.  For State Funding contact North Dakota Development Fund.  For Federal Funding, contact your local banker.

The term covered period means the 8-week period beginning on the date of the origination of a covered loan. 

  • Under the CARES Act, the portion of a PPP loan that is eligible for forgiveness will be proportionally reduced by the amount of (i) any reductions in full-time equivalent employees during the covered period as compared to the average number of full-time equivalent employees per month during certain historical periods prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and (ii) certain reductions in salary or wages during the covered period. However, borrowers have an opportunity to cure those reductions by rehiring employees who were terminated between February 15, 2020 and April 26, 2020 and by restoring salaries or wages for employees whose pay was reduced during that period by June 30, 2020.
  • The PPP Flexibility Act provides that forgiveness will not be reduced for employee headcount reductions between February 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020 if the borrower is able to document that either: (i) it is unable to rehire individuals who were employees on February 15, 2020 and is unable to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020, or (ii) it is unable to return to the same level of business that was conducted prior to February 15, 2020 as a result of guidance from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration relating to COVID-19 safety (including as a result of complying with standards for sanitation, social distancing and other worker or customer safety requirements). In addition, the period to cure reductions in headcount, salary and wages is extended from June 30, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

The amount of loan forgiveness shall be reduced by the amount of any reduction in total salary or wages of any employee during the covered period that is in excess of 25 percent of the total salary or wages of the employee during the most recent full quarter during which the employee was employed before the covered period.  An employee described here, is any employee who did not receive, during any single pay period during 2019, wages or salary at an annualized rate of pay in an amount more than $100,000.

Tipped Workers – an eligible recipient with tipped employees may receive forgiveness for additional wages paid to those employees.

The circumstances related to the amount of loan forgiveness shall be determined without regard to a reduction in the number of FTE employees of an eligible recipient or a reduction in the salary of 1 or more employees of the eligible employer, as applicable, during the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on the date that is 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act. 

In a circumstance described below, the loan forgiveness shall be determined:

  • In which
    1. During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on the date that is 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, there is a reduction, as compared to February 15, 2020, in the number of FTE employees of an eligible recipient; and
    2. Not later than June 30, 2020, the eligible employer has eliminated the reduction in the number of FTE employees;
  • In which
    1. During the period beginning on February 15, 2020 and ending on the date that is 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, there is a reduction, as compared to February 15, 2020, in the salary or wages of 1 or more employees of the eligible recipient; and
    2. Not later June 30, 2020, the eligible employer has eliminated the reduction in the salary or wages of such employees; or
  • In which the events described above occur.

Yes, and the following are the limitations on a paycheck protection covered loan:

An eligible recipient of a covered loan for purposes of paying  payroll costs and  other obligations described in question two (Q2) shall not be eligible to receive an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for the same purpose.

GENERAL INCOME TAX

Nothing. Taxpayers who are able to file prior to July 15, do not need to take any additional steps if they are able to file by that date. If the tax is paid after July 15, no amount of penalty and interest will be due for the period of April 15 through July 15.  

North Dakota will also provide automatic relief from penalty and interest for any income tax return or payment that is due prior to July 15.  This includes a second quarter estimated payment this is due June 15.  

Penalty and interest will apply beginning July 16. A federal extension to file can be sought (Individuals – Form 4868) which also extends the time to file your North Dakota return to October 15. With a federal extension in place, no penalty would be due if North Dakota income tax was filed and paid by October 15, but extension interest on the unpaid tax would apply starting on July 16.

We cannot change the amount or the date, but we can cancel the payment for you. To cancel the payment, you must contact our office. If you choose to cancel the payment, you must make the payment by July 15. Electronic payments can be made on our payment site at www.nd.gov/tax - select Make a Payment on the menu. If you choose to mail a paper check, it must be accompanied by a voucher, which can completed and printed through our payment site at www.nd.gov/tax - select Make a Payment on the menu, and scroll down to Print Payment Voucher.

Yes. Penalty and interest will be automatically waived if the tax is paid by July 15.

No. Taxes that have already been filed and paid are complete. The due date to file and pay the tax did not change, but rather a waiver for penalty and interest was applied through July 15 to provide relief to those impacted by COVID-19 in case they were unable to file by the April 15 deadline.

Yes.  If the payment is made by July 15, all interest will be waived.  Also, if payment is made after July 15, any interest related to the period of April 15 to July 15 will be automatically waived.

No. The statute of limitations to amend is set in law and is not affected. Similarly, the statute of limitations for 2019 is unaffected by the July 15 waiver announcement. The statute of limitations for a 2019 return remains based off the later of the due date or date filed, which would be April 15, 2023 for the three-year statute of limitations.

PAID SICK, FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE/CARES ACT

An employer is required to pay not more than either:

  1. $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate for each employee, when the employee is taking leave because of one of the following:
    1. The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID–19; or
    2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19; or
    3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.

OR

  1. $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate for each employee, when the employee is taking leave because of one of the following:
    1. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in 1a or has been advised as described in 1b; or
    2. The employee is caring for a son or daughter if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions; or
    3. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

An employer's requirement to provide paid leave with respect to a specific employee expires at the end of:

  1. the time when the employer has paid that employee an equivalent of 80 hours of work; or
  2. upon the employee's return to work after taking paid leave.

Eligible employees for paid sick leave include:

  • an employee who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days when leave is requested;
  • an employee who was laid off not earlier than March 1, 2020, had worked for the employer for not less than 30 of the last 60 calendar days prior to the employee's layoff, and was rehired by the employer.

Visit the North Dakota COVID-19 Resources website ,https://ndresponse.gov/covid-19-resources

EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS/CARES ACT

The term covered individual means an individual who:

  1. Is not eligible for regular compensation or extended benefits under State or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation under section 2107, including an individual who has exhausted all rights to regular unemployment or extended benefits under State or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation under section 2107; and
  2. Provides self-certification that the individual is otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable State law, except the individual is unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of any of the following:
    • The individual has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experience symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
    • A member of the individual’s household has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • The individual is providing care for a family member or a member of the individual’s household who has been diagnosed with COVID-19;
    • A child or other person in the household for which the individual has primary caregiving responsibility is unable to attend school or another facility that is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work;
    • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because of a quarantine imposed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    • The individual is unable to reach the place of employment because the individual has been advised by a health care provided to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
    • The individual was scheduled to commence employment and does not have a job or is unable to reach the job as a direct result for the COVID-19 public health emergency;
    • The individual has become the breadwinner or major support for a household because the head of the household has died as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • The individual has to quit his or her job as a direct result of COVID-19;
    • The individual’s place of employment is closed as a direct result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; or
    • The individual meets any additional criteria for unemployment assistance.
  3. Is self-employed, seeking part-time employment, does not have sufficient work history, or otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment or extended benefits under State or Federal law or pandemic emergency unemployment compensation under section 2107 and meets the requirement of subclause (I); and
  4. Does not include an individual who has the ability to telework with pay or an individual who is receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits, regardless of whether the individual meets a qualification described in terms (i) through (k) above.

Unemployment assistance shall be available to a covered individual for weeks of unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work caused by COVID-19 beginning on or after January 27, 2020 and ending on or before December 31, 2020.

The total number of weeks a covered individual may receive assistance shall not exceed 39 weeks and such total shall include any week for which the covered individual received regular compensation or extended benefits under any Federal or State law.

The weekly benefit amount is the amount determined under State law plus an additional $600.

The payments will be paid through Job Service North Dakota.

CALCULATIONS OF AMOUNTS FOR CERTAIN COVERED INDIVIDUALS: In the case of a covered individual who is self-employed, who lives in a territory described in subsection (c) or (d) of section 625.6 of title 20 Code of Federal Regulations, or who would not otherwise qualify for unemployment compensation under State law, the assistance authorized under subsection (b) for a week of unemployment shall be calculated in accordance with section 625.6 of title 20, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor thereto, and shall be increased by the amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under section 2104.

Documentation must be provided in the following areas:

  1. SELF-EMPLOYED
    • An eligible self-employed individual seeking a covered loan shall submit payroll tax filings reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
  2. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
    • An independent contractor seeking a covered loan shall submit each Form 1099–MISC that contains reportable compensation.
  3. SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP
    • An individual who operates under a sole proprietorship shall submit each schedule filed or to be filed with a tax return that documents any income or expenses for the sole proprietorship.

Since UI payments will be through Job Service North Dakota, please contact them directly.

Careers Limit
5 (default)