Congresswoman Dingell handles your COVID questions

Posted on 04/21/20 by Mark Hornbeck

Need a mask to protect yourself from coronavirus? Having trouble with your application for unemployment benefits? Need help with your small business loan? Need assistance tracking your federal stimulus check?

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, fielded these and a host of other questions during an hour-long telephone town hall hosted by AARP Michigan on Tuesday.

Her response to most of the queries: call my office.

“My staff is the greatest in the world. They can try to navigate the bureaucracy and get answers for you,” Dingell said, during the teletown hall attended by hundreds of people from her district.

Among the questions from those on the line:

When will I get my stimulus check?

Go to the IRS website at IRS.gov and click on “Get My Payment,” she said. “The IRS is trying to push these payments out as fast as possible.”

How much are we spending to find a vaccine?

“Every major country in the world is working on a vaccine,” Dingell said. “The greatest minds in the world are focused on trying to find an answer. Money is not the problem right now.”

She added that more spending will be required when the vaccine is found and it will be necessary to ramp up production so “it is available to everyone in the world.”

Will there be more funding for those who applied for economic disaster loans for their small business, but did not receive relief before the money ran out?

“We’re trying to get more money for small business loans,” she said.

If we filed our income taxes jointly, does that affect the amount of our stimulus check?

Yes it does, Dingell said, adding that it’s difficult to address every question about the payments with specificity because each individual’s situation is different.

Why are we not stopping people from going into grocery stores without wearing a mask and gloves?

Dingell said she and Congressman Fred Upton were recently talking about the possibility of making that a requirement. But for now the best answer may be having your groceries delivered. Who should you call?

Call Dingell’s office, they can help. For the record, her office numbers are: Dearborn office—313-278-2936; Ypsilanti office – 734-481-1100; Washington, D.C. office – 202-225-4071.

Also visit aarp.org/coronavirus for more information and updates and https://states.aarp.org/michigan/health-food-help-coronavirus-covid-19-michigan on this web site for state and local information.

"It's a very stressful time," Dingell said. "But a lot of people care, and there are a lot of resources out there to help you."

This story is provided by AARP Michigan. Visit the AARP Michigan page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

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