COVID-19

Puerto Rico and the COVID-19 emergency

The COVID-19 crisis is a global emergency unprecedented in recent history and has touched every family, every business, and every government agency around the United States.

The United States Government and the Puerto Rico Government have responded forcefully to support those who fight COVID-19 at the front lines, and those who are affected by the emergency measures to prevent the spread of the virus. 

What's the purpose
of this website?

The Oversight Board wants to make sure these funds reach those who need the funds as soon as possible. This website is designed to provide a guide to the various resources available and to help those eligible for the legislated support to navigate the available programs.

The Oversight Board will continue to update this website with information and links as we learn more about the existing programs, and new programs may become available. Please visit this site regularly for the latest on the government response to this crisis.

What can you do to help Puerto Rico at this point, what can we all do to help?

Stay home and follow the Governor’s instructions, stay calm, stay in touch with family and friends through online video calls – and wash our hands.

The Oversight Board wishes all residents to stay healthy and safe.

Resources for Government Agencies
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Resources for Individuals
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Resources for Healthcare
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Resources for Businesses
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COVID - 19 Tracker

For the latest information on the COVID-19 virus see related Dashboards below.

PUERTO RICO Dept. of Health Dashboard

Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics Dashboard

V2A Covid-19 Dashboard

Emergency Funds: Resources Available and How to Access Them

COVID-19 brings immense uncertainty – about our health, the economy, and Government finances. At this moment, it is simply impossible to say how long the crisis might last, how much funding will be needed to help the people and businesses most affected, how long the economic decline will continue, and how it will recover.

Federal and Puerto Rico Government funds combined provide essential resources for individuals, families, businesses, nonprofits, and others in this difficult time.

President Donald J. Trump declared a National Emergency on March 13, making certain federal funding is available to reimburse eligible governmental expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 3, the Oversight Board made an initial $5 million of Emergency Reserve funds available to the Government of Puerto Rico to contain and mitigate COVID-19. 

Then on March 13, the Oversight Board made the full remaining $160 million (inclusive of the previous $5 million) of Emergency Reserve Funds available to respond to the pandemic.

On March 23, the Puerto Rico Government and the Oversight Board agreed to provide $787 million in unprecedented financial support (Emergency Measures Support Package) to those on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic and those most affected by the emergency measures that have resulted.

The most significant support comes from the multiple laws adopted by the Federal Government, including the $2 trillion CARES Act, which provides the deepest and broadest set of measures, of which Puerto Rico, its residents, businesses, and government, appears to be eligible for approximately $10 billion. 

Puerto Rico Government Agencies have access to funds

The safety of all residents of Puerto Rico is the top priority in this crisis.

Funds are available to the Government, municipalities and public corporations to enhance public safety, contain and mitigate the virus, and provide appropriate and needed support for all those fighting COVID-19 on the front line or are affected by the emergency measures to combat COVID-19.

The available $160 million in the Emergency Reserve Fund provides funding for public entities and agencies specifically related to the mitigation and containment of COVID-19.  Eligible costs expended from the Emergency Reserve Fund may be reimbursed by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a result of the Presidential National Emergency Declaration. – Read more

  • Government agencies, instrumentalities, public corporations, and any other entities under the executive branch of the Commonwealth have access to the Emergency Reserve Fund through the Office of Management and Budget’s (OGP) Special Memorandum ME-005-2020, Procedimiento para Compras de Emergencia COVID-19.
  • For more information and updates, visit the Office of Management and Budget website or download the report for the use of funds.

$100 million for municipalities, providing support for lost revenues over the next two months as a result of the emergency measures implemented to fight COVID-19. Amounts were allocated amongst municipalities based on a 3-tier population division.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Access the latest report on the funds allocated to each municipality here.

  • Public Safety Investments: $20 million for equipment and capital expenditures. These funds are under custody of the Dept. of Public Safety.
  • UPR Research and Development: $1.7 million to fund COVID-19 related research and development in the Medical Sciences Department.
  • HTA: Up to $6 million as needed to restore lost revenues resulting from the moratorium on tolls.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

On April 22, the Government of Puerto Rico announced that they had received $2.2 billion in direct aid provided by the CARES Act for the territories, for necessary COVID-19 related expenditures and costs not previously budgeted for. – Read more 

The CARES Act provides that payments from the Fund may only be used to cover costs that are: 

  1. Necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19). 
  2. Expenditures that were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 (the date of enactment of the CARES Act) for the State or government. 
  3. Expenditures that were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020. 

→ See the guidelines here. 

→ Access the frequently asked questions here.

HUD is making available to Puerto Rico approximately $52 million additional through its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program. – Read more

  • These funds will be distributed to municipalities to establish medical facilities for testing and treatment; to build more emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families; and to provide assistance for housing, nutrition, and medical care for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS and their household members, among other approved uses.

The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Financing Program (CESF) will provide funds to help states, local government units and law enforcement officers become eligible to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the Coronavirus emergency. Puerto Rico is set to receive for this program an allocation of about $8,823,415. – Read more

  • However, these assists are not automatically granted. Puerto Rico and any other eligible jurisdiction must submit an application to receive their assignment.

Allowed projects and purchases include:

  • Extra hours and equipment;
  • Medical personal protection and contracting team; and
  • Supplies: gloves, masks, disinfectants, training, travel expenses and attention to the medical needs of inmates in state, local prisons, jails and detention centers. 

More information: 

  • FAQ available at the Bureau of Justice Assistance here

It is important that we provide maximum support to both our public safety officers and their family members during this emergency. Recently, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) issued guidance to establish eligibility for a first responders’ death or disability due to COVID-19 under DOJ’s Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB). – Read more 

This program provides:

  • Death benefits to the eligible survivors of federal, state, territorial, and local law enforcement officers, firefighters, employees of emergency management agencies, and members of emergency medical services agencies who are fatally injured in the line of duty;
  • Education benefits to the eligible spouses and children of fallen and catastrophically injured officers; and
  • It similarly provides disability benefits to public safety officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

How to apply: 

  • Applications may be filled here
  • For questions regarding the PSOB Program or filing a claim, visit PSOB’s online portal at www.psob.gov, or email the PSOB Director at AskPSOB@usdoj.gov.

Under current PSOB regulations, conditions caused by infectious diseases, viruses, and bacteria may be found to be an injury sustained in the line of duty. In its recently released guidance, BJA clarified that for the purposes of PSOB eligibility for COVID-19, it will find that evidence shows the virus was contracted in the line of duty when:

  • The officer had engaged in a line of duty activity under circumstances that indicate that it was medically possible that the officer was exposed to COVID19; and when
  • The officer contracted COVID-19 within a time frame after this exposure in which it was medically possible to contract the disease.

The absence of evidence showing a different cause of death, BJA has indicated that it will generally find that the evidence shows a public safety officer who died while suffering from COVID-19 died as the direct and proximate result of COVID-19.

Individuals

COVID-19 left many individuals, families, and businesses vulnerable to economic hardship.

Support is available for those fighting the virus at the front lines, and those financially affected by the pandemic.

Access to the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources website for the latest updates regarding the COVID-19 crisis.

Key Documents:

The program application is now online in order to expedite applications and provide food support during the emergency. 

  • Application: On the website here

$100 million available for $500 one-time direct payments for approximately 200,000 self-employed individuals.

  • This incentive will apply only to those individuals who carry out a business on their own and are registered with SURI as merchants, with their Merchant Registration Certificate valid as of March 15, 2020. Learn more about eligibility and documentation needed here. 
  • Funds under custody the of the PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)

How to apply: 

  • Application: If you are self-employed, meet eligibility requirements, and have an account in SURI, apply here.
  • End date: The program available through May 1, 2020. 

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Key employees from the Department of Public Safety will receive one-time bonuses: 

  • EMS personnel: 581 frontline personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Police officers: 11,650 front office personnel receive a $4,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Firefighters: 1,455 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
  • Emergency Management: 112 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • 9-1-1: 154 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Special Investigations Unit: 74 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Forensics: 220 front office personnel receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Department of Public Safety.
  • Municipal police: 3,428 officers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Department of Treasury (Hacienda).
  • Municipal firefighters: 50 officers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Department of Treasury (Hacienda).

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Other key frontline employees will receive one-time bonuses: 

  • Court staff on duty: 400 officers receive a $2,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of Courts.
  • Internal revenue agents on duty: 250 agents receive a $2,000 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda).
  • Corrections officers: 4,809 front line staffers receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Correctional health officers: 143 (non-nurses) receive a $3,500 one-time cash payment.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Approximately $1.9 million remains available on an as-needed basis to cover any deficiency in the distribution of the first responder and healthcare agency cash incentives.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

As part of the CARES Act, weekly unemployment benefits will be increased by an additional $600 to all unemployment insurance recipients for up to 4 months. – Apply for unemployment on the PR Dept. of Labor and Human Resources website 

  • The duration of benefits will be extended for an additional 13 weeks above the current 26-week limit.
  • Workers must provide self-certification that they are fully or partially unemployed and that they are unable to work due to COVID-19 (including if they had to leave their job due to COVID-19 or to care for someone with COVID-19)
  • If already on unemployment, individuals will see their coverage expanded by 13 weeks and increased by $600 per week under the CARES Act.
  • Individuals who exhausted employment benefits will be able to receive expanded coverage (13 weeks / $600) if they meet the eligibility criteria.  
  • It also provides federal incentives for states to eliminate wait times so workers can receive benefits immediately.
  • This is a joint state-federal program, so Puerto Rico will determine the guidelines as long as they are consistent with the CARES Act.
  • The Puerto Rican Department of Labor and Human Resources is expecting federal guidelines for implementation, and applications can be submitted online at www.trabajo.pr.gov.

U.S. citizens and residents with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for the head of household and $150,000 married) receive a $1,200 one-time cash payment and an additional $500 per child ($2,400 per couple). – Read more

  • The economic impact payment will reduce to zero on a sliding scale for individuals who make between $75,000 and 99,000 (and couples making between $150,000 and $198,000).
  • Those making more than the top threshold will not receive payment.

More information: 

  • Access the Puerto Rico’s Dept. of Treasury website for the Economic Impact Payment.
  • The Oversight Board approved on April 7 an advance of $400 million to speed distribution of these payments once an agreement is reached between U.S. and Puerto Rico Treasury Departments. 
  • The Puerto Rico Dept. of Treasury started disbursing funds on May 5 for 2019 taxpayers who filed their 2019 tax return. 
  • In the first week of May, the Puerto Rico Dept. of Treasury will enable a link defined as the “Payment Economic Impact CARES Act” through the Unified Internal Revenue System (SURI), for taxpayers who filed the 2019 return and did not register their bank accounts. 

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provides increased Unemployment Compensation benefits. – Read more

  • The FPUC provides an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), among others programs.
  • The cost of these additional $600 payments to eligible individuals each week is 100% federally funded.

Start date: Benefit retroactive to April 4 until July 31

Temporary Full Federal Funding provides full federal funding of the first week of compensable regular unemployment for states with no waiting week. – Read more

  • States that provide compensation to individuals for their first week of unemployment (i.e., states which do not require a waiting week) and that enter into an agreement with the Department will receive 100 percent federal funding for the total amount of regular UC paid to individuals for their first week of regular UC. 
  • Guidance has not yet been issued by DOL. All states should wait for mandatory guidance.

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides up to 13 weeks of Unemployment Compensation (UC)benefits. – Read more

This program covers:

  • Individuals who have exhausted regular UC under state or federal law. 
  • Individuals who have no rights to regular UC under any other state or federal law; and are receiving UC under Canadian law. 
  • Individuals who are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides up to 39 weeks of benefits and will cover individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for regular Unemployment Compensation (UC). Claimants will receive benefits from $66 to $190. – Read more

  • Start date: Last week of April 2020
    • Benefit can be retroactive to as early as February 2, 2020 and is available for up to 39 weeks after the start of the benefit. 

How to apply: 

  • Fill the application here
  • Download forms here

More information:

  • Read the FAQ by the The Puerto Rico Dept. of Labor and Human Resources here

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

  • Certain employers must cover 2 weeks (80 hours) sick leave coverage for qualifying reasons.
  • Up to 12 weeks (at 2/3rd rate) if caring for a child whose place of care is closed due to COVID-19. 

More information: 

  • See the IRS’s FAQ here and learn more here.
  • Download the Factsheet – Employees Rights
  • Key dates: These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020.

Healthcare Sector

We applaud and support those risking their lives to keep all of us safe and healthy.

Doctors, nurses, technicians, Emergency Management Service (EMS) personnel are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. The Government provides funds for them and for public hospitals to restock medical supplies and invest in equipment.

  • Public Sector Nurses: $4,000 one-time cash payment for 5,508 public sector nurses.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health
  • Private Sector Nurses: $3,000 one-time cash payment for 24,460 private sector nurses.
    • Funds under the custody of PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)
  • Professional Service Nurses: $3,500 one-time cash payment for 6,460 professional service nurses
    • Funds under the custody of PR Dept. of Treasury (Hacienda)
  • Nurses in Correctional Facilities: $4,000 one-time cash payment for 272 nurses in correctional facilities
    • Funds under the custody of Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
  • Technicians: $2,500 one-time cash payment for 600 health care technicians.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health
  • Healthcare Professionals: $1,000 one-time cash payment for 4,500 public sector pharmacists, medical technologists, and resident MDs.
    • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

Public hospitals will receive $30 million for necessary medical supplies not directly related to COVID-19 (materials related to COVID-19 are covered under the $160 Emergency Reserve and available federal funding).

  • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Health and the Office of Management and Budget.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

On March 20, 2020, the Governor signed Joint Resolution 19-2020, which authorizes physicians that are authorized to practice medicine in PR, to use telemedicine, medical consultations by telephone, or by any other authorized method to evaluate their patients.

  • They are authorized to send a prescription, referral, or medical order by photograph or any other electronic method, and the service provider that receives it has to accept it.  
  • Health insurance companies are obligated to pay for the services provided electronically or by telephone as it was a face to face consultation and for any medical test or treatment for COVID-19.

The Federal Government is providing $30 billion, the first part of the legislated $100 billion from the CARES Act, in grants to health providers based on their Medicare revenue. – Read more

  • The Oversight Board has written to the U.S. Secretary of Health concerning how the definition of Medicare revenue would affect Puerto Rico, and to the Puerto Rico Hospital Association on April 3 regarding some of the HHS Grant Opportunities. 
  • All facilities and providers that received Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) reimbursements in 2019 are eligible for this initial rapid distribution.
  • Providers will be distributed a portion of the initial $30 billion based on their share of total Medicare FFS reimbursements in 2019.
What to do if you are an elegible provider: 
 
  • HHS has partnered with UnitedHealth Group (UHG) to provide rapid payment to providers eligible for the distribution of the initial $30 billion in funds.
  • Providers will be paid via Automated Clearing House account information on file with UHG or the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
  • Providers who normally receive a paper check for reimbursement from CMS will receive a paper check in the mail for this payment as well, within the next few weeks.
  • Providers who have been allocated a payment must sign an attestation confirming receipt of the funds and agree to the terms and conditions within 30 days of payment. The site is open to all providers, regardless of network affiliation or payer contract. 

Health centers in Puerto Rico and across the United States can receive monetary awards after the Health Resources and Health Administration (HRSA) announced the release of $100 million in the fiscal year 2020 COVID-19 that was provided by the CARES Act.  

  • $18 million will be awarded to Health Centers in Puerto Rico. – See the amount granted by center.
  • Health centers can receive around $50,000 to $300,000 using a formula that tabulates the amount of uninsured and insured patients as well as a base value of $50,464. The health centers will be receiving an average of $70,000, according to HRSA. 
  • The assistance is being provided to account for COVID-19 prevention, preparedness, and response-related activities. These COVID-19 awards, for this reason, were issued separately from a health care operational grant award. 
  • HRSA will make these funds immediately available to expedite their distribution. The agency will proceed to collect budget and activities that are supported by the funding.
  • The CARES Act provides $200 million in funding for telecommunication and information services necessary to enable the provision of Telehealth services. – Read more
  • The CARES Act expands the Medicare Hospital Accelerated Payment Program to provide funding advances for acute care hospitals, and Puerto Rico hospitals with demonstrated cash flow problems. – Read more 
  • Puerto Rico is eligible for a funding allocation as part of the $1.5 billion in the CARES Act to support testing, procure supplies, and execute local response needs related to COVID-19. – Read more
  • See the link for the latest allocations regarding the $100 billion in the CARES Act destined to healthcare and how they are being distributed. – Read more

Businesses and Non-Profits

Many businesses have been affected by the emergency measures required as a result of the pandemic.

Support is available for those affected to maintain employment, pay rent, utilities, and other expenses in this difficult time. We encourage eligible entities to apply as soon as possible to mitigate the financial damage done by the pandemic. 

$60 million is available for one-time $1,500 direct payments to approximately 40,000 small businesses whose incomes have been affected by the disruption of their work and income.

  • More information here.
  • Funds under the custody of the Dept. of Economic Development and Commerce. 

How to apply: 

  • Application: Apply on the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) website.
  • End date: Program available until May 1, 2020.

Access the latest report on the distribution of funds here.

The Puerto Rico Government, through the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, announced the availability of $8 million, provided by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a federally funded program, to reimburse certain expenses of up to 160 employers. – Read more

How to apply:

  • Who can apply: Business owners with less than 500 employees or self-employed individuals that can demonstrate that the extraordinary expenses incurred to maintain its operation or to resume it could result in the loss of its human capital. They must not have any outstanding debt with the Govt. of Puerto Rico.
  • Application: The application is available here, or you can communicate via email at layoffaversion@ddec.pr.gov.
  • Start Date: April 13 , 2020. 
  • End Date: June 15, 2020. 

Small Business can also apply to the Small Business Financing (SBF) Program, which is financed with funds allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. – Read more

  • Recovery Grants: The purpose of recovery grants that the Small Business Financing Program offers is to help micro and small businesses restart their operations and invest in growth opportunities through grant awards for working capital and mobile equipment.
  • Recovery Loans and Expansion: If any funds are assigned, the Recovery Loans and Expansion offer would include two options: Option A, a line of credit for working capital; and Option B, term loans for larger projects.

How to apply:

  • Application: Fill out the application on their website here.

Learn more here about SBA funding options, loans, and guidance for businesses.

The CARES Act provides $10 billion for the SBA to provide economic injury disaster loans until December 31, 2020. Small businesses are eligible for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

  • These loan advances are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period, will be available within a few days an application is made, and applicants are not required to repay the advance even if the EIDL loan is denied.The ultimate need for repayment of the EIDL is partially determined by ability to repay the loan.
  • The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses (less than 500 employees) with working capital loans to help overcome the temporary loss of revenues of up to $2 million to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.

How to apply: 

  • Where can I apply: Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
  • End date: Program available through September 30, 2020.

More information: 

  • Download the factsheet here for more information or visit the SBA’s website for additional information and resources.

The SBA Express Loans Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. The bridge loan will be repaid from the proceeds of an EIDL loan. – Read more 

  • Under the CARES Act, the SBA increased the maximum SBA Express loan fund from $350,000 to $1 million.

More information: 

  • Download the factsheet on the EBL Pilot Program here

The CARES Act provides $17 billion in immediate relief to cover 6 months of payments of loan payments on existing SBA 7(a) loans, Certified Development Company loans, and micro loans.  – Read more

  • The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and micro loans for six months, commencing on payments after March 27, 2020
  • The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and micro loans issued before September 27, 2020.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities during the COVID-19 crisis. – Read more 

  • Small businesses and non-profit organizations, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors with 500 or fewer employees are eligible for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

How to apply: 

  • Where can I apply: You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit the website for a list of SBA lenders. You can also download the application form here.
  • Start Date: Program starts on April 3, 2020 for small businesses and sole proprietorships and starts on April 10, 2020 for independent contractors and self-employed individuals. Due to the approval of a second phase of funding, the program resumed on April 27. 
  • End date: Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

More information: 

  • Learn more about the Program by downloading the borrower factsheet, lender factsheet, or the one pager for a brief overview.
  • Other key documents for assistance here.

Updates: 

  • On the first PPP round, PR received 2,856 loans totaling $658,573,638.
  • After funds got exhausted for this program, Congress approved the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020 allocating an additional $310 billion for the PPP. 
  • On the second PPP round, PR so far has received 19,691 loans totaling $987,677,005 up to May 1, 2020.  

The Employee Retention Tax Credit is refundable tax credit of 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit applies to qualified wages paid between March 12, 2020, and January 1, 2021. – Read more.

How to apply:

  • Who can apply: Eligible employers for the purposes of the Employee Retention Credit are those that carry on a trade or business during calendar year 2020, including a tax-exempt organization, that either:
    • Fully or partially suspends operation during any calendar quarter in 2020 due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (for commercial, social, religious, or other purposes) due to COVID-19; or
    • Experiences a significant decline in gross receipts during the calendar quarter.
    • If a business obtains a loan through the $349b SBA Paycheck Protection Program, they will be ineligible to receive this credit.
  • Application: Because this credit can apply to wages already paid after March 12, 2020, many struggling employers can get access to this credit by reducing upcoming deposits or requesting an advance credit on Form 7200, Advance of Employer Credits Due To COVID-19.

More information: 

  • Visit the FAQ for more information here. 

Mid-size and larger business, and municipalities may have access to loans and loan-guarantees from the $500 billion Economic Stabilization Fund.

Allows employers and self-employed individuals to delay the payment of the employer share of the 2020 social security tax (6.2%) with 50 percent of the 2020 liability due in 2021 and 50 percent due in 2022.  – Read more

  • US Treasury – Assistance for Small Businesses – Read more
  • Municipality of Caguas: Business Incentives ProgramRead more
  • Resources for Nonprofits During COVID-19 Emergency: Hispanic Federation – Read more

Education

Closing Schools and Universities as a result of responsible social distancing does not need to mean a stop to learning.

Support is available for schools and students to continue learning and to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on students. 

$240 million for the Puerto Rico Department of Education to support and enable online learning when schools are closed, to buy tablets for every student and teacher, and provide teachers and students with software and training

  • The U.S. Department of Education will pay materials to a total of $130.6 million for 159,330. 
  • The remaining materials for 165,670 individuals will be paid from Puerto Rico General funds, unless later reimbursable with Federal funds.

The UPR will be receiving $81.1 million in order to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and personnel. 50% of these funds were assigned to the students. – Read more

To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows them to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments. – Read more

  • Payments will be automatically suspended between March 13, 2020 until September 30, 2020 however you can still make payments if you choose.
  • Interest is stopped.
  • Access the StudentAid.Gov FAQ for more information. 
  • Pell Grants: The act allows students to keep their Pell Grants. Any semester not completed due to COVID-19 will be excluded from a student’s Federal Pell Grant duration limit. For students who dropped out of school as a result of COVID-19 it will exclude the term from counting toward lifetime Pell eligibility.
  • Institutional Waivers: Waives the institutional requirement for the amount of grant or loan assistance to be returned under such section if a recipient of assistance withdraws from the institution of higher education during the payment period or period of enrollment as a result of a qualifying emergency.
  • Study and Work Programs: It allows higher institutions to continue paying students for the federal Work-Study program for up to one year if the student’s employer or the college or university campus closes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Academic Testing: Institutions have flexibility to waive federal academic tests and liability rules.
  • Employer Provided Education: Allows employers to pay qualified education loans up to $5,250 on a tax free basis until 1 January, 2021. – Read more

More information: 

  • Visit the U.S. Dept. of Education’s website for more information on the available resources. 
  • Supplemental Appropriations: Puerto Rico is eligible to access the $13.5 billion for K-12 education; $14 billion for higher education (this includes $62 million for HBCU Capital Financing Program). 
  • Education Stabilization Fund: Puerto Rico is eligible for flexible funding for elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education, students, teachers, and families with immediate needs related to coronavirus, including:
    • Elementary and Secondary Education: $12 billion in formula funding to help schools respond to coronavirus and related school closures.
    • Higher education: $6 billion in funding to both directly support students facing urgent needs related to coronavirus, and to support institutions as they cope with the immediate effects of coronavirus and school closures (including “significant changes to the delivery of instruction”). This includes formula funding to all institutions of higher education and targeted funding for those with the greatest need and minority-serving institutions, including HBCUs ($62 million for HBCU Capital Financing Program. Current borrowers are not required to pay principal installments or interest for 180 days).
  • State Flexibility Funding: Puerto Rico is eligible to access the $3 billion in flexible funding to be allocated by states based on the needs of elementary and schools and institutions of higher education in their state. 

Federal Legislation for which , its residents, businesses and not for profits are elegible

Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Approp. Act (H.R.6074), Enacted March 6.

  • Research and Development: $3.1 billion available for domestic and international research and development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics
  • Prevention and Preparedness: Prevention, preparedness, and response, of which $950 m goes to state and local health dept. (incl. Puerto Rico)
  • Supplies & Pharma: Pharmaceuticals and medical supplies, healthcare preparedness and Community Health Centers ($100 million carve-out for grants)
  • Global Response: Evacuating Diplomates and improving global health ($264 million carve-out for diplomatic programs)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), Enacted March 18.

  • Free testing: Guarantees free coronavirus testing
  • FMLA, Sick Leave and Employer tax credits: Establishes paid sick leave, enhances unemployment insurance, expands eligibility
  • Increased FMAP: Federal FMAP rate increased by 6.2% until end of disaster declaration, although contingent on metrics
  • Health and Nutrition: $100 million Nutrition assistance for territories until Sept. 2021

CARES Act (H.R.748), Enacted March 27.

  • Payment and employment Assistance
    • $349 billion for the Payment Protection Program, SBA loans up to $10 million
    • Additional funding being considered in additional phases
  • Financial assistance to individuals, families and businesses
    • $1.2k for individuals making less than $75k with phase-out up to $198k. $500 per eligible child.
    • Additional 13-weeks of unemployment beyond state limit
    • Additional unemployment benefit of $600/week; up to 4 months
    • Extension of unemployment to sole props and gig workers
    • Support to states and business that furlough vs. layoff
  • Distressed sector assistance
    • $500 billion for economic stabilization
    • Includes $46 billion for passenger airlines, commercial airlines and businesses related to national security
    • Remaining for all other businesses subject to application, also open to State and Local Governments
  • Healthcare support funds and Education
    • $100 billion for hospitals
    • Healthcare and social services administered through the CDC
    • Education and loan support, Puerto Rico could receive an estimate of $720 million
    • Advanced tax credits for employers
    • HHS and Public Health
  • State and local government (General Relief Funds)
    • 150 billion total appropriation for state and local. Puerto Rico is expected to get $2.2 billion

The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, Enacted on April 24

  • $310 billion increase for PPP
    • Increases overall PPP funding to $659 billion, with specific appropriations to ensure smaller entities have access
      • $30 billion for banks and credit unions with $10b – $50b in assets
      • $30 billion for banks and credit unions with less than $10b in assets
      • $2.1 billion to cover Small Business Administration (SBA) salaries and expenses associated with the expansion of PPP
  • $10 billion increase for EIDL 
    • EIDL eligibility has been expanded to include the agricultural sector and small businesses with less than 500 employees
  • $75 billion increase for hospitals
    • This is in addition to the $100 billion allocated in the CARES act
  • $50 billion for Disaster Loans Program Account
    • $50 billion to expand the SBA loan program used when private insurance and FEMA do not fully cover disaster assistance needed
  • $25 billion for rapid COVID-19 testing and vaccine  
    • New funding dedicated to COVID-19 point of care rapid testing
    • R&D for rapid test methods, nationwide vaccine deployment and expedited approvals of new COVID-19 vaccines and testing  
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Emergency Fund:
Spending Monitoring

Fiscal responsibility depends on transparency. Taxpayer money needs to be spent responsibly. That is what the Puerto Rico Government owes the people. The Oversight Board will be monitoring the use of these funds carefully and provide public updates of how the Emergency Reserve Fund and the funds allocated to the Emergency Measures Support Package are being distributed.

  • Emergency Reserve Fund: The Emergency Reserve Fund gives access to $160 million for public education, supplies, equipment and cost-share needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic were spent.
  • Emergency Measures Package: The Oversight Board granted urgent budgetary support for Puerto Rico for an Emergency Measures Support Package amounting to $787 million. This significant budgetary allocation is designed to enable the Government to respond to the difficulties arising from the Emergency Measures instituted to contain and mitigate COVID-19.

Download the report of the use of funds

Download the report of the use of funds

Puerto Rico Government
Emergency Measures

The Puerto Rico Government and the Oversight Board agreed to provide about $1 billion in unprecedented financial support in response to COVID-19.
The Oversight Board will be monitoring the use of these funds carefully.

The Oversight Board has also been supporting the Government to ensure that Puerto Rico will receive its fair share of funds from the Federal Government’s emergency programs.

The Oversight Board will continue to work closely with the Governor, the Legislature, and the private sector to mitigate the crisis to the extent possible, and to provide appropriate and needed support for those affected by COVID-19, those fighting the virus at the frontlines, and those affected by the Government’s response to the emergency. See below the measures by the Oversight Board.

See the other measures taken by the Oversight Board:

  • March 13 – The Oversight Board authorized the use of the remaining $160 million Emergency Reserve Fund balance for preparedness and response. These funds, from the FY19 and FY20, are to be used as needed by the Government of PR through April 15. This Emergency Reserve fund was in the Certified Fiscal Plan and is funded with $130M annually, and between FY19 and FY20, the Oversight Board set aside $260M in reserves; $100M was used to respond to the recent earthquakes. – Read More
  • March 16 – Letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Department regarding the administrative Determination 20-04. – Read more
  • March 17 – FOMB agreed to provide the Government with an extension to the submission of the revised updated CW Fiscal Plan. – Read More
  • March 18 – The Puerto Rico sales tax (SUT) at the ports and within the supply chain was suspended for three months. The penalties for non-compliance with the twice-monthly SUT reporting and remittance and missed payments on estimated income tax bills were waived for two months. – Read More
  • March 21 – The Oversight Board asked the U.S District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to suspend the restructuring processes for the Commonwealth’s Plan of Adjustment. – Read more
  • March 23 – The Oversight Board authorized an additional $787 million to help with the COVID-19 emergency. The Emergency Measures Support Package is funded with $500 million from the Commonwealth fiscal year 2020 surplus as a special appropriation, $157 million as a reapportionment within the current fiscal year 2020 Commonwealth General Fund budget, and $131 million from Federal funds. – Read more
  • March 25 – Letter to the Puerto Rico Government regarding the budget process needed for t $787M Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • March 25 – The deadline to file income taxes was extended to July 15 and the 10% withholding tax on professional services was suspended for three months. – Read more
  • March 26 – Letter regarding a proposed compliant budget for the Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • March 26 – The Oversight Board asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to suspend the restructuring of debt for the PREPA Restructuring Support Agreement. – Read more
  • March 28 – Letter regarding the compliance certification for the FY2020 Emergency Measures Support Package Compliant Budget. – Read More
  • March 29 – The FOMB welcomes the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and the Puerto Rico Senate, passing the Emergency Measures Support Package that provides funding for those most affected by the COVID-19 emergency measures. – Read more
  • March 30 – The Oversight Board urged the Puerto Rico Department of Education to create and implement a plan to provide student meals. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter responding to the UPR’s request of expanding the scope of services for the Training and Seminar Program provided to the Department of Education as included on the Certified Fiscal Plan and Budget for FY19 and FY20. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter regarding the response to the Emergency Measures Support Package reapportionment request for $157M for health initiatives for the COVID19 emergency as submitted by the OMB. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter concerning the release and use of 2.5% of withholdings from the Budgetary Reserve FY20. – Read more
  • March 30 – Letter urging the PRDE to create and implement a plan to provide student meals while ensuring proper safety controls, following the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. – Read more
  • April 1 – Letter regarding a 30-day automatic extension for the use of the Emergency Reserve Funds due to the COVID19 crisis. – Read more
  • April 2 – Letter requesting the Government of PR to provide weekly reports on the uses and disbursements of the Emergency Measures Support Package. – Read more
  • April 3 – Letter from the FOMB to the Puerto Rico Hospital Association regarding an HHS grant opportunity. – Read more
  • April 5 – Letter regarding PRDE’s implementation of the nutritional assistance program allowed by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. – Read more
  • April 5 – The Oversight Board provided a 30-Day Automatic Extension for the usage of Emergency Reserve Funds in connection with COVID-19. – Read more
  • April 6 – Letter regarding the contract review of the $40M rapid testing kits for the COVID19. – Read more
  • April 6 – The Oversight Board approved the request by the Government for a cash advance of up to $400 million to expedite the distribution of the transfers by using Commonwealth funds until the federal funds arrive. – Read more
  • April 9 – Letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to consider including Medicare Advantage revenues in the definition of Medicare revenue about the allocation of CARES Act funding to the healthcare sector. – Read more
  • April 9 – The Oversight Board sent a letter to the Executive Director of the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority related to the $40M COVID-19 test contracts, clarifying that the Contract Review Policy applies to any contract or agreement, including purchase orders. – Read more
  • April 9 – Letter to the Govt. of Puerto Rico recommending avoiding measures such as the R.C. 675, which would force employers in the private sector to pay their employees time and a half, as it would have a significant impact on private sector companies. – Read more
  • April 14 – The Oversight Board certified the Action Plan for the use of federal funds assigned by the Federal Department of Housing, detailing the use of funds for the Block Grant for Community Development in Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). – Read more
  • April 16 – The Oversight Board launched a comprehensive web page with details on the COVID-19 emergency, which includes all programs implemented by the U.S. and Puerto Rico Governments, as well as guidelines on how to access the funds. – Read more
  • April 18 – Letter to the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury approving the temporary exemption of prepared food from the sales tax until May 3. – Read more
  • April 23 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico regarding the reopening of the economy. It is critical to do so slowly and gradually so that the health and safety of the people of Puerto Rico are not compromised. – Read more
  • April 24 – Letter to the Governor of Puerto Rico providing short-, medium-, and long-term alternatives to ensure proper nutritional services to all students in the Puerto Rico education system. – Read more
  • April 26 Letter to the Government of Puerto Rico with recommendations on how to invest the $2.2 billion from the federal CARES Act, including testing and tracing, and areas most impacted by the measures that were taken to protect Puerto Rico from the spread of COVID-19, particularly our education system, and those who lost jobs or who lost business. – Read more

  • April 26 – Letter to the Department of Education requesting a work plan after the agency received nearly $349 million for primary and secondary education, and $3 million for higher education, and other funds. – Read more