UNPACKING COVID-19 RELIEF
NYSSMMT Board of Directors understands NY LMTs of all phases of employment are concerned about connecting to federal and state sources of sustainability. This page will be updated to simplify those resources. NYSSMMT members-only programs will be communicated by email or become a NYSSMMT member today for only $93 to take advantage of additional support. Below is our best attempt to highlight all three recently passed legislation as a fourth relief package is about to be drafted.
Q: Is it true or false that I can file for unemployment insurance even though I'm 1099 or self employed? UPDATED 3.31.2020
TRUE. Yes, In an unprecedented move by Congress, legislation was passed to include 1099/self-employed/sole proprietorship so go file for unemployment in the state you reside to see if you qualify. Visit these two links:
Q: Will I need my taxes to apply? Which tax year?
It's likely that any COVID-19 relief or support programs are going to require your 2018 or 2019 taxes so make sure you are not delinquent on 2018 taxes. For some federal programs, there may be advantages in having 2019 taxes completed with direct deposit to timely expedition the relief. Check with your accountant as your first start to securing any COVID-19 relief since IRS extended the tax deadline to July 15 AND eased many rules, especially on payments in progress. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
Q: What is the "Paycheck Protection Program"? Is it for sole proprietorship and/or small businesses?
Under the Small Business Administration (SBA), The Paycheck Protection Program is for sole proprietorships and for small business to keep employees on payroll. There is protection for small business contractors and debt relief for small businesses. A great FAQ article from the US Chamber of Commerce is a must read .
Q: Is there anything else from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for disrupted small businesses?
The SBA has various loan programs for small businesses, nonprofits and individuals through its 7(a) loan program. Programs for loan forgiveness and disaster loans can be researched on this page.
Q: What are other relief options should I be aware of?
Whether you are a business or individual, work with your Accountant and Financial Adviser to understand the pending one-time tax rebate, the rules being relaxed by the IRS on filing, payments and retirement. Check the IRS page to prepare for your conversation with your Accountant and Financial Advisor, https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
For additional information, here is a great COVID-19 Relief FAQ Article by the NY Times
Check back on this page for general COVID-19 relief information. Again, Become a NYSSMMT member today for only $93 to take advantage of additional support.
NOTE: The below communication was posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. To keep current with developing events, updates will be provided throughout the communication.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Dear NYSSMMT Members and all NY LMTs,
Today’s communication is an update from yesterday’s membership video chat meeting. This letter will also address other concerns impacting the membership and the greater New York State Massage Therapy profession in leadership, guidance, treatment, continuing education and financial relief. COVID-19 remains a fluid situation, so please stay abreast with NYSSMMT to receive comprehension on what is applicable to a New York Licensed Massage Therapist.
GUIDANCE “Who is leading us?”
This continues to require clarification. First, let us remember our basic training. In the state of New York, massage therapy and its therapists - whether you work in a spa, salon, medical or private setting - massage therapists are licensed healthcare/professionals. Licensed healthcare professionals are subject to all healthcare laws of local municipalities, state and federal laws. Your guidance through COVID-19 is primarily from those government agencies, not a massage organization. Starting with the New York State Office of Professions (NYSOP), click here for their page on COVID-19 for licensed healthcare workers. It is the responsibility of every licensed healthcare professional to know the laws.
“So what is a massage membership good for?" Since 1927, NYSSMMT is a not-for-profit corporation designated as a 501(c) 6 professional association subject to non-profit and not-for-profit corporation laws. That IRS designation means we advance the massage therapy profession in various ways- primarily supporting the career of our members. We are not unions and we are not social clubs. When health is the main agenda or on the frontline as we are currently experiencing, NYSSMMT brings leadership through one voice to align all stakeholders in massage therapy. Membership in NYSSMMT is vital to ensure understanding of the government compliances to the massage therapist and bring understanding of the needs of massage therapists to the government agencies.
TO TREAT OR NOT TO TREAT? “Social distancing vs. needing income?” Update: 3.20.20 4 :00 pm Non-Essential workers, including NY LMTs to stay home and no in-home treatments
The Center for Disease Control and government leaders are guiding the nation to practice social distancing. That is not possible for those who are licensed healthcare professionals who are essential at this time.
All massage associations cannot tell a NY LMT to cease or continue treating patients/clients. That is an individual choice. However, we can give you factual information from the government agencies for you to formulate your decision. At the time of this writing, there is no New York State law preventing ALL LICENSED HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS (and that includes LMTs) to cease treatments. Taken from the website of the New York State Department of Health as of March 18th, it is strongly advised only services and businesses that are essential stay open after 8:00PM:
Please check your local municipalities if there are new compliances impacting massage therapy from a healthcare standpoint. Speaking with our NYSSMMT members in various medical settings, those who are no longer treating is a direct result of the prioritizing of non-essential healthcare to aid in making more hospital beds available for COVID-19. Others in smaller facilities are still providing treatments. You being a healthcare provider, NYSSMMT will leave you with this one question for your practice… “Is the massage treatment essential to your patient/client?”
3.19.20 8:45 am
CONTINUING EDUCATION My registration is up for renewal.
You still have to do continuing education to renew your registration. Good news is NYSOP has waived the limits for self-study education for those NY LMTs whose registration is scheduled for renewal between March 1, 2020 - June 1, 2020. Continuing education completed 100% self-study will be accepted. NYSSMMT is redesigning its continuing education plan and will release an online schedule in the near future. We have provided free continuing education in the past to our members and we hope to do so in the future.
Every individual and business will be financially impaired. NYSSMMT will be in contact with the government agencies and various massage, spa and wellness associations to gauge the industry needs. There are a few state, national and separate efforts in development to provide financial aid or supporting programs for all citizens and/or massage therapists. NYSSMMT will do its best to streamline the details of these resources for the ease of our members. As we celebrate 93 years of our existence this month, we are extending our current 93rd Anniversary promotion to June 30, 2020 to become an annual Active Practitioner member for only $93. Visit www.nyssmmt.org for further details.
3.18.2020 7:13 pm, Small Business Association Disaster Loans are now available, click here
3.19.2020 9:15 am, President signs Coronavirus Relief Act into Law
6:36 pm, Facebook Small Business Grants
The Board and I recognize the overwhelming COVID-19 information coming to you from all sources as you are maintaining your health and livelihood. We will do our best to balance the frequency of communication and content hoping to make a professional impact and provide genuine support.
Thank you for your attention.
Serving with open hands,
Louis A. Mazzella, Ed. M, LMTPresident, The New York State Society of Medical Massage Therapists, Inc.