CARES Act & Emergency Stimulus Relief


Have questions about how the recent stimulus and relief packages support your practices? The AOA has answers.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and Webinar
Updated PPP Rules
HHS Relief Funding


Update: #AskAOA webinar for PPP Loan Forgiveness details

On May 15, the Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and instructions for the application. Join Dr. Jeffrey Michaels for the latest #AskAOA Webinar focusing on details of the PPP loan forgiveness rules.

What: #AskAOA Details of PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules

When: 6 p.m. PT, Tuesday, May 26

Email questions to or ask live.

Register here

On May 14, AOA sought immediate clarification from the Treasury and the Administration on key aspects of loan forgiveness to ensure that small business owners and independent contractors who have sought relief through the program can better plan for the future. At this already challenging time, program uncertainty is an unacceptable burden on businesses. While the application released on May 15 is critical to understanding the forgiveness process, additional guidance is needed and AOA will continue to work to receive the additional information needed.

AOA provides PPP forgiveness rules update

Since April 8, the SBA issued several clarifications about Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness, including:

Payroll expenses
The definition of “payroll” expenses have been clarified and include wages, as well as, employer costs for their employees health care premiums and retirement. The PPP/CARES Loan Spreadsheet Tracker available below is updated to eliminate health care premiums from “non-payroll” costs.

Owner benefits not forgiven
With regard to how loan forgiveness will be assessed, costs for the owner’s benefits that are not wages, including health care premiums and retirement benefits, will not be forgiven. Wages up to $100,000 annualized are still forgiven for owners but not benefits (even if wages are <$100,000 annualized). Any owner with 20% or more ownership is considered an owner.

Max amount of pay per person
The maximum amount anyone can be paid over the 8-week period is $15,385.
$100,000 / 52 = $1,923.08 per week
$1,923.08 x 8 weeks - $15,385 (the 61 cents is not included)
Send additional questions to

You can listen now to the recordings of the AOA's COVID-19 relief webinar part 1 AOA's COVID-19 relief webinar part 2 and #AskAOA COVID-19 Hot Topics: Practice Reactivation, Telehealth and Relief Efforts for Doctors of Optometry webinarSlides for part 1, part 2  and hot topics are also available. The sessions, led by Dr. Jeffrey Michaels, provides doctors of optometry with an update on details of CARES, 7(a) loans, updated rules for Families First Act and more. 

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act makes more than $300 billion in new funding for PPP available.

SBA began accepting applications on April 27 at 10:30 a.m. ET, from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. If one has already applied for a PPP loan, they should check with the lender to determine if action is needed. Most lenders are not requiring applicants to refile. For help finding a lender, click here.

The AOA will continue advocating for further physician-specific relief. Find more about S. 359/H.R. 6365 at AOA's Legislative Action Center.

The AOA is also asking advocates to prepare a 30-60 second video message describing the care you're delivering right now and the difference you're making in your community's response to the pandemic, including by easing burdens on local hospitals. Forward the video to to ensure that it will be delivered directly to your legislators.

Doctors receive HHS relief funding following AOA advocacy

Doctors of Optometry who billed Medicare in 2019 began receiving payments from HHS in early April, stemming from a $100 billion provider relief fund outlined by the CARES Act. The money provided by HHS is not required to be repaid.

Doctors are required to accept the Terms and Conditions of the funding within 30 days of receipt of payment via the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund Payment Attestation Portal and should document how this money is spent. The funds may be used either for health care-related expenses or for lost revenues that are attributable to COVID-19 and aren't exclusively for hospitals or practices directly engaged in patient care of confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

Signed into law March 27, 2020, the CARES Act included the AOA-backed provision to create a new, $100 billion fund for provider relief. But, soon after its enactment, stakeholders urged earmarking funds for purposes other than Congress intended. The AOA not only worked with legislators to ensure the funds would be directed to frontline providers, including Doctors of Optometry, but also delivered a letter to HHS urging the direct payments. 

Important Update: Additional funding aimed to relieve doctors of optometry 

HHS is distributing additional relief funds in accordance with AOA-backed provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). Action is needed to access the funds: 

  • Doctors who already received funding from HHS may be eligible for these additional funds and will need to submit information through the General Distribution Portal.
  • Doctors who have not received any HHS relief as of April 24, 5 p.m. ET, may be eligible for support through other mechanisms, including upcoming Targeted Distributions. More information on these distributions is expected in the coming weeks. AOA is working with Congress and HHS 24/7 to ensure all doctors of optometry receive much needed relief. We will continue to share the latest information related to funding and the various distribution methods. If you have not yet received HHS funding, please contact Kara Webb


CARES Act - Assistance for Small Businesses

SBA Coronavirus Relief Options

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Paycheck Protection Program

Fast Facts on the Paycheck Protection Program

CARES Loan Spending Tracker Spreadsheet

Small Business Survival Guide to Combat COVID-19


COVID-19 and the American Workplace - Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act