04/21/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update
April 21, 2020
I just arrived in Washington, DC as House and Senate leaders agreed to a deal with the Administration on the next emergency funding bill to support small businesses struggling with the coronavirus crisis.
During my next tele-town hall meeting tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. HT, I will be updating you on this bill and will be joined by guests from the IRS — including Hawai‘i’s local taxpayer advocate — as well as the U.S. Census Bureau. You can register for the event by visiting my website (right-hand column).
If you have not received your Emergency Impact Payment, visit the IRS website to be sure they have all of your necessary information — especially if you have beneficiaries. See below for more details!
If you or your ‘ohana have any questions or if you are in need of assistance, please call me at (808) 541-1986 or email me at TulsiOffice@mail.house.gov.
Mahalo and be well,
Member of Congress (HI-02)
Non-Filers with Dependents Must Act Now to Receive Full Economic Impact Payment
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a special alert urging folks to act by TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 22, if they didn't file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have dependents so they can quickly receive the full amount of their Economic Impact Payment. Their $1,200 payments will be issued soon and, in order to add the $500 per eligible child amount to these payments, the IRS needs the dependent information before the payments are issued. Read more here for full details.
Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.
Economic Impact Payment for Non-Filers:
IRS “Get My Payment” App:
And, be sure to check out the frequently asked questions about the Economic Impact Payment program.
HHS Announces Grants to Help Elderly & People With Disabilities
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $955 million in grants from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to help meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities as communities implement measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The grants will fund home-delivered meals; care services in the home; respite care and other support to families and caregivers; information about and referral to supports; and more.
USDA Announces $19 Billion to Help Farmers, Protect Food Supply Chain
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $19 billion relief program to provide critical support to farmers and ranchers, maintain the integrity of the U.S. food supply chain. The funds will be used to provide direct support to farmers and ranchers as well as facilitate USDA purchasing and distribution of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products that will be provided to local food banks and other non-profit organizations helping to meet community food needs. You can read more about the wide range of USDA Food and Nutrition Service programs and its response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
COVID-19 Hawai‘i News
Testing in Hawai‘i — There were 2 new cases since yesterday and 2 additional COVID-19 related deaths. To date, there are 586 individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 586 cases, 12 have died and 56 remain hospitalized and 437 have been released from isolation.
State Employees Volunteering to Help Unemployment Insurance Backlog — In response to the overwhelming unemployment insurance (UI) claims being filed with Hawai‘i’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR), union leaders and state legislators are asking hundreds of state workers to assist the DLIR process the backlog of claims. In the first days of the program, about 80 volunteers were reported to have participated in the effort which officials estimate could speed up the process — a single volunteer being able to process 50 more claims a day than the DLIR is otherwise able to handle without volunteer support. Those interested in volunteering can sign up online here: https://www.hawaiiworks.org/.
Big Island Helps Homeless With New Emergency Shelter — A new emergency shelter program was established at Hawai‘i County’s NAS Pool parking lot through the support of ‘Ohana Zone state funds. Dozens of volunteers, including members of the County Fire Department Recruit Class, pitched in to help build the 32 temporary shelters which will also help address food, health, and laundry needs in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
Maui Economic Development Board Hosts Webinar on PPP Compliance — The MEDB is hosting a webinar tomorrow, Wednesday, April 22 at 1:00 p.m. HT on how to successfully administer your PPP Loan to maximize your chances that it will be entirely forgiven. This webinar is great for people who have already received PPP approval or are expecting a PPP award. You must register online via the MEDB’s event registration webpage.
REMINDER: Drive-Thru Testing Sites — Please make note of the drive-thru testing sites available across the state. We will do our best to keep them updated as changes are made.
Kona Screenings | Details
Mondays and Thursdays from 8:00 a.m. to 12noon
Keauhou Shopping Center
Honoka‘a One-Day Screening | Details
Friday, April 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Honoka‘a Sports Complex, Lower Level (Access by Akia Street)
Kapa‘au One-Day Screening | Details
Saturday, April 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kamehameha Park in Kapa‘au, North Kohala
Wahiawā | Details
Wednesday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints
REMINDER: Dept of Labor Resources — Here is a rundown of the new resources that Dept of Labor is making available to assist individuals filing unemployment insurance compensation claims.
Application for Determination of Insured Status
Unemployment Benefits Claim Status
Oahu Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hilo Claims Office: email@example.com
Kona Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Maui Claims Office: email@example.com
Kauai Claims Office: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who would like to have their claim backdated (the backdate will be for their first week of less than full employment due to COVID-19): email@example.com
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI: firstname.lastname@example.org
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): email@example.com