05/06/2020: COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

COVID-19 Coronavirus Response Update

May 6, 2020
My next telephone town hall is this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. I’ll be sharing a quick update from Congress and will be joined by Sherry Menor-McNamara, the Chamber of Commerce of Hawai‘i’s President and CEO, as well as employment law attorney, Darin Leong. We will answer questions about small businesses, farmers, and employees among other things. I will also talk about the latest news on testing efforts in Hawai‘i.
If you haven’t already signed up to join by phone, you can listen to today’s event online at gabbard.house.gov/live.
If you 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,
Tulsi Gabbard
Member of Congress (HI-02)

New Guidance on Returning Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released new guidelines regarding deceased, incarcerated, and resident/non-resident alien taxpayers and returning Economic Impact Payments. You can learn about this on the IRS’s Economic Impact Payment Information Center webpage.
  • Deceased: A Payment made to someone who died before receipt of the Payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. Return the entire Payment unless the Payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the Payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the decedent. (see FAQ question # 10)
  • Resident/Non-Resident Alien Taxpayers: A person who is a non-resident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the Payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible for the Payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020. Aliens who received a Payment but are not qualifying resident aliens for 2020 should return the Payment to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. (see FAQ question # 11)
  • Incarcerated: A Payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. A person is incarcerated if he or she is described in one or more of clauses (i) through (v) of Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i) through (v)). For a Payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the incarcerated spouse. (see FAQ question # 12)

Justice Department Issues First Charges for CARES Act Fraud

Two businessmen have been charged in the District of Rhode Island with allegedly filing bank loan applications fraudulently seeking more than a half-million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to court documents unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island, the fraudulent loan requests were to pay employees of businesses that were not operating prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and had no salaried employees, or, as in one instance, to pay employees at a business the loan applicant did not own. Read the full announcement by the DOJ.

COVID-19 Hawai‘i News

Testing in Hawai‘i — There were 1 new case and 0 additional COVID-19 related deaths since yesterday. To date, there are ### individuals in Hawai‘i who have tested positive for COVID-19. Of the 626 cases, 17 have died and 74 remain hospitalized and 558 have been released from isolation. There have been 36,625 lab tests conducted as of May 5.
TODAY: Fresh Produce Distribution on Lānaʻi — Mayor Michael Victorino announced another produce distribution will take place Wednesday, May 6, to provide produce to people impacted by COVID-19 on Lānaʻi. Produce distribution for the general public will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the County parking lot located between the County gym and school cafeteria. Bags will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis.
Big Island Announces Food Distribution for May — The County of Hawai‘i is working with the Food Basket, the Hawai‘i National Guard, and the State Sheriff’s Division to provide food drop-offs islandwide in May, during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. The County announcement lists the sites and dates for food drop-offs during May.
Food Distribution Dates, Sites Set for O‘ahu — A public-private partnership between the City and County of Honolulu, the Hawai‘i Foodbank, the Bank of Hawaii Foundation, and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation to provide food assistance to recently unemployed individuals will continue services at Aloha Stadium on Wednesday, May 6, and at Leeward Community College on Friday, May 8. Wednesday’s food distribution at Aloha Stadium in Hālawa is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and will continue while supplies last. As part of the check-in process, individuals will be required to provide information regarding the household(s) represented in their vehicle. Read the full announcement for more details.

Testing Sites and DLIR UI Information

Hawai‘i Island
Check out the County of Hawai‘i’s COVID-19 webpage for which lists over a dozen testing sites which are regularly open (see schedules).
Maui County
While no drive-thru testing sites have been announced yet for tomorrow, you can visit the County’s website for other testing sites on Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lānaʻi.
City and County of Honolulu
Kalihi Union Church | Details
Tue., May 5 ONLY, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Entry will be from King Street
ʻEwa Beach | Details
Fri., May 8 ONLY, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
ʻEwa Beach Community Park
Kaua‘i County
Daily @ Wilcox Medical Center 
Monday-Friday @ Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital
Kapa‘a | Details (video update)
Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Kaua‘i Medical Clinic
Unemployment Insurance Compensation Claims — Here is a rundown of the new resources that the Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) is making available to assist individuals filing unemployment insurance compensation claims.
General Website
Application for Determination of Insured Status
Unemployment Benefits Claim Status
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Newly Out of Work Unemployment Claim: (808) 762- 5752
If You Have Filed Unemployment Before: (808) 762-5751
Unemployment Office Call Center: (833) 901-2275
O‘ahu Claims Office: dlir.ui.oahu@hawaii.gov
Hilo Claims Office: dlir.ui.hilo@hawaii.gov
Kona Claims Office: ​dlir.ui.kona@hawaii.gov
Maui Claims Office: dlir.ui.maui@hawaii.gov
Kaua‘i Claims Office: dlir.ui.kauai@hawaii.gov
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): dlir.ui.backdate@hawaii.gov
Individuals who have received an email, letter or other message (screenshot) that says that they are disqualified from UI:​ dlir.ui.disqualified@hawaii.gov
Individuals who would like to request language assistance from UI (the interpretation services would be provided free of charge and via telephone): dlir.ui.languageassistance@hawaii.gov

Office Locations