Guide Details Help for Families, Workers & Business Owners Under New American Rescue Plan Act
US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) released a new comprehensive guide to help Hawai‘i families, workers and small business owners navigate federal COVID-19 relief resources and programs authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act.
At least $6.1 billion from the new COVID-19 package is headed to Hawai‘i. The resource guide provides important information on how to access new programs, such as the expanded Child Tax Credit and a grant program for restaurants and similar establishments, including food trucks, caterers and bars.
“If you’ve lost your job, can’t make rent, or need help keeping your businesses afloat, I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the latest federal resources and programs,” Sen. Schatz said. “As more federal assistance becomes available, we’ll keep updating the guide so that you have more information about the relief available to you.”
The guide includes details on eligibility, coverage and directions on how to access dozens of new and existing federal relief programs — including unemployment benefits, direct cash payments, rent and mortgage assistance, tax relief, small business grants and loans, emergency paid sick leave, and more. The guide also includes specific guidance to help seniors, veterans, college students, farmers and fishers, educational institutions, and local governments access federal relief.
The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by the Senate on March 6 and was signed into law by the president yesterday. For a full breakdown of the $6.1 billion in estimated funding for Hawai‘i, click here.
RESOURCES FOR HAWAI‘I
On March 11, the president signed the American Rescue Plan, a new COVID-19 relief package that will provide at least $6 billion in new federal funding to help Hawai‘i families and local businesses during the pandemic.
- UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: you could be eligible for expanded unemployment benefits if you were laid off or are unable to work due to the pandemic.
- RENTERS AND HOMEOWNERS: you could be eligible for federal assistance.
- SMALL BUSINESSES: you could be eligible for new relief to help cover payroll and operating expenses.
- DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS: most people will receive a one-time cash payment of up to $1,400 from the federal government.
- HEALTH RESOURCES:new relief and resources are available for individuals, insurers, and providers.
- HEALTH AND NUTRITION PROGRAMS: you could be eligible for several food and nutrition assistance programs.
- TAX RELIEF: you may qualify for new tax benefits, including the expanded Child Tax Credit, that are available to help cover financial needs during the public health emergency.
- EMERGENCY PAID LEAVE: you could now be eligible for emergency paid leave so that you can stay at home and still earn your paycheck.
- VETERANS: you could be eligible for new benefits.
- LABOR UNIONS: if you’re a member of a labor union, you could be eligible for new protections.
- SCHOOLS: new relief and resources may be available for local schools and their employees.
- INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: if you’re an independent contractor, gig-economy worker, or are self-employed, you could be eligible for new resources to help cover your financial needs.
- FEDERAL WORKERS AND CONTRACTORS: you could be eligible for new benefits, including paid emergency sick leave and family and medical leave.
- SENIORS: you may be eligible for new protections and assistance programs, including financial relief, retirement savings, tax relief, health, nutrition and support programs for seniors, and housing security.
- COLLEGE STUDENTS: you may be eligible for new student loan relief or financial assistance through your college or university.
- AGRICULTURE, AQUACULTURE, AND FISHERIES: if you’re a farmer or rancher or work in the agricultural industry, the aquaculture industry, or the fishing industry, you may be eligible for new benefits.
- BROADBAND ACCESS: the new relief law offers help connecting to the internet for low-income households, households with residents who became unemployed during the pandemic, minority communities, tribal communities, and unserved communities.
- NON-PROFITS: if you run a private non-profit, you may be eligible for new benefits.
- ARTS & HUMANITIES: groups that support the arts and humanities may be eligible for new relief programs.
- STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: the American Rescue Plan allocated billions of dollars in relief funding for state and local governments, including $2.2 billion for Hawai‘i.
- FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: financial institutions may be offered temporary regulatory relief to banks and credit unions in order to encourage them to continue to lend to households and businesses, and to modify existing loans for borrowers facing economic hardship.