Economic relief for workers and families


Our economy is being severely disrupted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. We’re here to connect workers and families with all the relief and resources we can as we get through this challenge together.

Please use the menu below to find resources to help you and your family. You can also explore our main menu page to quickly find additional public health and economic relief resources.
 



Find A New Job

Thousands of Kansans have tragically lost their jobs in this health and economic crisis. If you or someone you know needs a job, resources are available to help you find new employment.

  • Kansas COVID-19 Job and Hiring Portal: The state of Kansas created a new online jobs portal to help job seekers and employers. Many businesses need to hire new workers to help respond to the ongoing emergency. Jobs may be available in fields such as health care, shipping, logistics, grocery stores, food delivery services, and other essential businesses.
     
  • Career One Stop: Sponsored by the Department of Labor, this website helps connect people with new employment, job training, resume assistance, and a wide variety of other resources.
     
  • Job help for veterans: Anyone who served our nation in uniform should be connected with all the help and resources they need.
     
    • www.fedshirevets.gov: This website is administered by the Office of Personnel Management. It exists to help hire veterans in civilian employee positions throughout the federal government. Veterans have already used the site to find federal jobs in a diverse set of fields such as park rangers, computer programmers, and NASA specialists.
       
    • Veterans’ Employment and Training Service: The Department of Labor also provides resources and services to help connect veterans with employment. You can click here to see their flier.

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Economic Impact payments for Workers and Families

People are hurting in this health and economic crisis through no fault of their own. That’s why I’ve supported bipartisan legislation to guarantee two rounds of direct Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to American workers and families. I’ve also joined with people in both parties to push for $2,000 direct payments and am working to clear bureaucratic logjams that have prevented some folks from getting their payments.
 
Here you can learn more, get answers to your questions, and find out how to get help if you need it.

 
$1,400 payments enacted into law in March 2021

I was proud to vote for the American Rescue Plan, which is crucial for helping our country overcome this health and economic crisis. One of the key pieces of this new law is providing a new round of $1,400 EIPs to help folks stay afloat in this pandemic.

Here's what you need to know:
  • Please note that in most instances you do not need to take any action in order to receive your payment. The administration reports that more than 90 million EIPs were issued as of March 17th, 2021. More and more payments are being issued everyday.
     
  • The administration has said they are making it one of their priorities to issue the payments as quickly as they can. However, it will take more time to ensure everyone receives the EIP they're owed.
     
  • As with previous EIPs, the payments are issued in tranches. The first round of EIPs are issued electronically via direct deposit if the IRS has your banking information. Afterwards, the IRS works to connect folks with their payments in other ways, including in the mail.
     
  • On March 22nd, 2021, the IRS issued a statement that they are beginning the process of mailing the next round of EIPs. If you receive an EIP in the mail, it may be via check or debit card.
     
  • As with past rounds of EIPs, we will update our website with more information as events warrant to help people who may experience issues with receiving their EIPs. We're always here to help you however we can.
     
  • In the meantime, you can take one of the following actions:
     
 
$600 payments enacted into law in December 2020: I supported a bipartisan bill, which became law in December 2020, that ensures a second round of EIPs worth up to $600 for each eligible individual.
 
Here’s what you need to know:
 
  • Check EIP status: Most people don’t have to do anything to receive their EIP and many have already received theirs. In early January 2021, the IRS reported that they had already distributed more than 100 million payments via direct electronic deposit into people’s bank accounts. 
     
    • Direct deposits are made based on person’s 2019 tax filing information. The U.S. Department of Treasury and the IRS are now in the process of distributing millions of additional payments to the American people. 
       
    • In addition to direct deposits, some folks will instead receive their EIP in the mail – either a check or with a prepaid VISA debit card.
       
    • Click here to use the IRS Get My Payment Tool to learn more about your EIP and its status.
       
      • The IRS reports that they are working through numerous updates to their systems. It is possible that some may temporarily see potentially inaccurate account numbers or deposit dates as the tool is updated. The IRS says they are working through these issues and that payments should be forthcoming. You can click here to learn more about this issue.
 
  • Eligibility: U.S. Citizens are generally eligible for $600 or $1,200 for those who file a joint return, and another $600 for each qualifying child.
     
    • You may not be eligible for a payment if you were claimed as a dependent on a 2019 tax return or do not have a valid Social Security number for employment.
       
    • Payments are reduced for people with higher incomes. This applies to individuals who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or more, $112,500 for heads of households, or $150,000 for married couples who file jointly.
       
    • People who are not typically required to file a tax return – including Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees, and people who receive veterans’ benefits – are also eligible to receive a second EIP. Most who fall into these categories do not need to take any action to receive one.
       
    • Click here to learn more about eligibility.
 
  • More on how you’ll receive your payment (direct deposit, mail, etc.): People who are eligible for an EIP should receive theirs in one of three ways. That includes direct electronic deposit to your bank account, through the U.S. Postal Service (either a check or a prepaid VISA debit card), or by claiming it on your 2020 tax return.
     
    • Electronic direct deposit to a bank account: Many EIPs have already been sent via direct deposit. However, some are continuing to be sent and the IRS is addressing some issues that may delay some direct deposits.
       
 
  • Mail – Prepaid VISA debit cards: Others will instead receive their EIP in the mail. Here’s what to know for people who may receive theirs via prepaid VISA debit card.
     
    • In early January, the IRS reported they began sending 8 million EIPs via prepaid VISA debit card. Please watch your mail carefully this month if you believe you may be in this group.
       
    • Here’s what the letter will look like in the mail:
      EIP letter in the mail - what it looks like
       
    • Here’s what the cards will look like:
      EIP prepaid VISA debit cards - what they look like
    • People will have the option of transferring the funds from the card to a bank account for free or to access cash using the card.
       
  • How to activate your card: Call 1-800-240-8100 and provide the last six digits of your Social Security number.
     
  • Free replacement card: If you believe you may have lost or threw it away by accident, you may also call 1-800-240-8100 for assistance.  
     
  • Click here to visit www.eipcard.com to learn more.
     
  • In addition, my office has received two documents from the Department of the Treasury which may be useful for answering many questions that you may have. You may click to read and download both documents below (PDF). 
     

 
  • Mail – Checks: In addition to prepaid VISA debit cards, some folks may instead receive their EIPs in the mail as a check.
     
    • The Department of the Treasury reports that some people who received a paper check for their first EIP may instead receive a card this time. Likewise, some may also instead receive a check now instead of card.
       
    • Our office will provide additional details about EIPs sent in the mail as checks as we receive additional information. 
 
 
  • Tax return: The IRS reports that they’re working to distribute as many EIPs as they can through direct deposit and the mail. Many more payments are on the way over the next several weeks.
     
 
 
Have more questions or need help? You may also be able to get assistance through the following resources.
 
 
1,200 payments enacted into law in March 2020: I supported the bipartisan CARES Act in March 2020, which authorized $1,200 EIPs for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, my office has heard from a lot of people who still haven’t received their EIPs. I know that is very frustrating when you need all the help that you can get. Anyone who qualifies for an EIP, and hasn’t received theirs yet, deserves answers – not more delays.
 
 
  • How much am I eligible for?
    • EIPs are $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers), and $500 per qualifying child under age 17.
       
    • The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers).
 
  • How can I learn more or ask questions?
    • Please click here to visit the IRS’ Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
       
    • You may also call the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Overland Park for help at (844) 545-5640. You may speak with staff there to get further assistance or schedule an appointment for help.
       
    • You can also try calling the IRS EIP hotline at 1-800-919-9835.
       
    • In addition, you can always call my office in Overland Park at (913) 621-0832 or in Kansas City, Kansas, at (913) 766-3993 to ask any questions and see if we can direct you to any further resources.

 
Be aware of EIP scams:

Some criminals may be using this emergency to steal from people at this time, including their EIPs. Please be cautious and aware!

 
 

Get updates on EIPs

Finally, if you're still having issues, you may also join our email list by filling out the form below. We’ll pass along new information and resources as they become available and we’ll do everything we can to help.

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Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is a crucial lifeline to help folks get by who have lost work in this pandemic. I've voted to ensure additional emergency insurance for people who need it, but I know many people have had trouble applying for their insurance. Here you can learn more about how to apply, find resources, and learn the status of federal legislation impacting unemployment insurance.
 

Apply for insurance

If you’ve lost work and need unemployment insurance, here are some things you should know and how you can apply: 

  • If your employment has been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and youre unsure if you qualify for unemployment insurance, apply online to see what you qualify for.
     
  • Kansas is seeing an increase in reports of unemployment fraud due to identity theft. The governor's office has been making changes to help curb this fraud and abuse, including by requiring the creation of more secure online accounts to apply for insurance that have two factor authentication. If you had an online account prior to February 2021, you may need to create a new one. Please click here to learn more in our unemployment insurance fraud section.
     
  • You may qualify for insurance if you’ve lost your job. But you may also qualify if you havent been technically laid off, if youve been furloughed, if your hours have been reduced, or if youve been otherwise affected by COVID-19.
     
  • The staff at the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) will evaluate your application, can determine what you qualify for, and follow-up as needed. Given the emergency, their requirements are more flexible at this time.
     
  • Apply for unemployment insurance now at www.getkansasbenefits.gov
     
    • Click "EASY.FAST.SECURE. GET STARTED HERE" at the top.

      Click on the button to apply

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Apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):

As you may have heard, Congress also passed legislation to provide Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to make unemployment insurance available to people who are self-employed, gig workers, and others who need help. KDOL began providing PUA in late May.

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Resources and updates for people who are having trouble with accessing their insurance

I’ve repeatedly heard from folks who are having a hard time accessing their unemployment insurance. I know many others are concerned about the expiration of additional emergency insurance. We have to do everything we can to help folks stay afloat during this emergency.

Here are some things to know, and some resources and updates that I hope can help you:

  • In my role as your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, I have direct jurisdiction and oversight over federal government agencies. Though unemployment insurance is a federal initiative, the program itself is administered by state agencies. In Kansas, its administered by the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL).
     
  • Nevertheless, my team and I are closely monitoring this situation and are providing all the updates and resources we can to help as many people as possible.
     
  • If you’re having trouble accessing your insurance or are having issues with KDOL, we strongly encourage you to explore these resources:
     
    • Contact your state representative or the Governor's office. Since KDOL is a state agency, you may be interested to know that you can also contact your state representative in the Kansas legislature and/or the Governor's office as well to see if they can assist you further.
       
      • Visit http://www.kslegislature.org/li/ to find your state representative. You can also try calling 1-800-432-3924.
         
      • You can also try calling the Governor's office at (785) 368-8500.
         
    • The best way to apply is online instead of calling. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the Kansas Department of Labor is experiencing an unprecedented influx of calls, emails, and web traffic. In response, they report that they are taking steps to increase the number of customer service representatives who answer the phones.
       
      • The phone number is generally reserved for select groups of people – those who do not have access to the internet, if youre a non-English speaker, a member of the military, or moved to Kansas within the last 18 months.
         
    • If you do need to call, do not hang up and call back. The Kansas Department of Labor recommends that claimants and employers who repeatedly call may be exacerbating call volumes.
  • Get latest updates from KDOL on social media. The Kansas Department of Labor is frequently providing updates on their social media platforms as they work to provide more people with insurance and implement new federal legislation. We’ll also share updates we learn more and provide updates on our email list, including other resources that may help folks during this time.

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Unemployment insurance fraud

Kansas is seeing an increase in reports of unemployment fraud due to identity theft. It’s incredibly frustrating, especially because there are so many people who do need help right now. The governor’s office is in the process of making changes that should help curb this fraud and abuse.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Status of emergency unemployment insurance

Unemployment insurance is a crucial lifeline to help folks during this health and economic crisis. That's why I've voted to strengthen unemployment insurance, including by making it available to more people who need help - including gig workers and the self-employed. I've also fought to increase insurance payments so people can have enough resources to get through this challenging time.

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Tax relief

We know filing taxes under even normal circumstances can be difficult. Here are some things that may be able to help you:

  • Questions? If you have questions about your taxes and would like to speak to someone about it, try calling the Overland Park taxpayer assistance office at (816) 966-2840.
     
  • Coronavirus tax relief resources: Taxpayers may visit the IRS coronavirus tax relief resources page for more updated information on how to navigate their taxes during this time.
     
  • IRS: Let Us Help You: Please note that all in-person Taxpayer Assistance Centers are closed until further notice to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Visit this section of the IRS website for online help in the interim, or to connect with someone over the phone.
     
  • Find the status of your refund: If you’ve already filed, you can use the IRS tool “Where’s my refund” to find the status of your tax refund.
     
  • File for free: Many Kansas taxpayers may be eligible to file their taxes for free under their Free File program. The IRS reported this initiative saved taxpayers $1.5 billion in filing costs in 2017.
     
  • Know your rights: All taxpayers are entitled to certain rights. If you believe you’re being treated unfairly, learn more about your rights here.
     
  • Rep. Davids’ Help for Taxpayers: We also have our own Help for Taxpayers web page. There you can learn about how we may be able to help you navigate the IRS, like getting a stalled refund.

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Health insurance coverage

In a pandemic, access to quality and affordable health coverage that you can depend on is more important than ever. Unfortunately, millions of people have lost their jobs and access to their employer-based health insurance during this crisis. Here are resources you can use to find quality and affordable coverage.

 

Get Covered Now: Special Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act

President Biden signed an executive order to establish a special enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act. This will give people who lost their coverage an opportunity to find an insurance plan that can work for them.

Here’s what you need to know and how you can get help:

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What is special enrollment? Learn more.

Are you unfamiliar with open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act? Not sure what the health insurance marketplace is? 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • One of the critical ways the Affordable Care Act expanded health care coverage was by creating health insurance marketplaces, which are also called insurance exchanges.

  • These marketplaces are where folks can go and search for the best insurance that works for them – whether online, on the phone, or with in-person assistance. On the health insurance marketplace, people can shop and compare private insurance plans offered in their state.

  • Open enrollment is the period of time when people can sign-up for coverage. Sometimes special enrollment periods are also offered to help more people sign up for coverage.

  • On January 28th, 2021, in order to help millions of Americans who have lost their health insurance coverage during this pandemic, President Biden signed an executive order to establish a special enrollment period so people can find a health insurance plan that works for them. 

  • The special enrollment period began on February 15th, 2021 and will run through May 15th, 2021.

  • In Kansas, five different insurers compete for business including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medica, and the Sunflower State Plan. Different types of plans are rated either Bronze, Silver, or Gold depending on their level of coverage so people can more easily determine which plans can best fit their personal needs.

  • In 2019, 85,837 Kansans used the health insurance marketplace to find the health insurance they needed. Many qualified for financial help in the form of tax credits to help pay for their marketplace insurance, which helps make coverage more affordable.

  • In 2019, 87% of the people who used the federal insurance marketplace, which Kansas uses, received tax credits to help pay for their insurance. 

  • According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 9 million Americans who are now uninsured could qualify for financial assistance to pay for a plan. 

  • 9 out of 10 HealthCare.gov shoppers qualify for financial assistance to lower monthly premiums. As a result, 3 out of 4 shoppers can currently find plans for $50 per month or less.

  • If you need help, you can:

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Additional health coverage assistance:

In addition to the special open enrollment period at healthcare.gov, there are other health care resources you can explore.

  • KanCare:

    • This is our state’s version of Medicaid, a federal initiative that helps ensure people with more modest incomes, or other eligibility criteria, can have coverage they can depend on.

    • It helps provide care for people often at no or little cost to the consumer. KanCare can cover doctor’s visits, hospital services, blood and lab work, home health services, vaccinations, nursing facility services, and more.

    • Please click here to learn more about KanCare on the state of Kansas’ website.

    • You may also call them toll free at 1-800-792-4884.

  • Community health centers:

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Homeowners and renters:

I've been glad to work with both Republicans and Democrats to enact emergency housing protections so we can help families get through this health and economic crisis. Shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order to extend the moratorium on rental evictions outlined below through at least March 31st, 2021. On February 16th, the administration also extended foreclosure moratorium and mortgage forbearance protections outlined below through June 30th, 2021.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has more information on these protections for renters and homeowners so you can know how to get help. Here's what you should know:
 

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Additional financial assistance

People who are having a difficult time financially during our COVID-19 public health emergency may need additional help beyond unemployment insurance.

Here are some resources you may want to explore:

  • Trouble paying your bills? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has information that may be able to help you.
     
  • Help with utility bills
     
  • Additional sources of relief: You may qualify for other forms assistance, which can be especially helpful and important for folks who have lost their jobs or work hours during this crisis. 
    • www.benefits.gov: When folks are looking to make every dollar count, you certainly have a right to expect excellent services and the earned benefits that you’ve been paying for as a taxpayer. Residents may be able to use benefits.gov to help them learn more about benefits and services related to housing, unemployment insurance, and even tax credits.
       
    • Kansas Successful Families Program / Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): Provides financial help every month to qualifying low-income families with children to help them pay for basic needs, including shelter, utilities, diapers and transportation.
       
    • Child Care Assistance: Helps working families pay all or part of their child care expenses.
       
    • Kansas Hero Relief: Child care assistance for essential workers, an initiative by Kansas Governor Kelly.
       
    • Claim a prior year tax refund: Every year, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers are regularly eligible to receive a refund but choose to not file, and as a result, lose out on the refund they are owed.
       
      • In fact, earlier in 2020, the IRS reported that more than 1.4 million taxpayers were eligible for $1.5 billion in owed refunds from tax filing year 2016 alone.
         
      • Some taxpayers choose not to file a federal tax return simply because they didn’t earn enough to file in the first place. But taxpayers generally always have up to three years after a filing deadline to claim a tax refund. According to the IRS, there is no penalty for filing late when a refund is involved.
         
      • Furthermore, folks with modest incomes may also be eligible for things like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which could potentially mean even more funds than simply taxes withheld while working. If you think you may have a refund from a previous year that’s available to you, it is still possible to claim a refund from tax year 2017.
         
      • If you're interested in filing to claim a refund, current and prior year tax forms are located at www.irs.gov/forms-instructions. If you have questions or need a paper copy, please call the Overland Park taxpayer assistance office at (816) 966-2840.
         
    • Unclaimed property: The Kansas Secretary of the Treasury reports that his office now has $350 million in unclaimed assets. That’s everything from old life insurance policies, to forgotten rental deposits, to recovered safety deposit boxes, and more.
       
      • People make mistakes and sometimes banks, businesses, government agencies, and others can’t connect people with what they’re owed. If an organization can’t find or contact someone in order to deliver their unclaimed property, eventually they’ll send it to the Kansas Department of Treasury after five years.
         
      • The Kansas Treasury then continues working to connect folks with what they’re owed, and to do so, operates a free online search engine as a public service so people can look for their property.
         
      • Even if you think it isn’t likely that you have unclaimed property, it’s always worth a look.
         
    • Help with the federal government: Finally, our team is here to help people who are having issues with the federal government.
       
      • That can include owed benefits like Social Security savings, stalled tax refunds, backlogged veterans' benefits, and more. We've helped local taxpayers recover more than $2 million they were owed and we'd be honored to help you, too.
         
      • If you need assistance with the federal government, please visit our Help page to learn more.

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Food assistance

Many people are having trouble putting food on their tables during this health and economic crisis. To help, I've supported legislation to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) so families can get the healthy foods they need. There are a variety of other resources available to help as well.

Here are some resources you can explore:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Helps individuals and families afford the food they need to eat. I've voted for bipartisan, emergency response legislation to strengthen SNAP and ensure families can receive the help they need.
     
    • Here are some local SNAP offices in our region you can also contact: 
      • Kansas Department of Children and Families, Johnson County
        Overland Park
        8915 Lenexa Drive
        Overland Park, KS 66214
        (913) 826-7300
        TTY/TDD: 1-800-766-3777

      • Kansas Department of Children and Families, Wyandotte County
        Kansas City, Kansas
        402 State Ave
        Kansas City, KS 66101
        (913) 279-7000
        TTY/TDD: 800-766-3777

      • Kansas Department of Children and Families, Miami County
        Osawatomie
        616 Brown Ave
        Osawatomie, KS 66064
        913-755-2162
        TTY/TDD: 1-800-766-3777

    • Protecting SNAP recipients from fraudThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a scam warning for SNAP recipients after receiving reports of fraud attempts. If you’re a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient, please read the following information.
       
      • SNAP Scam AlertsStay on top of potential scams by visiting USDA's website.
         
      • Be suspicious of any unknown individual, organization, or website that requests your confidential information, which may include your social security number, bank information, or your SNAP EBT card or PIN number.
         
      • Help make sure any request for information is legitimate by contacting your local SNAP office (see above).
         
      • If you believe you are the victim of fraud, contact your local police department regarding procedures for filing a report.
         
      • You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file a consumer complaint online. This is the federal agency responsible for protecting consumers from identity theft scams.
         
  • ​​Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): Provides healthy foods and services to pregnant and breastfeeding women, new moms, and kids under age 5.

    • WIC prescreening tool: An online tool from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service that you can use to see the likelihood of your eligibility for WIC. This is not an application for benefits.

       
  • K-12 student meals: Many schools are continuing to work to ensure free meals are available to children ages 1-18 across our state. Below is known information for school districts within our congressional district. If you're school district isn't listed, visit www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids to learn more.
     
  • Meals on Wheels: This program ensures qualifying older adults can access home delivered meals. Here is more information on how to access the program in your area: 
     
  • Additional food assistance resources: 
     

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New COVID-19 leave options

Kansas workers and families have needed access to more options for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for a long time. But with our public health emergency, it’s now more important than ever. It’s simply a matter of public safety so more people can afford to stay home and slow the spread of COVID-19.

That’s why I supported a bipartisan bill to expand leave options to millions of people who never had them before, which is now law. On April 1st, 2020, the Department of Labor announced a rule to outline how employees and employers can get help.
 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • In general, if a qualifying employee is unable to work (or telework) due to one of six reasons related to COVID-19, then that employee may take paid leave or family and medical leave. The employer will then be reimbursed for the cost of providing that leave with a new tax credit.
     
  • Those six reasons include if an employee:
     
    • 1. Is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
       
    • 2. Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19,
       
    • 3. Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis,
       
    • 4. Is caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19,
       
    • 5. Is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons, or
       
    • 6. Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
       
  • According to the Department of Labor, the law covers:
     
    • Private employers with less than 500 employees (including nonprofits) and
       
    • Public agencies, regardless of how many people work there.
       
  • There are some exemptions for employers. For instance:
     
    • Some small businesses who have fewer than 50 employees may be exempt under some circumstances.
       
    • An employer may also exclude employees from leave if they’re emergency responders or health care providers.
       
  • If you’re an employee who qualifies, generally that could mean:
     
    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate, or
       
    • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay, and
       
    • Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay.
       
  • According to the Department of Labor, the Department’s Wage and Hour Division has the authority to investigate violations of the law and enforce compliance.
     
    • Employers may not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any employee who lawfully takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the law, files a complaint, or institutes a proceeding under or related to the law.
       
    • Employers in violation of the provisions of the law will be subject to penalties and enforcement.
       
    • For additional information or to file a complaint:
       

Here’s how you can learn more:

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Family and Medical Leave Act:

Many workers may also be eligible for the more longstanding federal family leave and medical protections under the federal law known as the Family and Medical Leave Act, or FMLA.

Here’s what you need to know:

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Student loan relief

Interest and monthly payments have been automatically suspended on many federally-held student loans. Shortly after taking office, President Biden ordered the Department of Education to maintain this relief until at least September 30th, 2021. 

Here is some more information you should know, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: 

  • These suspensions only apply to federal student loans held by the Department of Education.
     
  • No action is required by the borrower. Any suspended payments should count towards any student loan forgiveness program.
     
  • If you're still able to make payments, you can do so. In fact, it can help you pay down your loan faster - the payments will be applied directly to the principal. 
     
  • The Department of Education has also paused its collection proceedings on federal student loans in default through January 31st, 2021 too.
     
  • Private lenders (non-federal loans) may have forebearance and relief options as well.
     
  • Please click here to learn more on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website.

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Educational resources for students, parents, and teachers

I know many students, parents, and teachers are grappling with how to fulfill their educational needs during this difficult time.

Here are some important resources you should know about:
 


Here are public education resources that are available free of charge:
 

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Protect yourself from fraud and cyber scams

Unfortunately, many law enforcement officials are seeing criminals use this public health emergency to rip off families and consumers. Many scams are conducted online, through text messaging or other virtual means, because so many people now are socially distancing or working remotely from home.
 

Here are some things you should know:

  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said they’ve received a surge of reports about fraudulent calls, texts, and emails from people who are pretending to be from a federal agency, such as Social Security Administration, IRS, Census, USCIS, or the FDIC. The FTC says:
     
    • These fake government messages might say that you’re approved for money, can get quick relief payments, or get cash grants due to COVID-19. Scammers might also promise you small business loans or send a (phishing) alert that a check is ready to be picked up. These are all scams, and none of those messages come from a government agency.
       
    • If you respond to these calls or messages, they might ask you for money, personal information, or both. Don’t give it. And remember that the surest sign of a scam is anyone who asks you to send cash, pay with a gift card, wire money, or pay with cryptocurrency.
       
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports that some criminals “are selling fake COVID-19 test kits and unapproved treatments through telemarketing calls, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits.”
     
    • Many scammers are doing this to get ahold of your personal information, such as your birth date and Social Security number.
       
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that some scammers are preying on older adults by offering to buy groceries or other items but never return with any of the goods or give the money back. They say that if you don’t know the person who is offering the service, be wary.
     

Here are some resources you can use to learn more:

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