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
 
I voted for the bipartisan CARES Act, which provides people with Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) to help folks stay afloat during this crisis. 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. 
 

Get help with your EIP

The IRS has already issued millions of payments, but many are still being processed. Our team is pushing for more answers and there are resources that you can refer to below for help.

 


Information for non-filers

If you’re not typically required to file a tax return, you can still receive an EIP. People who aren’t required to file tax returns can register for an Economic Impact Payment by November 21st, 2020.

  • You can provide your information to the IRS so you can receive a rebate via direct deposit. This may apply to people who didn’t file a 2018 or 2019 income tax return because their gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) or for other reasons. 
     
  • Low-income Americans who normally do not file, including the homeless community, may be eligible for payments as well.
     
  • Click here if you're a non-filer to learn more and get your payment.
     
  • Click here to learn more at the IRS Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
     
  • You can also watch the below video from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to learn more: ​


     
  • ​Social Security retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries who don’t have dependent children under 17 should receive EIPs automatically, as long as you received an SSA-1099 form for 2019. 



Be aware of scams

Some criminals may be using this emergency to steal from people at this time, including their economic impact payments. 

Additional Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
 
Here are some additional frequently asked questions and answers.
  • How much do I qualify 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).
       
  • Do EIPs need to be repaid?
     
    • No, rebates do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 federal income tax return in 2021.
       
  • How will a person who has recently moved access an EIP?
     
  • Will the EIP affect my eligibility for federal income-targeted programs?
     
    • No, the rebate is considered a tax refund and is not counted towards eligibility for federal programs.
  • What identification requirements apply to receive EIPs?
     
    • Taxpayers must have Social Security Numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive rebates.

 

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. But I know many people have had trouble applying for their insurance and are concerned about the expiration of additional emergency insurance earlier this year that is essential for keeping folks afloat. Here you can learn more about how to apply for unemployment insurance if you need it, resources for people who need help accessing their insurance, and the status of federal legislation to expand 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.
     
  • 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.
     
  • If applying, KDOL asks that you follow their application schedule to better manage call volumes and web traffic.

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.


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 people need their insurance to pay their bills and put food on the table. I know many others are concerned about the expiration of additional emegency unemployment insurance that is crucial for helping to keep people afloat, and I am fighting to reinstate it. 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, here are some resources and information that may help you.
     
    • 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 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 applying, KDOL asks that you follow their application schedule to better manage call volumes and web traffic.

  • If you do need to call, the Kansas Department of Labor recommends that claimants and employers do not hang up and call back, which may be exacerbating call volumes.
  • Help for people who have experienced “clawbacks”. As you may have heard, some people unfortunately may have had an insurance payment “clawed back” because KDOL issued a duplicate payment by mistake. Unfortunately, some people’s banks accounts were overdrawn as a result.
     
    • Governor Kelly has said they will be making serious changes to KDOL to improve transparency and get people the help they need. Those reforms have begun with the governors creation of a hotline for people who might have experienced a duplicate payment clawback.
       
    • If you've been affected by a clawback, please contact the Kansas Department of Labor for assistance with the email and phone number below:
       
  • 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.

 

Status of federal legislation on emergency unemployment insurance

I supported the CARES Act, a bipartisan relief bill, which became law on March 27th. One provision in this law provided an additional $600 in emergency unemployment insurance to help people who lost work due to the pandemic.

Unfortunately, this additional aid expired earlier this year, and I have been pushing to reinstate it ever since. We cannot stand by while millions of our fellow, hardworking neighbors sink into desperation and poverty in the middle of a deadly pandemic that is in no way their fault. I know people are exhausted by the games in Washington, and I'll keep pushing for new relief legislation to help people get through this crisis.

Here’s more information on other changes the CARES Act made to unemployment insurance that may help you:

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Tax relief

We know filing taxes under even normal circumstances can be difficult. This year the Treasury Department moved the tax filing deadline to July 15th, 2020, and additional resources may still be available for people who are having tax issues.

Here are some things you should know:

  • 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.
     
  • IRS People First Initiative: On March 25th, the IRS announced a series of actions called the "People First" initiative to provide relief to taxpayers during this public health emergency. That included temporarily easing payment guidelines and postponing how the IRS enforces certain tax rules.
     
    • The IRS resumed compliance activities on July 15th. However, the IRS reports that when necessary IRS "...employees have the discretion to appropriately handle unusual situations and hardship issues."
       
    • You can click here to learn more.
       

Here are some additional resources you can refer to:

  • 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

Many folks are losing their jobs in a serious public health crisis, making it all the more important for people to have access to health care. I’ve long made it a priority to protect people with pre-existing conditions and lower costs, and am pushing for a special open enrollment period to help more people during this pandemic.

The Affordable Care Act’s patient protections and health insurance marketplace may help you during this time. Here are some resources that are available to you:

  • healthcare.gov/coronavirus: Learn more about how you may be able to get coverage.
     
    • If you lost your job-based health plan in the past sixty days, you may qualify for special enrollment to find an insurance plan that could include financial aid. This may also apply if you expect to lose your coverage in the next sixty days.
       
    • Depending on the circumstances, you may also qualify for help if you’ve been furloughed.
       
    • You may also be eligible for additional financial relief if you’re already enrolled in a plan but your income has changed. If you’re entitled to COBRA coverage it may also still be possible to find other coverage on the marketplace.
       
    • You can also click here to learn more about how you may be able to apply for coverage outside of the typical enrollment period.
       
  • Get help: Certified volunteers may be able to help you find the right insurance plan for you and your family.
     
  • KanCare:
     
    • KanCare 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.
       
    • You may also call them toll free at 1-800-792-4884.

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Homeowners and renters:

The federal government and the state of Kansas have put in place new safeguards to protect people from foreclosures and evictions during this emergency.

Here are some things you should know:

  • Avoid foreclosure: A new bipartisan law called the CARES Act, which I supported, includes a moratorium on foreclosures for many homeowners.
     
    • According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), if you’re a homeowner with a federally backed mortgage (whether that’s Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the VA, and USDA), your lender or service cannot begin a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure against you. They also can’t finalize a foreclosure judgement or sale.
       
    • Your mortgage may be backed by one of these agencies and you may not even realize it, so if you’re not sure, consider calling your servicer or sending a written request. This moratorium is in place from March 18th, 2020 through the end of this year until December 31st, 2020.
       
    • Additionally, other resources and protections may be available to homeowners who may not have a federally backed mortgage. According to the CFPB, federal law generally prohibits loan servicers from beginning the foreclosure process until a loan is 120 days or more past due.
       
    • Anyone who cannot make their mortgage payments on time should let their servicer know as soon as possible. It may be possible to work out a plan to help avoid foreclosure.
       
    • Please click here to learn more on the CFPB website.
       
  • Mortgage forbearance: The CARES Act also provides many homeowners with federally-backed or funded mortgages with the option of a forbearance if they need one.
     
  • Protections for renters: On September 4, a new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) rule took effect to extend an eviction moratorium for some renters across the nation until December 31, 2020.
     
    • The moratorium does not apply to everyone or halt all evictions. But if you’re a tenant or lessee of a residential property and provide your landlord with a signed declaration stating that you’ve tried your best to obtain government assistance to pay your rent, or have suffered great financial loss as a result of COVID-19, or would likely become homeless should you be evicted, it’s possible you may be able to get help.
       
    • If you’re experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus and can’t make your payments, the CFPB says you should contact your landlord quickly. It may be possible to agree on a payment plan to help you get back on your feet once the moratorium ends.
       
    • Click here to learn more at the CFPB's website.

Here’s how you can learn more or get help:

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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:

  • 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.
     
  • The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP): A federally funded program that helps people who have modest incomes pay part of their household's energy costs.
     
    • Frequently Asked Questions about LIEAP
       
    • Additional information for the LIEAP Kansas office is below:
       
    • Mr. Lewis Kimsey
      LIEAP Program Manager
      Kansas Social & Rehabilitation Services
      555 S. Kansas Avenue, Room 4082
      Topeka, Kansas 66603-3444
      PHONE: (785) 296-0147
      FAX: (785) 296-6960
      E-MAIL: lewis.kimsey@ks.gov
      PUBLIC INQUIRIES: 1-800-432-0043
       
  • 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 this year, 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 $1.5 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

People may also be having trouble putting food on their tables during this time. To help, Congress has passed legislation to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Governor Kelly issued an executive order to ensure school districts continue to provide school meals. There are a variety of other resources available to help as well.

Here are some resources you can explore:

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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, the Department of Labor announced a new temporary 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

The bipartisan, economic emergency response legislation my colleagues and I supported in the House of Representatives gives folks with student loan debt several relief options. These are available through September 30, 2020.

During this period, borrowers will be able to:

  • Pause payments for federal student loan borrowers who have Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), which means they won’t be required to make any payments toward outstanding interest or principal balance.
     
  • Suspend interest accrual for such loans so these balances don’t accrue.
     
  • Avoid forced collections such as garnishment of wages, tax refunds, & Social Security benefits.
     
  • Halt negative credit reporting.
     
  • Ensure a borrower continues to receive credit toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment forgiveness, and loan rehabilitation.
     
  • Please click here to learn more on the Department of Education website and see their frequently asked questions.

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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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