Guide Details Help for Families, Workers and Business Owners Under New US Bailout Law

President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act on Thursday. Senator Brian Schatz has created a guide to the resources and programs available under the new law. Screenshot

U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) released a comprehensive new guide to help Hawaiian families, workers and small business owners navigate American Rescue-authorized federal COVID-19 relief resources and programs Plan Act.

At least $6.1 billion of 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 subsidy program for restaurants and similar establishments, including food trucks, caterers and bars.

“If you’ve lost your job, can’t pay rent, or need help keeping your business afloat, I encourage you to visit our website to learn about the latest federal resources and programs,” said Senator Schatz. “As federal help becomes available, we will continue to update the guide so you have more information about the help available to you.”

The guide includes details on eligibility, coverage and instructions on how to access dozens of new and existing federal assistance programs – including unemployment benefits, direct cash payments, assistance rent and mortgage, tax relief, small business grants and loans, emergency paid sick leave, and more. The guide also includes specific advice to help seniors, veterans, students, farmers and fishers, educational institutions and local governments access federal assistance.

The American Rescue Plan Act was passed by the Senate on March 6 and signed into law by the President yesterday. For a full breakdown of the $6.1 billion in estimated funding for Hawai’i, Click here.

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RESOURCES FOR HAWAI’I

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On March 11, the president signed the American Bailout Package, a new COVID-19 relief program that will provide at least $6 billion in new federal funding to help Hawaiian families and local businesses during the pandemic.

  • UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE: you may be eligible for extended unemployment benefits if you have been laid off or cannot work due to the pandemic.
  • TENANTS AND OWNERS: you may be eligible for federal assistance.
  • SMALL ENTERPRISES : you may be eligible for new relief to help cover salary 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 may be eligible for several food and nutrition assistance programs.
  • TAX RELIEF: you can take advantage of new tax benefits, including the expanded child tax credit, which are available to help cover financial needs during the public health emergency.
  • PAID EMERGENCY LEAVE: you may now be eligible for paid emergency leave so you can stay home while continuing to earn your paycheck.
  • VETERANS: you may be eligible for new benefits.
  • UNIONS: if you are a member of a union, you could benefit from new protections.
  • SCHOOLS: new relief and resources may be available for local schools and their employees.
  • INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS: if you are an independent contractor, a worker in the gig economy or self-employed, you may be eligible for new resources to help you cover your financial needs.
  • FEDERAL WORKERS AND CONTRACTORS: you may be eligible for new benefits, including paid emergency sick leave and family and medical leave.
  • ELDERS: you may be eligible for new protection and assistance programs, including financial relief, retirement savings, tax relief, health, nutrition and seniors support, and housing security programs .
  • STUDENTS: You may be eligible for new student loan relief or financial aid through your college or university.
  • AGRICULTURE, AQUACULTURE AND FISHERIES: If you are a farmer or rancher or work in the agriculture, aquaculture or fishing industry, you may be eligible for new benefits.
  • BROADBAND ACCESS: the new relief law offers internet connection assistance for low-income households, households whose residents have become unemployed during the pandemic, minority communities, tribal communities and unserved communities.
  • NON-PROFIT : if you run a private, nonprofit organization, 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 US bailout has allocated billions of dollars in relief funds to state and local governments, including $2.2 billion for Hawai’i.
  • FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: financial institutions can be offered temporary regulatory relief to banks and credit unions to encourage them to continue lending to households and businesses, and to modify existing loans for borrowers facing economic hardship.

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