How to access COVID-19 relief funds

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 2:30pm
Category: 

Following the signing into law of a $2.2-trillion economic relief package to help Americans through the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse along with Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline are reminding Rhode Islanders that their respective offices stand ready to help constituents access federal programs.

“The massive $2.2-trillion relief package was designed to fortify our health care system for COVID-19, and help middle-class families and small businesses weather this financial downturn,” said the members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation in a joint statement.  “We encourage Rhode Islanders to contact our offices if they need assistance navigating new and bolstered federal assistance programs in the days and weeks ahead.”

Highlights of the relief package include:

  • Cash payments to households:  $1,200 checks for workers and Social Security beneficiaries making up to $75,000 ($150,000 for a couple), plus $500 for every child.  Most people will get these automatically within the next few weeks. 
  • Boosted unemployment benefits:  Rhode Islanders can qualify for 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, an extension of 13 weeks.  Unemployment benefits will provide for 100% of lost wages up to $1,186 per week.
  • Loans and loan forgiveness for small businesses:  $350 billion for loans of up to $10 million backed by the Small Business Administration.  The bill also provides loan forgiveness for certain business expenses to companies that retain workers. 
  • Financial support for the steps Governor Raimondo and municipal leaders have taken to save lives: $1.25 billion to help stabilize the state’s finances.

Constituents can contact any of the federal delegation offices if they have questions or difficulty navigating federal agencies and application processes:

  • U.S. Senator Jack Reed: Use web form or call (401) 943-3100
  • U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Use web form or call (401) 453-5294
  • Congressman Jim Langevin (Congressional District 2): Use web form or call (401) 732-9400