Updated: Sep 16
Who could have predicted how fast everything would change? Nearly everything familiar about our daily lives has been upended in the last couple weeks by the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19 and SARS-CoV2. Here is some information that may be helpful.
Social Distancing and Stay in Place Order
Yes, this is what we need to do. The more we abide to the program, the more lives will be saved and the quicker we will get to the end of home quarantine and travel restrictions. This is a great time to spend with loved ones, exercise, and to work on home improvement and cleaning projects. Use this time wisely; slow down, reflect, and plan for better days ahead.
It is likely that 25% of Hawaii’s workforce will be unemployed, an astonishing increase from just 2.7% last month. Not surprisingly, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is overwhelmed with unemployment claims and the system has not been able to keep up. DLIR asks for patience as they do everything they can to work through the backlog. Payments will be back dated, so all the money will come. The online portal is huiclaims.hawaii.gov The phone number to schedule a phone appointment is 762-5752. The phone number for resetting passwords is 762-5751.
Small Business Loans
The Small Business Administration is providing Economic Injury Disaster Loans up to $2 million to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. See sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Homeowners with federally backed mortgages may be eligible for loan forbearance for up to one year without fees, penalties, or additional interest. Homeowners who are facing a financial hardship from the coronavirus should contact their mortgage servicer as soon as possible, or contact a HUD approved housing counselor at consumerfinance.gov/find-a-housing-counselor or by calling (800) 569-4287.
Forbearance does not eliminate the debt obligation; it temporarily reduces the payment amount or delays payment to another day.
Eviction Moratorium for Renters
Until July 26, 2020, property owners are prohibited from filing for eviction against or charging any fees for unpaid rent and fees to a tenant in properties with federally guaranteed loans or participating in federal housing programs.
The moratorium on eviction does not remove the requirement to pay rent, but it does provide stability in housing during these difficult times. Renters having difficulty in paying rent should contact their landlords early to discuss potential payment options.
Certain schools are providing “grab and go” meals for all public and charter school students. Parents or caregivers who pick up a meal must be accompanied by a child, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m.-8 a.m. and lunch 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Monday through Friday. For food safety, meals must be consumed by either 10 a.m. (breakfast) or 2 p.m. (lunch).
Participating schools include Waialua High & Intermediate, Kahuku High & Intermediate,
Hauula Elementary, Kahaluu Elementary and King Intermediate.
Support Your Local Restaurants
With the closure of all dine-in service, more than 40,000 restaurant workers have been laid off. Every restaurant trying to survive is now offering take out service. Food-a-Go-Go is a helpful new website devoted to connecting Hawaii’s restaurants with customers. Go to foodagogo.org and use the drop-down lists to narrow your search from hundreds of great food options.
Dial 211 or auw211.org – Resource center for COVID-19 questions and assistance programs
OneOahu.org – City website for COVID-19 Stay in Place rules and questions
hawaiicovid19.com – State Department of Health website for COVID-19 information