We are going through a generational event right now – one that is impacting every aspect of our country, from the health of our families, to our healthcare system, to our economy. These changes have been difficult, and our office is committed to doing everything we can to ease the burden on 8th district families.
If you still have questions after reviewing the below information, please feel free to contact our office by calling 517-993-0510.
For more information on state-level efforts and resources, please visit the state of Michigan COVID-19 page here. You can also call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 888-535-6136 or email COVID19@michigan.gov with questions or concerns.
The latest health guidance:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is constantly providing updated guidance on how to best protect you and your loved ones. To see the most up-to-date medical guidance, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus page here.
Our state has taken significant and necessary steps to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, which you can read more about on the state of Michigan’s COVID-19 website.
State agencies are leading the charge in implementing many of the federal initiatives that have been created or expanded to address the coronavirus outbreak. If you believe your employer is failing to take the proper precautions to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus, you can learn how to file a complaint with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, check out this online tool through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The newly-passed American Rescue Plan will improve the ability to produce and administer vaccines, by setting up vaccination sites as places like sports stadiums and convention centers. This will help us get back to normal, sooner, and save lives.
Below are links where you can sign up to receive more information about getting the vaccine once you’re eligible, and even schedule your vaccination. Bear in mind that demand for the vaccine is still greater than the supply, and appointments are limited and vary by county.
State Wide: Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine
Ingham County: hd.ingham.org
Livingston County: livgov.com/health
Oakland County: oaklandcountyvaccine.com
Residents who don't have access to the internet or who need assistance navigating the vaccine scheduling process can call the state COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 (press 1), Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., or call 2-1-1.
For more information of vaccines visit our dedicated COVID vaccination webpage at slotkin.house.gov/COVIDVaccine
Direct Financial Assistance:
Under the most recently-passed COVID-19 relief bill, anyone making $75,000 or less will receive a $1,400 stimulus payment. Payments should begin hitting bank accounts within the next couple of weeks. Check this IRS webpage for updates on how to track this third round of stimulus checks and for information on how to the claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 taxes if you did not receive the first two stimulus checks, but think you were eligible.
In addition, any eligible individual who did not receive a stimulus payment in 2020 or received a payment less than what they qualified for may claim their stimulus payment as a “Recovery Rebate Credit” when they file their 2020 taxes. For more information on the Recovery Rebate Credit, please visit the IRS website here.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance:
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. To assist families in this time, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, families may be reimbursed up to $9,000.
For details on eligibility and how to apply visit this FEMA Funeral Assistance webpage.
Small Business Assistance:
New in the American Rescue Plan: The most recently-passed federal COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan, includes new funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which helps keep workers on payroll, and will also help our local businesses stay afloat with targeted loans.
For Michigan restaurants: through a new program called the “Restaurant Revitalization Fund,” this bill provides $28.66 billion dollars for restaurants hardest hit by the pandemic, including a pot of money specifically for small restaurants. For information on this grant program and how to apply visit the SBA's page on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
For shuttered venues: The American Rescue Plan will support our local performance venues (think Meadowbrook, Pine Knob, and 20 Front Street) with an additional $1.25 billion for the SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program. More information how to apply for the SVOG Program visit the SBA's website here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Michigan small businesses and nonprofits experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19 may be able to obtain relief through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program on the Small Business Administration website. These loans are designed to assist businesses struggling to meet their financial obligations by providing a loan up to $150,000 to cover costs such as employee health care benefits, rent, and utilities.
Paycheck Protection Program: Businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic may be eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program provides loans to impacted businesses that can be forgiven if the business meets certain criteria, including spending 60 percent of the loan on payroll expenses. The COVID relief package passed in December 2020 re-authorized the program (which had previously expired), allocated $284 billion to the program, and authorized a second round of loans to the smallest, hardest-hit businesses that had already received an initial PPP loan. It also streamlined the loan forgiveness process, particularly for loans under $150,000 who now simply need to complete and submit a one-page form. Additionally in March, we passed a bill to extend the deadline to apply for a PPP loan until May 31, 2021.
State Programs: The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888-522-0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center has also compiled a list of resources on their website for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus, which you can access here.
To expand the number of people who can afford healthcare coverage and to get money back in people’s pockets, the newly-passed American Rescue Plan expands ACA marketplace tax credits to all American purchasing coverage through the ACA Marketplace for 2021 and 2022, ensuring that enrollees pay no more than 8.5% of their income for coverage. The very good news is that the CBO estimates that these ACA changes will insure 1.3 million more Americans by next year.
A special enrollment period for the ACA Marketplace is now open through August 15, 2021. To explore your healthcare options, visit healthcare.gov.
Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs:
The American Rescue Plan increased funding for a number of federal nutrition assistance programs. The relief package extends a 15% increase in SNAP benefits through September 30, 2021, and authorizes over $1 billion in new funds to support state and local SNAP administrations.
Student Loan Support:
All federally-owned student loan payments are suspended through September 31, 2021. No interest will accrue on these loans during this suspension. All involuntary collection of federal student loan debt – including wage garnishment and tax refund offsets – is also suspended.
Borrowers should check their accounts online to understand their eligibility.
The VA is recommending that veterans call the closest VA medical facility if they have symptoms, or request a telehealth appointment through the VA’s website.
Contact information for 8th district veterans services:
Lansing South VA Clinic: 517-267-3925
Ann Arbor VA Medical Center: 734-769-7100
Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency: 800-642-4838
Ingham County Veterans Affairs: 517-887-4331
Livingston County Veterans Services: 517-546-6338
Oakland County Veterans Services: 248-858-0785
Additionally, Congress passed the SAVES LIVES Act to help speed up efforts to get vaccines to veterans and those who care for them. This bill ensures that all veterans, along with their spouses and caregivers, can get their vaccines at the VA -- regardless of whether or not they are in the VA healthcare system. The VA is encouraging veterans to register with the VA as well as with their local health departments and local pharmacies to be alerted when a vaccine appointment is available. To register with the VA, visit their vaccine registration page here.
A number of resources are dedicated to serving seniors in our district. If you live in Livingston or Oakland County, you can contact the Area Agency on Aging at 800-852-7795 or by visiting them online here. If you are a senior living in Ingham County, you can contact the Tri-County Office on Aging at 517-887-11440 or by visiting them online here. Both agencies can connect seniors with Meals on Wheels, among other services.
Contact information for organizations serving seniors:
Livingston County Catholic Charities: 517-545-5944
Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program: 888-886-8971 or 810-632-2155
Older Persons’ Commission: 248-608-0264. Service area: Northeast Oakland County, including: Addison Township, Auburn Hills, Brandon Township, Clarkston, Independence Township, Lake Angelus, Leonard, Oakland Township, Orion Township, Oxford Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills.
Western Oakland County Meal On Wheels: 888- 886-8971 or 810-632-2155. Service area: Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Commerce Twp., Groveland, Highland, Holly, Keego Harbor, Lyon Township, Village of Milford, Milford Township, Northville, Novi, Orchard Lake, Rose Township, South Lyon, Springfield Township, Sylvan Lake, White Lake, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, and Wixom
Greater Lansing Area Meals on Wheels: 517-887-1460. Service Area: Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett & Okemos
Rural Ingham Meals on Wheels: 517-676-2775. Service Area: Holt, Mason, Williamston, Webberville, Stockbridge, Leslie, Dansville and Onondaga
As we focus on keeping physically healthy during this crisis, we cannot forget about the need for mental health support in our community. MDHHS has stood up a statewide mental health “warmline” for anyone who needs support during this time. Call 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753) to be connected to a certified peer support specialist.
Individuals in crisis are urged to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at 800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.