Monday, June 7, 2021
I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a stressful time for all Michiganders. I am working, along with my staff, around the clock to answer your questions, provide community resources and distribute up-to-date, accurate information. If you have any questions or need help, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by calling (810) 238-8627.
All Michiganders 12 years and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Michigan has already administered over 8 million COVID-19 vaccines. More information about the safe and effective coronavirus vaccine can be found here.
Local health departments schedule and administer vaccinations. You can identify your local health department using this map. A list of the local health departments in Michigan’s Fifth Congressional District include:
- Arenac County – (989) 773-5921
- Bay County – (989) 308-1828
- Genesee County – (810) 257-3612
- Iosco County – (989) 345-5020
- Saginaw County – (989) 758-3800
- Tuscola County – (989) 673-8114
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has updated its Gatherings and Mask Order to align with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance on face coverings. Michiganders who are outdoors will no longer need to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. While indoors, fully vaccinated Michiganders will no longer need to wear a mask, but residents who are not vaccinated, or have not completed their vaccinations, must continue to wear a mask or face covering to protect themselves and others. On June 1, 2021, all outdoor capacity restrictions were lifted and any indoor social gatherings can proceed at 50% capacity. More information can be found here.
COVID-19 TESTING UPDATE
There are expanded COVID-19 testing opportunities for Michiganders. More information can be found here.
In the American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress and signed into law on March 11, 2021, eligible Americans, adults and children, can receive up to $1,400 per person in direct cash payments. These payments add to the $600 Economic Income Payments for eligible individuals and children approved by Congress in December. The IRS is issuing these payments through direct deposit, paper checks or debit cards. Information on these payments, including eligibility, changing your personal information with the IRS or claiming an unreceived or less than expected amount can be found here. To check the status of your payment, use the Get My Payment portal on the IRS.gov website.
On January 21, the Biden administration extended its pause in federal student loan interest accrual and payment collections through September 30, 2021. Borrowers can find more information on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
More information on the benefits of the American Rescue Plan, which includes a nearly $1.9 trillion in emergency relief to support American workers, families and small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, can be found here.
Congress also passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the CARES Act, Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act to help families and health care facilities respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE RESOURCES UPDATE
On March 11, the American Rescue Plan extended temporary federal unemployment benefits for people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, through September 4, 2021. This includes the federal supplemental $300 per week unemployment benefit, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Now, there are 53 weeks available of PEUC and 50 weeks available of PUA. More information can be found here.
Beginning June 7, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is beginning a new call-in schedule for all claimants who certify by phone with Michigan's Automated Response Voice Interactive Network (MARVIN), UIA's toll-free automated telephone system. Claimants who certify by phone must call on the scheduled day and time that corresponds with the last two digits of their Social Security Number (SSN). MARVIN can be reached at 1-866-638-3993 Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. More information can be found here.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits: Individuals should apply online at www.michigan.gov/UIA or call 866-500-0017. UIA offers resources to help workers resolve online technical issues with their account. More information can be found here.
Governor Whitmer created the Eviction Diversion Program, which outlines a process for renters to get rental assistance or establish a manageable payment plan to help them stay in their homes. The program also includes assistance to landlords. More information can be found here.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have a website to help renters and homeowners understand their housing assistance options. This includes information on mortgage and rental relief as well as resources for additional help that may be needed. More information, including step by step videos, can be found here.
The Department of the Treasury has also developed a tool to help connect renters with Emergency Rental Assistance programs provided in the American Rescue Plan. Renters can view an index of the websites associated with the Department of the Treasury’s grantees’ rental assistance programs to help tenants and landlords find programs in their areas. More information, including the web tool, can be found here.
Congress extended the CDC moratorium on evictions of renters based on non-payment of rent through June 31, 2021. For individuals that have questions on how this moratorium works or how they can access help, the National Low Income Housing Coalition has put together an overview of the order here, while Michigan Legal Help has more tools and information here.
COMMUNITY RESOURCES UPDATE
The SBA has put out a step-by-step guide for businesses with a PPP loan on how to apply for loan forgiveness. More information can be found here.
Personal Protective Equipment: The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched a platform to help re-opening businesses acquire PPE. More information can be found here.
Michigan’s Virtual Food Bank: Seniors in need of food support can sign up for assistance, including meal delivery, delivery of non-perishable food items, and daily wellness-check calls, through the MDHHS coronavirus website, or by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging. More information on the virtual food bank can be found here.
Flint Cares Help Centers: The city of Flint is offering resources and services including bottled water and food assistance. Services will continue to be provided from two semi-trailers staged in church parking lots across the city to distribute items directly to cars as residents drive through. For more information, please call 810-410-2020 or visit here.