Archive for the ‘COVID-19’ tag

Healthy at Home Eviction Relief Fund   no comments

Posted at 11:36 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on February 24th, 2021

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Workforce Services Workshop   no comments

Posted at 11:03 am in News

Written by Sarah Hill on February 3rd, 2021

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BSACAP distributes millions in relief funds   no comments

Posted at 3:56 pm in News

Phones have been ringing off the hook for months at Big Sandy Area Community Action Program offices as the number of requests for help from the local nonprofit sky-rocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic and the economic hardships it caused.

All told, since April of 2020, the agency has provided $2,744,210 in LIHEAP funds to local individuals and families, filling nearly 14,000 requests for assistance.

The agency finished their fall Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) season on December 11. Through this portion of the LIHEAP program, $542,900 was used to fill 3,058 requests for help from households in need to assist with winter heating costs.

Unusual for the nonprofit, they were able to provide spring and summer cooling LIHEAP assistance this year as well, due to the economic hardship generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. $2,148,889 was provided to local households for these two programs, ensuring that 10,426 requests for energy assistance were filled.

In December, BSACAP exhausted the Healthy at Home funds provided to their agency for distribution. The agency distributed $1,347,320 in Healthy at Home Funds and filled 3,785 requests for assistance across their five county service area.

The Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund provided relief to Kentuckians affected by COVID-19 who needed assistance with their water, wastewater, electric, or natural gas service. BSACAP partnered Community Action Kentucky and Team Kentucky to distribute these funds in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties.

The agency also used funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to offer additional water, wastewater, and garbage bill assistance to households that had fallen behind on their bills. Across the area, 999 households received $127,629 to help them maintain health and hygiene at home through the agency’s CARES Act utility assistance program.

Through their housing assistance program, BSACAP ensured that 53 men, women, and children were able to gain clean, safe, and stable housing, protecting them both from the elements and from the coronavirus.

BSACAP’s workforce and employment staff members completed well over 10,000 unemployment related tasks. They answered phones, answered questions, assisted with forms, corrected files, and other work as they stepped up to the unemployment crisis the workforce faced since April of 2020.

To assist those who lost their job due to COVID-19, the agency also distributed $25,915 in Team Kentucky Funds to 101 households. The funds were used to assist those impacted by the “stay-at-home” orders to pay their rent, keep their vehicle, and buy groceries and other household necessities.

“This has been a tremendously challenging year for so many people,” BSACAP Executive Director Wanda Thacker said. “Our agency has been running at top speed continuously for about 10 months in order to meet the needs of our communities. We know that we haven’t been able to reach every single person, but thousands of families across the Big Sandy area have been pulled back from the edge of disaster because of this work. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to provide so many services to local people.”

BSACAP is currently operating the winter LIHEAP crisis season. LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Funding for these projects is made possible, in part, by Community Services Block Grant with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Written by Sarah Hill on January 7th, 2021

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Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund available   no comments

Posted at 10:52 am in News

The Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund provides relief to Kentuckians affected by COVID-19 that need assistance with their water, wastewater, electric, or natural gas service. Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is partnering with Team Kentucky to distribute these funds in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin, and Pike counties.

Eligible households can receive up to $500 to pay past due water and wastewater bills and up to $500 to pay current and future water and wastewater bills. Eligible households can also apply for electric or natural gas benefits. Households can receive up to $400.00 to pay past due electric or natural gas bills and up to $400.00 to pay current or future electric or natural gas bills.

You do not have to have a past due balance to receive benefits. Benefits are supplied in the form of a voucher to the vendor or supplier. A household can apply for one or both components and is eligible for up to the maximum allowable benefit for past due and current bills.

To be eligible, the household should have experienced one of the following changes due to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Job Loss, Reduced Hours/Wages, Additional Expenses, or other negative impact. Households must have a total income of at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and be able to provide their most current utility bill; proof of arrearage, payment plan, or disconnect notice for utilities, if applicable; proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household; and proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month.

To book an appointment in order to complete an application, you can visit www.bsacap.org/bookings. If you are unable to complete an appointment booking online, you can call the agency’s new hotline number at 1-888-658-3641.

Written by Sarah Hill on December 11th, 2020

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Economic Impact Payment FAQ    no comments

Posted at 11:02 am in News

There are lots of questions about the Economic Impact Payments floating around, so we wanted to find out some answers for you. Below is a list of commonly asked questions and we hope that we’re able to give you the information you really need. If you have a question that we haven’t answered here, you can visit the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments for more information. If that doesn’t help, feel free to reach out to us and we will try to get you the answer you need. 

Why is the government giving out money like this? 

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has put a lot of people out of work and caused a lot of financial hardship for individuals, families, and businesses. The government is giving out this money to help people stay afloat while the virus spreads and to help businesses try to keep the economy going as much as we can. 

Who qualifies for this money?  

  • Most American adults will receive some money for themselves and their families through the COVID-19 Stimulus Package. If you have a Social Security number or an adoption taxpayer identification number (AITN), you can receive the stimulus money. 
  • Immigrant households who filed taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) will not qualify for the stimulus money. 
  • If you owe back child support payments, you may not get any or all of the Economic Impact money that you could have received. 

How much money do I get? 

  • If you are a single person and made less than $75,000 last year, you will get $1,200. 
  • If you are the head of the household (on your tax form) and made less than $112,500 last year, you will get $1,200. 
  • If you are a married couple and your combined income was less than $150,000, you will get $2,400 (or $1,200 each). 
  • If you have children under the age of 17 that you claimed on your taxes last year, you will $500 per child on top of the $1,200 you are receiving. 

What if I had a baby since the last time I filed taxes, can I still get $500 for them? 

  • No. The amount you get is based off your most recent tax return. 

I haven’t filed my taxes this year, can I still get the money? 

  • Yes. If you have not filed your taxes this year, the IRS will use your 2018 tax information to determine the amount you are eligible for. 

I do not have to file taxes, can I still get the money? 

  • Yes. If you receive Social Security Retirement Benefits or Social Security Disability Payments and you do not have any children under the age of 17, you do not have to do anything to receive the money. Otherwise, you can enter your information through the IRS’s website and receive your money.
    Visit:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here 

How am I supposed to use this money? 

  • You are free to use the money on whatever you want. A lot of people will probably use the money to help them pay bills and buy groceries, gasoline, and supplies for their home. 
  • Even though landlords can’t evict you right now and your electricity won’t be cut off right now, you still have to pay those bills at some point.  

I lost my job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019, you do not have to do anything to receive the money. 

I was unemployed before the COVID-19 pandemic began, do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019, you do not have to do anything to receive the money. 

I’m still employed or found new employment, do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you filed taxes in either 2018 or 2019, you do not have to do anything to receive the money. 

I draw Social Security Retirement, do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you do not have any children under the age of 17, you will automatically receive your payment. You do not have to do anything. 

I draw Social Security Disability (SSDI), do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you do not have any children under the age of 17, you will automatically receive your payment. You do not have to do anything. 
  • If you have children under the age of 17, you still qualify, but you will have to enter your information on the IRS website to make sure that you will receive the $500 per child. Visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here 

I draw Supplemental Security Income (SSI), do I qualify? 

  • Yes. If you do not have any children under the age of 17, you will automatically receive your payment. You do not have to do anything. 
  • If you have children under the age of 17, you still qualify, but you will have to enter your information on the IRS website to make sure that you will receive the $500 per child. Visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here 

I draw SSI and use a Direct Express card which does not have a routing number or account number, can I still get the money? 

I’m new to the Social Security or SSI system, do I need to do anything? 

Do adult dependents that I claimed on my taxes qualify? 

  • No. If you claimed an adult dependent on your taxes, that person is not eligible for the economic impact money. 

What do I have to do to get this money? 

  • Most people won’t have to do anything. The IRS will either direct deposit the money into the same bank account that you used to receive your income tax return or they will send you a check by mail. 
  • If you do not have to file taxes or did not file in 2018 or 2019 and you do not receive SS benefits or SSDI, you can enter your information through the IRS’s website and receive your money.
    Visit:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here 

What if my address has changed since I filed taxes?  

What if opened a bank account or my bank account information has changed since I last filed taxes? 

  • If your bank account information has changed since you last filed taxes, you can visit the IRS’s website at:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. Click on the “Get My Payment” button and enter your information there. That part of their website won’t be ready until about mid-April, so just keep checking back. 

What if I don’t have a bank account, can I still get the money? 

  • If you do not have a bank account, you can still receive the money. The IRS will be processing direct deposits (into people’s bank accounts) first, then they will process paper checks. It will take longer to receive a paper check, but you will still receive the money. 

Will this money be taxed? 

  • No. While regular income and unemployment funds will be taxed, the economic impact money will not be taxed. 

Will I have to pay this money back? 

  • No. You do not have to pay this money back. 

 

Written by Sarah Hill on April 13th, 2020

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Coronavirus Response Portal to Assist Kentuckians   no comments

Posted at 3:53 pm in News

FROM THE OFFICE OF SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today he created a Coronavirus Response Portal on his website to help Kentuckians who may have questions related to how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will help their families, organizations, small businesses, and communities take advantage of the provisions in the legislation.

The portal can be accessed by Kentucky families and small businesses owners who may have questions related to unemployment insurance, low-interest federal loans, federal taxes and relief checks, federal grants, and assistance for Kentuckians traveling or living abroad.

“At my direction, the Senate stepped up to face this challenge presented by COVID-19. We passed a bold plan called the CARES Act to assist families, workers, small businesses and medical professionals. I hope the following resources will be helpful as your family, organization, small business or community takes advantage of the federal funding I helped make available,” Senator McConnell said. “We’ll win this fight against the Coronavirus because Americans continue finding creative ways to stand united—even if we have to stand six feet apart.”

The Coronavirus Response Portal link: https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public//index.cfm?p=coronavirus-updates

 

Kentucky Workers

Have you recently been laid off and need to file for unemployment insurance?

 

Kentucky Employers and Small Businesses

Need help to make payroll or to keep the lights on?

Questions about unemployment benefits?

 

Federal Taxes and Rebate Checks

Questions about how Coronavirus affects your federal incomes taxes?

 

Kentucky Education

What resources are available to help students, graduates and schools respond to the Coronavirus?

 

Kentuckians Living or Traveling Abroad

Need individual assistance?

Thinking about international travel?

Thinking about traveling in the U.S.?

 

Kentucky Volunteers are Part of the Solution

Looking to help your neighbors during the Coronavirus crisis?

Written by Sarah Hill on March 30th, 2020

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