HONOLULU (KHON2) — Next week marks the end of the month, and the extra $600 the federal government has been providing to those on unemployment is set to expire. A push to extend the payout is still being debated on Capitol Hill.
In the meantime, help could be coming in other ways for Hawaii residents.
The state legislature recently passed a $635 million financial recovery package. Funded by the CARES Act, it provides an extra $100 dollars per week in unemployment benefits starting August 1.
“We know that many residents will lose their unemployment plus up benefit at the end of July or early August so we wanted to be prepared for that,” said Rep. Scott Saiki.
The bill also provides those in need of rental assistance with up to $500 per month and earmarks money to help businesses pay for personal protective equipment.
Saiki said they want the funding to not only bring relief but also to kick start the economy.
“It will also generate some economic activity in our state,” said Saiki. “This is really important right now because not only do families need assistance, but we need to restart, in a safe way, our economy.”
However, before any money goes out, the bill still needs to be approved by the governor.
KHON2 has reached out to his office but have yet to hear back.
Maui County is putting an additional $3 million dollars into its Hawaii Emergency Laulima Partnership or H.E.L.P. program. More information on the H.E.L.P. program and how to apply can be found here.
“The additional $3 million will assist residents with food, personal hygiene, medicine, rent, mortgage, utility payments, phones, internet service or other essentials,” said Mayor Mike Victorino.
Victorino said about 4,300 people received financial help through the program back in June, and he said people can apply again for a second round after 30 days.
On Kauai, the Kupaa Kauai program will provide rent and mortgage help for up to 160 households and childcare subsidies for up to 55 families. More information on the Kupaa Kauai program and how to apply can be found here.
On Oahu, the city has setup a Household Hardship Relief Program to also help with housing and childcare payments as well as utility bills. More information on the Household Hardship Relief Program and how to apply can be found here.
Hawaii island also has a rent and mortgage assistance program for its residents impacted by COVID-19 that began in July. The program will provide a one-time rent or mortgage payment up to $2,000. More information and how to apply can be found here.