Connecting with the Government

Taxes: for those in need of their tax refund during this time, Free File is available through and the deadline has been extended to June 15th.  Anyone making less than $69,000 a year can use Free File to do their taxes online for free.  The IRS is also providing information about the Economic Impact Payments on their Coronavirus Tax Relief Page.

If you have not filed your taxes in the last two years or do not have a bank account number on file to get a direct deposit from the IRS, Non-Filers can now enter your information on this Free File portal set up by the IRS.  The link will first take you to the IRS website with a button mid-page that will take you to the secure Free Portal form to create an account.  
If you usually file a tax return and just want to give the IRS direct deposit information, you have to use the Get My Payment tool.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) helps combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.
Employee Paid Leave Requirements
Employee Paid Leave Rights
Questions and Answers
Paid Sick Leave & COVID-19 Common Questions

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security Act (CARES) allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
CARES ACT Questions and Answers
Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Franchise Business Requirements and Opportunities

Update: April 23, 2020 Congress recently approved an additional $310 billion in funding to restore the PPP Program, which had run out of money. PPP is open again for applications as of April 27, 2020.

No-cost assistance is available for Skagit County Nonprofits to apply for PPP loans. EDASC has partnered with a pair of nonprofit organizations to help you pursue the loan and even have your application prioritized. Partners include 501 Commons, a nonprofit focused on sustaining and growing strong nonprofits across the state, and the National Development Council. To get started, please complete the Federal Loan Access Survey. The survey is open to those who want to apply, or who have already applied and have a stalled or rejected loan. For questions, contact

Washington Employment Security Department COVID-19 Information Page for workers.

Filing for Unemployment in Washington and tips on how to file for Unemployment Benefits in WashingtonThe state Employment Security Department (ESD) recommends workers take four steps to help ensure their unemployment benefits are filed correctly and start quickly.
Washington Employment Security Department Unemployment Claims Center Phone Number: 1-800-318-6022

Strategies that help filing for unemployment in Washington.

Unemployment Benefits Eligibility Checklist

Unemployment Benefits Applications Checklist

If you are first responder or a health care worker who is unable to work due to illness (including COVID-19) and do not qualify for unemployment, you may qualify for other benefits.  See if you are eligible to have your lost wages covered through workers’ compensation. File a claim here or call 1-877-561-3453.

Or, if the time that you are or will be unable to work due to illness is longer than seven days, you may qualify for Paid Family Medical Leave Benefits. Please see Paid Family & Medical Leave or call 1-833-717-2273. 

Expanded Unemployment for those who would not normally qualify for unemployment: part-time, loss of child care, and more.

Self-Employed or Independent Contractors in Washington.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Announcements 

Washington State Coronavirus Response For daily updates on the Coronavirus statistics, information on applying for unemployment, and COVID-19 resources in multiple languages. Spanish: Nuevo coronavirus, BienestarWA, Chinese 中文, Russian: Pусский, Vietnamese: Vi-rút Corona Mới, Korean: 한국어,  more translations...