Connecting with the Government

Updates from the Governor's office:
COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers from Governor Inslee's office.

Lost Wages Assistance program payments are now processing - funds should start to reach eligible claimants this week. Payments will be retroactive for all weeks for which the claimant met eligibility requirements. Refer to the Employment Security Department website for details.

Employers affected by COVID-19 may be eligible to apply for an offset of some unemployment benefit charges, which might reduce their 2021 tax rate. This relief applies to unemployment benefits paid in the first two quarters of 2020 to employees who were temporarily laid off as a direct or indirect consequence of COVID-19 and returned to work for the employer after the layoff. Visit the Employment Security Department website for more information.

Governor Inslee has announced the creation of two funds to help workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Immigrant Relief Fund will provide $40 million to assist Washington residents who are unable to access federal stimulus programs due to their immigration status, and the Food Production Paid Leave Program will provide $3 million of financial resources to certain food production workers who remain home when ill. Additional information and the links to access these resources will be posted when they are available.

Applicants must meet ALL requirements below:
Be 18 years old or older AND
Reside in Washington state AND
Have experienced hardship due to the pandemic AND
Did not receive a federal CARES Act Economic Impact Payment (also known as a “coronavirus stimulus check”) due to immigration status AND
Are not eligible for unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic due to immigration status.

Application and more information:

A monthly Spanish language webinar series presents information specific to Washington small businesses. The series features brief presentations from state and federal partners and open-mic Q&A time. Topics include unemployment insurance, returning employees to work, PPP and EIDL loans, workplace safety, face covering requirements and other topics important to employers. The next webinar will be held on Oct 28th at 6:30 p.m. 

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.

OnwardWa Matches individuals that have lost their jobs as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to desperately needed help. Our intelligent matching system will pair you with job listings and resources that align with your needs.

Emergency Student Loan Forbearance Those with federal student loans can contact their loan servicer and request their accounts be put into an emergency forbearance which will halt payments for at least 60 days. 

Violations or suspected violations of the governor’s orders regarding evictions can be reported. There are only two reasons for evictions during the Governor Inslee’s moratorium.

Skagit County Commissioners kick start Mortgage Assistance Program: The Skagit County Board of Commissioners released application materials for a new mortgage assistance program to assist low-income homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 economic downturn. The application information is available at Applications must be hand delivered or mail to Skagit Public Health at:
Skagit County Public Health
700 South Second, Rm. 301
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

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...