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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Relief Legislation & Refugees - Shared screen with speaker view
Mohammad Maroof
Mohammad Maroof
Mohammad Maroof
Fawzia Maroof
Sabiha Khan
Sabiha Khan, Refugees International
Rachael Kusak
Rachael Kusak, CRIS
Emily Plummer
Emily Plummer, IRC
Sara Pascal
Sara Pascal, CWS-Greensboro
Prajan Marhatta
Prajan Marhatta, NC African Service Coalition
Colleen Tighe
Colleen Tighe, USCCB
Daniela Bushiri
Daniela Bushiri
Ben Levey
Ben Levey, HIAS
Mohammad Maroof
Mohammad Maroof and Fawzia Maroof from CCC
Peyton Ruble
Peyton Ruble, RefugeeOne
Isoken Aiwerioba
Isoken Aiwerioba, World Relief
Abby Bruell
Abby Bruell, USCRI-Cleveland
Rachel Landry
Rachel Landry, IRC
Farida Ibrahim
Farida El Hefni, IRAP
Kathleen Doyle
Kathy Doyle Worl Relief
Elizabeth Capatides
Hello from Elizabeth Capatides from Lutheran Services Florida in Tampa
Eden Siskind
Eden Siskind, HIAS
Barbara Galli
Barb Galli, World Relief
Adrienne Ramm-Granberg
hello! Adrienne, from IRC in Seattle
Hello from Amina Abdullahi from Catholic Community Services
Jen Smyers
Welcome everyone - thank you for joining us! If you haven't already, please introduce yourself using the participant tool or the chat function. We also encourage you to ask questions using the chat function - we'll be monitoring them throughout the call and will answer them as quickly and comprehensively as possible.
Refugee Council USA
From our moderator Jen Smyers of CWS: "Welcome everyone - thank you for joining us! If you haven't already, please introduce yourself using the participant tool or the chat function. We also encourage you to ask questions using the chat function - we'll be monitoring them throughout the call and will answer them as quickly and comprehensively as possible."
Nancy Goodwin
Hello from Nancy Goodwin, World Relief Spokane
Jonathan Fein Proaño
Jonathan Fein, IRC
Rett Janzen, World Relief DuPage/Aurora
Liza Khalil
Liza Khalil, World Relief
Daniela Bushiri
Will we be getting these slides?
Asefeh Mazraeh
Asefeh Mazraeh, IRC
Beth Carney
Beth Carney Catholic Charities Indianapolis
sean hardiman
Sean Hardiman, Kentucky Refugee Ministries
Abigail Vogt
Abby Vogt, Catholic Charities Atlanta
Jen Smyers
Yes, we will be sending these slides out as well as a recording of this webinar
Jen Smyers
Ben Levey - to your question, since the PD is so low (18k), if resettlement resumes in May, it will still be possible to meet the PD as long as PRM makes the needed changes to the allocations categories, which we are encouraging them to do. (for instance, they will not be able to admit the 4,000 slots allocated for Iraqi P2s or the 1,500 slots allocated for the Northern Triangle, so they will have to allow other populations to use these slots). But there are certainly enough refugees in the pipeline to meet that number. Ofcourse, if resettlement continues to be suspended for more time, that will become more difficult.
Jen Smyers
Ayesha Hassan - to your question, yes, you can share the materials and recording with others who are not on / did not RSVP, but please do not post it on social media or any publicly accessible websites.
Jen Smyers
Monica Harris, here's the IRS residency page: https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/substantial-presence-test
Jen Smyers
Salemu Alimasi - to your question, no, the stimulus money will not have to be paid back.
Rachael Kusak
Would it be worth helping clients fill out the non filers form for asylees/refugees who arrived/were granted status in 2019 and 2020?
Jen Smyers
Clare Orie - to your question, you must either file 2019 or 2018 taxes or the non-filer form in order to get the cash payment. Or you can file 2020 taxes in order to receive the cash payment later in 2021. However, right now the IRS non-filer form says it should only be used by US citizens or greencard holders. We do not think that should be the case and so are seeking clarity on that, but for now you should have them file 2019 taxes, even if they are not usually required to.
Meredith Owen
i Carey - for children born after a family's most recent tax filing, you're correct that you would receive an additional $500/tax credit when you file your 2020 tax return next year. Also, in general people should file their 2019 tax return ASAP (whether they had a baby in 2019 or not) so that their cash payment isn't held up - but we don't know if we've already passed the date by which the IRS will consider a 2019 return versus a 2018 return. Once they've received their stimulus check, to receive the add'l $500 for a baby born more recently, then yes you would claim the credit on your 2020 filing.
Jen Smyers
Rachael Kusak - yes - although right now the IRS says that the non-filer form is just to be used by US citizens or greencard holders. We are challenging this because it does not seem right, but for not it would be most helpful for you to help clients who are not yet USCs or LPRs file their 2019 taxes, even if they usually would not.
Jen Smyers
Nizar Rasho - yes SIVs can file the non-filer form
Jen Smyers
Marguerite Guter - just count the 183 days to include all days someone has been present in 2020 and 2019, total - don't worry about the 1/3 and 1/6 language.
Meredith Owen
Clients who are dependents on another tax return do not receive the cash payment/rebate/stimulus check.
Jen Smyers
Katie Weber - yes, if they have a greencard, then they can receive the payment but they must file their 2019 taxes or the non-filer form.
Elizabeth Capatides
filing for 2019 was extended thru July 15,2020
Jen Smyers
ANthony Nnaji - yes - we will be sending the recording, powerpoint, and all resources to those who RSVPd
Jen Smyers
Clement Kigugu - yes - if she is a permanent resident then she can qualify, but must file 2019 taxes or the non-filer form
Jen Smyers
Clement Kigugu - to give the IRS your information, you must file 2019 taxes or the non-filer form
Monica Harris
So is the best guidance to have refugees who do not have their green cards, but arrived June 2019 or later and who have worked, file their 2019 tax returns to see if they can get the stimulus money?
Jen Smyers
Here's more information on the non-filer form including a direct link to the form: https://bit.ly/COVIDNonFiler
Monica Harris
Sorry, I meant June 2019 or earlier
Jen Smyers
Tanja Pauler - an SIV with a greencard can use the non-filer form
Jen Smyers
Nizar Rasho - yes - SIVS who have LPR can fill out the non-filer form.
Jen Smyers
Nesar Anwari - yes - SIVS who have LPR can receive the payment - they should fill out the non-filer form.
Jen Smyers
Salemu - in terms of helping clients, if they have LPR status or are US citizens, they can use the non-filer form as long as the otherwise qualify based on their income. Another option is to help clients file their 2019 taxes
Jen Smyers
Adrienne Ramm-Granberg - we are still trying to find out if individuals who qualify under the IRS residency requirement may be able to utilize the non-filer form. For now, those individuals should file their 2019 taxes even if they otherwise might not.
Jen Smyers
Hamid Ghomi - yes, SIVs who have LPR status can use the non-filer form
Emily Plummer
Would any newly arrived refugees who never worked and now can't work because it's difficult to find a job due to COVID, qualify for PUA?
Jen Smyers
Casey Leyva - the CARES Act doesn't waive the work history requirements, but it provides two new programs for people regardless of work history:Pandemic Unemployment Assistance: Those NOT eligible for UI who were unemployed, unable to work, or partially unemployed as a result of COVID-19, or provided care for someone in their household directly affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for 39 weeks of their state’s average UI (about $190 per week) (Jan 27 - Dec 31, 2020)Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation: Individuals receiving UI, PUA, or PEUC can receive an additional $600 per week from March 27 - July 31. These payments are NOT income for purposes of eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP.
Jen Smyers
Leslie Aizenman - you should first apply through your state's unemployment insurance programs, There may be a way to apply for PUA separately but that is not out yet.
Jen Smyers
Becky Burnside - yes
Meredith Owen
Alexandra Arshavsky - it's likely that that's happening because they are ineligible for state UI because of work history requirements. We understand that state UI offices *should* be automatically considering the client's information for PUA & PUC in that case. However, the PUA program is still being set up so they won't be able to receive more information until that happens. I would recommend they try to call the state UI office, and otherwise if they can't get through wait until the state sets up the PUA program.
Jen Smyers
Rebecca Evans - follow your state's guidance
Meredith Owen
Lizzie Biddle - for unemployment benefits you just need work authorization (whether you have a SSN/ITIN) during the base period, time of application, and duration of receiving benefits.
Jen Smyers
Sharon - in terms of your DC question - it all applies to DC as well. I have Meredith working on your asylum questions
Jennifer Quigley
Correction - all federal student loans payments ARE postponed (not may be)
Meredith Owen
Sharifa Khaliqyar - the 19 year old who already filed their 2019 tax return as an individual filer should be eligible to receive a cash payment IF they otherwise meet the eligibility criteria. Even though some families have received their cash payments, not everyone has yet.
Jennifer Quigley
They have all been placed in forbearance
Meredith Owen
Salemu Alimasi - please contact COVID19@rcusa.org with more questions
Meredith Owen
Sharon Stanley-Rea - asylum seekers could receive UI if they had work authorization when they worked, when they apply for benefits, and while they receive benefits. Asylum seekers w/ a SSN who file taxes/count as non-filers might be able to receive the cash payment too.
Refugee Council USA
That's fine with me, I can also make my slides super quick
Meredith Owen
Emily Plummer - yes - if they have work authorization and either had a job offer or were looking for a job and couldn't get one b/c of COVID-19, they could apply for PUA. Please note that individuals need to have an attachment to the workforce, so there will need to be some kind of proof that they were looking for work or had a job offer that was rescinded or something like that.
Meredith Owen
Katy Fohrman - thank you for flagging that issue! Please send a note to COVID19@rcusa.org to speak further about clients who may be impacted by this.
Jen Smyers
Jennifer Quigley - federally guaranteed loans held by private lenders and federal Perkins loans are not covered
Meredith Owen
Salemu Alimasi - to receive unemployment benefits (whether it's state UI/PEUC or PUA), you need to have some kind of attachment to the workforce. So if you haven't worked but were planning on returning to work - and couldn't b/c of COVID19 - then you could receive PUA - but you need to demonstrate that you either had an offer that was rescinded or you were actively looking for a job - or something like that
Meredith Owen
Janet Lopez - people with SSN's and either filed or count as non-filers (whether that's CHEP folks or others) may be able to receive the cash payment
Meredith Owen
Nejra Sumic - I presume this is because the state UI offices haven't set up PEUC/PUA/PUC yet, which is frustrating many individuals. I would recommend they contact their state UI office to talk through the extension by 13 weeks of PEUC - and otherwise, wait until states get that set up.
Jennifer Quigley
The slide on students is misleading and need clarification.
Meredith Owen
Tanja Pauler - it is possible that a recent arrival could qualify for PUA/PUC benefits if they were looking for a job or had some kind of attachment to the workforce (e.g., a job offer that was rescinded), including those who never worked in the U.S. I think it would be important for that individual to indicate how they were unemployed directly b/c of COVID-19.
Jennifer Quigley
*student loans"
Meredith Owen
Hilary Lucas - anyone who receives state UI, PEUC, or PUA will receive PUC ($600/week)
Camille Wathne
Regarding the healthcare request -- are these paid positions? Is there a pathway to re-credentialing services or job placement following the response?
Meredith Owen
Leslie Aizenman - I think any assistance we can provide to clients on how to file taxes is helpful. TurboTax has other free tools, as well, if people are willing to sign up for an account, to help folks navigate taxes during this time.
Jennifer Quigley
Perkins loans are covered
Meredith Owen
Ginger Anderson - the WIC funds are going to the states to help more people receive WIC benefits
Meredith Owen
For SNAP, it should be easier/faster to receive SNAP (though SNAP benefits themselves weren't expanded)
Jen Smyers
Leslie Aizenman - yes
Jen Smyers
Tanja Pauler - the UI expansions are not counted as income for CHIP or Medicaid, but they ARE counted as income for SNAP - although we are seeking further guidance on that. We are also seeking guidance to see if they count as income in terms of Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance, which as of now is unclear.
Meredith Owen
JQ - thanks for flagging! For folks, Perkins loans are federal loans that are deferred with no interest - https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
Jen Smyers
Chris Williams - no - refugees who arrived before October 1, 2019 should have met the residency requirements by the time this legislation passed, which was March 27th. For those who arrived after October 1, 2019, they may still be able to get the payment when they file 2020 taxes at a later date - we are still seeking guidance on that.
Jen Smyers
Janet Lopez - the residency requirement is 183 days in the United States. So anyone who arrived in the US after October 1, 2019 will have met that requirement by March 27th, which is when the legislation passed.
Jen Smyers
But even though who had not met the residency requirement by the time the bill passed, they may be able to file their taxes in 2020 and get the payment then.
Jen Smyers
Clare Orie - No, it's not 183 days in 2019the time in 2020 counts as well
Jen Smyers
Marguerite Guter - Pat explained that the 1/3 and 1/6 only count for people who were admitted to the US prior to the previous year. Someone who has been in the US for a total of 183 since they arrived will meet the residency requirement.
Meredith Owen
Casey Leyva - I understand this will be flexibly applied so arriving refugees who are trying to work would likely receive the benefits. I think it would be *harder* if you were a student for the last few years and had planned on starting work soon and can't (and don't have a rescinded job offer or something like that), or if you were a stay-at-home-parent who had considered reentering the workforce.
Jen Smyers
right - they wouldn't have met the residency requirement in 2019 in order to have to file taxes in 2019 - but they WOULD meet the residency requirement in 2020 for the cash payment.