Operation Warp Speed has greatly assisted in ensuring that safe, effective vaccines are available to Kansans. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all individuals wishing to get vaccinated and no insurance is required. Providers may charge an administration fee, but cannot deny anyone a vaccine due to their inability to pay.
Those with questions about the safety of the vaccine can find information on the CDC's website
Vaccine Phase 5
Kansas is currently in Phase 5. That includes all persons 12 and older are eligible to be vaccinated.
Vaccines are available throughout the 4th District. Use the CDC's VaccineFinder tool to find locations close to you at vaccinefinder.org
COVID-19 Testing Information for Sedgwick County
Sedgwick County announced a streamlined process for individuals seeking COVID-19 testing.
Residents who have general questions about COVID-19 or if they believe they need to be tested can call their primary care physician or United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1.
Requirements to receive testing have changed. Other testing sites may also be available with fewer restrictions. Your primary care physician or the United Way of the Plains at 2-1-1 can assist with finding the location right for you.
Sedgwick County has also launched a test site locator, available by clicking here
Worker and Family Resources
Economic Impact Payments
In March 2021, the IRS started issuing the third economic impact payment. Most eligible people won’t need to take additional action to get a third payment. Due to new income limitations, some individuals won't be eligible for the third payment even if they received a first or second Economic Impact Payment or claimed a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.
General information about Economic Impact Payments can be found on the IRS website.
Recovery Rebate Credit: If you were eligible but didn’t get the full amount of the first or second Economic Impact Payments, you may be eligible to claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return even if you don’t normally file. The third Economic Impact Payment will not be used to calculate the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Learn more.
Small Business Resources
Paycheck Protection Program for Churches
Many church leaders have been curious about whether they qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program. Below are answers to some common questions.
Who is eligible for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program?
All churches are eligible for the forgivable loans available under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Do you need to file a Form 990?
No church should have to file a Form 990.
What box do you check on the SBA Application Form 2483?
- Churches should check the “501(c)(3) nonprofit” box in the top left corner of the form.
- You do not need to have any formal recognition from the IRS in order to be considered a 501(c)(3) entity. You do not need a determination letter from the IRS.
Why should I check the “501(c)(3) nonprofit” box?
- You are automatically recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization as long as you are organized and operated exclusively for the exempt purposes outlined in section 501(c)(3).
- To qualify for tax-exempt status, the organization must meet the following requirements:
- the organization must be organized and operated exclusively for religious, educational, scientific or other charitable purposes;
- net earnings may not inure to the benefit of any private individual or shareholder;
- no substantial part of its activity may be attempting to influence legislation;
- the organization may not intervene in political campaigns; and
- the organization’s purposes and activities may not be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.
- For more information: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf
Ag Producer Benefits, Programs and Other Ag-related Provisions
Kansas farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our economy, and their work is essential to keep the food supply chain moving. Here are some programs and resources for ag producers during this pandemic.
USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and Farmers to Families Food Box
Due to unprecedented circumstances, the USDA created the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to distribute $19 million in funding to support agriculture producers and improve the American food supply chain. USDA will reopen CFAP 2 signup for all eligible producers beginning April 5, 2021. A deadline for signup will be announced at a later date.
You can also learn more about the Farmers to Families Food Box program here.
Small Business Administration Loans
Farms and other agricultural employers can start applying for grants and low-interest, long-term loans through the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Agribusinesses are eligible for grants of up to $10,000 under the EIDL Advance program and loans up to $2 million under the EIDL program.
Business and Industry CARES Act Program
USDA announced $1 billion in loan guarantees to help ag businesses meet the American supply chain needs through the Business and Industry CARES Act Program, extending loan eligibility and CARES Act funding to more ag producers in rural areas.
Business and Industry CARES Act Program loans will be used as working capital to prevent, prepare for, or respond to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. These loans must be used to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers, that were in operation on Feb. 15, 2020.
USDA will begin accepting these loan guarantee applications May 22, 2020. Applications must be received by Sept. 15, 2021, or until funds are expended. Program funding expires Sept. 30, 2021.
Learn more from USDA here.
Commodity Corporation Credit (CCC)
As part of the CARES Act, the USDA received $14 billion to replenish the Commodity Corporation Credit. This funding is intended to support agricultural producers through price and trade changes and American producers are expected to receive funds by July.
USDA Commodity Purchases
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, through its Section 32 authority, will use customs receipts to purchase $470 million in goods from American farmers.
These surplus products will be redistributed to food banks, school feeding programs and other efforts to help hungry Americans.
Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HIIP)
Recently, the USDA announced $100 million dollar grant available in competitive grants for activities that are designed to expand the availability and sale of renewable fuels under Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HIPP).
Rep. Estes also joined his colleagues on a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Purdue requesting that the HBIIP program make changes to relieve regulatory burdens on this industry.
The USDA recently announced over $71 million in grants to fund rural broadband projects through the Broadband ReConnect Program. Over $18 million of this funding will go towards improving broadband infrastructure in Chautauqua County.
Health and Family Resources
Unfortunately, nefarious characters use times of crisis to prey and profit on our fellow neighbors. I want to make sure you are aware of several scams happening right now.
Contact Tracing: Real contact tracers won’t ask you for money or your social security number. Don’t give out this information over the phone or online. Don’t click on links in texts or emails from people you don’t know.
- Economic Impact Payments: The IRS won’t contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media with information about your stimulus payment, or to ask you for your Social Security number, bank account, or government benefits debit card account number. You don't have to pay to get your stimulus money.
- Federal Trade Commission resources on COVID-19 related scams can be found here.
These scams are despicable. I encourage you to use Kansas common sense when it comes to reviewing information online, in print, on TV and over the phone. These scammers are preying on fear, but the best way to defeat them is by not falling for their pathetic tactics.
Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act
Rep. Estes introduced Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act in the Summer of 2020, and reintroduced it in January of 2021. This provision was signed into law on March 11, 2021.
This legislation allows aviation manufacturers to designate 25% of their workforce at risk of furlough due to COVID-19 to be eligible for 50% of their total compensation covered by the Department of Transportation. The employer will cover the remaining 50%.