SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of revenue, within 15 days of the effective date of this act, shall release an online “equity and justice for all” (EJA) portal where every person who has resided in Massachusetts since at least January 1st, 2020 shall be eligible to register for COVID-19 EJA assistance. The portal shall include a form where each registrant shall swear and attest to their:
(1) residency in Massachusetts prior to January 1st, 2020;
(2) their date of birth, age and physical address;
(3) their personal income in the calendar year 2019;
(4) whether they have dependents who are (i) under the age of 16, (ii) who are otherwise dependent and not submitting a claim for EJA assistance;
(5) whether or not they have faced financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or any associated response to the pandemic;
(6) whether they request financial assistance through this program;
(7) whether they have access to affordable medical care.
This form shall be made available by the department in the following languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole and Cape Verdean Creole, and other languages as recommended by the office of the Governor. The department of revenue shall create a dial-in registry for people who alternatively call and register in lieu of an online portal.
SECTION 2. The department of revenue shall deliver to all registrants age 16 and above an “EJA payment” in the form of a check by first class mail in the amount of $1,000 to all registrants within 5 business days of each registrants’ complete registration. Registrants shall receive an additional $750 per dependent identified in Section 1, (5).
SECTION 3. For each 30 days following the initial EJA payment, the department of revenue shall continue to send a check equal to the income qualifications set forth below. Income qualifications shall correspond to the sworn and attested income provided by the registrant. EJA assistance shall be as follows:
(1) registrants who attest and swear to facing hardship under Section 1, (5), who request financial assistance under Section 1, (6), and have a personal income of less than or equal to 300% of the 2020 federal poverty levels, shall receive $1,500 monthly personally and $750 for each dependent under Section 1, (4).
(2) registrants who attest and swear to facing hardship under Section 1, (5), who request financial assistance under Section 1, (6), and have a personal income of between 300% and 500%, inclusive, of the 2020 federal poverty levels, shall receive $1,000 monthly personally and $500 for each dependent under Section 1, (4).
(3) registrants who attest and swear to facing hardship under Section 1, (5), who request financial assistance under Section 1, (6), and have a personal income above 500% of the 2020 federal poverty levels, shall receive $500 monthly personally and $250 for each dependent under Section 1, (4).
SECTION 4: EJA assistance shall continue and shall not be ended until all state and federal emergency status has been lifted.
SECTION 5: EJA assistance shall be considered wholly separate from income for all purposes of qualification for any benefits administered by the Department of Unemployment Assistance, The Department of Transitional Assistance, The Department of Children and Families, and any other departments that use income qualifications to determine eligibility.
SECTION 6: Registrants who attest and swear to not have access under Section 1, (7) to affordable medical care shall be immediately eligible for MassHealth.
SECTION 7: The Massachusetts Office of Business Development shall create within 30 days of this act the “Small Business Recovery Grant Fund.” The fund shall provide emergency funds not to exceed $50,000 to any Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 and no more than 26 full- and part-time employees. Grants shall be immediately available to eligible businesses after 30 days.
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