As Virginia starts to reopen business and public spaces, we know that you have questions about what’s next. News Channel 11 and the Virginia Department of Health want to help.
An expert panel from Virginia’s Health Equity Task Force will answer your questions live tonight at 7 p.m. in our statewide online special.
Watch “You Ask, We Answer” online at 7 p.m. The show will be broadcast live on our website and Facebook page.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Our expert panel is prepared to answer your important questions such as:
- I filed for unemployment, but still haven’t heard back. What steps do I need to take?
- I’ve lost my job and I’m having difficulty feeding my family. What resources are available?
- Now that the state is reopening, do I still need to wear a mask? Does it mean that things are safe now?
- I’ve heard talk about different kinds of COVID-19 testing. Which one is be the best for me to take?
- I keep hearing talk about the importance of wearing masks, but rarely see them in child size. Do kids need to wear masks? Where can you get masks for kids?
- What should I do if I’m feeling symptoms that are associated with COVID-19? Should I be self-quarantining? Should I go try to get tested?
YOU’LL HEAR FROM THESE EXPERTS
- Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Officer of Governor Ralph S. Northam
- Sable K. Nelson, JD, Acting Director, Office of Health Equity Division Director, Multicultural Health and Community Engagement (VDEM)
- Dr. Ebony J. Hilton, Critical Care and Anesthesiology
- Mayor Deanna Reed, Mayor of Harrisonburg
- Dr. Cecilia Barbosa, Health Committee Chair, VA Latino Advisory Board
COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR YOU
- General Information: call 2-1-1 or www.211virginia.org (translation button available)
- Covid-19 Virginia Resources: https://covid.virginia.gov/
- Forward Virginia Guidelines: https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia/
- Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/
- Governor’s press briefings: https://www.facebook.com/VAemergency
- Cases in the Commonwealth: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
- Prevention/Tips: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/
- Testing Sites: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/covid-19-testing/covid-19-testing-sites/
- Health Equity COVID-19 Response:https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/health-equity/
- Resources from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (including Governor’s Orders): https://www.vaemergency.gov/coronavirus/spanish/
Family Emotional/Financial/Nutrition Support Programs
- Text “Food” or “Comida” to 877-877
- Assistance for American Workers and Families: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-american-workers-and-families
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/tanf/index.cgi
- SNAP Benefits (Food Assistance): https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/snap.cgi
- School Meal Finder: https://schoolmealfinder.hoonuit.com/?filter_state=va
- Food Bank: https://vafoodbanks.org
- Energy Assistance (EA): https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/
- Child Care Assistance: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/family/cc/assistance.cgi
- Mental Health Support: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/coping-with-stress/
Health Care Assistance/Insurance
- Health Care Coverage: https://coverva.org/ https://cubrevirginia.org/
- Medical Assistance Programs: https://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/medical_assistance/index.cgi
- Auxiliary Grants: https://www.vadars.org/aps/AuxGrants.htm
Small Business/Unemployment Resources:
- Filing for Unemployment: https://www.vec.virginia.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Information-on-claims-related-to-layoff-March-2020.pdf
- Assistance for Small Businesses: https://www.sba.gov
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):https://www.vec.virginia.gov/html/pua.html
- Preserving Jobs for American Industry: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/preserving-jobs-for-american-industry
Websites of Statewide Non-Profit Organizations
- Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy- https://www.virginiainterfaithcenter.org/health-covid-19/covid-19-resources/
- Virginia Coalition of Immigrant Rights- https://www.virginiaimmigrantrights.org
- Legal Aid Justice Center- https://www.justice4all.org
- Virginia Poverty Law Center- https://vplc.org
- Virginia Coalition of Latin American Organizations- http://vacolao.org
- Virginia Latino Higher Education Network- https://www.valhen.org
- Virginia Latino Advisory Board-https://vlab.virginia.gov
- CASA- https://wearecasa.org/
EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT
Employers of all sizes that face closure orders or suffer economic hardship due to COVID-19 are incentivized to keep employees on the payroll through a 50% credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid or incurred from March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
SMALL BUSINESS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. This program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Assistance to Workers and their Families:
The CARES Act provides for Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old – or up to $3,400 for a family of four.
Additionally, the IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The program is for any small business with less than 500 employees affected by COVID-19. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as today, April 3, 2020.
The CARES Act provides increased benefits for workers collecting unemployment insurance by $600 for claims effective March 29th until July 31st. This provision is the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. Payments to eligible claimants will be made automatically in conjunction with their weekly claim.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) under the CARES Act
The CARES Act includes a provision that provides for up to an additional 13 weeks of regular/traditional unemployment insurance benefits to those who have exhausted their eligibility. This provision will apply to claims with a benefit year ending date on or after July 6, 2019.
To be eligible for a week of PEUC an individual must:
- Have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under the applicable state or Federal law with respect to the applicable benefit year;
- Have no rights to regular compensation with respect to a week under such law or any other state or Federal UC law;
- Certify that he or she is not receiving compensation with respect to such week under the UC law of Canada; and be able to work, available to work, and actively seeking work. (flexibility will be considered for this requirement given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19)
The Virginia Employment Commission is working to establish this new enhancement to the unemployment insurance program. We will notify claimants who are potentially eligible for PEUC benefits based on their previous unemployment insurance claim. There are some facts surrounding the PEUC program that should be noted:
- The first payable week under PEUC is the week beginning March 29, 2020 and ending April 4, 2020. (Additional information concerning the process to claim the PEUC benefits will be forthcoming soon.)
- The federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) program will automatically add an additional $600 to the weekly benefit amount under the PEUC claim.
- The last payable week of PEUC will be the week ending December 26, 2020.
- The last payable week of FPUC (the additional $600 supplement) will be the week ending July 25, 2020.
- The PEUC & FPUC benefits are taxable.
ABOUT THIS SPECIAL
The special, “COVID-19 and Health Equity in Virginia: You Ask, We Answer,” is supported by the Virginia Health Equity Work Group, Virginia Deptartment of Health and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
The Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to serving all of Virginia and places a priority on education and outreach to vulnerable communities. To help achieve that goal, the Health Equity Task Force and Working Group are priority stakeholders in Virginia’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak across the commonwealth. The Task Force is led by Dr. Underwood and the Working Group is chaired by Sable K. Nelson.