The Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning continues to issue news and update guidance to partners and stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. As well, a Temporary Assistance Grant Application for Child Care Providers is also available to qualifying child care providers.
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they work for a covered employer and have worked for their employer for at least 12 months, have at least 1,250 hours of service over the previous 12 months, work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles. Employers are required to give eligible FMLA workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected (but not necessarily paid) leave if they are sick, including with complications from the flu or a similar illness, they need to care for an immediate family member (children, spouse, parents) who is ill. Visit the Department of Labor resource’s Covid-19 response for more information.
Food Assistance Learn more about local food access resources by going to Community Compass, a multi-platform resource designed to connect Indianapolis residents to critical food resources and nutrition assistance. Community Compass contains a finder for such resources as food pantries, Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) retailers and clinics, hot meal sites, farmers’ markets and other food-related events, and more. Those outside the Indianapolis area can find local food access resources by visiting the interactive food finder map (developed by FSSA, Indiana’s food banks, and other partners).
Gig Workers and Contractors
According to the Indiana Workforce Development, the self-employed and independent contractors will be able to apply for unemployment benefits with the passage of the Federal aid package in Congress. This package also extends the the benefits from 26 to 39 weeks. Visit unemployment.in.gov to learn how to file for benefits.
Health Insurance and Medical Expenses
If you have health insurance, visit the website for your provider or contact their customer support line with any questions about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Many healthcare insurers are also making telemedicine available to customers for low or no cost. If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for benefits through State programs. Visit this website to explore options based on your household income, children in the home.
If you do not have internet access at home, or cannot afford to maintain it, but need internet for work or school, there are several options available through providers:
- Comcast Internet Essentials is a low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households, is now available for free for the first two months.
- Access from AT&T is a low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households (no special for COVID-19 but still available at a low cost)
Mental Health and Crisis
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations.Visit this CDC page to learn more about things you can do to support yourself and your loved ones. If you need to talk to someone, these resources are confidential and available for free 24/7:
Call 1-800-273-8255 or click here for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Text HOME to 741-741 or click here for National Crisis Textline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66-746 or click here for the Disaster Distress Hotline
Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678-678, click here to chat now or click here to visit the website for the Trevor Project for LGBTQ Youth.
Call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22-522 to connect with The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Mortgage, Rent, and Utilities Payment Assistance
At this time there is no nation-wide resource available to assist with mortgage or rent payments. Some localities have announced that no eviction-notices will be served temporarily. Additionally, some localities have announced that they will temporarily reinstate or not shut off utilities, most oftentimes water, due to non-payment.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Small Businesses
Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. To learn more about the process for accessing SBAs & COVID-19 disaster relief lending, visit the Indiana Small Business Development Center. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
To determine your eligibility or apply for benefits, visit Indiana’s eligibility guidance. If you are not already a SNAP recipient but have a food need, consider applying for SNAP benefits online today. To be eligible for SNAP in most states, households must demonstrate consistently low bank balances. The threshold may be higher for households with an elderly (over 60) or disabled household member. As a part of application, in-person interviews are normally required; however, most states are conducting telephone interviews instead of face-to face-interviews for SNAP Quality Control purposes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP)/Disaster Food Stamps not yet been activated for COVID-19. Contact your local 211 or click here to search for your your local 211 for more information about food pantries and food distribution sites.
At this time; there is no nation-wide resource available to assist with gig economy & service industry workers. Click here for for GIG Workers Collective website. Some states and localities may have funds or relief packages to assist those impacted. Stay tuned in to local news, radio, and official social media profiles to learn the latest in your state and community.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemployment insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Visit the Unemployment Benefits Finder to learn more about Indiana’s management of unemployment insurance, eligibility, and apply for benefits.