DeVon: Indiana offering Hoosiers coronavirus support services

DeVon: Indiana offering Hoosiers coronavirus support services

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Friday, March 20, 2020 3:00 pm

The COVID-19 outbreak has completely changed our way of life, and Hoosiers throughout the state are doing their part to help our neighbors while exercising best practices to avoid further spread of the virus. This is why Indiana is offering several resources to support those struggling with a number of issues including child care, unemployment benefits, small business assistance, and government food and Medicaid services.

Under an executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb, all schools will be closed until at least May 1. This may place additional strain on parents working full-time jobs to support their families. Hoosiers can search for child care options near their homes or workplaces, or along the route of their commute, at www.childcarefinder.in.gov. They can also call 800-299-1627 for assistance from an early learning referral specialist. Parents are reminded that if their child may have come in contact with COVID-19, they should observe social isolation and be at home, not in child care.

To help individuals who may have COVID-19 symptoms and need to file for unemployment insurance, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is suspending rules requiring certain claimants to physically appear at WorkOne locations to receive services for the next four weeks. Hoosiers are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance benefits electronically through a computer or smartphone. More information is available at unemployment.in.gov or 800-891-6499.

Indiana has also secured federal disaster assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Small businesses are eligible for low-interest loans up to $2 million to help make up for lost revenue during this public health emergency. The Indiana Small Business Development Center will provide business advice and assistance for applicants. To apply or receive more information, visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster. Contact 1-800-659-2955 or disastercustomerservice@sba.gov with additional questions.

For Hoosiers receiving government assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), job search requirements will be waived at this time. The Family and Social Services Administration will also seek a federal waiver to extend renewals for current Medicaid and Healthy Indiana Plan recipients that need more time to complete the process. Telehealth services for mental health, substance use disorder and prescribing for Medicaid covered services will also be expanded, and Medicaid recipients with chronic conditions can get 90-day refills of medication for chronic conditions. The Family and Social Services Administration has more information at fssabenefits.in.gov or by calling 800-403-0864.

State and local leaders will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation as it evolves, but hopefully these services will help alleviate some of the anxiety of those in need. If you are experiencing difficulty accessing any of these resources or need other assistance, please reach out to my office at h5@iga.in.gov. Hoosiers with questions about the coronavirus can call the state's COVID-19 Call Center at 877-826-0011, and the Indiana State Health Department will continue to provide updates at www.in.gov/coronavirus.

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State Rep. Dale DeVon (R-Granger) represents House District 5, which includes portions of St. Joseph County.

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