Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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State of Indiana COVID-19 Info

State of Indiana COVID-19 Info:

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is closely monitoring a pandemic of the 2019 novel coronavirus that originated in China, ensuring that the public, healthcare providers and local health departments have the latest information available to keep themselves and their communities healthy.

Virtual Job Fair: Working for the U.S. Census Bureau

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is hosting a virtual job fair highlighting hundreds of temporary job openings throughout the state with the U.S. Census Bureau.

The virtual job fair is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to noon EDT on Thursday, May 21, and will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the available jobs. Responsibilities mostly involve going door-to-door and collecting census data from local citizens. The Indiana Recruiting Manager from the U.S Census Bureau will cover the job opportunities in detail, along with how to apply.

The Region 5 Workforce Board welcomes the opportunity to assist the Census Bureau in hiring Hoosiers to gather census information for Indiana. The collection of accurate and complete data ensures that the State receives an appropriate share of federally allocated resources.

A Region 5 Business Representative initiated the idea of a virtual job fair while working with a local Census Bureau contact. After realizing the need for workers was statewide, the fair is being promoted with the outreach support of local Workforce Boards and the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) throughout Indiana.

To protect the health and safety of its workforce and the public, the Census Bureau has taken the following safety measures prior to resuming field operations: Secured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitizer for field and office staff; conducted deep cleaning of office workspaces; developed mandatory COVID-19 training (outlining steps for staying safe while performing field duties); practicing social distancing, including shift work, in offices; and maximizing telework, when possible. 

Those interested in the job fair but unable to attend live can still register, as a recording will be sent via email the following day. 

To register, visit: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3050798827669304336. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent containing information about joining the webinar.

 

Update on Testing Sites in the State of Indiana

  • Walmart is working with eTrueNorth as well as state and local officials in districts and will be opening drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Indianapolis and Greenwood, IN. The sites will be open to any adult who meets the CDC and state and local guidelines on who should be tested. All appointments will be drive-thru observed self-collection in the Walmart parking lot and is supported by eTrueNorth’s online portal that will screen and schedule those individuals who meet eligibility requirements. Individuals being tested will received results on average within three to five days. 
    • HHS, state and local officials, Walmart and our lab partners are selecting the sites based on areas of need. For more information on additional efforts please visit our website or view the attached letter that was shared with local officials. We appreciate your circulating the letter to your district stakeholders, and we will continue to share updates as we receive them.
  • Beginning May 13, 2020, more than two dozen additional testing sites will open around the state as part of Indiana’s large-scale testing effort for COVID-19. Locations and registration have been added to the COVID-19 testing map at www.coronavirus.in.gov. Counties include Jasper, Marshall, Noble, Lagrange, Allen, Fountain-Warren, Clinton, Boone, Hancock, Hamilton, Marion, Randolph, Grant, Howard, Parke, Putnam, Greene, Lawrence, Jackson, Monroe, Clark, Decatur, Dearborn, Ripley, Harrison, Posey and Perry. Additional sites will be added once locations are finalized.
    • Hoosiers who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed and need a test to return to work are encouraged to visit a state-sponsored testing site for free testing. Individuals without symptoms who are at high risk because they are over age 65, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another underlying condition, as well as those who are pregnant, live with a high-risk individual or are a member of a minority population that’s at greater risk for severe illness, also are encouraged to get tested.

Individuals should bring proof of Indiana residency such as a state-issued ID, work ID or utility bill.

Indiana's Back on Track Plan

  • Please click here for more information on Indiana's Back on Track Plan: https://backontrack.in.gov/
     
     
    IN
     
     

    More Information from the State of Indiana:

  • For the latest and most up-to-date information on the number of confirmed cases, deaths and total tested, please visit https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/
  • If you have general questions pertaining to the novel coronavirus, check the ISDH website www.StateHealth.in.gov or call the Indiana COVID-19 Call Center toll free number at 877-826-0011.  Press 1 for general questions.  Press 2 if you are a healthcare provider. 
  • For Private Businesses who would like to coordinate efforts with the State, visit the Indiana Private Sector Coordination Desk at 317-238-1715 or email them at privatesector@dhs.in.gov
  • The Office of Indiana’s Attorney General is urging Hoosiers to go online to report price gouging and charity scams to the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General. Consumers who need additional information regarding the Office’s Consumer Protection Division are encouraged to call 1-800-382-5516 or visit the website at https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/3523.htm
  • The state has made over 285 deliveries of PPE and continues to distribute supplies to hospitals, local health departments, long-term care facilities and EMS providers that express a need. To assist with PPE, contact: COVIDResponse@IEDC.in.gov.
  • Social distancing is the most important, effective tool we have to defeat COVID-19—and a growing coalition of Indiana-based partners is committed to equipping everyone in our state with the knowledge and the resources to stay connected and motivated. The State of Indiana created a website dedicated to informing the public on how you can join the fight, play your part and keep us working together. Visit their #INthistogether website at: https://www.inthistogethercampaign.com/
  • For Businesses needing PPE: Free PPE Resource from State of Indiana 
    The Indiana Small Business Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Marketplace is now open. If your business needs PPE for your reopening plans, follow the link below for access to the State of Indiana's stockpile. This is a FREE resource for our business community as a part of Governor Holcomb's Back on Track Indiana Plan.
    https://appengine.egov.com/apps/in/ppemarketplace

 

Indiana Department of Workforce Development

  • Unemployment:
    • ​​$600 FPUC Unemployment Insurance Benefits Begin
      • Important Update to Self-Employed:
        Applications for PUA Program Will Start Week of April 27

        DWD: Approaching half-million claims paid in April

        INDIANAPOLIS (April 21, 2020)  – Hoosiers who are receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits have begun seeing the additional $600 weekly payment from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, ahead of the announced date of April 20, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

        Though the additional funds began arriving in some unemployment insurance accounts on Friday, the vast majority of claimants will see payments being made this week. Vouchers must be filed each week in order to continue to receive benefits. It is recommended to file the vouchers on a Tuesday or after during the week, taking the high stress off the historic traffic now hitting the DWD’s Uplink online system.

        The CARES Act FPUC provides those individuals with the additional $600 weekly benefit. FPUC is payable effective March 29, 2020, for any week of unemployment until July 31, 2020. DWD will pay this benefit retroactively to March 29. The $600 FPUC benefit is taxable and is subject to child support withholding.

        “We are pleased that we were able to start getting these payments to out-of-work Hoosiers ahead of our goal of April 20,” DWD Commissioner Fred Payne said. “This federal assistance will further help those individuals who are not working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

        To put these payments into perspective, this past weekend alone, Friday through Sunday as the FPUC payments were starting to be added, $276 million in payments were made over the three-day period. In all of 2019, $230 million was paid out through the Indiana unemployment insurance assistance program.

        Getting Started – 21 Days Reminder
        It typically takes up to 21 days for first-time claims to be paid if there are no issues on the claim. A claimant can view their Uplink Claimant Homepage to check for issues on their claim. If there is an issue, a DWD Claims Investigator will be assigned to analyze the claim. DWD is advising claimants with issues on their claims to not contact the call center to check on the status of their claims, as that only adds to the already large volume of calls the center is experiencing.

        Update on Self-Employed Assistance Program - PUA
        Additionally, the CARES Act Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) creates a temporary federal unemployment insurance program for individuals not otherwise eligible for UI benefits, including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, those seeking part-time employment, and individuals lacking sufficient work history but who would be able to work and looking for work were it not due to COVID-19.

        PUA is not payable to individuals who have the ability to telework with pay or who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid leave benefits.

        The new federal program requires an entire new system to be designed and built from the ground up. DWD is integrating the new system into Uplink so that these benefits can be provided as quickly and efficiently as possible to impacted Hoosiers. PUA applications will be available in Uplink on April 24 to those who have already applied for and been denied regular UI benefits. PUA applications will be available to others as soon as they apply for and are denied regular UI. DWD will be able to begin making PUA payments in May.

        What is PEUC? 13 Additional Weeks
        In addition to the FPUC and FPUA programs, the CARES Act also provides the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which is an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits once benefits are exhausted for traditional claimants. This program is not yet available. Once available, eligible claimants will access weekly vouchers through the Uplink system.

        Best Day to Apply?
        The claims week runs from Sunday through Saturday. Most claimants file their initial claims and weekly vouchers on Sunday, followed closely by Monday. Claims can be filed any day of the week, and those filing on Tuesday or after will have a faster, less congested experience filing than those who file on Sunday or Monday. The extreme high volume the beginning of each week can result in maximum capacity and speed issues. It is recommended to file mid-week through Saturday for the optimal filing experience.

        DWD’s current Uplink on-line system launched in 2010 and has been re-designed over the years to withstand the unprecedented volume presented by the current demand, and has met the challenge of the record amount of filings. Certain caps on the system have been put into place to limit user level at any given time. When that peak is reached, safeguards trigger a notice instructing the user visiting the site to try again later, which can be same day, or the next. As several state unemployment agencies around the country are reporting crashes to their unemployment systems due to the unprecedented demands, these preventative measures have been put in place to help protect the integrity of the Uplink system and to allow the process from successful filing to payment to continue without interruption.

        Since Gov. Holcomb directed all bars and restaurants to close on March 16, more than 450,000 Hoosiers have successfully filed for unemployment. Further, roughly 432,000 unemployment insurance claims have been paid for the two-week period of April 1-14, and that number continues to rise, and will do so at a greater pace with the addition of the CARES Act additional benefits.

        A record 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the four weeks through April 11. With so many individuals across the country out of work, states are seeing an increase in attempts to defraud their unemployment systems.

        Additional Resources:
      • The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reminding Hoosiers that applications for unemployment insurance benefits can be completed electronically. Hoosiers can apply on a computer or smart phone. For more information on unemployment insurance, visit Unemployment.IN.gov. There, Hoosiers can find the Claimant Updated March 27, 2020 For more information visit https://coronavirus.in.gov. Handbook, Frequently Asked Questions, a link to online filing and more information. Learn more.
      • For a FAQ Sheet on Indiana Unemployment Insurance, click PDF iconhere.
      • For a FAQ Sheet on Indiana Unemployment Insurance for Employers, click PDF iconhere.  
      • For a Q&A Sheet on the CARES Act from Indiana Department of Workforce Development, click PDF iconhere


Indiana Housing and Community Development Agency:

 

Information on Local Resources:

  • For individuals and families who are in need of assistance with local resources such as food and clothing, healthcare, education and employment, or more visit Indiana’s 211 website at https://in211.communityos.org/ or dial 2-1-1.
  • The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, known as LISC, is one of the country's largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. They invest in affordable housing, high-quality schools, safer streets, growing businesses and programs that connect people with financial opportunity. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is taking swift action in response to the coronavirus pandemic, to mitigate economic impact on residents in the hundreds of communities where they work. They are launching the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund to assemble and deploy resources to their local partners, small businesses and residents who are being hit hardest.  To learn more, click here
  • Aspire Indiana Health has launched Connections -- Aspire Warm Line, an innovative new way to connect people to behavioral health care and other services during the pandemic, and beyond. It is primarily aimed at folks who are not currently mental health clients at Aspire, or anywhere.Unlike a traditional hotline for urgent needs, the free warm line phone service is intended for people who are experiencing non-emergency distress or concerns resulting from COVID-19. To learn more, click here.
  • Nonprofit organizations that provide public humanities programming are invited to apply for funding relief due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  The grant will range from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the organization's budget and can be used only for general operating support. The deadline for the Indiana Humanities CARES Grant application is May 8. Award notifications will be made on May 22.  To learn more, click here.

 

 

Brighter Futures Indiana:

  • Families who need help finding or paying for care can contact Brighter Futures Indiana staff at http://brighterfuturesindiana.org/ or 1-800-299-1627 and a referral specialist can support them in their search. Every community has a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) who can connect parents with local child care options and provide referrals for support. To find your local CCR&R, you can call 1-800-299-1627 or https://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/5712.htm. When locating care, it is important to ensure that families are choosing licensed and regulated care for their children. To check if the environment is licensed or regulated you can go to childcarefinder.in.gov or call 1-800-299-1627.

 

Be Well Indiana:

  • Governor Eric J. Holcomb today (4/27) announced that the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has launched a new website, BeWellIndiana.org, that will provide Hoosiers with free mental health resources that have been vetted by experts. The site is designed to help with the increase in anxiety, depression and other mental health issues caused by the pandemic, including both first-time issues as well as pre-existing mental health concerns.
  • Initially, BeWellIndiana.org will focus on the various mental health challenges due to COVID-19, but will continue to evolve as a resource beyond the current crisis.
  • Hoosiers can visit BeWellIndiana.org to find trusted resources curated by FSSA’s Division of Mental Health and Addiction, including information ranging from coping mechanisms, crisis counseling, how to self-monitor for signs of stress, domestic violence resources, substance use disorder and recovery, and tips for helping children, youth and teens. Videos featuring medical experts, persons in recovery and other practicing Indiana clinicians addressing specific mental health topics are also available on the site.

 

COVID-19 Hospital Donations: