COVID-19 Resource Assistance
On March 18, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which gives Americans free access to COVID-19 tests, strengthens the social safety net and enhances sick and family paid leave programs. The bill provides more than $100 billion in funding to help stem the epidemic.
The bill requires private healthcare providers to cover COVID-19 testing without cost and waives cost sharing under Medicare, TRICARE and the VA. The law also gives states the option to expand Medicare to provide COVID-19 related coverage to those that are not insured.
If you or someone you know requires COVID-19 testing, please contact your primary care provider or local hospital for more information and next steps.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
The bill covers costs for states that extend unemployment payments for six months beyond the usual six-month time limit. The benefit would apply only to states that see their unemployment rates rise by at least 10%. Each state’s rules may be different. Contact your state’s unemployment insurance program to learn about and apply for unemployment insurance.
Social Safety Net
Women Infants and Children Program
The bill provides $500 million for the Women Infants and Children (WIC) Program to provide mothers and pregnant women with access to supplemental foods, healthcare referrals and nutrition education.
If you are interested in this program, you will need to contact your relevant state agency and set up an appointment. Find contact information for your state agency at WIC State Contact Lookup
Emergency Food Assistance
The bill provides $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which provides essential food for Americans in need. The program distributes food through foodbanks across the country.
If you are interested in this program, contact your state distribution agency at Emergency Food Assistance State Contact Lookup
Senior Nutrition Program
The bill provides $250 million for nutrition programs designed specifically for seniors. There are several programs available, including programs that offer food delivery services for older Americans. Learn more about available options and how to apply for them at Nutrition Programs for Seniors
Nutritional Assistance for U.S. Territories
The bill provides $100 million for nutritional assistance for U.S territories and Native American Reservations. To learn more about these programs at Territory Nutrition Assistance Programs
Enhanced Paid Sick and Family Leave
The bill also requires employers to provide 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave for workers affected by COVID-19. Please contact your employer if you have any questions regarding changes to your paid sick and family leave programs.