These are uncertain times: information on COVID-19 is rapidly changing; employers are laying off employees;grocery stores’ shelves are low and in some cases empty; and we are told in some places to “shelter in place” and other places we are just being asked to practice “social distancing”. One thing is clear, we must all work together to take care of ourselves and those we love. Wash your hands frequently up to the recommended 20 seconds. If you’re sick, self-quarantine for up to 14 days and only seek medical assistance in extreme cases. Yes, that can be scary…. But don’t panic, we will get through this.
There are some valuable lessons being learned. This crisis has shown us the much needed investment in our healthcare system, a clearer view of this world and of our planet, and the need to make better decisions that have a positive impact. We have seen the impact on small business, their vulnerability, the value they bring to the communities they serve and the need to invest in technology for small business and schools. We must make a conscious effort to support our communities.
So, helpful things are being done. Two rural hospitals are receiving funds due to changes made to the FY2020 budget. Evans Memorial in Claxton, Georgia is set to receive $489,713.16 and Emanuel County Hospital in Swainsboro, Georgia is scheduled to receive $373.043.23
You will have an opportunity to vote absentee ballot for the Primary, which was movedto May 19, 2020. The Secretary of State‘s office will mail absentee ballot applications to every voter in Georgia.
At the Federal level, most Americans will receive funds from the Economic Stimulus Package. Individuals who earn $75,000 in adjusted gross income or less would get direct payments of $1,200 each, with married couples earning up to $150,000 receiving $2,400 — and an additional $500 per each child. The payment would scale down by income, phasing out entirely at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples without children. For more information click the link below.
From time to time you may need additional services for your neighbors, loved ones or yourself. Please find listed below some additional services:
- Apply for SNAP Benefits: www.Gateway.ga.gov/access
- Download applications: https://dfcs.georgia.gov/services
- EBT support numbers: 888-421-3281 or 877-423-4746 if you do not have internet
- PeachCare for Kids: https://dch.georgia.gov/peachcare-kids
- If you believe you are pregnant, you may be eligible for Medicaid coverage right away. Please visit – http://dph.georgia.gov/pregnancy-resources
- If you have trouble while using Georgia Gateway for SNAP, please call the Online Services hotline at 1-877-423-4746. If you have a hearing impairment, call GA Relay at 1-800-255-0135. The services are free.
- Child support: https://childsupport.georgia.gov/
- Mental Health issues: https://dbhdd.georgia.gov or Georgia Crisis & Access line 1-800-715-4225 (no “1” needed on cell phone).
- Department of Driver Services-Automatic DL extension for over 60 drivers: https://dds.georgia.gov/coronavirus-covid-19
One big issue for those with loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living is the lack of oversight brought on by completely restricted visiting by family members. If you have concerns, remember that the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is your representative. Problems or Concerns? Go to www.georgiaombudsman.org or 866-552-4464 Option 5 or https://aging.georgia.gov/
For more information, please send an email to Phyllis Richardson, Government Affairs Director, at Phyllis@GeorgiaWAND.org.