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COVID-19 Federal Policy and Information Resources for High Risk Communities

Key Resources: COVID-19 Federal Policy and Information Resources for High Risk Communities

 Note: This provides an overview of guidance and resources as of March 24, 2020. The policy environment is rapidly changing.

Federal Policy and Guidance

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Passed on March 18, 2020, this act provides for paid sick leave for up to two weeks for some workers and paid family and medical leave for up to ten weeks if caring for self, for a sick family member, or a child whose school has closed.  Also makes adjustments to federal meal programs to enable families that normally receive free and reduced lunch to continue to receive support.

  • The fact sheet below from CLASP has good information on the details related to paid sick leave and Family and Medical Leave: Click here for the PDF
  • Information on Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act: Click here for the website
  • Federal Food Programs: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act allows child care and afterschool programs that utilize Child and Adult Care Food Program funds to do “grab and go” meals rather than on-site. Allocated $500 million additional dollars for WIC and waives in-person requirement for enrollment.  Allows states to increase benefits for SNAP program and allows states to provide emergency food benefits through SNAP-EBT for families that normally receive school lunch program. Click here for the PDF

Child Welfare

  • Child welfare case workers are no longer required to make-in person monthly visits to those in foster care.Federal law is allowing for remote visits, however states will determine how they proceed.  See: Letter from Jerry Milner, Children’s Bureau Director: Click here for the website

Information on Student Aid

  • Those with federally held student loans will not have to pay interest for 60 days and can delay payments on loans with no penalty through administrative forbearance: Click here for the website

Housing Issues

  • The federal government has encouraged Public Housing Authorities to halt all evictions in Public Housing and many Local Housing Authorities have stopped evictions for next 60 days.There is also a moratorium on foreclosures from FHA, FHFA, and loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and homeowners can get 60 days forbearance on mortgage payments without penalty.  The link below is good national organization with summaries of information and ongoing webinars for the housing and homeless communities.  Click here for the website

Medicaid and Telehealth

  • The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has clarified that states have broad flexibility to reimburse for telehealth services, including behavioral health services.Click here for the PDF

General Information Resources

  • Child Trends.Resources for Supporting Children’s Emotional Well-Being During the Pandemic: Click here for the website
  • Internet Access: Comcast offering free internet access for 60 days for low-income families in their service areas. Click here for the website