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COVID-19 Updates Relevant to the VSN / Timeline

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

*** 3/12 "Missoula Aging Services, "support groups, workshops and classes have been canceled for the time being.." 

*** 3/16 Missoula Housing Authority is open by appointment only Our staff listing is on our website: https://missoulahousing.org/staff

​*** 3/16 Job Service Missoula - 2020 Career Fair CANCELED 

​*** The VSN would like to thank the following VSP that RSVP'd to table outside of the Career Fair in the "Veteran Services" area of the lobby: Canine Companions for Independence; Dogs on Deployment; Humana / MarketPoint (Veteran Health options outside of the VA); Job Service DVOP (Disabled Veterans Outreach Program); Military OneSource; Missoula Vet Center (Mobile Vet Center); MonTECH, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities; Mountain View Center of Hope; Team Rubicon; Three Rangers Foundation; Troops to Teachers; U.S. Senator Daines Office, Veterans Casework Liaison; VA HUD VASH; VA Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E, Fort Harrison); Veteran Directed Care (VDC) at Missoula Aging Services; Veterans Upward Bound (VUB); Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOANR)

*** 3/16 Pathways – community updates, “Salvation Army is open & giving out food boxes and hygiene products as long as they have them.

  • The Poverello is still serving meals but are not allowing any volunteers in the building except in the kitchen. 

​*** 3/17 “Summit Independent Living offices and locations are closed to public in-person contact until further notice

​​*** 3/18 Nonprofit Newsletter, “Bloomerang has compiled a library of crisis fundraising advice, articles, opinions, webinars, videos and resources in the wake of the new coronavirus and its impact on the nonprofit sector" https://bloomerang.co/resources/covid19/

​​​*** 3/18 State of Montana ~ Joint Information Center: https://covid19.mt.gov/joint-information-center

State of Montana COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19-faq

*** 3/18 VA News, “Veterans: Call before visiting your VA facility: VA can make it easier and safer to get back to health with virtual care through My HealtheVet and the VA Video Connect app on your smartphone, tablet or computer: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72447/veterans-sick-stay-home-phone-safe-convenient-option/?fbclid=IwAR2PrI7I0LjFToKWv0QGMHnuWRduoQTKE3T7iHA-3Gw06ELlx8dkbFzNesA

VA’s Response COVID-19: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/?utm_source=Homepage&utm_campaign=Coronavirus

​​*** 3/19 University of Montana, “steps the University is taking to prepare for and slow the spread of the pandemic: https://www.umt.edu/coronavirus/default.php Currently, all classes will move to online and remote-only instruction. 

​*** 3/19 Montana DPHHS, Office of Public Assistance, “Services are available to Montana residents on-line through apply.mt.gov or by telephone through the Public Assistance Help Line at 1-888-706-1535. Set up an online account to apply for SNAP food assistance, TANF cash assistance, or health coverage.

Montana Department of Public Health https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/coronavirusmt

OPA office emails: https://dphhs.mt.gov/hcsd/OfficeofPublicAssistance

​​*** ​​3/23 Job Service Missoula is OPEN via PHONE (406) 728-7060 & EMAIL (Job search, resume reviews, interviewing tips, etc.). Phones will be very busy - please utilize email when you can. For Missoula and surrounding counties, please use: missoulajsc@mt.gov
*** COVID-19 FAQ for employers and workers: https://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19-faq
*** REGISTER & SEARCH JOBS and/or OR START an Unemployment Insurance CLAIM: https://montanaworks.gov/

*** YOUTUBE: How to register in Montanaworks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJYn5v0ETu8
*** YOUTUBE: How to start an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYaWXATES4

*** 3/23 Senta - Costco, “opening on Tuesdays and Thursday’s from 8-9 for 60 and older and for compromised people.”

*** 3/24 VHA "partnerships support the social determinants of health that Veterans need during times of crisis" https://www.va.gov/healthpartnerships/updates/impact/03242020.asp

*** 3/24 American Legion Temporary Financial Assistance (TFA) program, "TFA application procedures with the coronavirus" https://www.legion.org/financialassistance/248595/tfa-application-procedures-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR0DHEaKEr1KCQgMzZkRiwiSI92tdRdWXDFqEq8_uUl36A5zcR22iK94SGo

*** 3/25 VA Newsletter, “Veterans have multiple resources available for the latest COVID-19 or coronavirus information, from the overall Federal government response to VA resources, rumor control, CDC information, state resource listings and more” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/72856/veterans-multiple-resources-covid-19-information/

​*** 3/26 SBA, “Administrator Carranza Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020" https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/carranza-implements-automatic-deferment-existing-sba-disaster-loans-through-end-2020 Questions: Mark - SBA, (202) 205-6157, C (202) 365-7461, mark.williams@sba.gov

​*** 3/27 U.S. Department of Labor, “Small and midsize employers will benefit from two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to immediately and fully reimburse them for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related family and medical leave and sick leave to their employees: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320

Approximately $22 million in Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program grants will provide services to reintegrate homeless veterans into meaningful employment: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/vets/vets20200327

*** 3/27 Montana Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services, “The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission created a page to address questions about ADA, the Rehabilitation Act and the COVID-19 virus: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/wysk_ada_rehabilitaion_act_coronavirus.cfm

In addition, the Job Accommodation Network has a web page with information and links to other sites helping with possible accommodations needed: https://askjan.org/topics/COVID-19.cfm

Questions: VRBS Business Services Team Members Jeanne (Missoula) jstone2@mt.gov; Hamilton: Julie.ochoa@mt.gov

​*** 3/29/20 Union Gospel Mission dba Hope Rescue Mission (https://www.hopemontana.org/), “we have closed the Hope Thrift Boutique temporarily. The Outreach Team has continued to visit and care for the basic needs of those who are homeless. The 549-HOPE coordinators are taking calls from home and organizing deliveries for those who need food and medications but are unable to pick them up.

​*** 3/30 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, “Please note that the FAQ’S from UI are being constantly updated" http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/employee-FAQ.pdf

​*** 3/30/20 Salvation Army, “They are still open  Monday through Thursday 9am-3pm for food boxes, hygiene kits, and they have a little bit of rental assistance left.”

*** 4/1 Learning Center at Red Willow, "We're pleased to be able to offer more classes online that you can access from home and still stay connected with our instructors  www.redwillowlearning.org

Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program INFO / WAIVER: https://www.redwillowlearning.org/sliding-fees-scholarships/

New phone (406) 530-7175, info@redwillowlearning.org

*** 4/1 Sharon, Senator Daines Office, "Senator Daines worked to be certain folks who receive Social Security or SDDI and are not required to file federal income tax returns. They will receive their Economic Impact check without having to file a federal income tax return: https://www.daines.senate.gov/news/press-releases/daines-secures-action-from-trump-administration-to-remove-barriers-lower-costs-of-coronavirus-testing-and-treatment (Sharon Parks-Banda, Veterans Casework Liaison, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, (406) 549-8198, Sharon_Parks-Banda@daines.senate.gov)

*** 4/7 Western Montana Mental Health Clinic, “The Behavioral Urgent Care Clinic in Missoula is open (1201 Wyoming St).  Open from 9am - 5pm Monday – Friday. Set to have same day care for anyone needing urgent behavioral health services." (Kari Auclair, Area Director – WMMHC, Missoula, Ravalli, Granite, Powell, Deer Lodge, Beaverhead Counties, kauclair@wmmhc.org).

*** 4/9 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, "Page for self-employed, independent contractors and others:" http://dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractor

*** 4/9 MT DLI Veteran Program Manager, Wounded Warrior Project ~ COVID-19 Relief Program" Veterans in financial distress / members in need will be able to apply for $1,000 grants, intended to go toward groceries, utilities or housing. HOW TO APPLY: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/covid-relief

​​*** 4/9 AARP Tele-Townhall Recordings: https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/tele-town-hall-coronavirus.html

Questions: Steve Reiter, AARP Montana (406) 457-4702, sreiter@aarp.org

​*** 4/14 Dena - Bitterroot DAV, “we do have a directive from DAV to not transport until June 01 2020 and I have been referring our Veterans in the Bitterroot and Missoula areas who need transport to VTS - Veteran Transportation Service 447-6270 however I did get permission that if VTS is not able to transport our Veterans in our area due to not having a driver available etc DAV can transport in those situations- as long as the Veterans meet DAV guidelines and if I can find a volunteer driver who is available.” (DAV website / COVID info – may not have been updated yet: https://www.dav.org/covid-19-veterans-information/).

*** 4/14 UM Alumni – Emergency Student Support Fund https://supportum.org/givingopportunities/campusinitiatives/emergency-student-support-fund.php#makegift

*** 4/15 Salvation Army Tech Hub Volunteers Needed (provided by the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative)

TECH HUB at the Salvation Army, 355 S. Russell St., Missoula (549-0710), OPEN until approx 4/30 Monday - Thursday, 10am - 11:30am: Access the internet to find resources, job search, apply for employment, housing, check email - THREE individuals will be able to use a laptop or iPad at a time for up to 30 minutes. Individuals and volunteers will be spaced 6 feet apart and will be required to wear masks and gloves. Bathroom facilities will NOT be available. Questions: Katie (406) 285-1795, kategalang834@gmail.com  

*** 4/16 VFW, “The Veterans of Foreign Wars Unmet Needs Program offers grants up to $1,500 to eligible Veterans, service members and military families." VA BLOG: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/70365/vfws-unmet-needs-program/

APPLY: https://app.wizehive.com/apps/vfwunmetneeds

Questions: Unmet Needs at 1-866-789-6333

​*** 4/20 HOPE Rescue Mission formerly Union Gospel Mission of Missoula, We've never had a more urgent need to get food to families quickly: https://www.hopemontana.org/

*** 4/22 Montana DLI, “individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for unemployment benefits (e.g. self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig workers, COVID-19-impacted workers) can file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). FILE PUA Claim: https://mtpua.mt.gov/_/

Montanans can call (406) 444-3382 or email puaclaims@mt.gov for help.

*** 4/23 VBA Fort Harrison, Clarissa Caunday at VBA Fort Harrison Regional Benefits Office confirmed VBA is granting extensions on the deadline by which to file an appeal (disability claims) The Veteran can call 1-800-827-1000 and let them know they need an extension “Due to COVID-19,” and VBA is automatically granting the extension."

*** 4/24 Montana Housing, within the Department of Commerce, “relevant information about COVID-19 and how it affects affordable homes in Montana. COVID-19 information phone line at 1-888-333-0461 and Montanans can also email questions to covid19info@mt.gov

Montana Housing borrowers needing to make a mortgage payment can do so online, by phone, ACH or sending it by mail. Questions: (406) 841-2840 or visit https://covid19.mt.gov/

*** 4/24 U.S Small Business Administration, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program

Questions: Brent - SBA (406) 441-1083, Brent.Donnelly@sba.gov

*** 4/28 Emergency Housing Assistance Program: https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist

*** 4/30 Job Corps, “IF you have interested parties, please have them contact me via email or phone. I am interviewing  students  via online docu- sign application and phone." Questions: Rick (406) 396-2793, Whitmore.Richard@jobcorps.org

*** 5/4 Minutes from "4/30 Lunch & Learn (Mark Upton, MD) – Urgent Care Briefing" VA Mission Act – Urgent Care & Same Day Services: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/docs/programs/MISSION-ACT_Urgent-Care_FLYER.pdf# [va.gov]

Veteran Community Care – Urgent Care YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jk-eg4N29w0&feature=youtu.be [youtube.com]

VA Blog – Urgent Care: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/62632/mission-act-urgent-care/ [blogs.va.gov]

  • To check your eligibility, call 844-698-2311 (select 1, then 3)

  • To locate an urgent care provider, Veterans can use VA's Provider Locator https://www.va.gov/find-locations [va.gov] (Or, contact your local VA or call 1-877-881-7618 which is the OCC National Contact Center).

Prescriptions: There is no Rx card needed to identify the Veteran.

Veteran urgent care webpage https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/programs/veterans/Urgent_Care.asp

Questions: Mark -Veterans Health Administration, mark.upton@va.gov

*** 5/5 State of Montana, “Beginning Thursday, May 7, Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

*** 5/6 VA News (Multiple Lunch & Learns / WEBINARS added to May events) and, “Military bands offer free online performances. Watch the Digital Drumline Project with 900+ drummers playing in unison from all over the world.” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74350/military-bands-offer-free-online-performances/

*** 5/13 Blackstone Launchpad, “The Business Emergency Assistance & Recovery (BEAR) Program is providing a "single point of entry" to sole proprietors and small businesses requesting assistance or guidance in responding to the COIVD-19 crisis.  

REQUEST BUSINESS ASSISTANCE: http://acceleratemontana.umt.edu/covid-resource/default.php

Questions: Paul (406) 243-5723, paul.gladen@mso.umt.edu

*** 5/13 VA News, “VA has expanded support services enabled by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to make available immediate relief for Veterans experiencing or at risk of homelessness during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5442

*** And, “On March 27, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, into law to help Americans economically impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to help homeowners avoid home foreclosure, including VA Home Loans.” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74704/cares-act-extends-va-home-loan-pre-foreclosure-options/

*** 5/14 National Cemetery Administration, "Americans are encouraged to pay tribute to deceased Veterans by utilizing the Veterans Legacy Memorial (VLM): https://www.vlm.cem.va.gov/?utm_source=Veterans%20Legacy%20Memorial&utm_campaign=cem

VLM URL: www.va.gov/remember

VA BLOG: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/roll-of-honor/

Questions: Danny -NCA, daniel.devine@va.gov

*** 5/14 VA VEO Lunch & Learn, “Protect Yourself from COVID-19 with VA Virtual Tools” https://connectedcare.va.gov/whats-new/technology/protect-yourself-covid-19-va-virtual-tools

Addressing the Needs of Veterans During COVID-19 ~ VBA Contact Information: https://covid19militarysupport.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/VBA-Slide.pdf

*** 5/18 National Center for Appropriate Technology, “$16 Billion Available to Help Farmers" https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=us&agency=fsa

ATTRA helpline (U.S. only): 800-346-9140 (English) Or, Send an email to askanag@ncat.org 

*** 5/20 VA News, “The just released VA coronavirus chatbot is available 24/7 to quickly triage COVID-19 symptoms and answer your questions on testing options, stimulus payments and telehealth, and  even how to reschedule VA appointments.” https://www.va.gov/coronavirus-chatbot/

*** 5/21 Montana DPHHS, “Telework Assistance Grants of up to $1,000 per individual now available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division. 1 (877) 296-1197 or email vrinfo@mt.gov  https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd

*** 5/21 Montana DLI, “Safety Health Recording – Employer Town Hall” https://soundcloud.com/user-863864992/employer-q-a-may-13-2020


*** 5/21 Montana State Relief Funds: https://www.covidreliefmt.org/submit

*** 5/26 UM, “we will start the fall semester Wednesday, Aug. 19. Final exams – and the last day of the semester – will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving – eliminating the need for students, faculty and staff travel between the Thanksgiving holiday and the conclusion of the semester. Winter break will last until Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, the start of spring semester/ UM COVID-19 website: https://www.umt.edu/coronavirus/fall2020.php

​*** 6/3 VA Health Care, “VA Medical Centers: Moving Forward Together” https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20200529-moving-forward?inheritRedirect=true

*** 6/3 VA News, “National Surveillance Tool assesses readiness across VA’s health system” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74896/national-surveillance-tool-assesses-readiness-across-vas-health-system/

AND, “VA Chaplains add new mission: tech support to keep Veterans connected” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/75293/va-chaplains-ensure-veterans-stay-connected/

AND, “VA partners with Dole Foundation, Red Cross to help Veteran caregivers” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/75256/va-partners-dole-foundation-red-cross-help-veteran-caregivers/

AND, "Transition Talk” video series: Military to Civilian support during COVID-19” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/74760/transition-talk-video-series-military-civilian-support-covid-19/

*** 6/3 VA News – RallyPoint, “Vet Centers Provide Counseling and Care by Phone, Video and In Person” https://www.rallypoint.com/command-post/vet-centers-provide-counseling-and-care-by-phone-video-and-in-person

*** 6/4 Montana DLI Business Services, “Mark Mahnke (Business Services Specialist for VBRS) - help businesses with accommodations as they move to a partial or full virtual landscape. There is also information for businesses on how and what needs to be accommodated in virtual meetings/trainings.” https://www.deafhhtech.org/rerc/remote-workplace-communications-access/

*** 6/9 Montana DLI & DPHHS, Career One Stop and SMART goals. Videos and tools from Workforce GPS for establishing a re-employment plan: https://rc.workforcegps.org/resources/2016/10/03/05/28/My_Reemployment_Plan

*** 6/11 Military.com, “Military aid societies, namely the Army Emergency Relief (AER), the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS) and the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) adapted quickly to the crisis to help service members and continue to aid U.S. troops through new programming: https://www.military.com/2020/06/09/military-aid-societies-offer-assistance-crisis-schooling-expenses.html

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society offers financial assistance and Quick Assist Loans to aid service members: https://www.nmcrs.org/pages/nmcrs-covid-19-information

*** 6/19 US DOL, “OSHA has issued guidance to assist employers in reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic  https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osha/osha20200618 and information on pooled employer plans and other multiple employer plans.” https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/ebsa/ebsa20200617

*** 6/19 Montana DLI, “A new website was created to consolidate COVID-19 specific DLI information at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. This site is continually updated.

  • Recordings of town halls  dli.mt.gov/town-halls

  • A Return to Work webpage to provide job seekers information during the phased reopening of Montana’s economy at dli.mt.gov/return-to-work  

  • DLI social media presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram has expanded dramatically.

  • The Research & Analysis Bureau created a dashboard with timely and extensive information on UI claims, the Unemployment Rate, job postings, and other detailed information at lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking.

*** 6/24 Montana Department of Commerce, “comprehensive resource for Montanans to identify whether they qualify for financial relief and to serve as a resource as we collectively begin to reopen the thriving economy Montana enjoyed prior to the global outbreak of COVID-19.: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or COVID19info@mt.gov

If you are a business owner and have questions related to the phased approach to reopening and how the plan applies to you directly, please call 1-800-755-6672.

*** 6/25 Bob Woodruff Foundation Announces Additional $2 Million Investment in Programs Providing Urgent Support to Veterans Impacted by Coronavirus: https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/news/bob-woodruff-foundation-announces-additional-2-million-investment-in-programs-providing-urgent-support-to-veterans-impacted-by-coronavirus/

*** 7/1 VA “VA expanded its telehealth sessions by 1000% since March to continue serving Veterans during the pandemic. Yes, 1000%. That's more than 9 million telehealth appointments, including over 1 million mental health appointments!” https://telehealth.va.gov/

And, "Hey Annie, what's the latest with COVID?" Annie will let you know. Annie is VA’s text messaging program that sends health information and self-care reminders. Annie's Coronavirus Precaution texts provide general information, tips on precautions, and assessing and monitoring symptoms. https://connectedcare.va.gov/sites/default/files/HOP-270-Annie-COVID-19-Protocol-One-Pager-1.2_508.pdf

*** 7/6 Missoula Housing Authority July 2020 Newsletter, “Rental / Mortgage Assistance: The state of Montana is continuing to administer CARES rental and mortgage assistance. Apply here: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronoavirus-Relief/ (This assistance is for Montanans not receiving other types of housing assistance).

*** 7/14 Missoula Field Office of Public Assistance, “Beginning Monday, 7/20/2020, our Missoula Field Office of Public Assistance office hours will change to 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday. We are currently closed to the public due to the COVID emergency and do not yet have a scheduled date for reopening. In order to access our services, please utilize the following options: Self Service Portal: apply.mt.gov (Apply, Check Benefits, View Notices, Report Changes, Upload Documents) – Questions: 1-888-706-1535 (Extended hours 7am – 6pm M-F), HHSHCSOPAMissoula@mt.gov

*** 7/15 VA & Military.com, “VA has teamed up with Help Heal Veterans to deliver quarantine kits to help keep Veterans occupied and entertained. The kits contain reading and educational materials, craft supplies, and materials that can be used to help Veterans create their own face masks: https://www.healvets.org/news-events/coronavirus

*** 7/17 US DOL, "U.S. Department of Labor Awards $3 Million Dislocated Worker Grant In Response to the Coronavirus Public Health Emergency" https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/eta/eta20200713

*** 7/17 University of Montana "Healthy Fall 2020" https://www.umt.edu/coronavirus/healthy-fall-2020/default.php

*** 7/21 Job Service Missoula ~ FREE WORKSHOPS, "The Missoula Job Service Opening Doors to Your Success Workshops for the month of August, will continue to not be held in person or on site, however we will offer all services related to the workshops via email, video conference or phone whenever possible. When Job Service Missoula does re-open to the public based on recommendations from the CDC as well as our local health department, we will re-evaluate at the time September workshops. Our phone line 406-728-7060 is open between 8am-5pm Monday - Friday, TUESDAY’S 9am-5pm or email missoulajsc@mt.gov anytime to inquire about one-on-one email workshop assistance. Thanks in advance and appreciate your understanding during this changing environment."

*** 7/21 Montana DPHHS Announcement, "$33 Million in Grant Funding for Behavioral Health Providers" https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

*** 7/24 HRC, "District XI Human Resource Council is the recipient of CARES ACT funding as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding is in the form of Emergency Solutions Grant in Mineral, Ravalli, and Missoula Counties. ESG can assist individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness with deposit and first month’s rent. ESG can also assist individuals and families at risk of eviction to pay up to 3 months of rent.


*** 7/27 Small Business Admin

*** 7/29 Business Adaptability Grant Program Expands https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

*** 7/29 MT VRBS Newsletter, "DPHHS Telework Assistance Grants are still available through Disability Employment and Transitions (DET) Division. This funding will go towards purchasing assistive technology equipment to assist workers with disabilities in Montana maintain telework opportunities. Call 1 (877) 296-1197 or email vrinfo@mt.gov

*** 8/3 Eric – DVOP/LVER in Butte, “Good read & tough situation from our local paper that really highlights key problems facing certain veterans around the country” https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://mtstandard.com/news/state-and-regional/daughter-anxiously-seeks-ailing-veterans-records-in-shutdown/article_13a782cd-baf5-56a6-9e22-c5541a27e41c.html__;!!GaaboA!6YfoEXn4zacvTVGqPqVumaYw8P4a5oURrOJtiappBXS8_beZ-Rd2Cthq299ZWK3hgw$

*** 8/5 VA Newsletter, "How VA Used EHR Data for COVID-19 Risk Assessments" https://ehrintelligence.com/news/how-va-used-ehr-data-for-covid-19-risk-assessments

AND, "VA works to protect older Veterans from COVID-19 complications" https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/77345/va-works-protect-older-veterans-covid-19-complications/

*** 8/6 NASWA, "COVID-19 State Workforce Agency Resources" https://www.naswa.org/covid-19

*** 8/10 Salvation Army, “Due to COVID-19, we will not be having back to school event this year. To request a backpack, please call Captain Ryan (406) 549-0710. Signups end August 18th at 4pm”

*** 8/11 Montana DLI re Unemployment Insurance, "UI overpayment questions: (406) 444-5434 – regardless of what their letter may say and regardless of whether the overpayment is from regular UI or PUA."

*** 8/12 VA Newsletter, “Rx Refills During the Pandemic” https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20200401-medication-refills-coronavirus?inheritRedirect=true

AND, “How VA Helps Veteran business owners" https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/76929/how-va-helps-veteran-business-owners/

*** 8/24 Montana DLI, "recently approved program that will provide an additional $400 to some UI claimants. FAQ: http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/LostWagesFAQ.pdf (deployment is planned for 8/27 but subject to change).

*** 8/31 The Montana Department of Commerce, "announced that Montana Housing has made updates to the Emergency Housing Assistance program to help more Montanans access rent and mortgage payment assistance." https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

*** 9/1 Help Heal Veterans (From NVTI webinar), “HHV Supports Veterans and Military Personnel Through COVID-19”

https://www.healvets.org/ (FREE theraputic craft kits to help deal with isolation)

*** 9/3 CMT Meeting (Summary), "Voc Rehab has additional grant money for helping those with disabilities with the items they may need for telework up to $1000 (must be towards employment); Summit Independent Living is closed to the public but is open via phone and Zoom - working with the Food Bank to help get food delivered to those unable to go out during this time. They also have additional funding through the Summit Cares Act that can help with specific requests like housing (must be enrolled with them to receive service); ORI has some funding to help people on Voc Rehab waiting list; Lifelong Learning classes are starting online and others in person with restrictions.

*** 9/4 US DOL, "1.4 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy in August according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4%, beating expectations."

*** 9/4 NVTI, "In August 2020, the veteran unemployment rate was 6.6%, down from 8.0% last month. The comparable non-veteran unemployment rate was 8.5% in August." https://www.dol.gov/agencies/vets/latest-numbers

*** 9/4 CDC Order Bans Evictions: Federal Eviction Moratorium Effective Through Dec. 31, 2020 https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/09/04/2020-19654/temporary-halt-in-residential-evictions-to-prevent-the-further-spread-of-covid-19

In Addition, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development have extended their foreclosure moratoriums for VA-guaranteed mortgages and USDA-RD direct and guaranteed home loans through December 31, 2020.

*** 9/4 Legal services available via MLSA, "Coronavirus Relief Fund to ensure more Montanans can access free legal services." https://www.mtlsa.org/

*** 9/16 VA News, “IRS reopens registration for Economic Impact Payment” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/78771/irs-reopens-registration-economic-impact-payment/

COVID relief for Veterans: https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/73660/borne-battle-190-benefits-breakdown-covid-19-relief-veterans/

"VA resumed in-person C&P exams in locations where it was safe to do so. VA has since expanded these in-person examinations to other locations based upon local COVID-19 risk assessments.” https://benefits.va.gov/compensation/claimexam.asp

*** 9/23 Salvation Army, "Salvation Army is open from 9-12, M-TH for people to use their computers for only JOBS and HOUSING (couple of computers available)."

*** 9/23 VA News, “Volunteers return safely to national cemeteries during COVID-19” https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/79051/volunteers-return-safely-national-cemeteries-covid-19/

*** 10/1 Missoula Public Library and Parks & Rec, "The new (library) building at 455 E. Main St. is completed.. Meanwhile, Missoula Parks & Recreation will move into the old library (301 E. Main St.) and offer a new childcare option called BaseCamp for those families with students in the hybrid-model of school and needing additional help with childcare services. Available for kids ages 4 and up, BaseCamp will be open M-F 7:30am-5:30pm and will have capacity for 120 students at that site. More information and online registration is available at BASE Camp Missoula" Questions: 721-PARK (7275)!

*** 10/2 Press Release, "Tester Urges VA Secretary to ‘take a serious interest’ in Addressing Challenges Facing Montana Veterans" https://www.veterans.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2020-10-02%20Letter%20to%20Wilkie%20re%20VA%20in%20MT.pdf

*** 10/7 VA News, “VA resumes in-person benefits services halted by the COVID-19 response” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5539

*** 10/7 MT DLI, "Barb Wagner provided a really informative Montana economic update at the Employer Town Hall" - Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htBzwUiRIqQ

*** 10/8 Montana DLI re Unemployment, "Please advise people to read the letter they get especially if there is specific instructions or a direct number to call to resolve their situations: Over-payments (406) 444-5434; FIT - Identity Verification (406) 444-0072; Employer Line (406) 444-3834; PUA (406) 444-3382"

*** KPAX, "Workforce Recovery Grant Program" https://www.kpax.com/news/montana-news/workforce-recovery-grant-program-helps-the-unemployed

*** 10/15 Montana Department of Commerce - The Emergency Housing Assistance Program: https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist

*** 10/15 MONTANA OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, "$3 Million Now Available to Support Montana Businesses to Refill Jobs Lost Due to Pandemic Impacts" https://marketmt.com/BSTF/WorkforceRecovery

*** 11/5 Salvation Army, "they are still allowing people to use the computer there for job search and housing questions/applications Monday – Thursday from 9 to noon even after the recent partial shut downs. People just have to be wearing a mask."

*** 11/18 MT DLI, "Interim Pandemic Assistance (IPA) Program" ($25 million to be expended from Montana’s allocation of federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to eligible Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimants) https://mtpua.mt.gov/_/#0

*** 11/18 KPAX ~ Rocky Mountain Lab in Hamilton helps with the study of infection diseases: https://www.kpax.com/news/local-news/dr-anthony-fauci-featured-speaker-at-mansfield-center-lecture

*** 11/23 Job Accommodation Network (JAN), "information regarding COVID-19 pandemic"   https://askjan.org/topics/COVID-19.cfm


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