COVID-19 Updates Relevant to the VSN / Timeline
*** 3/12/20 "Missoula Aging Services, "In person support groups, workshops and classes have been canceled for the time being" Available online: https://www.missoulaagingservices.org
*** 3/16/20 Missoula Housing Authority is open by appointment only Our staff listing is on our website: https://missoulahousing.org/staff
*** 3/16/20 Job Service Missoula - 2020 Career Fair CANCELED (2021 In-Person Career Fair tentatively scheduled for 10/7/21)
*** 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)
*** 3/16/20 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.
*** 3/18/20 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/
*** 3/18/20 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
*** 3/18/20 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
*** 3/19/20 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.
*** 3/19/20 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
*** 3/23/20 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 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/
*** 3/24/20 VHA "partnerships support the social determinants of health that Veterans need during times of crisis" https://www.va.gov/healthpartnerships/updates/impact/03242020.asp
*** 3/24/20 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
*** 3/25/20 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/
*** 3/26/20 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, email@example.com
*** 3/27/20 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
*** 3/27/20 What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws: https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
Job Accommodation Network: https://askjan.org/topics/COVID-19.cfm
*** 3/29/20 HOPE Rescue Mission “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." https://www.hopemontana.org/
*** 3/30/20 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, “Please note that the FAQ’S from Unemployment (UI) are being constantly updated" http://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/covid-19/employee-FAQ.pdf
*** 3/30/20 Salvation Army, “still open Monday through Thursday 9am-3pm for food boxes, hygiene kits, and they have a little bit of rental assistance left.”
*** 4/1/20 Learning Center at Red Willow, "We're pleased to be able to offer more classes online" www.redwillowlearning.org
Heroes Therapeutic Outreach Program INFO / WAIVER: https://www.redwillowlearning.org/sliding-fees-scholarships/
New phone (406) 530-7175, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 4/7/20 Western Montana Mental Health Clinic, “The Behavioral Urgent Care Clinic in Missoula is open (M-F, 9am - 5pm, 1201 Wyoming St). 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, email@example.com
*** 4/9/20 Montana Department of Labor & Industry, "Page for self-employed, independent contractors and others" http://dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractor
*** 4/9/20 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." APPLY: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/covid-relief
*** 4/9/20 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 4/14/20 Dena - Bitterroot DAV, “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/
*** 4/16/20 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/
Questions: Unmet Needs at 1-866-789-6333
*** 4/22/20 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 email@example.com for help.
COVID-19 FAQ for EMPLOYERS & EMPLOYEES: http://dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19-faq
*** 4/23/20 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."
*** 4/24/20 Montana Housing within the Department of Commerce, “COVID-19 information phone line at 1-888-333-0461 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 4/24/20 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
*** 4/28/20 Emergency Housing Assistance Program: https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist
*** 4/30/20 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
*** 5/4/20 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
Urgent Care – Info for Providers: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/providers/info_UrgentCare.asp [va.gov]
Community Care Network: https://www.va.gov/COMMUNITYCARE/providers/Community_Care_Network.asp [va.gov]
Questions: Mark -Veterans Health Administration, email@example.com
*** 5/5/20 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
*** 5/13/20 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 5/13/20 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 pandemic.” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5442
*** “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/
*** 5/14/20 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
Questions: Danny -NCA, email@example.com
*** 5/14/20 VA, “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
*** 5/18/20 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 5/20/20 VA News, “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/
*** 5/21/20 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 email@example.com https://dphhs.mt.gov/detd
*** 5/21/20 Montana State Relief Funds: https://www.covidreliefmt.org/submit
*** 6/3/20 VA Health Care, “VA Medical Centers: Moving Forward Together” https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20200529-moving-forward?inheritRedirect=true
*** 6/3/20 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 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/
*** 6/3/20 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
*** 6/4/20 Montana DPHHS & DLI Business Services, “help businesses with accommodations as they move to a partial or full virtual landscape.” https://www.deafhhtech.org/rerc/remote-workplace-communications-access/
*** 6/9/20 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
*** 6/11/20 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
*** 6/19/20 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
*** 6/19/20 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
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
*** 6/24/20 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: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief Montana COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-333-0461 or COVID19info@mt.gov
Business owners 1-800-755-6672
*** 6/25/20 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/
*** 7/1/20 VA, “VA expanded its telehealth sessions by 1000% since March to continue serving Veterans during the pandemic." https://telehealth.va.gov/
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
*** 7/6/20 Missoula Housing Authority July 2020 Newsletter, “Rental / Mortgage Assistance: The state of Montana is continuing to administer CARES rental and mortgage assistance." Apply: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronoavirus-Relief/ (This assistance is for Montanans not receiving other types of housing assistance).
*** 7/14/20 Missoula Field Office of Public Assistance, “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, HHSHCSOPAMissoula@mt.gov
*** 7/15/20 VA & Military.com, “VA has teamed up with Help Heal Veterans to deliver quarantine kits to help keep Veterans occupied and entertained" (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
*** 7/17/20 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
*** 7/21/20 Job Service Missoula, "Opening Doors to Your Success" Workshops available via email, video conference or phone whenever possible." Call (406) 728-7060 9am-5pm Monday - Friday or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 7/21/20 Montana DPHHS Announcement, "$33 Million in Grant Funding for Behavioral Health Providers" https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief
*** 7/24/20 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. All (406) 728-3710, to be screened for assistance."
*** 7/27/20 Small Business Admin
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - https://www.sba.gov/document/report-paycheck-protection-program-report-through-july-24-2020
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans
EIDL Application Portal Remains Open - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans Applications for new Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are being accepted from all qualified small businesses, including U.S. agricultural businesses.
For all guidance documents/data documents available for PPP can be located at the SBA and Treasure websites as follows:
*** 7/29/20 Business Adaptability Grant Program Expands https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief
*** 7/29/20 "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 (877) 296-1197 or email email@example.com
*** 8/5/20 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/
*** 8/6/20 NASWA, "COVID-19 State Workforce Agency Resources" https://www.naswa.org/covid-19
*** 8/11/20 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."
*** 8/12/20 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/
*** 8/24/20 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
*** 8/31/20 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
*** 9/1/20 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)
*** 9/4/20 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.
*** 9/4/20 Legal services available via MLSA, "Coronavirus Relief Fund to ensure more Montanans can access free legal services." https://www.mtlsa.org/
*** 9/16/20 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
*** 9/23/20 Salvation Army, "Salvation Army is open from 9-12, M-TH for people to use their computers for only JOBS and HOUSING."
*** 10/1/20 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)!
*** 10/7/20 VA News, “VA resumes in-person benefits services halted by the COVID-19 response” https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5539
*** 10/8/20 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
*** 10/15/20 Montana Department of Commerce - The Emergency Housing Assistance Program: https://housing.mt.gov/Rental-Housing/CovidHousingAssist
*** 10/15/20 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
*** 11/18/20 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
*** 11/18/20 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
*** 11/23/20 Job Accommodation Network (JAN), "information regarding COVID-19 pandemic" https://askjan.org/topics/COVID-19.cfm
*** 12/9/20 KPAX, "Missoula Co. award COVID-19 grants to small businesses" https://www.kpax.com/rebound/missoula-co-to-award-covid-19-grants-to-small-businesses
*** 12/29/20 Montana DLI, "ID.me verification cases (406) 444-2545 / updated resource" https://hosted-pages.id.me/montana-dol-identity-proofing
*** 12/31/20 Montana Crisis Recovery, "a COVID-19 crisis counseling program, dedicated to helping people struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support is available to all; it's free, confidential, and anonymous. To speak with a trained crisis counselor dial (877) 503-8033." Temporary landing page: https://montanacrisisrecovery.com or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/montanacrisisrecovery
*** 12/31/20 Montana VA Health Care System "has received the Moderna COVID-19 and we will be contacting Veterans directly when they can receive the vaccine. There is no need to preregister or come in to sign up--we will call all enrolled Veterans when they are eligible to receive the vaccine. MTVAHCS will administer the vaccine in two doses, 28 days apart. The side effects appear similar to those of other vaccines and generally go away or resolve in 72 hours." https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/
*** 1/22/21 IRS, "Some people will (have) receive(d) their stimulus in the form of a debit card. The card should be issued by Visa and the issuing bank (on the back of the card) will be METAbank. Some people may have thrown this away. It kinda looks like a scam, but it’s not. So keep your eyes peeled." https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/millions-of-taxpayers-will-receive-their-second-economic-impact-payments-by-debit-card
*** 1/27/21 Montana DLI, "Montana's economic performance during COVID-19" http://dli.mt.gov/town-halls/employer-town-halls
And, "The economic recovery has been faster than previous recessions. The first vaccine doses administered in December offer a light at the end of the tunnel and hope for a return to normal." https://lmi.mt.gov/portals/193/Publications/LMI-Pubs/Articles/2020/1220-TeleworkCOVID.pdf
*** 2/10/21 VA, “Veterans and caregivers can sign up for an easy way to stay informed about getting a COVID-19 vaccine through VA at https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed. VA is prioritizing and offering vaccines to enrolled Veterans actively receiving VA health care. If Veterans are not currently receiving health care through VA, find out eligibility and how to apply here: https://www.va.gov/health-care/how-to-apply/
*** 2/18/21 Montana DLI, "COVID poster available online" http://wsd.dli.mt.gov/employers/labor-law-posters (Employers can look at the checklist and ensure they are in compliance).
*** 2/18/21 AARP Montana, "New COVID-19 Vaccine Scams Targeting Veterans: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2021/veterans-covid-vaccine-scams.html
Over 250 VA Sites Nationwide Administer COVID-19 Vaccines: https://www.aarp.org/home-family/voices/veterans/info-2020/va-covid-vaccine-plan.html
NOTE: COVID-19 Vaccine – VA HELPLINE: 1-800-MyVA411 press 8 (1-800-698-2411) or online: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/
In addition, the VA just started this Keep Me Informed online tool to keep Veterans and their families informed in real-time: https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed
*** 3/9/21 Montana Emergency Rental Assistance program, "The program is not yet taking applications but applicants can begin getting their materials ready now." Watch for updates at HOUSING.MT.GOV
*** 3/11/21 Montana DLI - Unemployment Insurance Division, "sometimes our customers call other DLI numbers they find through websites and chatbot, trying to get a re-direct into Claims Processing. If you get one of these calls, please tell them they have to call: (406) 444-2545 to talk to a UI representative, unless they have a different UI # on a letter they received. General eligibility questions can be answered with these links" https://uid.dli.mt.gov/ Or, https://uid.dli.mt.gov/Portals/55/Documents/Claims-Processing/dli-uid-cl001.pdf
*** 3/12/21 Missoula Public Library, "Tammy Ravas, Professor, Interim Head of Information and Research Services Division, Mansfield Library confirmed there are some computers available for public use" 7am - 6pm
*** 3/16/21 Montana DLI, "The UI overpayment hotline is up and running. The phone number is 406-444-5434" (M - F 10am 4pm)
*** 3/17/21 Missoula City County Health Dept, "link is continuously updated" (see who has vaccinations / shots - when the bar is green on top, there are open appointments): https://covid19.missoula.co/VaccineInformation
*** 3/24/21 KPAX, "Vaccines for all starting Sunday March 28th" https://www.kpax.com/news/coronavirus/missoula-co-to-expand-covid-19-vaccine-eligibility
*** 3/24/21 VA, "All Veterans, their spouses and caregivers can get COVID-19 vaccinations from VA under the SAVE LIVES Act signed into law March 24 [lnks.gd]."
*** 3/26/21 Montana DLI, "FAQs for ID.me regarding Montana ID.me, General ID.me questions, Troubleshooting, Trusted Referee Info - link [app.salesforceiq.com] Montana Help Page" (step-by-step guide for claimants using the Claim Module and what to expect).
*** 3/26/21 Cares Act award for college students: https://www.umt.edu/finaid/covid-faq/crrsaa.php
*** 3/26/21 FEMA, "to assist families who have had someone pass away from COVID19 & help offset the cost of funeral expenses." ($9,000 for 1, up to $35,000.00 for more - Applications open in April) https://www.fema.gov/press-release/20210324/fema-help-pay-funeral-costs-covid-19-related-deaths
*** 4/12/21 Office fo the Governor, "Emergency Rent, Utility Assistance Now Available for Montanans Financially Impacted by COVID-19"
Montanans can check their eligibility and apply now for Emergency Rental Assistance at HOUSING.MT.GOV
*** 4/22/21 Montana DLI re Vaccination Requirements:
The Federal Government provides guidance from the EEOC. If you go to the EEOC’s website (eeoc.gov) there is a whole list of FAQ’s on COVID-19 related inquiries (including vaccinations): https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws
The State of Montana Human Rights Bureau has information: https://erd.dli.mt.gov/human-rights/
HRB has a You Tube Channel with lots of good information! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzXLmN6JYzWHIRp5yX4ZrYQ
There is also information in the Governor’s Executive Order regarding vaccinations. Even with all of this, the Montana Legislature is considering this topic in various bills. This is a work in progress, and changes are possible.
*** 4/28/21 VA News - Vaccine Q&A: https://blogs.va.gov/VAntage/87607/you-asked-we-answered-could-i-be-allergic-to-the-covid-19-vaccine/
*** Veteran restaurant business owners eligible for $28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/covid-19-relief-options/restaurant-revitalization-fund
**** 5/4/21 Bob Woodruff Foundation announced an investment of over $4.6 million in grants to 44 best-in-class organizations that serve veterans, caregivers, and military families! This investment is helping veterans and their families across the country with urgent essential needs, including food insecurity, emergency financial support, and housing assistance, as well as employment services, legal resources, and programs that focus on social connection and interaction. https://bobwoodrufffoundation.org/news/bob-woodruff-foundation-announces-latest-grants-addressing-urgent-needs-of-veterans-caregivers-and-military-families/
Questions: Bob Woodruff Foundation (646) 441-6864, firstname.lastname@example.org
*** 5/5/21 Montana Unemployment Insurance Division, “Changes to Federal UI Programs and Eligibility Requirements. Beginning June 27, 2021, pandemic related eligibility rules (ARM 24.11-478) will end. Normal eligibility requirements will be applied, determining if you are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work: https://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/2021UI-Benefits-Changing.pdf
These eligibility requirements are explained in the Claimant Handbook and on the Montana Unemployment Insurance website (dli.uid.mt.gov)” For more information about these eligibility requirements: https://uid.dli.mt.gov/Portals/55/Documents/Claims-Processing/dli-uid-cl001.pdf
*** 5/6/21 Emergency Computer Broadband: www.getemergencybroadband.org
*** 5/13/21 State of Montana Administration, "With mask mandates rescinded statewide and in most communities, including Lewis and Clark County, with COVID-19 vaccines available since April 1 for all Montanans aged 16 and older, and with the CDC’s guidance today on masks, state employees are no longer required to wear face masks at work effective immediately. This includes any customers and visitors to state buildings. Agencies should remove signage requiring masks from their locations."
*** 5/19/21 David J. Thatcher VA Clinic ~ COVID VACCINES, 2687 Palmer Street, Suite C, Missoula
** Walk-in appointments are available, based on availability 9:00-11:30 a.m.
** To schedule an appointment:
1. Enrolled Veterans should call (877) 468-8387 and select Option 2, and then Option 2 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
2. Non-enrolled Veterans, their spouses and/or caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients will need to sign up online to register to receive a vaccine at https://www.va.gov/.../covid-19-vaccine/sign-up/introduction. Once registered, MTVAHCS will then contact each individual to schedule a vaccine appointment.
Please note that all patients, visitors, and anyone who receives a vaccine at a MTVAHCS facility are required to wear a face covering that fully covers both the nose and mouth, per Federal regulation. Unenrolled Veterans are asked to bring in their DD-214 at the time of their vaccine appointment. COVID-19 vaccines are available only at MTVAHCS COVID-19 vaccine clinics (vaccines are not available on a walk-in basis at MTVAHCS clinics and medical centers). For more details and to view upcoming vaccine clinics, visit https://www.montana.va.gov/.../COVID_19_Veteran....
Questions: Montana VA Health Care (406) 447-7990, email@example.com
OR David J. Thatcher VA Clinic (406) 493-3800
*** 5/26/21 Montana Unemployment Division, "Putting Montana Back to Work" https://dli.mt.gov/Portals/57/Documents/2021PuttingMontanaBacktoWork.pdf
Continue to watch montanaworks.gov for more information, or you can contact DLIRTW@mt.gov
*** 5/27/21 Montana DLI, "Here is a link to our job tracking dashboard with up-to-date county-specific information on employment, labor force, unemployment insurance, and more." https://lmi.mt.gov/Home/Job-Tracking
UI claims nationally (Wall Street Journal): https://www.wsj.com/articles/weekly-jobless-claims-coronavirus-05-27-2021-11622068894?cx_testId=3&cx_testVariant=cx_5&cx_artPos=3&mod=WTRN#cxrecs_s
*** 6/4/21 Montana DLI -Notice of Eligibility Update "You may be eligible for a one-time $1200 Return-to-Work bonus IF you meet ALL the following criteria: Name is on the active unemployment eligibility list as of May 1, 2021; Accept an offer of employment in any industry in Montana; You obtain employment and work for at least four (4) consecutive weeks for a single employer; Obtain employment on or after May 4, 2021 through October 31, 2021. How to Apply: When you start work, please complete the Return-to-Work Bonus application found here: RtW Application. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry will contact you after four weeks from your hire date and request pay stubs to verify your continued employment." For more information visit: Montanaworks.gov/RtW
*** 6/7/21 IRS, "Child Tax Credit Payments from IRS start in July 2021" https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-sending-letters-to-more-than-36-million-families-who-may-qualify-for-monthly-child-tax-credits-payments-start-july-15
*** 7/6/21 VA- VEO, "There are Four Easy Ways for Veterans to get the vaccine:
1. Just walk into a VA Medical Facility. Even if you are not a VA customer. No appointment is needed. Find one near you
Questions: Bob Mortenson - Veterans Experience Office (VACO), Veterans, Family and Community Engagement, Department of Veterans Affairs (360) 568-4592, firstname.lastname@example.org
7/20/21 "HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced a new process for Montana employers to notify the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) if an unemployment insurance (UI) claimant fails to appear for a scheduled interview.
“We’ve recently heard from employers across the state with a common complaint: candidates for open positions submit applications and schedule interviews, only to skip out on the interview itself,” Governor Gianforte said. “This new process established by Commissioner Esau will cut down on wasted time for Montana small businesses and ensure UI claimants are adhering to program rules.”
UI claimants are required to make an active, good-faith effort to secure employment every week benefits are claimed. Scheduling an interview to complete a weekly work search requirement, but then failing to appear for that interview, may violate UI program rules.
DLI Commissioner Laurie Esau added, “Some restaurants have reported scheduling half a dozen interviews or more on a given day, and having only a single applicant actually show up – if any at all. To be sure, there are plenty of legitimate reasons why an applicant misses an interview. Many of the individuals who skip out on an interview may not even be UI claimants at all. But if a UI claimant is scheduling an interview as a way to complete his or her work search requirements, and then fails to make a good-faith effort to appear and obtain a job offer, that may impact their eligibility for UI benefits going forward.”
Employers who submit information about declined or missed interviews may be contacted by fraud investigators for more information. However, the outcome of the audit will remain between the claimant and the department.
UI claimants are encouraged to consult the Claimant Handbook to ensure they remain in compliance with work search requirements.
If an individual is receiving UI benefits and then refuses an official offer of work, it may impact their ability to continue receiving benefits. In these cases, employers are encouraged to notify UI and complete the Refusal of Work Report form and return it to email@example.com or log on to UI eServices for Employers and attach it to a secure web message.
US Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html