News from Representative Larson

Dear Friends,

As we continue to face the ongoing public health crisis caused by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), our lives are quickly changing. Below are some common questions my office has received over the past week. Please sign up for my newsletter here, so you can continue getting these updates.

As always, my office stands ready to assist. Please call my Hartford office at 860-278-8888 or send us an email here.

Where can I access state resources and assistance?

Connecticut’s 2-1-1 info hotline is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is for general Coronavirus questions (such as utility assistance, food, housing, childcare, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, experiencing homelessness). Additionally, you can visit Connecticut’s Coronavirus resource page here.

What do I do if I am having symptoms?

If you believe you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider. If you have other medical questions and you are unable to speak to a healthcare provider, Hartford HealthCare has established a Clinical Command Center hotline, which can be reached 24 hours a day at 860-972-8100 or (toll-free) 833-621-0600.

I was recently laid off or had my employer completely cut my hours. What resources are there for me?

Laid off and furloughed workers are likely eligible for unemployment insurance. Visit filectui.com to apply. A fact sheet can be found here

Congress is continuing to work on legislation to directly aid workers who have been laid off or have had their hours cut as a result of this crisis.

I own a small business. What resources are there for me?

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved CT small businesses for disaster relief related to the Coronavirus. Small businesses and non-profits can apply for low-interest loans from the SBA.  Learn more here.

Additionally, the CT Department of Economic and Community Development has a small business hotline: 860-500-2333 or you can visit their website here.

Congress is considering additional aid to small businesses.

I understand the federal government is making paid sick leave and paid family leave available to workers. Who is eligible? What are the details?

The President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law. Beginning in early April, most employers with under 500 employers will be required to offer ten paid sick days for each full-time employee. Those employers will also be required to pay a portion of workers wages if they need to stay home and care for a child whose school or daycare is closed. Part-time employees will be provided time off proportional to their hours worked.

Employers will be reimbursed for wages paid to employees on leave under the new law.

Individuals who are self-employed will be given immediate tax relief equivalent to these benefits.

I am struggling with food insecurity, what do I do?

You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Stamps. For more information and for help applying, visit EndHungerCT.org or call their SNAP helpline at 866-974-7627.

Additionally, Congress just allocated an additional $1 billion for food security programs in its most recent package to combat COVID-19.

I am currently uninsured; can I get health insurance?

Yes. Access Health CT has opened a special enrollment period beginning March 19th where qualified, uninsured CT residents can enroll in health insurance starting April 1st. Learn more here or call 1-855-365-2428.

Has the deadline to file federal taxes been extended?

Yes. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just announced it has been extended until July 15th. Please check the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) website for more details.

What resources are there for veterans?

Call your VA medical center before going to a clinic, urgent care, or emergency room, especially if you have symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Ask your VA health care team about the option of care by phone or video instead of an in-person visit. For more information about the VA’s response plan, see here.

Additionally, I'm holding my third tele-town hall on Sunday, March 22nd from 3 pm to 5 pm. You can dial in during that time by calling 855-962-0972 or you can register here

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