Coronavirus – COVID-19: Resources

March 5, 2020 Sue Rorke

Updated 4/9/2020:  MWCIL has collected COVID-19 resources for people with disabilities.  We have seen a lot of misinformation, especially on the internet and we recommend that you educate yourself with facts.  The resources below are reliable!

State of Emergency

Governor Baker declared a state of emergency. All nonessential businesses and organizations to close their physical workspaces and facilities to customers, workers and the public. Visit mass.gov for more details on updates and guidance, including a definitive list of what businesses are essential. The order has been extended to May 4.

MWCIL Service Town Resources

Framingham Emergency Center for COVID-19: Open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Call 508 532-5800.

MWCIL Service Area: MWCIL is researching the resources from the 26 towns in our service area. We will keep updating this pdf file.

Framingham Resources listed on the city’s website: Framinghamma.gov/covid19.

Resources for elders in some of our communities. Information provided by BayPath Elder Services:

From Senate President Karen Spilka

Senate President Karen Spilka has created a webpage with an extensive range of local resources. Visit karenspilka.com/updates/2020/3/13/metrowest-covid-19-resources.

Senator Spilka also has a page with the latest updates on the virus: karenspilka.com/covid.

Action Steps for PCA Users

This page, Action Steps for Attendant Service Users in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY has valuable information and ideas specifically for people with disabilities who use PCAs.

MA Department of Public Health (State)

The DPH has posted information and fact sheets in several languages and updated Massachusetts information at Mass.gov.

MassHealth Information

Consumer Information: www.mass.gov/info-details/masshealth-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19-applicants-and-members-0

General MassHealth Information: www.mass.gov/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-and-masshealth

90 Day Supplies of Medication for MassHealth Members: www.mass.gov/doc/pharmacy-facts-141-march-12-2020-0/download

PCA Overtime Limits: MassHealth is temporarily suspending the overtime limits (weekly hour limits) listed under 130 CMR 422.418(A) for the PCA program. Pursuant to this change, until further notice, a Consumer may schedule a PCA to work overtime hours without requiring prior authorization from MassHealth. Consumers should schedule their PCAs with the health and well-being of both Consumer and PCA in mind.

Please note that you still cannot exceed the maximum number of hours per week approved for in your PA. This is only waiving the overtime piece in case a PCA needs to work additional hours for more than 1 consumer putting them over 40 hours. The PCA will not be in danger of being sanctioned by MassHealth until further notice. Learn more from mass.gov.

Temporary Expansion of Home Health Aide Services: Please visit the link and learn more about how anyone experiencing disruption in their PCA services can user Home Health Aide Services. Read www.mass.gov/doc/home-health-agency-bulletin-56/download or visit MassOptions.org. MassOptions hotline at 1-844-422-6277.

If you or a family member or friend is a MassHealth member who receives hands-on support from a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) but is short PCAs during the COVID-19 outbreak, call the MassOptions hotline at 1-844-422-6277 to obtain home health aide services.

Long Term Supports and Services, including PCA Management Agencies and Fiscal Intermediaries: https://www.mass.gov/doc/ltss-provider-updates-for-covid-19/download

Housing

As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves, CHAPA is adapting their operations and policy priorities. COVID-19 Affordable Housing Resources: www.chapa.org.

Department of Community and Housing Development (DHCD) – including updates for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program – www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-dhcd-website#residential-assistance-for-families-in-transition-(raft)-program-and-covid-19-state-of-emergency-

Food

Massachusetts Food Pantries at foodpantries.org.

Call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline: 1-800-645-8333

Call Mass 2-1-1

Unemployment

Visit the State Unemployment Insurance page for online application forms, as well as links to rules and exceptions during the Covid-19 pandemic. www.mass.gov/unemployment-insurance-ui-online

Social Security

See updates on benefits related to Covid-19: www.ssa.gov/coronavirus

MA Attorney General

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office’s work as the People’s Law Firm continues amidst the Coronavirus public health emergency. The AG’s Office is warning Massachusetts residents to be on alert for individuals and businesses that may try to take advantage of uncertainty about COVID-19.

The AG’s hotlines will still be fully staffed during the regular hours. Visit the AG web page at mass.gov for more resources.

Nursing Home Family Resource Line

617-660-5399
Open Every Day – 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM – a dedicated phone line to connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need.

This new phone line provides one central contact for families and community members who have questions about the nursing home or rest home care their loved one is receiving during the COVID-19 outbreak. Staff will field questions on a range of topics and coordinate across state agencies to help provide answers.

About Covid-19

The CDC.gov website has the latest information on COVID-19, including prevention, symptoms and what to do if you get sick. .

Johns Hopkins Medicine has information, including a “Self Checker” to help you evaluate your own health. Scroll down to see it all: www.hopkinsmedicine.org/coronavirus/index.html

Mental Health

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources

American Sign Language

Other Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources

Disability Rights and Healthcare

We have heard threats and warnings that healthcare may need to be rationed, and that “someone” may have to decide who gets treated and who does not. These warnings are especially frightening for people with disabilities who may feel undervalued. The Disability Rights and Education Fund has compiled information on this topic. You can download their pdf document: Preventing Discrimination in the Treatment of COVID-19 Patients: The Illegality of Medical Rationing on the Basis of Disability.

From HHS – a bulletin from March 28: Civil Rights, HIPAA,and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 .pdf

From ACL (Administration for Community Living)

ACL has compiled resources for seniors and people with disabilities: acl.gov/COVID-19.

COVID-19 Info By and For People with Disabilities

Downloadable 8 page plain-language booklet: COVID-19 Information By and For People with Disabilities from the Green Mountain Self Advocates and the Vermont Developmental Disabilities Council

Q and A – PROVIDING SERVICES TO CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The CDC has issued interim guidance to help administrators of public and private childcare programs and K–12 schools plan for and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among students and staff. See Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K–12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019.