In the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, AARP Minnesota is providing information and resources to help older people and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and prevent it from spreading to others. For the latest national coronavirus news and information, visit AARP.org/coronavirus.
If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider, or the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline (1-800-657-3903) to figure out if you could — and should — get tested. For health-related questions, you can also dial the MN Department of Health Hotline (651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504; Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH INFORMATION
- Governor Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency lasting until November 12. This was in response to the coronavirus pandemic and stressed the importance of all Minnesotans to take care to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
- The Minnesota Department of Health offers updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources and contact information. Information on COVID-19 information is available in multiple languages including Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
- Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116) is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging and connects to services for older adults and their families, including information and assistance, care management, nutrition services, legal assistance and services for family caregivers through the Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP).
HEALTH ASSISTANCE RESOURCES
- Minnesota's Area Agencies on Aging provides assistance to seniors, local agencies, and communities. Their resources list includes services offered across the state, including those provided to American Indian elders. The Senior LinkAge Line® (1-800-333-2433) is the Minnesota Board on Aging's free statewide information and assistance service and can help make connections to local services.
- MNsure (Twin Cities: 651-539-2099; Greater MN: 855-366-7873) is offering options for enrolling in coverage or increased financial help toward paying for your current plan.
- US Department of Veterans Affairs (844-698-2311) offers multiple resources for veterans.
- AARP Caregiver Support Line (English: 1-877-333-5885; Spanish: 1-888-971-2013) provides support and help for caregivers and is available Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Alzheimer's Association (24/7 Helpline: 800-272-3900) offers COVID-19 Dementia Caregiver Tips and Resources.
- AARP Community Connections (Helplines & Tools to Connect with Others) connects individuals to support in your community and enables people to organize online mutual aid group to stay connected, share ideas and help your family, neighbors.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota works with individuals with mental illness, their families, professionals and the community at large by providing education, support and advocacy. For support:
- Call the warm line at 651-288-0400 or text “Support” to 85511;
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Crisis Text Line is available for free, 24/7 by texting "MN" to 741741
- Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA ) Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990
- The Department of Health has compiled a list of mental health crisis response phone numbers
- AARP has compiled a list of Mental Health Support resources from national organizations
- Guardianship Information Line / Volunteers of America (844-333-1748 or 952-945-4174) provide in-depth phone and email (email@example.com) support and consultation on topics including decision-making and guardianship through their social workers at the Center for Excellence in Support of Decision Making.
FOOD ASSISTANCE RESOURCES
- Hunger Solutions Minnesota (1-888-711-1151) has a list of supporting programs and agencies that provide food to those in need, including food shelves, free meals, discount groceries, and more.
- FoodPantries.org has compiled local food pantries and food banks throughout Minnesota.
- Metro Meals on Wheels (612-623-3363) delivers meals and services in the Twin Cities.
- Second Harvest Heartland is a Twin Cities food bank that strives to end hunger through community partners.
- Help at Your Door (651-642-1892) offers grocery assistance, home support and transportation services in the Twin Cities.
- Metro Mobility (651-602-1111) - riders can now order groceries and goods online from local stores and have Metro Mobility pick them up and deliver for free in the Twin Cities.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (1-800-657-3698) is a county-run, state-supervised Federal program that helps Minnesotans with low incomes get the food they need for sound nutrition and well-balanced meals. The program issues electronic food support benefits that can help stretch your household food budget. SNAP Outreach Specialist are available by county for help and support.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
- Minnesota Unemployment Insurance - If your employment has been affected by COVID-19, you can apply for unemployment benefits. Apply online or by phone (Twin Cities: 651-296-3644; Greater Minnesota: 1-877-898-9090). Customer Service representatives are available Monday-Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you are sick with coronavirus or caring for a family member with coronavirus, you may be eligible for partial wage replacement through Unemployment Insurance Program administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).
- Lutheran Social Service Financial Counseling (888-577-2227) is offering financial counseling.
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loans - Available if you had started an application for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan or are now interested in applying for a SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
FRAUD AND SCAM SUPPORT AND RESOURCES
From cures for coronavirus to phishing emails and phony websites, scammers are taking advantage of consumers' fears as the virus spreads. If you see or suspect fraud or scam, report it:
- File price gouging complaints with Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison through the Price Gouging Complaints Form or by phone (651-201-3920; Outside the Twin Cities: (800) 657-3787 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday).
- Learn more about coronavirus-related scams from the Federal Trade Commission.
- Call or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at 877-908-3360 to report a scam or for help if you think you’ve become a victim of one.
Housing Assistance Program Launched
The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has officially launched and is accepting applications. This program provides housing assistance payments to help prevent eviction, prevent homelessness, and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners. Local administrators will review applications from individuals and families requesting assistance, verify eligibility, and process payments for eligible expenses on behalf of households. For complete details on who is eligible to apply and what costs are covered by the program, visit www.211unitedway.org or call 211.
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