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West Virginia Coronavirus Resources You Can Use

WV - COVID Resources

UPDATED 4/14/2020
West Virginia Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline
The Governor's Office and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has established an information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The hotline is being provided through a long-standing emergency preparedness partnership between DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health and the West Virginia Poison Center. Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource (WV DHHR)
For updates on West Virginia Coronavirus response, visit www.coronavirus.wv.gov

Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention
For National Updates, visit www.CDC.gov

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UNEMPLOYMENT & STATE PROGRAMS

COVID-19 and State Unemployment Benefits
Gov. Jim Justice issued an executive order on Thursday, March 19, directing WorkForce West Virginia and the West Virginia Department of Commerce to provide unemployment benefits to those affected by COVID-19 and administer them to the maximum extent permitted by federal law. WorkForce West Virginia encourages patience while waiting for Federal CARES Act benefits, and continues to process state unemployment benefits. If you have questions or need more information, visit www.WorkforceWV.org/covid19

AARP Answers: Unemployment and the Coronavirus
https://www.aarp.org/work/job-search/info-2020/unemployment-coronavirus-faq.html?intcmp=WOR-FEED

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Every State
https://www.aarp.org/work/career-change/info-2020/applying-for-unemployment-benefits.html?intcmp=AE-WOR-BB

These Companies Are Hiring During Coronavirus Shutdowns
https://www.aarp.org/work/job-search/info-2020/coronavirus-companies-hiring.html?intcmp=AE-WOR-R1-C3

Small Businesses Can Get Help Covering Costs of Coronavirus Shutdowns
https://www.aarp.org/work/small-business/info-2020/coronavirus-help.html?intcmp=AE-WOR-SB

For West Virginia Residents Seeking DHHR Services
WV DHHR is fully committed to ensuring that essential services remain accessible to West Virginians during the COVID-19 outbreak and is taking steps to ensure that access to DHHR-administered benefits and services, including SNAP, WV Works, Medicaid, and CHIP, are not interrupted.

Applications for most DHHR benefit programs can be made online at www.wvpath.org. Steps are being taken to ensure that renewal of benefits can either be extended or conducted without the need for a face-to-face interview. Local offices are expected to remain open with limited staff for as long as safety permits, in order to accommodate those who do not have online access. If you have any questions, call your local DHHR office or the Office of Client Services at 1-800-642-8589.

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STAYING CONNECTED

AARP Community Connections, a new online platform launched by AARP Innovation Labs, allows users to organize and find local volunteer groups to help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance or lend emotional support to neighbors, friends and loved ones. Across the country, these informal online groups—also called “mutual aid” groups—help communities stay connected at a time when people must practice social distancing to stay safe.

AARP Community Connections includes multiple resources to help those who are feeling isolated, depressed, overwhelmed or anxious. Users are able to:

  • Request a call from an AARP volunteer, or a trained counselor;
  • Easily create an account with Savo to make connecting with their families easier;
  • Join “The Mighty,” a safe, supportive online community for people facing health challenges and their caregivers.

AARP Community Connections is live and completely free to use, and AARP membership is not required. For more information, visit www.aarpcommunityconnections.org.

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CAREGIVING AND AGING NETWORK

WV Bureau of Senior Services COVID-19 Response
The WV Bureau of Senior Services is working with the state’s county-based provider network and Area Agencies on Aging to address the needs of our seniors regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Home-delivered meals are continuing and arrangements are being made for congregate meal recipients to also continue to receive meals. Shelf stable and emergency meals are being provided to all our current meal recipients. In-home services are continuing. There could be some variance in the schedule. Providers are required to maintain contact with their homebound and nutrition participants. Older West Virginians can still call their Area Aging Network Provider for information.

West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services
www.wvseniorservices.gov (304) 558-3317 / (877) 987-3646

Administration for Community Living
The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families. You can reach Elder Care toll-free at 800-677-1116 (9 a.m. – 8 p.m. M-F), email eldercarelocator@n4a.org, or visit online eldercare.acl.gov/

National Council On Aging
https://www.ncoa.org

Feeding Sites for School Children – WV Department of Education
The West Virginia Department of Education has been actively working with the federal government to ensure that students relying on school breakfast and lunch programs will continue to receive meals during the current COVID-19 school closure. A list of feeding sites is available here: https://wvde.us/covid19/feeding-site-information/

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living
What do Older Adults and People with Disabilities
Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – https://acl.gov/COVID-19
Emergency Preparedness Resources - https://acl.gov/programs/emergency-preparedness

Questions About Insurance
If you have questions about your insurance or Medicare Coverage, please visit your health insurer’s website – we know that most are actively updating their members on actions they are taking to support them during this time. For more information about what steps Medicare has taken regarding Coronavirus, visit www.medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus or call 1-800-MEDICARE (633-4227). WV State Health Insurance Assistance Program (WV SHIP) Medicare counselors can be reached at 1-877-987-4463.

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FRAUDS AND SCAMS

Fraud Watch Network
www.FraudWatchNetwork.org
Call our free helpline at 877-908-3360 if you or a loved one suspects a scam

WV Attorney General – Consumer Protection Hotline
Consumers who believe that they have been the victim of unlawful practices in the purchases of goods and services are encouraged to contact the AG’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-368-8808.

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VETERANS AND MILITARY FAMILIES

What Should Veterans Do?
Any Veteran with symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath should immediately contact their local VA facility. VA urges Veterans to call before visiting – you can find contact information for your closest VA facility. Alternatively, Veterans can sign into www.myhealth.va.gov to send a secure message to VA or use telehealth options to explain their condition and receive a prompt diagnosis. Upon arriving at VA, all patients will be screened for flu-like symptoms before they enter in order to protect other patients and staff. A VA health care professional will assist you with next steps once this screening process is complete. At this time, VA is urging all visitors who do not feel well to please postpone their visits to VA facilities.

The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance has implemented measures at its Clarksburg Veterans Nursing Facility and Barboursville Veterans Home to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to facilities that house our more vulnerable veterans. In accordance with the Governor’s Stay At Home Order, Benefits Offices are closed and Veterans Service Officers are continuing to check email and phone messages from remote locations. If you need assistance, please call the benefits office closest to you and leave a message. www.veterans.wv.gov

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MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

Disaster Distress Helpline
Provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. 1-800-985-5990 or by Text Message TALKWITHUS to 66746

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WV 2-1-1 RESOURCES/SERVICES

2-1-1 Information
West Virginia 211, a collaborative project of the United Ways of West Virginia, provides access to a comprehensive database that you can use to find health and human services to meet your needs. The database also has information on disaster related services. Just dial the numbers 2-1-1 and you’ll be connected with a live operator who will provide the latest information regarding available resources. If you have resources or services to add to the 2-1-1 database, please dial 2-1-1 or visit www.wv211.org and they will work with you to get them added.

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TAX PREPARATION ASSISTANCE

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program
As of March 16, AARP Foundation suspended all Tax-Aide services until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop, our priority is to protect those most at risk, including our volunteers and taxpayers.

We will continue to consider whether the program can open again in some or all sites for the remainder of the tax season, which has been extended to July 15. Please visit the online site locator tool aarpfoundation.org/taxhelp for the most up-to-date information, including any site re-openings.

About AARP West Virginia
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