Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Home / disability rights / Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

dLCV developed the following resources at the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. As we continue in these difficult times, we hope this resources remain helpful

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia created this page to provide you with links to news and information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from credible sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), and state, county, and local government and health authorities in Virginia.

During this health crisis, please know that the disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) remains open and committed to our mission.  We realize that some of our clients are the most at risk.  People with disabilities, especially people in congregate settings, are more vulnerable to contagion, are at higher risk of harm due to staffing problems, and at higher risk of harm due to mandatory isolation.  Read more in a letter from the Executive Director.

You can contact us at any time!  Advocates are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm. Call 1-800-552-3962 (toll-free) or 804-225-2042 to request assistance OR complete the Online Request for dLCV Services.  If you don’t speak English, we have access to a “language line” that helps us communicate with you in your own language.

COVID-19: Updates for the Community

This video discusses the current nationwide emergency and its impact on the community we serve. Despite continued challenges, the staff at the disAbility Law Center of Virginia will continue providing advocacy and support to people with disabilities.

If you know about a situation that is unfolding or a rights violation going on in a facility, please call us at 800-552-3962 (Toll-Free).

COVID-19 in Plain Language

It can sometimes be difficult to take in and understand all of the changing and sometimes confusing information about COVID-19.  A plain language explanation of COVID-19 has been developed by and for people with disabilities by selfadvocacyinfo.org.

An overview of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 presented in American Sign Language

COVID-19 and Social Security Recipients

This video explains SSA’s latest update on the economic impact payments and removes the confusion around extra steps that may be needed. It also tells you how to protect your benefits if you receive unemployment.

Social Security & COVID-19: How Social Security is Handling your Business Now

COVID-19 has brought changes to how Social Security is conducting business. This video will tell you how to contact Social Security; how to apply of appeal, Social Security’s current actions on applications, appeals, hearings, reviews and overpayments; and rule changes on deadlines and other Social Security expectations when applying or appealing.

Second Economic Impact Payment (EIP)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has some information about the second EIPs for Social Security beneficiaries and Supplemental Security Income recipients on their Second Economic Impact Payment webpage.

If you have a question about the first EIP, visit the Social Security Administration’s page: Economic Impact Payments Paid by the CARES Act. If you did not receive your first EIP or you have other questions related to the first EIP, please visit the IRS’ Economic Impact Payment Information Center webpage or you can call the IRS’ EIP hotline at 1-800-919-9835.  Please remember that Social Security’s telephone representatives cannot answer EIP questions.

Stimulus Checks

The IRS is working with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue stimulus checks to Social Security disability (SSDI) beneficiaries. There is no need to file a tax return. You will get your stimulus check the same way you receive your monthly benefits.

According to Commissioner Saul of SSA, SSI recipients will also be receiving stimulus checks; however, there are additional questions to be resolved about how to release these payments. SSI recipients should know that these stimulus checks will not be considered income to them, nor will they be considered a resource for 12 months. dLCV will provide updates when the SSI payment issue is resolved.

For updates from the IRS, visit their web page.

Key language in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) serves as a guidepost from which the impact on benefits can be better understood.

SSI/SSDI Recipients with Children Under 17

If you are an SSI recipient with children under 17, or an SSDI recipient with children under 17 and did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you should go to this IRS webpage and enter information about your child(ren) to receive the extra $500 per child economic impact payment from the government.  SSI recipients who have dependent children and did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes need to act by Tuesday, May 5, in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.

If you have no children you do not need to take any action to receive your $1200 individual payment:

www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

ABLE Account

If you receive SSI, or SSDI and have Medicaid, and you collect unemployment along with the extra $600 weekly unemployment payments you should consider opening up an ABLE account so the excess funds do not count as a resource.

www.able-now.com/open-account/

Other COVID-19 Updates

Keep track of other important Social Security updates online.

Special Education Information

IEPs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Recently developed by the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC).  A new document made just for you with some helpful hints for IEP meetings and service delivery during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  School divisions must make every effort possible to meet required timelines by scheduling and holding your student’s IEP meeting online or by phone.  Here are some helpful hints for IEP meetings and service delivery.

Governor Northam Orders Statewide Closure of Certain Non-Essential Businesses, K-12 Schools

Governor Ralph Northam issued a statewide order to protect the health and safety of Virginians and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Executive Order Fifty-Three orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam is also urging all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible.

This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Accurate, reliable information about COVID-19 can be found on the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) website.

Virginia Medicaid is Taking Action to Fight COVID-19

COVID-19 Information for Medicaid Members.

CMS Approves Medicaid Section 1135 Waivers in
Response to COVID-19

Section 1135 waivers give states and providers regulatory relief on a range of requirements. These waivers provide relief on a number of fronts, such as prior authorization and provider enrollment requirements, suspending certain nursing home pre-admission reviews, and facilitating reimbursement to providers for care delivered in alternative settings due to facility evacuations.

Proper Hygiene Tips:

  • Keeping your hands clean: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, lathering your hands completely, and cleaning under your nails. If no soap and water is available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% Isopropyl alcohol.
  • Avoid self-contamination: Your eyes, mouth, and nose are the entry points for the virus so avoid touching your face. If you must, try to clean your hands before and after. You should also clean often used items like doorknobs, your phone, and your keyboard.
  • Practice social distancing: Maintain a personal distance of at least 3 feet from others. Refrain from shaking hands but if you do, clean your hands after. If possible, avoid contact with those who are ill.
  • Contain your germs: Cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue and throw that tissue away immediately (don’t hold onto it to reuse it) and clean your hands. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.

7 Essentials for a COVID-19 Travel Kit

  • Masks:  Wear one and carry a few spares. Make certain it covers your nose and mouth.
  • Hand sanitizer:  If you have to touch a surface, immediately use a hand sanitizer that is 60 percent alcohol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
  • Disinfectant wipes:  You can remove the virus from surfaces by using bleach-based cleaners or hydrogen-peroxide based cleaners. You can make your own travel packs by stacking wipes into resealable plastic bags.
  • Isopropyl wipes:  You might touch your phone as much as you touch your face. The major smartphone manufacturers say you can use isopropanol alcohol wipes to clean your phone.
  • Travel laundry detergent:  Soak your extra cloth mask(s) in a sink full of water and scrub with laundry detergent. Wring out excess water and hang dry.
  • Thermometer:  COVID-19 symptoms include shortness of breath, fever, coughing and a sore throat. A travel thermometer will help you keep tabs on your temperature.
  • Digital oximeter:  If you are in the risk category for coronavirus, you’ll want a digital pulse oximeter. Usually, when your oxygen levels fall below 94 percent, you will be symptomatic. Any saturation below 94 percent is concerning.

Additional information for COVID-19 travel.