Saturday, March 28, 2020

Coronavirus Resources from Benefits.gov

Many people are experiencing unexpected difficulties during the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Benefits.gov is here to help.
On Benefits.gov, you can find government benefits related to unemployment assistance, healthcare, and food and nutrition. You can also take our Benefit Finder to find additional benefits you may be eligible for.
For more information on the coronavirus, refer to Coronavirus.gov, offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the White House.
Benefits.gov does not administer benefits or accept applications for benefits. While we cannot answer questions about benefit applications, cases, or personal situations, we can help guide you on the next steps in the application process. For application information, refer to the Application Process or 'Quick Info' sections on each benefit page.

Friday, March 27, 2020

FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE AND PAID SICK LEAVE – TALK TO THE DEPT. OF LABOR

From now through March 29, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) invites you to participate in a national online dialogue called "Providing Expanded Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Leave to Employees Affected by COVID-19 National Online Dialogue." You're invited to share your ideas on how USDOL can help employers and employees understand their responsibilities and rights, respectively, under the expanded family and medical leave and paid sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

New statewide map available for Hoosiers seeking food assistance during COVID-19 pandemic

New, interactive online tool will make it easier for families to find food resources near home; site will be updated to reflect current openings and closures
INDIANAPOLIS– The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, in partnership with the state’s  food banks, the Indy Hunger Network and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, has developed a statewide, interactive map that will help Hoosiers seeking food assistance find what they need. The map is online here, and will be prominently featured at www.fssa.in.gov. The map can be used on desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices.
“Many Hoosiers’ situations have changed as a result of our state’s important and necessary response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” said Jennifer Sullivan, M.D., M.P.H., FSSA Secretary. “We know there is a significant need for families – many of whom have never needed assistance before. We hope this tool helps them locate resources to meet their food and nutrition needs during this crisis and in the future.”
There are two types of organizations shown on the map: food pantries and meal sites. Food pantries are locations where Hoosiers can pick up groceries to prepare and use at their homes. Meal sites serve packed meals, ready to take home and eat.
Earlier this week, FSSA encouraged food pantries to stay open to keep serving Hoosiers and issued a call for volunteers under age 60 who are able to serve. FSSA is actively working with food pantries, food banks and community kitchens across the state to track which are open and is updating the map accordingly.

Why are Siblings of Individuals with Disabilities Important?

Webinars for families and caregivers

The Division of Aging, in collaboration with the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services, is hosting a series of webinars for families and caregivers to inform and assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are greatly appreciative for the partnership with The Arc of Indiana, Family Voices Indiana and IPMG in their work and efforts to assist us in bringing this much needed information to the families and caregivers who are managing the challenges during this time to meet the support needs of their family and loved ones. Please see the following for more information and how to register:

Monday, March 30, 2020, 2-3 p.m. EDT, BDDS family update
BDDS will be hosting a family and caregiver webinar that will provide updates and information on the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic to BDDS services which include the Family Support Waiver, the Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver and Supervised Group Living.  
Panelists:            
  • Heather Dane, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Kim Opsahl, Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services
  •  Holly Wimsatt, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services
Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and instructions to join the webinar.


Friday, April 3, 2020, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m., Managing life during the pandemic: Part 1

BDDS and the Division of Aging in partnership with The Arc of Indiana and Family Voices Indiana will be hosting a family and caregiver webinar to provide information and resources on managing life during the pandemic. Topics will include:  homeschooling/e-learning, resources to meet basic needs and maintaining relationships while social distancing.

Panelists:            

  • Heather Dane, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Karly Sciortino-Poulter, The Arc of Indiana
  • Jennifer Akers, Family Voices Indiana


Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and instructions to join the webinar.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020, 1 – 2 p.m., Managing life during the pandemic: Part 2

BDDS and the Division of Aging in partnership with The Arc of Indiana and Family Voices Indiana will be hosting a family and caregiver webinar to provide information and resources on managing life during the pandemic. Topics will include:  planning for the future, managing challenging behaviors in adults and children, and reducing caregiver burnout.

Panelists:            

  • Heather Dane, Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services
  • Karly Sciortino-Poulter, The Arc of Indiana
  • Jennifer Akers, Family Voices Indiana


Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing information and instructions to join the webinar.

The Division of Aging is a program of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration. If you have questions about Aging programs and services, visit us online at www.IN.gov/fssa/aging

Waiver Redesign virtual meetings and listening sessions cancelled

From DDRS

Due to the activities and circumstances that have evolved due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services find it necessary to temporarily pause our waiver redesign efforts. While it is difficult at this time to determine the extent of the effects of COVID-19 to the individuals and families in our services, we hope this will only be a brief disruption to the timeline and our collective efforts. During this time the Human Services Research Institute will continue with their work related to the redesign. This will allow BDDS to quickly transition our focus back to the important work of designing and creating waivers that assist individuals and families in living their vision of a good life.
Consequently, the following virtual meetings and listening sessions have been cancelled:
Provider Feedback Sessions
  • March 30, 2020, 1 to 3 p.m. EDT
  • April 6, 2020, 1 to 3 p.m. EDT
  • April 13, 2020, 1 to 3 p.m. EDT
Building Bridges
  • April 2, 2020, 6 to 8 p.m. EDT 
Additional virtual session
  • April 9, 2020, from 6 to 7 p.m. EDT
  • April 15, 2020, from 2 to 3 pm EDT
However, we are extending the comment period and feedback on the initial concept paper will remain open during this pause and can be submitted via the electronic survey or by emailing DDRSwaivernoticecomment@fssa.IN.gov.  Please continue to share your ideas and feedback with us during the extended comment period.
On or around May 1, 2020, we will announce new listening sessions along with further details of how the redesign activities will resume. We appreciate your understanding and partnership during this time.