Resources for Louisiana Community Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Apr 2 , 2020

Updated April 22, 2020

On March 11th, the CDC declared the ongoing crisis with coronavirus a pandemic. At the time, the world had 118,000 cases across its borders. That number has continued to increase, which has led governments across the globe to take drastic actions to “flatten the curve.” By maintaining the rules set by the CDC and government agencies, fewer people will become sick at once. Therefore, eliminating the risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

While social distancing and “stay at home” orders are the right move to flatten the curve, many individuals are asking themselves what next. It is no secret that many businesses have been struck by this crisis, which has affected employment, supplies, cash flow, and more.

We have compiled a list of resources for our fellow Louisiana community members. We have also included organizations that need donations as well as volunteers.

If you have a resource that we haven’t mentioned, please send us an email. Check back often; we update our list as new information becomes available.

Sick Leave

Have you or your family member been affected by coronavirus?

The virus can cause pneumonia-like symptoms. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs available to combat the flu will not work. The Department of Labor (DOL) has expanded FMLA eligibility. It will now include those affected or are caring for a family member that has been affected by COVID-19. For additional information, visit the U.S. Department of Labor.

Work

Has your job or eligible hours to work been affected by COVID-19?

Eligibility for unemployment has been expanded to include those that have seen a reduced work schedule, gig workers, and more. To see if you qualify for or need to file for unemployment, make sure to visit Louisiana Workforce Commission (The Department of Labor).

Stimulus Package 2020

Are you eligible for a stimulus check and when will you receive it?

The United States Government is basing the eligibility for the stimulus check on gross income from your 2018 or 2019 tax filing.  To find out your eligibility, amount, and where you will receive your payment, you can visit the Internal Revenue Service website for the most up-to-date information. 

To track the status of your stimulus check, you can visit the Economic Impact Payments page on the IRS website.

Coronavirus Tax Relief

The Internal Revenue Service extended the due date for your 2019 tax return.  If you have not filed your taxes for 2019, the new due date is July 15, 2020.  Visit the IRS for detailed information.

Tips on Dealing with Bills During Coronavirus

WAFB in Baton Rouge released a helpful guide

WAFB released a helpful guide that covers some tips on how to deal with bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Housing
  2. Mortgage vs. Renting
  3. Utilities
  4. Health Insurance
  5. Debt
  6. Student Loans
  7. Budget
  8. Government Help

Food

Do you know kids that may need a meal during this crisis?

Below are links to various communities that are providing free meals for kids under 18 and where to go.

  1. Greater Baton Rouge Area
  2. Shreveport
  3. Lafayette
  4. Lake Charles
  5. Alexandria
  6. Monroe

USDA Increases Monthly SNAP Benefits by 40%

According to Release No. USDA No. 0227.20, Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, announced that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency benefits have reached $2.0 billion per month.  This is a 40% increase monthly in overall SNAP benefits prior to COVID-19.  SNAP households cover all 50 states and 3 territories.  These emergency benefits increasing food security are a result of the coronavirus national emergency.  Additional information on benefits can be found on the USDA website.

What Can You Do?

Give Blood

Many people want to offer help during a time of crisis but are unsure of where to start.  Giving blood is a safe way to provide that could assist others during this crisis. Vitalant is working hard to fulfill its lifesaving mission. With your continued goodwill, partnership, and willingness to help others, Vitalant will be able to help our community members in need. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit Vitalant to schedule a time.

Food Banks

Many families have been affected by the coronavirus. Our local foodbanks are quickly helping to eliminate the threat of hunger; however, they need supplies. Visit the Louisiana Foodbanks site to find the nearest foodbank to you to help restock food or volunteer.

Additional Resources

Small Businesses

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there is much uncertainty in the world, especially for small business owners. Many companies are adapting and making critical changes to survive. Below is a list of resources for small businesses in Louisiana:

Small Business Administration

Deferred Tax Payment for Small Businesses

Facebook Small Business Grants

Stimulus Package 2020 breakdown for Small Businesses

Understanding the Paycheck Protection Program

Louisiana Led Program to Help Small Businesses

Grants for Baton Rouge Artists

 


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