Coronavirus Resources for Tribal Citizens

Last Updated:  April 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm

In light of the Coronavirus Health Crisis that has resulted in a call for a National Emergency, we are creating this page and updating DAILY to ensure you have the most reliable information and links to access information.

HEALTH RESOURCES AND UPDATES:

For the most up-to-date news on the spread of the virus, how to take steps to protect your health, etc. rely on the Center for Disease Control and the Louisiana Department of Health. Below are the links to access these sites.

CDC Coronavirus Preparation and Prevention

The CDC also  provides a list of recommended food items to keep on hand.  Click HERE to view the list.

Louisiana Department of Health Coronavirus Alerts

Additionally in Louisiana anyone looking for information about the COVID-19 outbreak can simply dial 211 or text the keyword LACOVID to 898-211 for the most current information about the outbreak as it becomes available.

Crisis Hotlines:

Here are some basic tips from the Louisiana Department of Health to address your mental health needs during this crisis.  COVID-19 Behavioral Health Resources

A “Keep Calm through COVID” hotline has been created to help individuals struggling with feeling overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, etc. during this national emergency.  If you are struggling with managing your feelings, please call 1-866-310-7977.  The hotline is manned by trained counselors and is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  All calls are confidential.

Health Insurance Beneficiaries:

If you are currently covered under a private health insurance plan, you should know that many health insurance companies have established Coronavirus benefits specifically for its customers.  This may include offering telehealth (meet with a doctor by video) as an alternative to physically  going into your regular doctor for non-emergency issues.  Also Congress is now considering legislation that will require all insurance companies to pay the full cost of coronavirus testing if needed.  You should check in with your HR departments or the insurance directly to find out if additional benefits have been added.

UNEMPLOYMENT RESOURCES AND PROGRAMS:

In Louisiana, the Workforce Commission has established an emergency unemployment application process specifically for individuals who’s employment has been impacted by the coronavirus.  Do any of these situations apply to you as a result of the Coronavirus?

  1. Your work hours have been reduced because of lack of work.
  2. Your workplace has closed temporarily and you are not being compensated due.
  3. You have been instructed not to go to work and you are not being paid while at home.
  4. NEWLY APPROVED UNDER CARES Act:  Gig and contract workers who are not able to work due to the coronavirus.

You can file a claim at www.louisianaworks.net/hire or by calling the Claims Center at 866-783-5567.  The Claims Center is open from 8am to 7pm Monday through Friday, and they are experiencing higher than normal calls so please be patient as you will have a wait time.  If you are completing online, please know you MUST set up a HIRE Account in order to file for unemployment if you are not already in the LAWorks system.

If you live outside of Louisiana and you are experiencing unemployment due to the coronavirus, you can find your state’s unemployment office by CLICKING HERE.

Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana:

The Inter-Tribal Council of Louisiana/ Institute for Indian Development is tightening our visitor restrictions to prohibit all visitors at our local offices until further notice. Services will be provided via phone or virtual means to clients until further notice.

If you need assistance, please call 985-851-5408 or email [email protected] or visit our online portal https://nativeworkforcesolutions.org/ which functions as a virtual point of access for our employment and training services.

Small Business Resources under the CARES Act:

With the passage of the recent CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act by Congress and the President, there are programs to assist small business owners to maintain their businesses in such a trying time.  To see a list of the programs available to small business owners CLICK HERE.

FOOD AND MEAL ASSISTANCE:

According to the Louisiana Department of Social Services website, emergency or disaster SNAP benefits are currently not available.  SNAP, which stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (often referred to as food stamps), is intended to help low income families get access to nutritional foods.  If you feel you qualify or your situation has changed to the extent that you would potentially qualify and/or have a food need, the Department of Social Services is recommending applying.  You can access the online portal to apply by CLICKING HERE.

If you would like an application to be sent to your mailing address, contact DCFS Customer Service by calling 1-888-LAHELP-U (888-524-3578) or emailing [email protected]

Meals for School Aged Children:

The burden of providing 3 meals a day for school age children has been unexpected for many families.  Most parish school boards in Louisiana are providing meals for children that can be picked up Monday through Friday at designated locations to help families with this cost.  If you are unsure of the pick up site for your children, please check parish-by-parish list by CLICKING HERE.

RESOURCES FOR ELDERS/SENIORS:

As our most valuable assets, the UHN wants to ensure elders and their caregivers have the most up-to-date information available about their risk and strategies to remain healthy in this national emergency.  Please read the resources and information available from the National Council on Aging by CLICKING HERE.

UHN Elders:

The UHN is in the process of setting up a weekly phone call check in process for tribal elders who may be socially isolating during this time period.  We will post more information as soon as we have set up the system in place.

 UHN OPERATIONS:

At the present time the UHN offices are open; however, we are discouraging individuals from physically coming into the office unless absolutely necessary for your safety and that of our staff.  We are doing our best to be here for you for the long haul.  Offices are open from Monday through Friday.  If necessary we are set up and ready to have our staff work from home as needed.  The 2 locations open currently are:

Golden Meadow – Enrollment Services – (985)275-0820

Houma – Tribal Administration & Programs – (985)223-3093

We are working to set up a daily Zoom call option for tribal citizens to connect and share resources over the long haul for this national emergency.  We will post more information as it becomes available.