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COVID-19 Resources

Are you aware of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES)? The CARES act was the third relief packet recently passed by Congress. I am researching particulars trying to find out how it is administered in Illinois where I live. information seems sparse even when contacting state and national representatives.

Here’s what we know. Regular unemployment insurance generally applies to workers from companies that mandatorily contribute to a state unemployment insurance program. These benefits do not normally apply to sole proprietors and the self-employed, like AT teachers, because they don’t contribute to unemployment insurance funds, therefore they can’t make use of this benefit in times of unemployment.

With the recent CARES Act, access to unemployment benefits has changed. The Act includes a program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that allows the self-employed to tap unemployment benefits during this crisis. In Illinois, regular unemployment benefits run for 26 weeks. The CARES Act has extended these benefits for an additional 13 weeks. The CARES Act has also designated an additional benefit of $600 per week above the regular unemployment benefit rate, a sliding scale based on income. Your benefits usually begin based on the day that ‘work’ was no longer available. For AT teachers, that could be the day a stay-at-home order was issued by your state.

This is where my knowledge begins to fade, and we haven’t gleaned much information from state and national representatives yet. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program appears to be run through state unemployment insurance programs. If any of you have attempted to apply for unemployment, you know it’s currently a mess with constantly busy phone lines and websites crashing, but perseverance is the key. We also heard from one state representative today indicating the program was being run through the Department of Labor? 

So we have some clues! We haven’t heard from any AT teachers who have applied for these benefits, but the program has just begun, and is worth research in your individual states where closure mandates have adversely affected your practice and income. We suggest starting with your state unemployment insurance website and then follow through with state and national representatives and the governor’s office. You can google your representatives for office and email contact forms. Again perseverance is the key and please be kind. These folks are busy. Try to make contact with a staffer who will follow through for you. We all need a lifeline at times and the CARES Act appears to have thrown a wider net for us. We still need to do some sleuthing to figure out how to use it!

We have also created a google doc to share articles and information about research in our individual states and any stories in navigating hurdles to successfully apply for and receive these unemployment benefits of the Pandemic Assistance Program.

Let’s see what we can find out!

Rick Carbaugh
Treasurer, AmSAT


Additional Resources:

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

AMTA Website - U.S. Small Business Administration


Insurance Coverage during COVID-19

Telehealth rules and procedures are rapidly changing to support healthcare providers delivering patient care.  While there are no specific telehealth/telemedicine exclusions on your HPSO policy, it is important for health care providers to always comply with state telehealth laws and regulations, including professional licensure, scope of practice, standard of care and patient consent requirements.   Our most recent information from HPSO is that if your state recognizes telehealth/telemedicine, then you are likely covered - but make sure to check with your state insurance board for specific information on coverage in your state.

While we are unable to answer hypothetical “what if” questions or potential claim situations, if you believe there has been a medical incident arising from your professional services, contact the office at or 937.586.3732 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm EST) so together we can proactively manage the situation.

HPSO COVID-19 Resource Center 

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