Community & Government Announcements
COVID-19 Community Resource Guide
The Chester County Department of Human Services has created a comprehensive guide to connect Chester County residents to available resources and contacts during the COVID-19 outbreak. The document is updated regularly. Find it here:
PACS Community Food “Drive” May 30th
Phoenixville Area Community Services (PACS) will be hosting a no-contact Community Food “Drive” Saturday, May 30th, 12-3 p.m.
Simply drive up to the PACS loading zone at 257 Church Street at the corner of Gay Street in Phoenixville with your nonperishable donations in the trunk or back of your car. Our staff and volunteers will unload the donations following social distancing guidelines.
Please no foods past the expiration date or previously opened. This is a rain or shine event.
Visit www.pacsphx.org for a list of urgently needed items.
Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
See this flyer for more info: food_drive_flyer 2020
Home Grocery Delivery to Be Available in June for SNAP Recipients
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania received approval from Food and Nutrition Service to join the pilot program that lets SNAP recipients purchase groceries online through participating retailers.
Now that approval has been received, DHS is working with its EBT vendor and approved retailers to implement system changes necessary to implement online payment for PA’s SNAP recipients. These system changes will take approximately two weeks to complete the testing and validation. Implementation could not begin without FNS’ approval. Now that approval has been received, OHS expects to have online grocery purchasing activated for SNAP recipients by the beginning of June. Once active, only eligible food items normally paid for by SNAP will be able to be purchased online with SNAP benefits. Delivery fees, driver tips, and other associated charges may not be paid for with SNAP benefits. Due to the expedited timeframe to implement this initiative does not include the ability to transact Cash Assistance benefits using the EBT card. Therefore, individuals will need to use another method of payment to cover the non-allowable fees such as a pre-paid debit card.
The pilot program currently includes three approved retailers: Amazon, Walmart, and ShopRite. Retailers that are interested in participating must contact FNS to review the requirements to be added to the program. And, just as a reminder, retailers that do not wish to join the pilot program can still offer delivery or pick-up flexibility options for SNAP recipients by using mobile EBT processing equipment that would allow customers to pay with SNAP when groceries are delivered or picked up. Farmers markets may be able to receive this processing equipment at no cost through a grant opportunity provided by DI-IS.
Deborah Steeves, Esquire
Legal Aid of Southeastern PA
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Available
Pennsylvania is offering additional financial support to residents who have used up all their unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to qualified individuals whose regular unemployment benefits have expired or will expire soon. Learn more and apply at https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PEUC.aspx.
Emergency Assistance Program for Low-Income Families
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) for qualifying families who are experiencing financial challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read about it from the website of State Senator Vincent Hughes.
Help for Homeowners and Renters during the Pandemic
If you are concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent because of the coronavirus national emergency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers this page of advice and resources.
Library Polling Location Changed to Civic Center for June 2 Primary Election
Due to the Library’s current closure, the polling location for the June 2 primary election has been changed. Those who normally vote at the Library should vote instead at the Phoenixville Civic Center, 123 Main St., Phoenixville.
Unemployment Workshops & IRS Information from Legal Aid
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania offers free online workshops on unemployment compensation and clean slate & expungement in May. See this flyer for more info: Legal Aid-May Virtual Workshops-
IRS has now set a deadline for SSI/VA non-filers with dependents to complete the IRS web portal to get dependent children EIP benefits. The deadline for SSI recipients to fill out the tax form for their children is TUESDAY, MAY 5. They do this at the IRS Portal. Adults who receive VA benefits, SSI, or SSDI will get a $1,200 stimulus payment automatically, but need to file separately for children under age 17. If you miss the deadline, you may have to wait until 2021 to get the payment for your children. The deadline for SSDI recipients to get child payments in 2020 was Wednesday, April 22. Advocates are trying to get the deadline extended, and there is no downside to filling out the tax form just in case. Adults who receive VA benefits, SSI, or SSDI and who do NOT have dependent children under age 17 do not have to fill out the form unless they started receiving benefits after January 1, 2020. People will get automatic payments in the same way that they get their benefits payments (usually direct deposit or Direct Express).
Chester County APPRISE Program Phone Counseling Available
The APPRISE Program is Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). This federally funded program is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help Pennsylvanians age 60 and over and those with disabilities with Medicare insurance concerns. APPRISE counselors are specially trained and certified and can answer your questions about Medicare and provide you with objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare options. APPRISE services are free, unbiased and all information is kept completely confidential. The APPRISE Program is conducted under the auspices of the Chester County Department of Aging — https://chesco.org/477/Apprise-Medicare-Counseling
While individual counseling normally occurs at specific counseling locations, during the Stay-at-Home directive, counseling is only available by phone through the APPRISE Helpline 610-344-5004 option 2. If you have general questions or need answers to your specific Medicare situation, please leave a message and a counselor will return your call. If you will be new to Medicare, or enrolling in Medicare later in 2020, please check back to see if the counseling locations have reopened, or for further Medicare guidance.