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Boscola Bulletin

Reporting Food Shortages

Access to Food SurveyThe Department of Agriculture is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to report food shortages. Businesses who have resources to help feed and shelter Pennsylvanians in need are encouraged to fill out this form to assist the Governor’s Emergency Feeding Taskforce as they look to direct resources.

For individuals experiencing food shortages, please complete this survey.

If you operate an emergency food pantry and are running short on food, please contact my office either by phone at 610-868-8667 or email at boscola@pasenate.com and we will be sure to get you in touch with the right people for assistance. 

Reminder: Medicaid, Medical Assistance, CHIP

Medical Assistance (MA) and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), will cover COVID-19 testing and treatment for recipients and is lifting some prior authorization requirements to ease access to necessary testing and treatment. There are no MA or CHIP copayments for laboratory tests for COVID-19. For those services that do have copayments, MA providers may not deny services if a beneficiary is unable to pay the copayment.

CHIP The MA and CHIP programs will pay for COVID-19 testing when a health care practitioner determines it is needed, and prior authorization is not required. While there is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, the MA and CHIP programs cover a broad range of services that help relieve symptoms.
The Department of Human Services reminds Pennsylvanians that Medicaid enrollment is year-round and if anyone is currently uninsured, they should go to compass.state.pa.us to see if they qualify for Medicaid.

Medical Assistance (MA) Providers and patients can consult the Medicaid FAQ and CHIP FAQ for more information and answers to common questions related to medical assistance coverage and COVID-19 and information on who to contact if consumers need more information.

The Wolf Administration recently released guidance through the Pennsylvania Insurance Department outlining resources available and coverage for COVID-19 testing through commercial health insurers. Read more on common questions related to commercial insurance coverage and COVID-19 here.

Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Filing for Unemployment Compensation

NOTICE to those applying for Unemployment Compensation (UC) benefits: Please be patient – the UC team is processing as many claims as possible.
Please do not submit/reopen a new claim if you have already filed one. Your claim may not be processed due to a high volume.


Please keep in mind, when filing for UC benefits, please review the situations listed below in order to select the correct employer separation.

Employer Separation - What to put for COVID-19?

Employer UC and COVID-19 FAQs

Employees should be aware that they cannot receive both UC benefits and paid leave, as it may result in an ‘overpayment’ that requires them to return benefits.

  • Should my employees file for UC or should they use paid leave?

    Paid leave is typically available immediately + pays the employee at a higher rate than UC. (Employees who don’t have access to paid leave, or have exhausted their paid leave, may be eligible for UC)
  • Will my UC tax rate increase if my employees file for benefits?

    No, contributory businesses who are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 will be granted Relief From Charges + your tax rate will not be increased because of COVID-19 related claims.
  • Can my employees file for UC benefits if I tell them to stay home because I think they are at risk of spreading or at risk of contracting COVID-19?

    Employees should first use paid sick leave/paid time off.  If they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits.
  • Can my employees file a claim if they have COVID-19 and cannot come to work?

    Your employees should first use paid sick leave or paid time off.  However, if they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits.
  • Can my employees file for UC benefits if I reduce their hours because of COVID-19?

    Yes. File online: www.uc.pa.gov
  • Can my employees file for UC benefits if they are told to isolate/quarantine?

    Your employees should first use paid sick leave or paid time off. However, if they are not receiving paid time off, they may be eligible for UC benefits. To learn more, CLICK HERE.
  • Can my employees file for UC benefits if my business is closed (temporarily or otherwise) because of COVID-19?

    Yes, if your employees are temporarily laid off due to a business downturn or closure as a result of COVID-19, they may be eligible for benefits.

Update: Small Business Assistance

Small Business Loans In response to the economic environment brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) is making $60 million in favorable working capital loans available to vulnerable, impacted businesses. PIDA loans are delivered throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through a network of Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO).

PIDA Working Capital Loan Highlights

Businesses with less than 100 full-time employees are eligible to apply.

  • Up to a $100,000 loan request to each small business to help them overcome temporary loss of revenue
    • Applicants will need to show a 1:1 match on expenses over the past 3 months they have spent an amount equal to their loan request on direct business expenses (payroll, utilities, rent, debt payments, inventory, etc.) up to the maximum $100,000 loan amount;

  • Retail and certain service-based businesses will need to show a 1:1 match on expenses over the past 6 months, meaning such businesses needed to verify they spent at least $200,000 on direct business expenses in order to maximize the $100,000 loan amount;

  • Term: 3 year term; 12 year amortization; no payments for an initial 12 month payment deferral;

  • Interest Rate: 0.00% fixed for businesses / 2.00% fixed for production agriculture;

  • Collateral: Subordinate UCC filing on all business assets of the company behind any existing UCC filings;

  • Guarantees: Personal or corporate guarantees are required for all 20%+ business owners;

  • Costs & Fees: PIDA is working to minimize its costs as much as possible to help impacted small businesses. Please stay tuned for further updates and guidance.

Currently, the application process is not yet open. The guidelines have been drafted, but the mechanics of applying and approving loans are a few days away. Information circulating to date is tied to actions taken by the state to make these funds available.

  • What should I prepare while I wait for the application information to come available:
    • Summary of adverse impacts to the business, including date closed if   
      applicable;
    • W-9 forms completed for the borrowing company;
    • Most recent 2 years of filed federal tax returns or accountant financial statements. If you have not filed your 2019 tax return yet, please also include an internal or Quickbooks type balance sheet and profit/loss statement for 2019;
    • A summary of existing business debt, current balances, and required
      monthly payments;
    • Personal financial information of business owners including personal
      assets and liabilities;

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS:

Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

Don’t forget…Fill Out Your Census 2020!Make PA count

Need an at-home activity to do today? Fill out your 2020 Census!
You can fill out the 2020 Census:

Make sure you are counted.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)