COVID-19 Resources

As COVID-19 continues to take a toll on our communities, we are looking for ways to provide as much relief as possible to homecare and personal support workers and personal care attendants. The Board of Trustees has passed the following benefit enhancements.

COVID-19 Paid Time Off Benefits

Up to 40 hours of paid time off benefits for eligible workers.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine

Protect yourself, protect others, and help us beat this pandemic.

Free COVID-19 Testing Benefit

If you are eligible for Carewell SEIU 503 benefits, you can now get a COVID-19 home test at no cost to you!

Essential Worker Letter

Many homecare and personal support workers have asked for a way to document that they are care providers, and therefore essential workers.

COVID-19 Paid Time Off Benefits

Through the COVID-19 PTO benefit, eligible workers can get up to 40 hours of paid time off benefits. You may be eligible if:

  1. you lost hours after January 1, 2021 for one of five eligible reasons relating to COVID-19;
  2. you worked at least 40 hours of eligible working hours (also known as bargaining unit hours), in one of the three months before the time period in which you lost those hours; and
  3. you have a Form W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office.

This benefit will be available until the fund (about $1.5 million) has been spent. We encourage you to apply as soon as you become eligible. 

Eligibility

To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

  1. Have lost covered eligible working hours after January 1, 2021 because of one of the five reasons below; and
  2. Have worked at least 40 covered hours in one of the three months preceding the month that you lost covered hours for one of the below reasons; and
  3. Have a Form W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office.

Requirement 1: Lost work hours after January 1, 2021 for one of the below reasons:

  1. You had a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  2. You were advised by a qualified medical professional* to self-quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19;
  3. You have symptoms of COVID-19 and are actively seeking a medical diagnosis by a qualified medical professional;
  4. You are providing care for an individual, who you are legally responsible for or live with, and who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order by a qualified medical professional*; and/or
  5. You are caring for a child who you are legally responsible for whose school or childcare facility has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions and no other qualified individuals** are available to care for your child(ren).

*A qualified medical professional is a medical care provider who is licensed and trained to provide medical services. This includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses. For the purposes of this benefit, Contact Tracers working with local public health authorities—like the Oregon Health Authority — are considered qualified professionals.

**A qualified individual for child care is a licensed or unlicensed adult who you trust to provide safe care for your child. This could include your child’s regular care provider, a licensed care center, or a family member.

See the Questions and Answers section for more information about the reasons for missing work hours.

Requirement 2: you have worked at least 40 covered hours in one of the three months preceding the month that you lost covered hours for a qualifying reason.

To be eligible for this benefit, you need to have worked at least 40 hours in one of the three months just before the time period in which you lost those hours.

For example, if you lost hours in February 2021, you need to have worked at least 40 hours in January 2021, December 2020, or November 2020 in order to be eligible.

Requirement 3: Have a Form W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office.

COVID-19 PTO benefits are taxable; therefore, you need to have a Form W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office. If you are unsure whether you have a W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office, we recommend you fill one out to help avoid delay in benefit payment.

Questions and Answers

Read common questions about COVID-19 Paid Time Off.

How do I know if I’m eligible for COVID-19 PTO benefits?

To be eligible for this benefit, you must:

  1. Have a W-9 on file with the Benefits Administrative Office;
  2. Have lost covered work hours after January 1, 2021 because of one of the five reasons listed below; and
  3. Have worked at least 40 covered hours in one of the three months preceding the month that you lost covered hours.

To be eligible, you must have lost covered work hours after January 1, 2021 for one of the following 5 reasons:

  1. You had a confirmed case of COVID-19;
  2. You were advised by a qualified medical professional to self-quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID;
  3. You have symptoms of COVID-19 and are actively seeking a medical diagnosis by a qualified medical professional.
  4. You are providing care for an individual, who you are legally responsible for or live with, and who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order by a qualified medical professional; and/or
  5. You are caring for a child who you are legally responsible for whose school or childcare facility has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions and no other qualified individuals are available to care for your child(ren).
What are "covered hours?"

Covered hours (also known as eligible working hours or bargaining unit hours) are the hours that you work for your consumer that are paid by Acumen, DHS and/or PPL on behalf of your consumer.

How many PTO benefit hours am I eligible for?

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you can get up to 40 hours of paid time off benefits.

Can I apply for the COVID-19 PTO benefit more than once?

Yes! You can apply for the benefit for any month when you meet the criteria listed above, but the maximum benefit you can claim is 40 hours.

Am I eligible for this benefit if I had COVID-19 symptoms and I made the decision to stay home from work?

No. To be eligible, a qualified medical professional  or Oregon Health Authority Contact Tracer must have told you to self-quarantine. If you decided on your own to self-quarantine without a medical professional’s order or advice, you would not qualify for this benefit.

Am I eligible for this benefit if my child’s care provider was open/available but I made the decision to keep them home because of concerns about COVID-19?

No. To be eligible, you must have no adequate child care available to you. If you decided on your own to keep your child home without a medical professional’s order or advice, you would not qualify for this benefit.

What if my consumer is high risk and declining work hours?

To be eligible for this benefit in this case, you must have lost hours because your consumer was told to self-quarantine by a medical professional. You would not be eligible for this benefit if your consumer made the decision on their own to self-isolate.

What is a qualified medical professional?

A qualified medical professional is a medical care provider who is licensed and trained to provide medical services. This includes physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses. For the purposes of this benefit, Contact Tracers working with local public health authorities—like the Oregon Health Authority—are considered qualified professionals.

What is a “qualified individual” when it comes to child care?

A qualified individual is a licensed or unlicensed adult who you trust to provide safe care for your child. This could include your child’s school, their regular care provider, a licensed care center, or a family member.

How much will I get paid?

The COVID-19 PTO benefit is calculated the same way your Paid Time Off is normally calculated. Your PTO benefits are determined based on your wages earned in the first month you became eligible — in this case, as early as November 2020. For most care providers, this was $15.77 per hour.

If I claim COVID-19 PTO benefits, can I still claim other kinds of PTO benefits like regular PTO?

Yes! You can (and should) apply for all the Carewell SEIU 503 PTO benefits you’re eligible for, including regular PTO.

What documentation do I need to send in to prove that I lost hours because of one of the five eligibility criteria?

You do not need to send in any extra documentation. You just need to attest to (in other words, swear to) the fact that you lost covered work hours for the reason that you checked on your benefit request form. Your loss of covered hours will then be verified by the Benefits Administrative Office and the Oregon Home Care Commission by reviewing your timecard/voucher.

What if the Benefits Administrative Office and Oregon Home Care Commission don’t verify my lost covered hours?

If either the covered hours that you worked or the covered hours that you missed can’t be verified, staff from the Benefits Administrative Office will contact you to try and resolve the discrepancy. If lost covered hours can’t be accounted for, the benefit recipient may be responsible for paying the benefit back.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Protect yourself, protect others, and help us beat this pandemic.

The vaccine is now available for all homecare and personal support workers in Oregon. To secure a spot for your first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, please schedule your vaccine appointment as soon as possible!

COVID-19 vaccines have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials and approved by the FDA because they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19 and help us beat this illness.

There are no mandates forcing you to get the vaccine. But our union supports healthcare workers, essential workers, and the general public taking the vaccine to eliminate COVID-19 and begin the process of rebuilding from this pandemic.

Free COVID-19 Testing Benefit

The COVID-19 Testing Benefit is available on a temporary basis to eligible workers. It will be available until the special funding for this program is exhausted.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this benefit, you must currently be Benefit Trust-eligible as of the date of your registration for the Testing Benefit. There is one test per participant.

To access the COVID Testing Benefit, you must:

  • Register on the Innovare management platform by mobile app download or through the website (IDSQI.com). If you do not have internet access, you can also call Innovare’s Helpline at 631-403-0062 to leave your name and phone number, and you will receive a call back to verify eligibility information.
  • Consent to the required waiver and release.
  • Complete the test that is shipped to you to self-administer.
  • Return the test back to the lab in the self-addressed mailer provided.

To Access The Lab

All kit requests must be made through the Innovare application (whether you use the mobile app or the call center) – there will be no paper requests processed.

To Access Testing Results

Your testing results are delivered directly to the Innovare site, which will produce a report to you and alert you that your test is complete. The order and results are electronic. There are no paper forms or lab forms.

The program provides only free COVID-19 testing. Only you are responsible for following through with the testing and making health decisions based on any results. The Benefit Trust is not guaranteeing the accuracy of the testing results and is not providing you with any follow-up on the testing or treatment for COVID-19.

Registration

By mobile app:

  • Search “IDSQI” from Google Play or the App Store.
  • Download the IDSQI app and click “Sign up.”
  • Wait for verification email and/or in application verification.
  • Log in, consent to waiver and release.
  • Click “Kit Request” to place order.

Online:

  • Go to www.IDSQI.com and click “Member Sign Up” to complete the registration.
  • Click on the Main Menu (three lines in the top right of the page) and click “Profile” at the bottom of the menu.
  • Click “Kit Request” to place order.

By phone:

  • Call Innovare’s Helpline at 631-403-0062, and on a recorded line, provide your name, ID, and other eligibility verification data.
  • The Call center rep will read the consent to waiver and release (you must agree to the consent and release).
  • The call center will verify your phone number and preferred method of receiving program alerts.
  • If there is no phone, you must agree to check in daily.
  • You must provide the shipping address.
  • You must call back with kit ID when you receive it.

Essential Worker Letter

Many homecare and personal support workers have asked for a way to document that they are care providers, and therefore essential workers. Click here and complete the form, and you will be automatically emailed a letter verifying you are an essential worker.

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