The Weber Wire: Child Abuse Prevention Month & COVID-19 Updates

By now I’m sure you’re aware that the Governor has extended the Stay at Home order until the end of April. I realize the added strain this places on all of our families, but the sooner we can get the spread of COVID-19 under control, the sooner we can all get back to our normal lives. If there is anything my office can do to assist you or your family during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Remember that the “COVID-19” resources tab on my website is updated daily with important information to help answer questions you may have. 

Below are some other important updates I want to highlight.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Friday was Dress in Blue Day. Please join us in spreading awareness to ensure every child is able to feel safe and protected.Here are some ways you can help create awareness:

  • Wear blue during the month of April.
  • Put blue pinwheels in your lawn (pinwheels are a National sign of hope for kids).
  • Pass out blue lollipops at your business during the month of April.
  • Post and share information on social media to create awareness about Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Read More Here.

Seeking more action to protect DCFS youth amid COVID-19.

With school and daycare closures extended by the Governor along with the Stay at Home order, child welfare and law enforcement experts have expressed serious concerns that incidents of child abuse will increase for at-risk youth during this stressful period. While I understand the necessity of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we must also take all appropriate action to protect the children who have already had previous contact with DCFS. So last week, I sent a letter to the Governor asking him to increase the frequency of home safety inspections to protect these children during this unprecedented time.  Read More Here.

What the CARES Act means for Illinoisans.

At the end of March, Congress approved and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES). The $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package contains various initiatives for families, small business, hospitals, local governments and others. An outline of the package is available on my website.  Read More Here.

CARES Act questions and answers.

The U.S. Senate has compiled an extensive Q&A list covering the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by the federal government. Find answers to your questions about healthcare, small businesses, transportation, education and more as it relates to the broad reaching package.  Read More Here.

Health Care professionals encouraged to join alert system.

As the state of Illinois sets up alternative care sites in the battle against COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is calling on all licensed health care professionals to join Illinois HELPS, an emergency alert system that, when activated, would deploy them to areas of urgent need, likely at one of the new sites.  Read More Here.

Unemployment filing schedule.

To more efficiently process the high volume of unemployment benefit claims due to COVID-19, IDES has implemented the following schedule for those filing claims online and over the phone:

Online Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

  • Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  • Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits or your benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.  Read More Here.

Guidelines for estimating state taxes during COVID-19.

From the Illinois Department of Revenue Informational Bulletin: Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the subsequent Emergency Declaration of Disaster by Governor JB Pritzker, the filing and payment deadline for income tax returns due April 15, 2020, was extended to July 15, 2020. As a result, a significant number of taxpayers will not be able to accurately calculate and pay their 2020 Illinois estimated income tax.  Read More Here.

Applications for Paycheck Protection Program being accepted.

Small businesses can now download the application for the Paycheck Protection Program to file with an eligible lender. The program was created through the CARES Act and is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on their payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable.  Read More Here.

Stay up-to-date with other important COVID-19 updates on my Facebook page.

If you have not already Liked my official Facebook page, Click Here. Just like my website and this e-newsletter, I regularly post important updates for COVID-19 and other topics that may not make into my e-newsletter.  Click Here to Like.

Thank you for taking the time to read my e-newsletter. It is a high honor for me to represent you, and if you have any questions or concerns about anything you read, please feel free to contact me.