Government Updates

Illinois Department of Public Health:

Illinois Department of Employment Security

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

Illinois Department of Agriculture Updates

Health and Safety Resources

Coronavirus Hotline

Call the Illinois Department of Public Health Coronavirus Hotline with questions. Health professionals can also use it to report suspected COVID-19 cases: 1-800-889-3931.

IDOC COVID-19 Support Line

The Department of Corrections has established a support line for questions regarding COVID-19. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM at 217-558-2200 ext. 7700. Questions can also be emailed to doc.covid@illinois.gov. ​

Insurance Questions

Dial the Illinois Department of Insurance’s hotline for your COVID-19-related insurance questions: (877) 527-9431. ​

Telemedicine

The state has relaxed rules about the use of telephone and video chat for the delivery of medical advice. If you have private insurance or Medicaid, you may qualify.

Senior grocery store hours

Many grocery stores are offering special hours for seniors and high-risk individuals.

Severe Weather Resources

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency and National Weather Service are developing guidelines for severe weather. Check that your community shelter is open on IEMA’s website before you head there to take cover.

Resources for Families

Expanded Unemployment Benefits

IDES has expanded unemployment benefits to individuals who have lost their jobs temporarily or permanently due to coronavirus. This includes employees who must isolate themselves but who do not have paid medical leave. It does not include anyone who voluntarily quits for any reason – including to care for their children. For more information call 1-800-244-5631 or visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security's website www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/default.aspx.

Income Tax Deadline Extended

Illinois income tax filing deadline has been pushed back to July 15, to correspond with the extended federal deadline.

Moratorium on Evictions

Effective March 21-April 30

Moratorium on Vehicle Repossessions

Effective during the governor’s disaster declaration.

Moratorium on HUD-insured Mortgage Foreclosures and Evictions

In place through April 30. Only applies to single-family homes.

FannieMae Mortgage Assistance

Fannie Mae is offering a 12-month forbearance and other payment options for mortgages it services.

Freddie Mac Mortgage Assistance

Freddie Mac is halting all foreclosures and evictions on loans it services until at least May 17. It is also offering 12-month forbearances and other payment options.

Childcare Assistance Locator

With many child care centers closed, essential workers may need to locate new providers. There is also a toll-free helpline available at 888-228-1146. ​

Student Loan Collections

The federal government has reduced interest rates to 0% and suspended collections until September 30. https://www.inccrra.org/about/sdasearch

Reporting Price Gouging and Scams

The attorney general’s office is investigating reports of price gouging: https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

Utilities

The ICC has banned disconnections during the crisis and assessing late fees through at least May 1. Some internet service providers have also made accommodations:
  • Xfinity/Comcast (comca.st/xfinityassistance) – Disconnections are suspended through at least May 1. New late fees will also be waived and data caps lifted. Its Wi-fi hotspots will be made available to the public for free, and it is offered new $10/month plans for new customers.
  • AT&T (soc.att.com/attcovid19) – See Xfinity/Comcast. It is offering roughly the same benefits.
  • Spectrum Internet (bit.ly/spectrumcovid19) – Offering free internet for two months to new customers with K-12 or college students. Its Wi-fi hotspots will be made available to the public for free.
  • Viasat Internet (https://corpblog.viasat.com/covid-19/) – Similar to Comcast and AT&T but not offering new plans.
  • Civil Legal Aid (Bit.ly/ilcivillegalaid) – Families experiencing legal issues who cannot afford an attorney may be able to find help

Education

Public Schools

Ordered closed through April 30. Grab-and-go meals are available for students who need them statewide, and some schools are even offering delivery. Many restaurants are also offering free meals to children who need them. CPS is offering free boxes of food with three days' worth of meals for every child in a household available for pick up on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m

Private Schools

Ordered closed through April 30.

Most Colleges & Universities

All in-person classes canceled.

Government Services

Driver’s Services Facilities

Closed through April 30. Any licenses, IDs, registrations that expire during this period are automatically extended by 30 days. The federal government also extended the deadline to begin requiring a REAL ID or passport to board a plane, originally set for October 1, 2020.

Vehicle Emissions Testing Stations

Closed through April 30. Due dates for inspections are extended in relation with vehicle registration extensions.

Family and Community Resource Centers

All but 14 of the IDHS FCRCs are closed, where people can apply for SNAP and other need-based assistance. Waits may be longer than usual for guests who visit in person. Online applications (bit.ly/ilfcrcapp) will still be processed, and IDHS’s call center is still open: 1-800-843-6154.

Department of Rehabilitation Services

Closed starting March 19. Online applications are still being accepted: DRS.illinois.gov/apply.

Cook County Circuit Trials

Most trials postponed through April 17. Other jurisdictions, including Lake and DuPage Counties are taking similar steps.

Help for Struggling Businesses

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loans

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to struggling small businesses. Chicago is offering a similar program (bit.ly/chibizresiliencyfund) for businesses located in the city.

Small Business Loans

(bit.ly/ussmallbizloan) – The U.S. Small Business Administration is extending assistance loans to struggling businesses. ​

Small Business Disaster Assistance Loans

(bit.ly/bizdisasterassistance) – The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million.

Low-interest Loans

(bit.ly/lowinterestloan) – Backed by the Illinois treasury, banks and credit unions throughout Illinois are offering low-interest loans to businesses that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales Tax Deferment

(bit.ly/salestaxdeferment)– Small- and mid-sized restaurants and bars will be able to defer sales tax payments for February, March, and April.

Cannabis Business License Applications

(bit.ly/cannabislicenseapps) – IDFPR is accepting applications through certified mail, rather than in person. ​

Automatic License Extensions

(bit.ly/IDFPRlicenses) – IDFPR is automatically renewing all licenses that would normally expire between March 1 and July 31 until September 30. Continuing education that would normally be required to be completed in person can also be done online. The governor has issued executive orders that provide similar opportunities to cannabis businesses, private security and fingerprint vendors.

Online Massage Therapy and Cosmetology School Courses

(bit.ly/ilpharmacypayments) – Comptroller Susana Mendoza expedited payments to pharmacies in underserved rural communities.

Online Notary Services

(bit.ly/ilnotary) – Notaries are allowed to work online using two-way videos while the governor’s disaster declaration is in effect.

How You Can Help

Volunteering

(https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/serve/Pages/default.aspx)– Volunteers are needed during the pandemic. Serve Illinois is working to connect volunteers to organizations that need help. ​

Blood Donation

(https://www.redcross.org/) – The crisis has caused many blood drives to be cancelled, so there is a great need for blood throughout the state. Consider donating to your local blood bank.

Food Bank Donations

(https://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank )– With many people out of work, food banks are seeing a drastic increase in need for food assistance. Consider donating to your local food bank to help struggling families during this difficult time. ​

Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund

(https://www.ilcovidresponsefund.org/) – The state is collecting donations to help Illinois not-for-profits that are serving essential human services needs during the pandemic.

Former Health Care Professionals

(Bit.ly/ilformerhealthprofessionals) – Illinois is requesting the help of former health care professionals during this crisis. Licensing requirements have been modified to make returning to the field easier.

Health Care Professional Notification

(https://www.illinoishelps.net/) – The state developed a new website to more easily alert and activate medical professionals in the event of disasters and public health emergencies. All medical professionals are encouraged to register.

Donations of Protective Equipment

(bit.ly/ilppe) – Illinois is accepting donations of unopened equipment, like masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to ensure adequate supply during shortages.
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