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A Message from PA Representative, Chris Rabb, for the Community

A Message from PA Representative, Chris Rabb, for the Community

State Representative Chris Rabb represents the 200th legislative district in Philadelphia County, which includes Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill. We are proud to have a great relationship with the representative who has attended numerous events at the College and who recently spoke to some of our students about state government.

We thank Rep. Rabb for all of the helpful information and for continuing to be a strong voice in the local community.


Dear Neighbor,

I hope you are well and that you’re managing in these very challenging times, as COVID-19 continues to leave us all feeling a little uncertain. I want to provide some updates on resources during the pandemic that I hope you will find useful.

Please, continue staying home. It is saving lives.

You’ve been hearing it for weeks, but it remains: The best thing you can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home. If you don’t have to leave the house for anything urgent, please, don’t.

As of midnight April 21, there were 34,528 cases of people who tested positive for the virus statewide, and 1,564 people who died from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains very real and very serious in Pennsylvania. But our health experts say that social distancing has been effective for limiting further spread of the virus. You can protect yourself by avoiding exposure and you avoid exposure by staying home.

If you go to the grocery store or pharmacy, be sure to wear a mask

State Department of Health Secretary Dr. Levine signed an order last week directing protections for critical people who work at businesses that are authorized to maintain in-person operations during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.

The measures include that businesses must provide masks for employees to wear, and customers must also now wear masks to enter a business. Anyone who can’t wear a mask for a medical reason and children younger than 2 may enter without a mask.

If you head out to a grocery store, pharmacy or to another essential business, please wear a mask.

Click here for more information about this order.

Since COVID-19 closed schools for the rest of the school year, loaner Chromebooks are available for School District of Philadelphia students

The School District of Philadelphia will loan a Chromebook to every K-12 student in the district who needs one, to ensure all students have access to digital learning opportunities while schools remain closed due to COVID-19 response efforts.

The district will also make digital content available to help students retain, learn and apply skills and strategies with the support of a teacher. The loaner program is free, although all devices must be returned once schools reopen.

If your child or a child in your care is a K-12 student in the district who is in need of a Chromebook to complete school work, you can make arrangements to pick up a Chromebook for them. For more information about the program, including pickup locations and times, visit this site:

Unemployment compensation updates: Federal payments, faster claims processing are on the way

The federal CARES Act supplements state unemployment compensation by providing an additional $600 per week and extending payments for an additional 13 weeks, including for people who have exhausted their state benefits. The payments run through the week ending July 25.
You don’t need to file a separate application to receive the federal supplemental payments. If you’re already approved for unemployment compensation during the pandemic, you’ll automatically receive this payment, which will arrive as a separate check.
If you are not yet approved, file a claim through the regular state program, and you should start receiving the federal supplement after you receive your first regular UC payment. You can find comprehensive information about filing for state UC benefits by clicking here, and additional information about the federal supplemental payments by clicking here.
The payments will be applied to qualified weeks ending April 4 – July 25.

Check out the chart below and click here for more information.

If you work in the gig economy or file a 1099, the state’s new unemployment program – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – is now available and accepting applications after it was delayed due to federal requirements.
The state website has a lot of information about who is eligible for this new program, and what documents are required when filing an application. You can find that information here: https://www.uc.pa.gov/unemployment-benefits/file/Pages/Filing-for-PUA.aspx

While we have all been waiting for this program, there are delays and issues as it is brought online. The Department of Labor and Industry is working to address them. Please be patient and know that my office is sharing your frustrations with the administration and will urge them to address issues as they arise.

Please note: If you have applied for regular unemployment compensation and were approved, you do not need to apply for PUA.

Emergency SNAP benefit distribution

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services began emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit issuance on April 16.

Payments include a supplemental increase for both March and April and will continue to be issued for current SNAP households through April 29.

You can learn more online here: https://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/DHS_details.aspx?newsid=519

Task force to examine racial disparity of COVID-19

On April 15, Gov. Wolf announced that he and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman would be creating a task force to investigate the stark racial disparity that we’re seeing in the victims of COVID-19.

Black men and women are being affected by COVID-19 at an overwhelmingly higher rate than others.

The task force will examine the causes of the disproportionate impact and suggest short-and long-term solutions to the consequences.

Click here to read more about the task force.

If you have lost your health insurance because of COVID-19, you have options

If you lose your health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, you have a 60-day special enrollment window during which you can obtain insurance through the healthcare marketplace.

For more information, click here.

Additionally, the Department of Human Services announced this week it is making temporary changes to CHIP to ensure families can keep their children enrolled for the duration of the pandemic.

For more information, click here.

Reminder: The Primary Election has been moved to June 2

This year, you can utilize a new option and vote by mail with a mail-in ballot. This allows anyone to mail in their ballot, no excuse necessary. Visit https://www.votespa.com/Pages/default.aspx for more information and to get your mail-in ballot.

You must apply for your mail-in ballot by May 26.

Please, take the census now to ensure funding for our community

The census is now open and waiting for your response.

If you haven’t yet completed the census, it is vital to everyone in the community that you do. The census determines a number of really important things, including how $675 billion in federal funding will be spent every year.

And you can take the census from home, either online, over the phone or by returning the census forms you should have received in the mail.

It takes just a few minutes to answer the questions on the census, and your answers are all confidential. When you take the census, be sure to account for every person in your household.

Learn more about the census online here: https://www.pa.gov/census/

COVID-19 Guide for Older Adults
The Department of Aging has a guide to COVID-19 for older adults, with helpful resources for seniors or those caring for them. The guide contains information on meals, prescriptions, scams, and how to stay active and connected during this time.

Click here for more information.

Free food and baby supplies available to people in need

The City of Philadelphia has been distributing free food to people in need for several weeks now. Free food continues to be made available through a variety of channels.

You can find information about free food boxes available on Mondays and Thursday by clicking here.

You can find information about free meals for students by clicking here.

And you can find information about free supplies for babies by clicking here.

Do you need a job because of COVID-19?

If you lost your job because of COVID-19 or if you’re otherwise looking for work, you can visit the online job portal that was launched by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. The portal list job opportunities with life-sustaining businesses, which are permitted to remain open during the pandemic.

It also gives employers with positions to fill an opportunity to get listed.

Visit the job portal by clicking here.

Even though my office is closed to foot traffic in order to help #FlattenTheCurve of COVID-19, my staff and I are still answering phones and returning email. Please, reach out to us if we can be of any assistance.

In Service,

Posted In: Around Campus