In an effort to provide resources to the Leavenworth, Lansing and KCK communities as we -- together -- protect our families and save lives, I am providing information to frequently asked questions that I am receiving from friends, family and constituents about COVID-19. Information saves lives.
Wyandotte County Public Health should be the first place that you get updates about COVID-19.
The Unified Government’s Public Health Department (UGPHD) has expanded its COVID-19 testing. Wyandotte County residents experiencing symptoms can drive through or walk through at 619 Ann Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101, Monday through Friday, 1-5pm, with no appointment needed.
Testing is available, free of charge, for Wyandotte County residents who have experienced any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within the past 48 hours. Symptoms may include:
· Dry cough
· Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
· Body aches
· Sore throat
· Sudden lack of sense of taste or smell
Testing is provided regardless of immigration status, health coverage, or ability to pay.
Residents who prefer to set up an appointment can confidentially report their symptoms online at wycokck.org/COVID-19 or by calling 3-1-1. Someone from the Health Department will follow up to set up a testing appointment and provide further guidance.
In Kansas, our 105 counties are principally responsible for public health in each respective county, and the nature of this virus dictates that there will be different responses in each of the 105 counties in Kansas.
Social distancing, fear, financial and food insecurity, disruption of schedule, and stress can cause a feeling of isolation and other mental health concerns.
“While we’re focused on our physical health care, and protecting ourselves from getting the coronavirus, we need to start paying attention to the mental health impact of this, because this is a global trauma that’s happening,” says Randy Callstrom, president and CEO of Wyandot Behavioral Health Network in Wyandotte County.
Let’s all stay in touch with friends and family. If you’re struggling- below are some numbers you can call for help.
24 Hour Hotlines
Kansas suicide and crisis hotline is 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-8255.
For Wyandotte County residents, call the Wyandot Center for Community Behavioral Healthcare at 913-788-4200.
School buildings remain closed, but Kansas schools are still actively engaged with kids' continuing education. More than twenty states have reached out to Kansas for their leadership in the continuing education initiative during the Coronavirus shutdown. Our Governor had the forethought to do this early, now we're leading the rest of the country.
Piper Kansas City USD 203
Unemployment Insurance at the Kansas Department of Labor
When possible, employers can streamline the process by filing with a spreadsheet. This allows information about all affected employees to be processed at once – and can help with processing time. In addition to unemployment benefits, the department is working with companies to tap into the state’s workshare program, which extends pay to employees both from the company and state resources.
Direct Links for KDOL
Top 10 Questions
How and when will I get the $600 weekly benefit in addition to my Kansas benefits?
KS Dept of Labor is working through Federal guidelines to implement the provisions of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). When implemented, those eligible and approved for benefits will automatically receive benefits. This is as of March 29th, 2020 (under the CARES Act) and will be back-paid.
The website isn’t working for me when I go to getkansasbenefits.gov.
Due to the overwhelming, unprecedented number of claims, the website has been overwhelmed. KDOL advises attempting filing initial and weekly claims during non-peak hours: 6:30am-8:00am, 4:30pm-10:00pm.
I can’t file online because I don’t live in Kansas, but lost my job in Kansas.
If www.getkansasbenefits.gov will not allow you to apply, you can apply by phone at (913) 596-3500. Due to overwhelming call volumes, if you choose to call, do not hang up. Calls, hangups, and redials are causing the extreme wait times. Hanging up puts you back at the end of the line.
Do I have to serve a one week waiting period?
No, the Kansas Legislature updated this law for new claims due to COVID-19. Upon losing your job, apply for benefits at getkansasbenefits.gov.
Due to the CARES Act, I’m now eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits (self employed, school worker, furloughed, or temporarily reduced hours).
Apply online at www.getkansasbenefits.gov, and there is more information on page two of this Document from the Kansas Department of Labor.
When will I receive my first payment for my initial claim?
Once approved for payment, direct deposits will be issued about two weeks after approved (highly recommend benefit recipients include direct deposit information when they apply online).
If recipients choose the debit card option, a debit card will be issued 7-10 business days after being approved. If the recipient chooses a mailed check, it will take a few weeks after being approved.
Do I need to look for work while unemployed?
For COVID-19 related job losses only, If you are unemployed due to COVID-19 and have taken all necessary steps to return to work for your regular employer, you do not have to look for other work. However, you must file your weekly claims online.
My employer filed by spreadsheet for the employees that were laid off. Please create an account on the online portal.
Forgot my username or password.
Click here to get that information.
I used the 16 weeks of unemployment insurance before COVID-19 during this benefit year. Am I eligible?
Under Kansas Law, no. However, the CARES Act includes 13 weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Extends benefits for an extra 13 weeks after regular unemployment compensation benefits are exhausted. Kansas Department of Labor is working with US Department of Labor to implement this at the State level.
Kansas Department of Commerce and Employment
Cares Act for Small Business & PPP
The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) at present authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as the loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and no one is laid off and there is no decrease in compensation. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
Payroll loan payments will be deferred for 6 months. Start the application process here.
Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. Start Independent Contractor application here.
Where can I apply?
When you fill out a request for a PPP Loan at http://ppp.sba.com, SBA promptly sends it electronically to the SBA's PPP Loan agent partner Lendio. Lendio will review this initial request. If they determine that you may qualify for a PPP loan, they then connect you with a specific lender in their network and assist you in submitting your loan application to the lender.
Any existing SBA lender and any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution is eligible to make PPP loans. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA lenders. You do not need to use this site in order to apply.
Who can apply?
All businesses – including nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors – with 500 or fewer employees can apply. Businesses in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA employee-based size standards for those industries.
What other documents will I need to include in my application?
You will need to provide your lender with payroll documentation. If you submit a PPP loan request through SBA.com, our PPP loan agent partner Lendio will assist you with putting together your application and submitting it to your lender.
Do I need to first look for other funds before applying to this program?
No. The government is waiving the usual SBA requirement that you try to obtain some or all of the loan funds from other sources (i.e., we are waiving the Credit Elsewhere requirement).
How long will this program last?
Although the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is encouraging borrowers to apply as quickly as possible because there is a funding cap and lenders need time to process your loan.
KDHE & State COVID Response
Kansas Department of Health and Environment is still your best resource for information.
The KDHE Secretary, Dr. Lee Norman, has an impressive military and medical career and has been a great authority to have in the state to help navigate the state through this pandemic. There are daily updates, and useful information for families and business.
Additionally, there’s a new map and data site that is updated daily. This provides considerably more information about the spread of Covid-19 in Kansas.
Before recessing, the Legislature gave extended authority to the governor to deal with the coronavirus pandemic in Kansas. Since then, the Governor has issued a series of executive orders, in particular related to schools and stay at home orders that supersede local orders. These Executive Orders issued by Gov. Laura Kelly can be found here.
How You Can Help, or Seek Help
Locally, the best way to help those who need help, or seek help yourself, is through food donations organized by these charities.
Made Men Inc.
1211 N 8th Street, Kansas City, KS
United Way Wyandotte County
434 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS
Helpful State Government Resources
Attorney General (888) 428-8436
Child Abuse Hotline (800) 922-5330
Consumer Protection (800) 432-2310
Crime Tip Hotline (800) 572-7463
Crime Victim Referral (800) 828-9745
Department on Aging (800) 432-3535
Driver’s License Bureau (785) 296-3963
Fraud Hotline (800) 432-3919
KPERS (888) 275-5737
Governor’s Office (877) 579-6757
Highway Conditions (800) 585-7623
Housing Hotline (800) 752-4422
KanCare Consumer Assistance (866) 305-5147
Kansas Jobs (785) 235-5627
Kansas Lottery (785) 296-5700
Kansas State Library (800) 432-3924
Legislative Hotline (800) 432-3924
School Safety Hotline (877) 626-8203
Social Security (800) 772-1213
DCF (785) 296-1491
Suicide Prevention Hotline (800) 273-8255
Tax Refund Status Info (800) 894-0318
Taxpayer Assistance (785) 368-8222
Unclaimed Property (800) 432-0386
Vital Statistics (Birth Certificates) (785) 296-1400
Victims of Human Trafficking (888) 373-7888