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Important Changes to Benefit Programs in Response to COVID-19

Update: Sept. 30, 2020 – Delaware Gets Approval to Extend Pandemic EBT Benefits Through September

Update: June 17, 2020 – Delaware Added to SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program Starting July 1, 2020

May 5, 2020 – Delaware Social Services Approved for Pandemic EBT to Feed Children During COVID-19 Emergency

The Division of Social Services within the Department of Health and Social Services has changed the following benefit program rules to help protect the health and well-being of Delawareans during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This information will be updated as changes occur.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, clients are asked to contact the Division by phone or online.


Benefit Renewals

Benefit renewal deadlines have been extended for 6 months for:

  • Food Benefits/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Child Care
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • General Assistance (GA)

Households that were scheduled to renew their benefits in April or May 2020 will receive a 6-month renewal extension. Households that are affected by this change will receive a notice in the mail with their new renewal deadline. Households are NOT required to return a benefit renewal form or complete a renewal interview during the months of April, May and June 2020.


Food Benefits/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Update: Sept. 30, 2020 – Delaware Will Issue Another Round of Emergency Food Benefits Starting Sept. 30

Update: June 17, 2020 – Delaware Added to SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot Program Starting July 1, 2020

May 5, 2020 – Delaware Social Services Approved for Pandemic EBT to Feed Children During COVID-19 Emergency

EMERGENCY FOOD BENEFITS

Households with open SNAP cases may receive an emergency food benefits. The emergency benefit will increase a household’s current food benefit amount up to the maximum food benefit amount for their SNAP household size. The emergency benefit for July was added to households’ EBT cards on July 30, 2020, and should now be available.

Emergency Food Benefit Calculation
Maximum Food Benefit for SNAP Household Size – Current Food Benefit = Emergency Food Benefit

SNAP Household Size Maximum Food Benefit Amount
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164
Each additional member: $146

SNAP households that already receive the maximum food benefit amount for their SNAP household size or that have a prorated food benefit are not eligible for the emergency benefit.

All SNAP households will receive their regular July food benefits on their normal issuance date.

FOOD BENEFIT PERIODIC REPORTS
SNAP households are NOT required to return a food benefit periodic report form during the months of March, April , May and June 2020.

FOOD BENEFIT WORK REQUIREMENTS
Food benefit work requirements are temporarily suspended. Individuals receiving food benefits may still voluntarily participate with the SNAP Employment and Training program for assistance with job search and employment preparation as long as the SNAP Employment and Training offices remain open.

NEED HELP FINDING FOOD ASSISTANCE?


Unemployment

Update: May 11, 2020 – How to Register for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Benefits, from Delaware Department of Labor

Apply for unemployment benefits on the Delaware Department of Labor’s website. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions before reaching out with questions. Due to overwhelming call volume, please email questions to uiclaims@delaware.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Workers should file for benefits on the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance website at https://ui.delawareworks.com/.

The phone lines are extremely busy and the Delaware Department of Labor (DOL) is working to add employees. Email your questions to uiclaims@delaware.gov and please include your name and claim/confirmation number, if you have one.

DOL has a Frequently Asked Questions flyer available via text – text uifacts to 555888, and available on their websites at dol.delaware.gov or ui.delawareworks.com. People can also call   302-761-8446 however, there is a longer than usual wait time to speak with a claims processor.

For more information about the details around eligibility please see the CARES Act FAQ’s sheet provided by Senator Tom Carper’s office.

Sign up for weekly email Unemployment Updates for Delawareans.
The email will also contain:

  • Updates on UI claims processing procedures
  • Links to employment resources
  • Immediate employment opportunities for those affected by job loss due to the global pandemic

Visit DOL on Facebook, where they are posting frequent videos and information about unemployment.

 

Work search requirements will be waived during the state of emergency for claimants filing for benefits as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Unemployment benefits are proportionately charged to each employer based on weeks worked and wages earned in
each individual’s base period. Contributory employers could see an increase in their tax rate, which Could result in higher taxes. Reimbursing employers would be charged dollar for dollar for benefits paid, which could result in higher than expected unemployment costs. Employers are able to apply for a rehire credit.

If the president of the United States declares the coronavirus a national disaster, and if individuals experience a
loss of work as a result, they may be eligible for unemployment benefits and/or Disaster Unemployment Assistance. If Delaware launches the Disaster Unemployment Assistance program the public will be notified.

In most cases, yes. However, the agency recognizes the burden placed on the health care industry during this time and will waive this requirement during the state of emergency

Delaware will consider this employee temporarily laid off during the state of emergency. The employee should return
to work as soon as they are released. If work is no longer available after the employee is released for work or the employee fails to return to work the agency will make a new determination.

Delaware would treat this situation as a temporary layoff. The employee should make every reasonable attempt to
preserve their health so they are able to return to work once
released.

Delaware no longer has a waiting week. Claimants should submit a weekly pay authorization the Sunday after a claim is filed and every week thereafter even if they have not yet received a payment.

Unemployment benefits are available to individuals who are unemployed through no fault of their own. If an employer must shut down operations and no work is available, individuals may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they meet the monetary criteria. Employees who are working reduced hours may be eligible and must report their gross wages at the time they are earned, not paid. Delaware makes no distinction between part time and full time employees who are completely unemployed.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act) includes three key programs for workers affected by the Coronavirus.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

Will provide an additional $600 to claimant’s weekly benefits. This added benefit is actively being disbursed for regular unemployment insurance benefit claims.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

Provides workers with up to 13 weeks for claims opened after July 1, 2019. Press Release: Delaware Department of Labor Releases Guidelines on 13 Week Extension of Unemployment Benefits

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)

Provides unemployment assistance to independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and religious/faith-based organizations affected by the coronavirus. Individuals requesting PUA will be able to apply for benefits beginning the week of May 11th, 2020.

The Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance is currently implementing a new system where claimants will be able to apply the week of May 11, 2020.

DOL will be providing additional information as soon as possible. Visit the DOL website for updates at dol.delaware.gov. In the meantime, collect the following information and get it ready to submit once the system is implemented:

Gather the Proper Documents:

Your Earnings Records for 2019, which include (if applicable):

  • Tax returns
    • Last year’s income tax statement or quarterly earnings statement
  • 1099 forms
  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements
  • W2

Gather Information:

  • Social security number or ITIN
  • If you are not a citizen of the United States, your A Number (USCIS Number)
  • Your residential address
  • Your mailing address (if different from residential address)
  • Your telephone number
  • Your email address
  • Your date of birth
  • If you want to use direct deposit for payment, your bank account and routing numbers. All others will receive payment via debit card.

If your benefits exhausted or expired between the dates of July 1, 2019 and Saturday, April 18, 2020, you will need to apply for the 13-week extension after 8:00 AM on Sunday April 19, 2020 by visiting ui.delawareworks.com and completing an application for benefits.

If you are currently receiving unemployment insurance benefits and they will not exhaust or expire until after Sunday April 19, 2020, you do not have to take any action. When your current benefits have been exhausted, your additional 13-week extension will automatically begin.

The maximum weekly benefit amount (WBA) in Delaware is $400 per week. An individual’s benefit amount is determined by wages reported by your employer in the base period. You can make up to 50% of your weekly benefit and still qualify for your full benefit amount. Please refer to the claimant handbook for the Unemployment Insurance benefit amount calculation. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will provide an additional $600 to claimant’s weekly benefits, which is an added benefit disbursement for regular unemployment insurance benefit claims.

The Delaware Department of Labor makes every effort to pay eligible claims within 10-14 days due to the current circumstance. This is pending all information received is accurate and timely. If you have specific questions about your claim, please visit ui.delawareworks.com or send an email to: uiclaims@delaware.gov for more information. To check on the status of your benefits, call the hotline. The hotline will let claimants know if a payment was made. The Information Hotline, at (800) 794-3032 or (302) 761-6576 is available 7 days a week, 24 hours per day.

Find a job hiring now during this crisis on Delaware Job Link.


Medicaid

Medicaid in Delaware is managed by the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance.

Screen for and apply for benefits online at Delaware ASSIST or call 1-800-372-2022 to make an appointment.

Other Contacts
Health Benefit Manager: 1-800-996-9969

Managed Care Member Service:

  • Highmark Health Options: 1-844-325-6251
  • AmeriHealth Caritas Delaware: 1-844-211-0966

Long-Term Care Medicaid: apply using Delaware ASSIST or call 1-866-940-8963.

Find Medicaid policies related to COVID-19.


Child Care

EMERGENCY CHILD CARE SITES
All licensed child care providers may reopen and all Delaware families may access child care as part of Phase 2 of Delaware’s reopening plan. Child care providers must follow applicable COVID-19 DELACARE regulations as well as additional health and safety requirements developed by the Office of Child Care Licensing and the Division of Public Health.

Beginning April 6, 2020, only employees at essential businesses who are unable to work from home can use child care services at a Delaware child care facility. Essential employees must verify to their child care providers that they qualify as essential and cannot work from home.

LICENSE EXEMPT SUMMER CAMP PROVIDERS 

Delaware summer camps began operating as part of Phase 2 of Delaware’s reopening plan. Summer camp providers should refer to the Purchase of Care summer camp packet for a checklist of requirements and trainings for participation in the Purchase of Care program. Summer camp providers also must follow applicable COVID-19 health and safety requirements developed by the Division of Public Health.

FAMILY COPAYMENTS 

Until further notice, families are not required to pay their Purchase of Care monthly copayments to their child care provider. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the DSS Purchase of Care Unit at 302-255-9670.

CHILD CARE RESOURCES


Cash Assistance

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) & GENERAL ASSISTANCE (GA)

EMERGENCY CASH BENEFITS
Households with open TANF and GA cases may receive emergency cash benefits. The emergency benefit will increase a household’s current TANF or GA benefit amount up to the maximum benefit amount for their TANF or GA household. The emergency benefit was issued as a check to TANF and GA households on June 29, 2020.

Emergency Cash Benefit Calculation
Maximum Cash Benefit for TANF/GA Household Size – Current Cash Benefit = Emergency Cash Benefit

TANF Household Size Maximum TANF Benefit Amount
1 $201
2 $270
3 $338
4 $407
5 $475
6 $544
7 $612
8 $681
9 $750
10 $819
GA Household Size Maximum GA Benefit Amount
1 $79
2 $107
3 $144
4 $169
5 $209
6 $239

TANF and GA households that already receive the maximum benefit amount for their TANF or GA household size or that have a prorated TANF or GA check are not eligible for the emergency benefit.

All TANF and GA households will receive their regular July checks on their normal issuance date.

TANF EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
TANF Employment and Training requirements are temporarily suspended. Individuals receiving TANF may still voluntarily participate with the TANF Employment and Training program for assistance with job search and employment preparation as long as the TANF Employment and Training offices remain open.

TIME LIMITS, SANCTIONS, AND EXEMPTIONS

  • TANF time limit rules are temporarily suspended until after August 31, 2020. TANF benefits will not expire and TANF months will not count during this time period.
  • TANF sanction rules are temporarily suspended until after August 31, 2020. TANF cases will not be sanctioned during this time period.
  • TANF and GA clients who have a medical exemption set to expire between March and August 2020 will have their exemption automatically extended until August 31, 2020.

 






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