March 31, 2020 | Pam Smith Pam Smith, Division Director – Department for Medicaid Services – Division of Community Alternatives; Alisha Clark Department for Medicaid Services – Division of Community Alternatives; Stella Beard

Stella: [00:00:00] All right, wonderful. Well, thank you all so much for joining us today, we are very-very excited to have some special guests with us on our webinar today.

Before we get started, I want to tell you just a few minutes, just a little bit about Kentucky SPIN and what we are. We are Kentucky Spin, which is the Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. We are the parent training and i...

Stella: [00:00:00] All right, wonderful. Well, thank you all so much for joining us today, we are very-very excited to have some special guests with us on our webinar today.

Before we get started, I want to tell you just a few minutes, just a little bit about Kentucky SPIN and what we are. We are Kentucky Spin, which is the Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network. We are the parent training and information center, we call it a PTI, for the state of Kentucky. We are funded by the US Department of Education.

What we do is, we provide training and information and support for children and youth with all types of disabilities, birth through age 26. Mainly what we do though is we like to say that what we do not do is we do not act as attorneys but we empower families to effectively advocate for their children, we provide peer support and help families access needed information and resources and I think that is what we are planning on doing today, is giving you all some much needed information and resources.

But we like to say that we [00:01:00] that what we do mostly is lend a listening ear and I love this quote, this is from our director, Rhonda Logsdon, she too is on the call today, she says the key to success for all our children during this unprecedented time is to work in a partnership as we all go down this unchartered territory together.

So, what Kentucky SPIN is trying to do is, we are trying to provide as much information and use technology to the best of our ability to get information out during this pandemic that we are all in. So, that is why we wanted to have our speakers today and I am so glad both of them could be on our call to answer questions specifically related to families with our Medicaid waivers.

Our speakers today are Pam Smith, and Pam is the division [inaudible] for Medicaid Services, division of community [00:02:00] alternatives, and we also have Alicia Clark, who is also with the Department for Medicaid, division of community alternatives. So, we are very excited to have Pam and Alicia today, can you all hear me, ladies?

Alicia: [00:02:06] I can

Pam: [00:02:07] I can

Stella: [00:02:09] Awesome. Thank you, again, so much, for being with us today. We really felt like we appreciate all your webinars that you do to keep everyone up to date on what is going on with our Medicaid waivers during this time, with COVID-19, but we really wanted to take a few minutes and get you all on with us so that we can answer specific questions that families may have.

So, we are going to go through, I am going to let you all go through these questions and then I am going to be watching questions in our chat box, so, anyone online, if you have a question for Pam or Alicia that you want to have specifically answered, go ahead and type that into the questions and also, just to let you know, we do have hand-outs that you can download or if you do not have time to download them we will email them [00:03:00] out to everyone following the webinar today.

So, do not take the time if you do not feel like you want to spend it doing that, you will receive them in an email following our webinar today. So, if you have a question you can put it in the question box and I will be sure to answer, but I am going to turn it now over to Alicia and Pam.

Alicia: [00:03:19] Thank you, Stella. First and foremost, I appreciate everything that you and your team are doing to get the correct information out to our families.

So, what we have been doing during this pandemic, we have been asked lots and lots of questions, just to tell you a little bit, we are meeting again right after this call to go through some additional questions to try to get– I mean, we are getting questions from families, providers, other stakeholders, and we want to give you all as much information as possible.

So, we are putting frequently asked questions out there as they are being approved by [00:04:00] management and if you all are not on our listserve we really would like for you all to submit a request to our Medicaid public comment at, if you will submit that request we can have Kelly put you on our listserve so that anything goes out to the public we will get that out to you as well.

We are posting everything on our website, if you Google the division of community alternatives, Kentucky Medicaid, you will be put right there, so, we want everybody to have as much information as possible.

To respect everybody’s time we will get started with the questions Stella has put together for us and our answers and then if you all have any questions, like she said, please type them in the message box and we will answer those as well.

So, the first one we have is in the event that there are periods of time when people are [00:05:00] asked to stay home, will the DSP or the PDS employees be permitted to provide in home care to the 1915[c] waiver participants?

Yes, if a service is being provided by the direct service provider or PDS employee, if it’s emergent, meaning without that service the participant will be placed in danger or the participant would lose functioning that can never be restored, the care may be provided.

The DSP or the PDS employee should not provide the care if he or she has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who has just plain symptoms.

Our governor, he is very serious about social distancing and if you have been watching the newscast or his little Facebook page at night, you understand that the next two to three weeks are going to be very critical and we need to ensure that we are using that social distancing to the [00:06:00] max at this point. But if there is care that needs to be provided it can be provided.

Do you want to go to the next on Stella? Unless somebody has a question specifically on this one.

So, can a PDS employee be permitted to work overtime to reduce gaps in service caused by the COVID-19 state of emergency?

Yes, overtime is allowed during the COVID-19 state of emergency, if necessary, to address the health, safety and welfare of a 1915[c] HCBS participant. The need for overtime should be first discussed with the case manager, support worker or service adviser and that is depending on what waiver you are in as to what they are called, who is responsible to document the need and to update the emergency persons in our service plan.

[00:07:00] Please note that there has not been a change to the participants overall health or community based status and there is no disruptions in the services as a result of this COVID-19 virus, then the increasing of the services should not be required.

Then Medicaid will be conducting retrospective review of service increases to ensure that they were implemented for appropriate emergency related reasons due to COVID-19.

Stella: [00:07:33] Alicia, I have a question online, let me get it where I can read it here. Can you clarify if PDS services can be provided via telehealth platforms if there is a natural support present in the home?

Alicia: [00:07:51] Pam, do you want to take the questions or do you want me to?

Pam: [00:07:54] I can take that one. So, [00:08:00] they can receive some telehealth services even if there is a natural support person in the home. Of course, the telehealth services are limited in what can be provided based on, you know, a lot of our more clinical services, so, behavior supports, some of our ADHC and ADT’s have found some innovative ways to do things via telehealth that works well.

When you start getting into some of the personal care type services there is not as much that you can do, although, there is some if you have an individual that just needs cues and reminders, maybe that natural support is not really– either because of their own health, or for other reasons, they are not able to follow through with that or do that that we could see that telehealth could fill in those [00:09:00] gaps.

Stella: [00:09:08] Sorry about that, I was talking while I was muted. I do have another question; I will go ahead and throw it in real quick before we go to the next slide. If a PDS employee has chosen not to work due to the current pandemic and Healthy at Home initiative, are they eligible for unemployment?

Pam: [00:09:29] This is a question we have received a lot and I would just be honest; this is not in our purview or actually in my scope of knowledge to answer, but we are trying to get the link to resources and to who can answer that question. So, that is something that is coming in the FAQs because we have received a lot of questions about that, I just do not want to give out incorrect information.

Stella: [00:09:58] Wonderful, thank you so [00:10:00] much. So, you all can go onto the next question and I will interrupt as needed.

Alicia: [00:10:04] Thanks Pam and Stella. Can the approval process for hiring immediate family members as a PDS employee be temporarily waived to deal with the service disruptions, such as the closure of ADHCs and ADTs and staffing shortages caused by the state of emergency?

So, yes. We are temporarily waiving the additional screening and approval process to hire the immediate family members as PDS employees. So, if you are only doing it just for the state of emergency we have got some specific instructions about how your case manager would put that information in the comments box of MWMA, which I am sure that you all probably do not know what it looks like, but each service has some information there in a comments box. But if this employee, you know, they must still initiate that background check and other screenings. [00:11:00] However, while they are pending services can be provided.

Now, if the result of the background check or that screening make the employee ineligible for services or makes the employee ineligible to provide those services the service will be allowed to continue until an alternate employee is found.

However, I do want to note that the only exception in this case is where the employee, the background check would pose immediate jeopardy to the health, safety and/or welfare of the participant or if they have had substantiated findings of past abuse, neglect, or exploitation, or a violent felony.

Pam: [00:11:44] I will just add on to that that we are working with Dale and there will be a letter that is sent out that the support broker, case manager, service adviser, whatever term is used for that [00:12:00] waiver will be able to submit, that fulfills that because I think there is a limit in the system, but there will be something that is provided that allows them to go ahead and submit that prior authorization.

In addition, those will be short-term prior authorizations, we will only approve those for 120 days at a time. If, for some reason, and hopefully not, but if we are still within the state of emergency at the time that those are expiring, we will extend that temporary authorization.

But once the state of emergency has resolved, those individuals in HCBS and SCL will be required to go through the formal screenings process. But not until the state of emergency is resolved and they will be able to continue working throughout the whole process.

Stella: [00:12:59] [00:13:00] Wonderful. Okay, let me ask this question, it says, our therapy center said Medicaid is not allowed for speech therapy, occupational therapy through telehealth, is this still not allowed? We do have the equipment at home to help implement whatever a therapist could guide us to do. We are now on week two with no therapy.

Pam: [00:13:23] If you can work with that individual to get us who that provider is, that is not true. We have expended telehealth and that is from waiver aspects across the board, through our regular fee for services and as well as our managed care organizations to allow telehealth in any situation where it could be a possibility and I am not aware of any directive from Medicaid excluding those services.

So, if you can get [00:14:00] me that information we will reach out to that provider to try and understand what their concerns are or what their misunderstanding is.

Stella: [00:14:08] I sure will, and that is why this call with you all is so very important.

Alicia: [00:14:14] On the flip side of that, I did have a concern, complaint, from a family that did therapy that they were getting or being provided was being required to be in the home and so, if you have any of those types of situations that you come across, please let us know that as well, you can work through Stella, or you can email us here at the department.

But like I said earlier, the governor is very serious about social distancing and so, if there are things that can be provided through telehealth, that is what we are encouraging as well. So, we will follow up on those types [00:15:00] of cases if you have any of those.

Stella: [00:15:03] Wonderful, thank you so much.

Alicia: [00:15:05] So, the next question is, can provider agencies or PDS employers use background checks on an employee that were completed by a different provider agency or PDS employer?

Yes. During the state of emergency we are allowing those to transfer from one agency or PDS employer to another.

The next question is, how much should the support broker, service adviser add the new PDS employees during the state of an emergency?

Sorry, I obviously got a little ahead of myself when I was talking earlier, but for new PDS employees that can be added during the state of emergencies, they will put that in the comments box in MWMA and put in their comments, you know, due to the state of emergency, [00:16:00] and then if they end it at any point in time they can put a start date and the end date in those comments as well.

Stella: [00:16:10] Alicia, back to that other question about the background checks being able to be transferred, is that [inaudible] state of emergency is over, will they have to go through new background checks?

Pam: [00:16:26] We are going to look into that, that is one of the things that I have down and that we are adding for discussion. One thing that we believe is a positive coming out of this state of emergency is that we are looking at how we do business differently. I mean, it really fits into that overall waiver redesign, you know, our goals with that.

So, I do not have an answer right now for that, Stella, but we are working on that and [00:17:00] just to be honest, it seems silly that we would make someone go through that background check, but I am just checking off all the boxes with CMS and making sure that we do exactly what they expect us to.

But I think that is one of the things that we are going to be looking at post-state of emergency to see how we can do that, even for the future.

Stella: [00:17:25] Awesome.

Alicia: [00:17:30] Will there be a grace period on the annual requirements for maintaining PDS employee eligibility?

The answer to this question is yes, DMS will temporarily allow service to be initiated before conformation of certain eligibility requirements, such as the tuberculosis, risk assessments and screenings, CPR, first aid and other trainings and providing a copy of the driver’s licences.

The case manager, support broker or service adviser is responsible to ensure it is documented [00:18:00] that these four requirements have not been met and the reasoning, which is due to the state of emergency.

These requirements will be reinstated at the end of the emergency, so, a possible employee should continue to work to confirm any pre-employment requirements.

We do understand right now that, you know, a lot a of people are coming for their CPR recertification or their TB skin test and we understand that you cannot get out into the community where you need to receive these trainings or the assessments or other screenings, so, there will be a period of time in which, even after the state of emergency is over, we understand that you cannot get it done within a week because sometimes with CPR you can just go and register and it might be a little bit out.

But we definitely are waiving those and allowing those to temporarily– you know that you might be out of [00:19:00] compliance but we just want to ensure that everyone documents their reasoning to be out of compliance during this time.

Can a PDS employee who is unable to work due to the COVID-19 state of emergency file for unemployment?

So, I think somebody asked this on the call earlier, but PDS employees may file for unemployment if they meet those eligibility requirements and this can be done through the Kentucky Career Center, which we have got the website up here.

Again, like Pam said, this is really out of our purview to answer whether they can get unemployment, so, we would not even want to try to provide you an answer, we really want to give you where to go so that you can reach out to the appropriate folks to see if you are eligible or not.

Then PDS employees can [00:20:00] also reach out to their support broker or service provider for any additional information on whether they have paid into unemployment.

Stella: [00:20:12] Alicia, what about the families who currently maybe are not in the system to provide the direct care for their child or their young adult but now that they are at home want to do that. Is that an option now for anyone?

Alicia: [00:20:39] Can you give me a little more context about that? Are these people who already have waivers?

Stella: [00:20:48] Yes, it’s a family member who, you know, was not currently an employee, was not working, who provides services for their child, they did have [00:21:00] outside direct support professionals that was doing that but now since they are home and they cannot, you know, the other folks that were working cannot anymore, are you all doing anything to get them emergency where they able to provide those services now?

Pam: [00:21:27] They would just need to talk to their support broker, service adviser or the case manager and just do a regular [unintelligible] modification to add them, they would need to of course note that it’s during COVID-19 and the case manager will have that form that they can upload that says that we are waiving the– for those that are required right now to go through that screening [00:22:00] process if their immediate family member will attach that document that we are sending out to them.

Yes, the certainly can and we are encouraging, you know, to go along with the governor when that can happen versus having individuals from the outside come into the home, that is the best scenario.

You know, when you think about it, if someone come into the home, anybody that they have had contact with, those germs, exposing everybody in the house to that and then every time they go from that individual’s house to the next person’s house, then it just spreads and you can kind of see that.

It is a good illustration of why social distancing and why we are trying as much as possible to limit the number of individuals that are coming in and out of homes, while still, we want to provide and make sure [00:23:00] that our individuals are safe and that their healthcare needs are still met.

Stella: [00:23:06] That is why I brought it up, because I know that is a concern with families that they do not want to lose their services, of course, for their child or their young adult, but yet, maybe they are not set up to do anything.

So, you know, they want to but just not sure really how. So, that is great that there can be an emergency paperwork completed so that they could fulfill those needs during this time and then go back to the way things were after all this is over.

Alicia: [00:23:44] Yes, it will be, we are going to get through it together. But just to let you know that also if you are suspending services because you feel that [00:24:00] that is what is best for you and your family at this point we are asking agencies, because usually after 60 days without going with any direct services, because you cannot just have case management only, the normal process is for you to be disenrolled from the waiver.

We are asking all provider agencies, do not disenroll people from their agency. whether it be direct services or case management services, because of COVID-19.

You know, we understand that we have a lot of medically frail individuals and we need to do what is best to keep them healthy during this time and do not discharge anybody during this time.

Stella: [00:24:56] Wonderful. Thank you so much for clarifying that.

Alicia: [00:25:01] [00:25:00] Next question is, if a newly hired agency employee has not worked in the field, can they complete required trainings while working?

Yes, this is allowed during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The only trainings DMS is requiring to be completed during the state of emergency are the ones related to health, safety and welfare of the waiver participants, such as medication administration, obviously, we do not want people giving medications if they have not been trained to do that.

We think it’s very important and it could be several different people that could do some training but those specific trainings related to the needs of that specific individual because we know everybody’s case is different, so, if there is something very special we want the individual to be trained on who they are giving those services to.

[00:26:00] Then it looks like we are ready for any additional questions that you may have. Like I said earlier, every time we get things approved there are several rounds we go through, we discuss it, we update it, we talk with our sister agencies and then once everything is approved we are pushing those out literally as fast as we can and we are putting those out there on the Division of Community Alternatives website along with [unintelligible]

So, if you are wanting to be on our listserve if you can submit that request to the Medicaid public comments mailbox that we have, that would be great so that we can make sure that you get the information.

Stella: [00:26:50] Alicia and Pam, when I send out the follow up emails to everyone I will be sure to include that in there also along with the FAQs and [00:27:00] question documents and other resources that we have put on here for handouts today for you all.

The only question is really not a question, it’s more of a comment and I will send you two specifics on who is mentioning these, if they are okay with that. It’s says, “I also spoke to my nephew’s therapy clinic and told they have been denied to use telehealth.”

So, it sounds like to me that might be just a communication issue that you spoke about earlier about reaching out to those agencies and letting them know that telehealth can be used.

Alicia: [00:27:36] Just one request, if they can provide the agency, especially if we have the ages of the individuals, that might help us pinpoint whether it’s a state plan service or whether it’s being provided through the waivers, [00:28:00] because we want to make sure that even if we are getting that out there, we will ensure, Pam will send this to our state plan side, but just so we can kind of pinpoint whether it’s state plan services or the waiver service.

Stella: [00:28:14] I will reach out to those folks individually, is it okay for me to send them your contact info and have them reach out to you?

Alicia: [00:28:23] Absolutely.

Stella: [00:28:24] Okay, perfect.

Pam: [00:28:27] Stella, I will put that out there that if anybody has any questions after this, that they think of after it, to reach out to us. One of focuses is trying to make sure all the correct information is shared and also we want to help resolve issues like what is happening with these therapies.

So, please share with your individuals our information and encourage them if they have questions to reach out [00:29:00] to us so that we can help give the right information and right answers. We may not have them, but we can connect them to the right places.

Stella: [00:29:10] Absolutely, that is what I will do, for sure. You all are more than welcome to stay on the call with us, Rhonda is going to take over now and do some education updates and then we will see if there is any more questions at the end. So, Rhonda, I am going to turn it to you.

Rhonda: [00:29:29] Thank you all so much, and we are so appreciative that you all joined us today to help because it’s such needed information, as a family myself, and other families throughout the state, especially during this time and you know, we are very dependent on waiver services and the supports that are given. So, thank you, again, so much, for joining us.

What I am getting ready to do is I included some other important [00:30:00] COVID-19 updates, but specifically education we will go over right now. One of the things– and if you all were able to join us last week when we spoke about educating children with disabilities during the COVID-19– the handouts that has been provided through [unintelligible] since then was released specifically addressing initial questions, Q and A, in regard to vocational rehabilitation services.

The [inaudible] because this guidance it is included as your handouts and it will be emailed or the link you will be able to click on the PowerPoint directly to it, is initially, this is just addressing sort of questions about how states are going to be able to be accountable providing the services when they have not been able [00:31:00] to due to the COVID-19.

But– and the reason I wanted to include this in here is– if you will look at the bottom there it is stating that in the future there is going to be more questions and answers that will be released from the office of special education and rehabilitation service that is directly related to the service program and really will help give us some more guidance in that area.

The next update that we have is, I thought it was very important that we concentrate on this and this was Kevin Brown, the interim education commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Education, issued a letter to family and you could link directly to that and this meant a lot to me when I read this because KDE’s focus is not just education, it’s to educate, feed, and support.

We all know and now that [00:32:00] in a follow up to our webinar last week, all of– and we had indicated in there that the Kentucky Board of Education had went ahead and approved all 172 of our public school districts to provide the non-traditional instruction program and this is getting everybody on that.

Now, to understand, and what is critical here is, we have got districts who have never before been on the NTI program. So, there is a learning curve and especially depending on how large the district is, is how many students that they are providing that.

So, again, I think through all of this, whether it has to do with education, waivers, if we all have patience with one another to help get through this because we are all, you know, there is no playbook for none of this. None of us have ever experienced this in our life.

So, the important part that now that there is in place for all public school districts that they [00:33:00] are on the NTI program so that there is education, when the school is closed and not able to meet, our children are still getting an education and through an alternate means, which is the non-traditional instruction program.

The second here, which is so important, is to feed and because so many of our schools have such a high number of free and reduced lunch the school districts– and there is a link on our COVID-19 page of the spreadsheet that was created by KDE that goes down by county and gives you the locations where families within each county can access and get breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, when the schools are closed. But it’s so critical because many of our students, you know, if that was not in place then our children may not all have food.

Then lastly, in that letter to families it was to [00:34:00] support. So, one of the things here is how we all work closely together, how the Kentucky Department of Education supports not only the schools, but students and our families as we go through this.

I just think it’s very important to address that and it spoke volumes to me that those are the things that are being addressed and what is the assistance that is being provided in the state of Kentucky, which again, makes me so proud to be a part of Kentucky, because we are looking at this not just educate, we are going to feed and support. We are all in this together.

The next slide we will see here is another thing too, is that Senate Bill 177 and the reason I have put on here, we have got so much information being shared through a variety of means, it may be a tweet that goes out or a document that was created [00:35:00] as guidance.

The governor signed the Senate Bill 177, which is going to allow as many non-traditional instruction days to be approved as needs to be for COVID-19 so they do not have to keep going back and getting the approval, there is in the Kentucky Department of Education, Kevin Brown, the interim education commissioner also tweeted and said, so, now there is a blanket approval.

So, he has the authority and you will see the picture down here of the email that he had sent out was that he is able to go ahead and grant those additional non-traditional instruction days as seems necessary due to the state of emergency we are in and the COVID-19.

So, that is going to be very helpful so that everyone does not keep having to go back, that there has already been that flexibility built in [00:36:00] because we all know everything is changing daily. We have got to be able to adapt and it may be that we are on this longer.

The last bit that I saw posted and recommended from the governor was all schools to at least stay out until April the 20th. Now, again, that may be changing again here soon and it had changed from what previously had been said because we are all learning different things hourly, daily, and this, not having the children in school is how we are going to be able to keep them safe and help everybody to slow the spread of the COVID-19.

Now, on the next slide you will see, one of the things too that was important because the US Department of Education announced that it was going to let states be able to apply to be pretty much waived or [00:37:00] that they do not have to do the standardized testing.

Kentucky applied for that and the commissioner has already heard back that they believe that the waiver request will be approved and the accountability and reporting requirements will be granted because the children are not in school in person, so, they are not going to have to do– if everything goes through as planned– they are not going to have to participate in the standardized testing this year.

Now, the other thing is that we will keep this post updated as we go through here, but I think this is important because right now our children need to concentrate on the non-traditional instruction and getting that instruction so that they are able to [00:38:00] be successful.

So, we will go ahead to the next slide. One of the things I thought was very helpful and I did not realize this and you do not typically hear this a lot when you have heard the stimulus package, but the Southern Regional Educational Board, which Kentucky is a part of. through that stimulus package there is also funds and this is from that document and you can click on the funds for K12 and post-secondary education directly to that document they created.

There is extra funds that are going to help with different activities that are going to help support and relieve a lot of our schools and offer a lot of that assistance and you will see where I highlighted ideas.

So, any activity authorized by IDEA, which is the Individuals [00:39:00] with Disabilities Education Act, which is what calls for IEPs in school, that will be one of the things that if there is activities under that then that can actually be sued through those funds, and there is a whole list of those.

I was very pleased to see this because– I do not know about you all but– I had not heard anything about part of the stimulus package actually including anything for children in school.

Also too, the long-term closures, including providing meals for students, technology for online learning, so, there has been some flexibility, which I think is so important that is going to be able to help because every area is different and how you are going to be able to reach the need, every family is different in educators. So, there is going to be that flexibility in funds that may be able to help in this time of pandemic.

We will go ahead to the next one. [00:40:00] Another thing too is I wanted to point this out, this was a slide from our webinar last week and the reason I wanted to bring this back up in this week’s is because over the weekend I saw some misinformation floating around, so, I wanted to take this opportunity to clarify, because this is directly out of guidance from the US Department of Education, that when we are talking about the [unintelligible] that they are not required to meet in person while schools are closed.

This is the part where I saw some misinformation, because it stated– when it says here, “If an evaluation of a student with a disability requires face to face assessment or observation, the evaluation would need to be delayed until the school reopens.” I saw information floating around that [00:41:00] evaluation timelines and all of that information remained the same.

Here is the thing, even if there is a certain amount of time that is required for the evaluation but due to the COVID-19 pandemic you are not able to meet, because if it’s an assessment and evaluation that has to require face to face assessment or observation, which you all are in the same room together, that can [inaudible] during this time.

So, you know, I want to make sure that everybody is under the same impression here from the guidance we have all been issued, is that those types of things, if it is an evaluation, re-evaluation part that does not require the face to face, yes, you would look at alternate means, as long as the parent or legal guardian consents to do it.

They also state that the same principles apply when we are looking at activities conducted [00:42:00] by appropriate school personnel for a student with a disability who has a plan under 504 and is being evaluated for 504.

So, just keep in mind that during this pandemic, when the children cannot be in school in person and we are on the non-traditional instruction days, if the evaluation requires face to face or in person observation, then it may not be able to occur during that time.

So, I just wanted to take that moment to further clarify that just so that everybody knows. You know, and a lot of it is we are all sort of learning and going as we get guidance. But I did want to make sure that I mention that you can always– we already have the recording available from last week’s and when you get this PowerPoint or in the handouts– the link up there to the recording, you can access that immediately and also the actual full [00:43:00] fact sheet from there.

Another great thing I wanted to concentrate on, the Kentucky Special Education Cooperatives developed in our [unintelligible] training center shared this last night and I was so thankful. The online professional development opportunities booklet, and this is a link directly to it.

It was developed by the Kentucky Special Education Cooperatives, our special ed co-ops are so important in our state and here are the different topics that it will link you to for that and we will make sure that you have that and the link for that because every school district in Kentucky is served by a special education co-op and you will see the pictures that of all of them in Kentucky.

They are divided up into regions and our special education co-ops, they offer guidance and assistance and training to educator specific when it deals with special education and they are so crucial and [00:44:00] such great partners of ours throughout this state and that was a wonderful document in online opportunities where you can learn more.

So, I want to make sure that I shared that because our special ed co-ops, they are doing wonders. They always have, but especially now going above and beyond, really helping districts with the non-traditional instruction right now in regards to special education because many of our districts have not received that.

So, what I wanted to make sure is just so that you knew that they were there and could help you in this document and there may be some learning opportunities that you want to take advantage of.

Another thing too was KET launch starting this week and those and those are directly to it, they redid their whole scheduling program to really help while the children are at home, really targeting [00:45:00] their weekday program to help our families and our children in ways to learn and that is a great resource.

Because our families have access, you know, not everybody has internet access and there are some websites or different things to connect us but if you could actually tune into the broadcast and the programming it could really help with those things.

I know, as a parent myself, there is a lot of it, you know, and I explained last week too, there is a lot that– I did not learn that way and I need to be able to help my child best and this will be a great tool, not just for kids and parents, but professionals alike. So, we are going to have some other updates coming up here in just a minute.

Another one that was very important and I was so pleased last week, was the governor [00:46:00] issued an executive order that suspended all evictions due to COVID-19 and I think this is so crucial given the times that we are having right now, many have lost their jobs and the last thing that a family needs to fear is losing their home, losing the place that they are supposed to staying to stay safe. I thought that was very important, I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of that.

Another thing too, and you may be tired of hearing it, but the social isolation, what is occurring is– and I will be honest too, there is some things that I did not really think through because you get into such a habit that you want to just carry on as you normally do every day, but we cannot do that right now.

So, there is a lot of things, we have a [00:47:00] lot of stores closed, but what is happening is, what is open is getting so crowded, so, we all have to play a part in this, the social isolating, you know, we do not want other places to close down.

We need to all take, you know, if we have to go to the store it should be just one of us, it should not be the whole family going, or it should not be a couple.

I know what we are doing is– and my mom and my brother are a very high risk category for this– pretty much the only time my mom is going out right now is for doctor’s appointments. When I go out and it’s just me going to the store, not like we normally, it might be several of us, you cannot do that anymore and if you go to the store and there is a lot of people, do not go in.

I know that it may sound silly but really, what is going to make a difference is if we all [00:48:00] start doing this and he also announced to restrict travel. This is very key, you know, not to travel outside of the state unless, of course, for work, but other states are not doing like we are doing, so, if you go to another state and to their different stores that maybe you cannot in Kentucky because they are closed right now, you are defeating the purpose. You are putting yourself at risk and your family and others that you are bringing it back to Kentucky to.

So, if we all just keep that in mind. You know, I have been guilty of, I went in a couple of places I probably should not, I could have– by just going in one place, even if it was not crowded and I had to remind myself, “Okay, you really shouldn’t have done that, Rhonda.”

So, none of us are above anyone else, you know, I have made mistakes. Also too, a lot of times people are thinking that this does not apply with having people over to your house, it does. The only people that should be to your house [00:49:00] are the family that lives within the house, you do not invite a bunch of people over because we are hearing different things, there are maybe some adults with disabilities or some families that are carrying on as usual and having big groups of people over, that cannot happen.

It’s defeating it and it’s going to cause the spread to be even worse. I do not know about you, but I do not want us to end up in the situation that other countries have had to be in because of lack of medical resources. I do not want people to start to have to choose who lives and who dies.

So, if we all was just to remind ourselves of that and keep that in mind. I know that you can go stir crazy but let us just keep that in mind so that we are making a difference and it is important, which I will quit preaching. We will go on to the next slide, but it is important for us all to do it.

Also too, it was tweeted again about [00:50:00] Medicaid because there may have been some misinformation that was shared, so, I wanted to make sure directly from the governor’s tweet that if you need, if it’s just Medicaid only, you call this number, if it’s SNAP and Medicaid you call this number. He also shared that picture that explained more.

So, just keep that in mind and I want to make sure that everybody has the accurate information of who they all call to get the answers as well.

The next slide we have, and I know we are getting close to our time here but I wanted to make sure, there is a couple of things. So, I wanted to include this too because there are a lot of– and this is not the whole picture, it links to the complete picture because I could not find it in a PDF document.

But there is a picture of frequently asked questions that Congressman John Yarmuth which I was so thrilled about that he put out because in the part that I kind of zoomed in here because it’s [00:51:00] typically asked questions and I am finding everybody is wondering about the rebates that is in the stimulus package.

So, I want to make sure the payment of the 1,200 for each adult or individual, 2,400 for joint filers, or 500 per child under the age of 17, advanced payment of the rebates is reduced by five for every hundred of the income to the extent the taxpayers income exceeds 150,000 for joint filers, 112,500 for head of household flier and 75,000 for anyone else, including single filers.

I liked that information, it was much clearer than what I have saw shared numerous times because it was never as detailed as that because if you are like me, what you have seen shared all the time is the 1,200 for people who they got to 75,000, but that gives more detail of the exact criteria.

[00:52:00] Another important part down here at the bottom that I wanted to make sure of is that if you are on the social security, earned income is not a requirement to be eligible for the rebate and you may not have filed your taxes, you were not required to on social security, you can still receive the rebate.

What they are going to do is, they will go by the social security administration to issue those and they will have a campaign to reach others who may be non-filers of income tax because you may not have been required to do that and provide information on how you can access the rebates.

So, I wanted to make sure everybody knew that who that from the initial guidance that we are getting is who that applies to and those are some typical questions that I saw from others.

We will go ahead to the close to last slide. I want [00:53:00] to also make sure; Kentucky Voices for Health has a couple of very helpful handouts and those are part of your handouts within this webinar.

One of the things that I kind of pulled form that, if you are already in Medicaid, SNAP, KTEP, or CCAP your benefits have been automatically extended by three months. That is huge.

The other handout and there is some other helpful information where it breaks down in that handout Medicaid, SNAP, KTEP and CCAP, also too, what Kentuckians need to know about the COVID-19 and I wanted to make sure, and I know we have all heard and researched and saw tons of things, the thing that sticks out to me here, I think, is one of the most important things for us all to realize and it plays apart in us staying away form others is people with the virus will have no symptoms but may be contagious for two [00:54:00] weeks before feeling sick.

You can feel perfectly fine, have no clue that you have been exposed to it and that then to me is where it’s very dangerous because normally we know if we are feeling that, you do not go around others, but you know, all of us can carry it.

Even though there is high risk categories, all of us can get it and it can affect us equally, so, I just want us to keep those things in mind and those handouts are very helpful. I am all about the helpful handouts the different organizations have because just like the frequently asked questions that met the Department for Medicaid related to the waivers did, I think these where they are answering these specific important questions are very helpful for all of us.

This here, and I know we have shared this on our Facebook and our Twitter, this is [00:55:00] so important because yes, we want to stay physically healthy but due to the COVID-19– We all have very stressful lives to begin with but even more so now and one of the things that my co-worker, Kelly and Stella, you know, it’s like, “It’s okay not to be okay,” and I am like, “You know, it is okay not to be okay,” because I think we have got to have it all held together but know that there is someone you can talk to.

If you do not feel like talking over the phone, if you are a texter, there are those things because the mental health, the strain, the stress, the anxiety that just dealing with a pandemic does is, you know, I did not realize, I had figured when you have looked and heard of things that have happened in history, I figured that it would affect you greatly, I did not anticipate what [00:56:00] it actually was to live through it.

I guess we all know as we live through things, we know better, but please, take those times, mental health is just as important as your physical health and so, I just want to make sure that everyone is aware of that, that that is available 24/7 for anyone who needs it.

So, I know there has been a lot of things included, does anyone have any questions right now, or if you do, we are going to be having the great thing that I already know because we are doing the weekly, we have not scheduled all the way through April and we will extend and add other dates as needed to keep doing our weekly COVID-19 updates.

We are very pleased to announce, next week, next Tuesday, 11 to 12, our guest that is going to be on with us is KPFC, Kentucky Partnership For Families and Children and they are going to share with us some tips and things to do, especially we are going to talk about social, emotional and the mental health [00:57:00] resources and really from a family perspective.

So, that is so key and so important, so, I just wanted to let you all know, if you have not already registered. Help us spread the word, they will be on there and any additional updates that we will receive, I will also include in that if there is some education updates, just like I did today, other resources that are helpful for families.

I do not think I see any questions right now, but if I have missed it you can always send us an email and ask. Thank you all so much for being on with us today, please stay safe and we are very grateful for you and take a moment to fill out the evaluation if you can, it will be prompted as soon as this closes the webinar. Stay safe and please take some moments to enjoy everyone around you and some time really to just take a deep breath from this craziness that is going on.

But thank you all so much and I hope you all have a great day.