COVID-19 UPDATE

If you need assistance during this time, visit our directory of resources for information about eligibility for various public programs, food assistance, the increased Child Tax Credit and more. Click here. As the COVID-19 vaccine is distributed, find out how you can access a vaccine with our COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Hub.

The COVID-19 pandemic must be taken seriously to ensure the future health of our state.

The Tennessee Justice Center is taking precautions to ensure that we can continue to serve our clients and provide necessary support in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases. If we are working with you on a case, we are here for you. We are standing alongside partner organizations near and far to help in this stressful time. Please continue to call us toll-free at 1-877-608-1009.

Families and businesses should not have to choose between health and financial security. Our leaders must act now to prepare and to protect Tennessee’s future.

As public health restrictions continue, we are actively calling for informed policies that will consider all Tennesseans – including those that are uninsured, can’t afford childcare, and can’t afford to not go to work without paid sick leave. We have been standing up for low-income Tennesseans for 25 years, and we are not about to stop now.

CMS APPROVES TENNESSEE'S MEDICAID BLOCK GRANT PROPOSAL

State officials have an abysmal record of mismanaging programs that help those in need. The block grant will allow these same state officials to inflict further damage on Tennessee’s health care system. 

WE'RE SUING

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of TennCare enrollees with chronic, disabling conditions, a pediatrician practicing in a rural part of the State, and TJC. The Plaintiffs argue that in its haste to approve the project, the Trump administration did not provide the required public comment period, depriving them of the opportunity to voice their objections to the project. Learn more about what’s happening with the Medicaid block grant here.

CONGRESS PASSED THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT

The American Rescue Plan includes many provisions that improve access to critical safety net programs, like SNAP and the Marketplace, as well as incentives for our state to opt in to receive additional funding for health-related programs.

WHAT DOES ARPA MEAN FOR TENNESSEANS?

Learn more about what the American Rescue Plan means for Tennesseans here.

CONGRESS PASSES FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

This bill is a great first step to assist American families during this crisis. Paid sick leave, increased federal matching rate for Medicaid, and more are included in this aid package.

LEARN MORE

Read more about the bill HERE.

TENNCARE PAUSES REDETERMINATIONS FOR CHOICES

With the support of the Tennessee Healthcare Association, Tennessee Disability Coalition and Council on Aging of Middle TN, TJC penned a letter to TennCare requesting a temporary pause for CHOICES redeterminations in the wake of COVID-19 in accordance with CMS guidelines.

READ THE LETTER FROM TENNCARE

TennCare has decided to temporarily stop CHOICES redeterminations. Read the letter HERE.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

As COVID-19 continues to devastate our communities, Tennesseans are concerned about the health of themselves, their families and their neighbors. At the same time, thousands of people are still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that struck Middle Tennessee on March 3rd, 2020. During these crises, Tennesseans should not have to worry about losing their healthcare coverage.

Without health coverage, families would have a difficult time complying with public health recommendations and getting medical care if needed. Also, having continuous coverage is important for people who have chronic conditions to maintain their health and avoid hospitalizations, preserving hospital resources for the pandemic. Our leaders must act now to protect all Tennesseans and ensure access to healthcare.

This pandemic has exposed many of the cracks in our health safety net. We need long-term solutions that get people insured and ensure that they stay covered.

RURAL HEALTH

In the last decade, 14 hospitals have closed in Tennessee. Our state has the highest number of hospital closures per capita, and the fate of many rural hospitals hangs in the balance. The cancellation of elective procedures and the cost of this pandemic on our state’s economy could put many struggling hospitals over the edge. This puts Tennesseans living in growing healthcare deserts at higher risk of difficulty accessing treatment for COVID-19.

Many of those counties lost their hospital in just the last decade.

RACIAL INEQUITY

Health disparities among different racial groups have been further exacerbated by this pandemic. As case count rises and, with it, the number of Tennesseans who have died from coronavirus-related causes grows, black communities and communities of color are particularly at high risk. Despite making up only 17% of Tennessee’s total population, black Tennesseans account for a disproportionately high percentage of deaths related to the coronavirus. A longstanding system including housing, healthcare, and education has left these communities more vulnerable to the effects of this virus. Learn more about health equity in Tennessee here.

For additional information and maps of coronavirus hot spots, county data, and death rate in Tennessee, please click here.

RESOURCES

COVID-19 vaccine updates from tn.gov HERE. For step by step info about how to find vaccine info for yourself, check out informational webpage on vaccines.

The TN Dept. of Health has a comprehensive list of cases listed by county and age, instructions about how to take precautions as a individual, resources for healthcare professionals, and more here.

Learn more about P-EBT in Tennessee here.

Call the COVID-19 Public Information Numbers: 833-556-2476 and 877-857-2945 Available 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. CDT daily.

For a regularly updated, complete list of resources from TN DHS to help you learn more about receiving services during this time of elevated health risks, click here.

For an updated list of all of Gov. Bill Lee’s COVID-19 related executive orders, click here.

Information about how to get your child vaccinated (excluding Covid-19 vaccines) and why now more than ever this is an important step in your child’s healthy development, click here.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Twitter feed contains daily updates of Nashville’s COVID-19 updates including safer at home orders, resources for metro families, and information about reopening: Visit his Twitterfeed here.

Practicing common sense hygiene to prevent the spread: Teach your family how to properly was hands here.

How to talk to your kids about coronavirus

Find the COVID-19 fact sheet for multi-generational families here.

Child Tax Credit Resource Links

As of 9/1/2021 new simplified filing tool: Get Your Child Tax Credit | GetCTC

Heat map for children most at risk for missing out on the expanded CTC: Where Are Families Most at Risk of Missing Out on the Expanded Child Tax Credit? | Tax Policy Center

Outreach Tools: Spread the word to families about the Child Tax Credit! (thesocialpresskit.com)

Background Info & Data:


If you are a Davidson Co. resident and need financial assistance for utilities or rent/mortgage payments due to COVID-19, NeedLink Nashville may be able to provide help. Application available at https://www.needlink.org/.

Due to WIC office closures, appointments will be conducted over the phone. Learn more here.

For information about applying for unemployment benefits, click here. For Spanish resources on unemployment, click here.

Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands has a resource page for legal support services regarding COVID-19.

Everyone, no matter their immigration situation, can access treatment, testing, and vaccines for COVID-19. Legal services for immigrants here.

Health resources for immigrants in Spanish and English here.

United Way of Greater Knoxville Covid-19 response resources can be found here.

United Way of Greater Nashville Covid-19 response resources can be found here.

United Way of West Tennessee Covid-19 response resources can be found here.

Tennessee Disability Pathfinder Coronavirus Resources can be found here.

Text “TN” to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line and to immediately be connected to a trained crisis counselor 24/7.  Click this link to learn about the Crisis Text Line.

The “My Health Care Home” website directs Middle Tennesseans to their nearest charitable clinic like Matthew Walker, Neighborhood Health, and Neighborhood Health. Click here.

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 800-273-8255.  You can also go to the website to use their online chat feature.

Strategies for coping and managing your loneliness during a pandemic, click here.

The CDC has provided resources for stress and coping here.

Click here for free, anonymous, evidence-based screenings for anxiety, depression, trauma, etc.  Parents can take a screening to determine if their children are showing symptoms of depression or anxiety.

PRESS RELEASE

USE YOUR VOICE

Our Action Center has regularly updated advocacy tools that reflect the latest developments in policy priorities and pressing legislative efforts for Tennesseans.

ADVOCATE FOR TENNESSEANS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC