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, and more. Click here.

The COVID-19 pandemic must be taken seriously to ensure the future health of our state. If our leaders fail to put good policies into place, COVID-19 will harm our state’s economy.

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. Our team is working remotely, but all operations will continue as normal, including with our individual case work.

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.

As public health restrictions become more prevalent, 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 over 20 years, and we are not about to stop now.

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.

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

With over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Tennesseans are concerned about the health of themselves, their families and their neighbors. At the same time, thousands of people are dealing with the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes that struck Middle Tennessee on March 3rd. 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.

Right now, 20 counties that have no hospital (Chester, Clay, Cocke, Crockett, Fayette, Fentress, Grainger, Grundy, Haywood, Jackson, Lewis, McNairy, Meigs, Moore, Morgan, Pickett, Polk, Sequatchie, Stewart and Union) have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Five of those counties also lost their hospital in the last decade (Clay, Fentress, Haywood, McNairy and Polk).

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 over 30% of coronavirus-related deaths. 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.

Vote Safe. Vote for Healthcare.

2020 is an election year. We’re here to remind you how important it is to exercise your right to vote and to walk through some ways to vote safely. Make sure you are registered to vote and that your voter’s registration is accurate. The deadline to register to vote in Tennessee is October 5! Once you’ve double-checked your voter status, make a plan and a checklist for election day.

Be A Prepared Voter!

Click here for information about how to request an absentee ballot. You can also make sure you’re prepared by directing any additional questions to your local County Election Commission here.

Research the candidates on the ballot before you head to the polls or submit your mail-in ballot. Not sure where to look? Click here for the complete list.

And remember to be a healthcare voter!

Vote Safely!

Voting early is a great way to cut down on the crowds when election day comes in November! Make sure you have transportation to your early polling location and that you come prepared.

Early voting is also great for those who have to other commitments on election day and may not be able to make it to the polls. There are lots of options to fit your schedule when you early vote.

Want more information about how to vote early in Tennessee? Click here!

If it is not safe for you to vote in person, you can request a mail-in ballot. If you are eligible for a mail-in ballot in Tennessee, you will need to request your ballot as soon as possible to avoid any potential post office delays.

As always, remember to research the issues that are important to you—like healthcare! There is more than a presidential election happening this year. You will be voting for your congressmen and state legislators as well as many local leaders in November. Be a healthcare voter! Making healthcare a priority is key to our state and our nation’s recovery in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

USE YOUR VOICE

As the healthcare coverage gap grows due to increased job loss and rural hospitals struggle to keep up with the demand of the coronavirus, TNeans need Medicaid expansion.

SAVE RURAL HOSPITALS. CLOSE THE COVERAGE GAP.

WE NEED A PLAN FOR THE UNINSURED

Any good recovery plan for Tennessee must include Medicaid expansion.
CALL GOV. LEE AND LT. GOV. MCNALLY

Tell legislators we need real solutions to our urgent healthcare needs.

EXPAND MEDICAID

Take action and support caregivers by modifying the HCBS TennCare programs. Caregivers of vulnerable populations deserve our support as they continue their vital work.

SUPPORT CAREGIVERS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

RESOURCES

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.

White House and CDC order a ban on coronavirus-related evictions through the end of 2020. Learn more here.

August 14 was the last day to apply for P-EBT in Tennessee. Learn more here (en Espanol aqui).

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

Find information about the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in your county with this map. Click here.

Metro Nashville Services updates and announcements are listed here.

Would you like a free lunch for your children today? They’re being served across the state through our Summer Food Service Program. To find a location near you text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 866-348-6479.

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.

Some schools are closed, but school meals are still available in many areas of the state. See the map of school lunch pick-up locations here.

Information about how to get your child vaccinated during this time 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.

All registered voters can request an absentee (mail-in) ballot for this year’s elections! Requests for absentee ballots for the August 6 elections must be submitted by July 30, and absentee ballot requests for the November 3 elections will be open starting on August 5. Click here for more info. Click here to fill out the form to request an absentee (mail-in) ballot. Note: First time voters must go in person.

Apply for emergency cash assistance available through TANF if you have recently lost employment or at least 50% of your income. This application is only available online, and the deadline has been extended to August 29. If you do not have access to a scanner and need to scan documents, check online and app stores for additional document scanning options. Click here to learn more

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/.

If your family or another family you know is in need of additional assistance during this time, click here for resources for families and children.

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.

Tornado victims can register for FEMA Individual Assistance here.

“Pandemic Pals” is a program out of the Gallatin Chamber of Commerce that matches volunteers who are under 60, at low-risk and healthy with elders or others who are high-risk in our community who need to maintain social distancing as a result of the coronavirus. Volunteers can help with getting groceries, picking up prescriptions, and checking in every couple of days. Learn more here.

FiftyForward can also assist middle Tennesseans with food delivery, prescription assistance, case management and more for older adults in need of assistance. Call FiftyForward at 615.743.3416.

Everyone, no matter their immigration situation, can access treatment, testing, and other care for COVID-19. Public charge, a test applied to some green card applicants and others seeking a visa, DOES NOT consider use of health services 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 Disaster Relief and 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.

Telephonic and Video Counseling sessions are now available through AGAPE. This includes 5 free sessions with Spanish speakers and any of their family members. To schedule a session, call AGAPE at 615-781-3000 and ask to speak with Jocelyne. 

The “My Health Care Home” website directs Middle Tennesseans to their nearest charitable clinic like Matthew Walker, Neighborhood Health, and Neighborhood Health.  It includes prescription discounts, screenings, and more information. 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.

Metro Schools in Nashville have compiled resources to assist students and families who typically rely on school mental health resources here.

MORE WAYS TO HELP

Consider donating to the United Way Community Response and Recovery Fund. More information here.