Image of theVermont House meeting by remote meansThe Vermont House of Representatives will meet this week to vote on several COVID-19 related bills. Our meetings are taking place online, over a remote meeting platform, which allows easy viewing from home. The bills under consideration are S.333, a bill that proposes changing eviction actions during the COVID-19 emergency, and S.182, a bill regarding emergency medical services and public safety. We expect there may be procedural action on one or two others. You can follow our floor sessions by watching the House on its official YouTube page: https://bit.ly/2KJ3aGk. This week’s debates are scheduled on Wednesday (4/29) at 10:30am and 1:00pm, and Friday (5/1) at 10:00am.

Vermont has experienced unprecedented layoffs during the Stay Home, Stay Safe emergency order. Rep. Houghton and I have heard from some community members that they are struggling to access Vermont unemployment insurance (UI). There are also issues accessing benefits for those who are self-employed or are independent contractors through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program (PUA). While these programs are managed by the Vermont Department of Labor, your State Reps realize that the Department’s failure to process claims is causing major economic anxiety and hardship. This is an unacceptable situation, and legislative leaders are holding a hearing today to push the Department for solutions.

In the meantime, the legislature has developed a system for flagging for the Department of Labor the names of constituents who have unresolved unemployment insurance issues. Our goal is to push your individual needs forward to help ensure they are received by the Department. If you want us to contact the Administration on your behalf, please email the following information to our legislative emails ( [email protected] & [email protected] ). Please DO NOT post this type of sensitive personal information here or to our social media pages — we want to receive it over official legislative channels to keep it secure:

1) First Name
2) Last Name
3) Phone number
4) Last 4 of SSN
5) Email address
6) Have you received a UI/PUA or stimulus check yet?
7) When did you apply for UI?
8) What issue are you experiencing:

If regular unemployment insurance (UI):

  • Haven’t received a benefit yet
  • Didn’t receive the $1200 check
  • Need PIN reset
  • SSN error
  • Eligibility
  • Believe you were wrongly denied

If Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA)

  • Can’t access the system to finish the application
  • Made an error, need to update application
  • Haven’t received a benefit yet
  • SSN error
  • Believe you were wrongly denied

News continues to move quickly as Vermont works its way through this phase of the COVID-19 emergency. If you want more information on where things stand, or an opportunity to flag issues of concern for the Village and Town State Reps, please join us at our next virtual community meeting, on Saturday, May 9. We’ll meet from 9:00-10:30am and will provide log-in information as we approach the meeting day.

Thanks for being in touch. Stay well, and please be in touch if we can be of assistance.