Dear Windham County residents,
We, your Windham County legislators, want you to know that during this difficult and challenging time we are available to assist you. The governor's Stay Home, /Stay Safe order remains in effect, but the good news is that these measures appear to be slowing the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we are well aware of the severe impacts of the crisis. Far too many Vermonters are going without pay and are still unable to receive benefits from Vermont's unemployment insurance (UI) program or the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for self-employed individuals, independent contractors and others not traditionally able to receive unemployment benefits. Despite the governor's pledge to clear the backlog at the Department of Labor for UI claims by Saturday, April 18 and provide $1,200 to those individuals whose claims were not cleared, we are still hearing from Vermonters who have not received any money under this program. Now we also are hearing from Vermonters who are having trouble making claims through the PUA program and are unable to get through on the phone to get assistance. This is simply unacceptable.
On Monday, the Vermont House launched a tool where we collect constituent UI/PUA issues. State Representatives have been working to flag issues and urge the administration to improve the situation. Since Monday, State Representatives have collected and sent more than 1,600 of your requests to the Department of Labor. We are urging the administration to act quickly to provide you with answers.
If you are having issues, please email or call your State Representative (listed below).
Here is the information you will need to provide when you contact your State Representative: First Name, Last Name; Phone number; Last 4 of SSN; Email address; Have you received a UI/PUA or stimulus check yet? When did you apply for UI? 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.
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.
The phased re-opening of the Vermont economy continues into its third week. In the first phase, crews of no more than two people were allowed to resume performing outdoor work and construction in unoccupied structures. Supporting operations utilizing curbside pickup and delivery also resumed. Services operating with a single worker (such as appraisers, realtors, municipal clerks, attorneys, property managers and pet care operators were allowed to resume one-on-one operations. The second phase allowed crews of no more five people to resume performing outdoor work and construction in unoccupied structures and manufacturing and distribution operations work. Outdoor retail operations, such as garden centers and greenhouses, were allowed to resume with no more than 10 people (customers and staff) in any location. Libraries can now begin curbside pickup. Finally, farmers markets were allowed to open on May 1 using limited in-person operations and following guidance from the Agency of Agriculture. Effective May 4, the third phase increases the size of crews to no more than 10 people for those performing outdoor work and construction in unoccupied structures and those performing manufacturing and distribution work.
All currently operating businesses and those about to re-open must implement specified physical distancing, health and sanitation measures, including requiring employees to wear face coverings. These businesses also may require customers or clients to wear masks. They also are required to pre-screen employees before each work shift, including temperature checks and a survey to verify that each employee has no symptoms of respiratory illness. All employers must also provide — and all employees must complete — Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed health and safety training by May 4.
This is a tough time for many in our community. Please reach out to us anytime, and take good care.
Windham County legislators contact list with emails and phone numbers
Sen. Jeanette White. Jwhite@leg.state.vt.us. 802-387-4379
Sen. Becca Balint. Bbalint@leg.state.vt.us. 802-365-1060
Rep. Sara Coffey, Scoffey@leg.state.vt.us. 802-257-0288
Windham 1: Vernon, Guilford
Rep. Emilie Kornheiser, Ekornheiser@leg.state.vt.us. 802-246-1213
Windham 2-1: Brattleboro
Rep. Mollie Burke, Mburke@leg.state.vt.us 802-734-3519
Windham 2-2: Brattleboro
Rep. Tristan Toleno, Ttoleno@leg.state.vt.us 802-579-5511
Windham 2-3: Brattleboro
Rep. Carolyn Partridge, Cpartridge@leg.state.vt.us 802-874-4182
Rep. Kelly Tully, Ktully@leg.state.vt.us 802-463-3896
Windham 3: Athens-Brookline, Grafton, Rockingham, North Westminster, Windham
Rep. Nader Hashim, Nhashim@leg.state.vt.us 802-490-5823
Rep. Mike Mrowicki, Mmrowicki@leg.state.vt.us 802-387-8787
Windham 4: Dummerston, Putney, Westminster
Rep. Emily Long, Elong@leg.state.vt.us. 802-365-7360
Windham 5: Marlboro, Newfane, Townshend
Rep. John Gannon, Jgannon@leg.state.vt.us. 802-490-4327
Windham 6: Wilmington, Whitingham, Halifax
Rep. Kelly Pajala, Kpajala@leg.state.vt.us 802-770-4987
Windham-Bennington-Windsor: Weston, Londonderry, Winhall, Jamaica, Stratton
Rep. Laura Sibilia, Lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us 802-384-0233
Windham-Bennington: Dover, Readsboro, Stamford, Searsburg, Somerset, Wardsboro