Speaker's Note

Lately, we’ve all been adjusting to huge changes in our homes, jobs, and communities. As experts discover more about this pandemic, we’re learning that our lives will continue to look drastically different this year. One constant that we have in these rapidly changing times is our social connections.

This crisis has forced us to redefine socialization itself. Many of us have modified how we celebrate holidays with family, check in with friends, and meet with coworkers. Despite these precarious times, I think that community is our greatest strength. 

For instance, staff at the Lakewood nonprofit, Pathways Volunteer Hospice, taught their Widow Support Group how to use Zoom to continue their much-needed support meetings. The Executive Director noted that the women were ecstatic to connect with their friends again and empowered to learn something new.

In Paramount, local restaurants are serving seniors in the community by providing weekly meals to the city’s home delivery program. In addition, the Maywood YMCA has donated thousands of meals a week to families in Maywood, Bell, and Cudahy.

I’m so thankful for the dedicated volunteers and businesses serving Southeast LA. I’m also eternally grateful to the essential workers for the very long hours they put in to help us get through this crisis.

This R-Guide is a compilation of resources to support you and your family, including information about unemployment benefits, testing, facial coverings, and mental health.

For updates on emergency response and resources, I am hosting virtual town halls in English and Spanish. You can sign up to receive invitations here. For your additional questions or concerns, my office is available to assist you by phone or email.

District Office: (562) 529-3250

Capitol Office: (916) 319-2063

Email: Speaker.Rendon@asm.ca.gov

Mask Up for Safety

We’re constantly learning new information about COVID-19 from medical experts. We now know that individuals can be contagious before they have symptoms. Therefore, you could spread COVID-19 without knowing it. If you cover your nose and mouth, it can limit the transmission of COVID-19. 

LA County recently passed a new requirement to wear face coverings in essential businesses. In addition, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is difficult such as grocery stores and banks. However, wearing a cloth face covering does not eliminate the need to physically distance yourself from others and to wash your hands frequently.

Additional guidance about face coverings is available from LA County, the California Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

Health Resources in SELA

During this pandemic, we’re taking unprecedented precautions to protect our health. As California continues to expand its testing capabilities, LA County is providing free testing to vulnerable residents by appointment.

If eligible, you can enter your address to find the closest testing sites and schedule an appointment here. For additional questions about testing, please visit LA County's FAQ site or call LA County's information line at 211.

LA County’s 211 line has a team of community resource experts who can help you with the following information related to the COVID-19 health crisis:

  • General COVID-19 info, including symptoms, spread, and disinfecting techniques
  • Questions about the "Safer at Home" health order
  • Guidance for employers, businesses, workers, medical professionals; and service providers
  • Referrals to sign up for health insurance or find a clinic for those without a medical provider
  • Referrals to food pantries, food distribution sites/programs, and CalFresh food benefits
  • Shelter referrals, motel vouchers for homeless families, and eviction moratorium information
  • Information on county services
  • Referrals to health and social services and supports
  • Reporting an act of hate or bullying motivated by country of origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation

Taking action to protect our physical health is critical, but it’s also important that we maintain our mental health. Anything from reading the news to caring for sick loved ones can cause anxiety and stress during this crisis.

To help cope with these emotions, the California Surgeon General has compiled these tips for managing mental health.

  • Supportive relationships: Maintain supportive relationships wherever you can, including virtually.
  • Talk with people you trust about your feelings and concerns.
  • Exercise: Engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, if you can. It doesn’t have to be all at one time.
  • Sleep: Get sufficient, high-quality sleep. This may be particularly hard right now, but going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day can help.
  • Nutrition: Eating healthy, nutritious meals can help combat stress.
  • Mental health support: Resources available here.
  • Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness in whatever way works best for you. This could be things like meditation, yoga, or prayer for 20 minutes, two times a day.

In addition, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH)’s 24/7 access line is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals at (800) 854-7771.


FAQs for Workers

What resources are available if I’m unemployed or have reduced hours due to stay-at-home orders?

You can apply for unemployment benefits if you’ve lost your job or received reduced hours due to COVID-19. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $640-$1050 per week. This amount includes $600 in additional benefits available for four months. You can use this unemployment insurance calculator to help estimate your potential weekly benefit amount.

You can find more information and file a claim online with the Employment Development Department  here.

Unemployment Insurance: Toll-Free Numbers

Assistance for unemployment insurance is available from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. except on state holidays.

English: (800) 300-5616
Spanish: (800) 326-8937
Cantonese: (800) 547-3506
Mandarin: (866) 303-0706
Vietnamese: (800) 547-2058
TTY: (800) 815-9387

LA’s County America's Job Centers of California have expanded virtual services to help county residents find employment. You can get assistance here.

Onward California is an initiative of companies and foundations to connect California workers displaced by COVID-19 with jobs. This website matches workers with employers based on industry and skills. You can find more info here.  

What benefits are available if I’m unable to work due to illness or medical quarantine?

State disability insurance is available to eligible Californians who are unable to work because of illness or medical quarantine. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70% of wages and range from $50-$1,300 a week. You can use this disability insurance calculator to estimate your potential benefit amount.

You can apply for state disability insurance here.  

Disability Insurance: Toll-Free Numbers

English: (800) 480-3287
Spanish: (866) 658-8846
TTY: (800) 563-2441

If I’m unable to work because I’m caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, where can I find support? 

If you’re unable to work because you’re caring for a sick loved one, you may be eligible for paid family leave. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages and range from $50-$1,300 a week. You can use the Paid Family Leave Calculator to help estimate your potential benefit amount.

You can apply for paid family leave benefits here.

Paid Family Leave: Toll-Free Numbers

English: (877) 238-4373
Spanish: (877) 379-3819
Cantonese: (866) 692-5595
Vietnamese: (866) 692-5596
Armenian: (866) 627-1567
Punjabi: (866) 627-1568
Tagalog: (866) 627-1569
TTY: (800) 445-1312.


Additional Resources

If you’re experiencing financial challenges, you may be also eligible for the following benefits from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services.

You can learn more and apply by phone at (866) 613- 3777 or online below:

CAL FRESH: Food program for individuals and families

GENERAL RELIEF: Cash assistance program for single adults:

CALWORKS: Cash assistance program for families

CAP: Cash assistance program for immigrants

MEDI-CAL: Health benefits for individuals and families


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