I hope this note finds you and your family well as the corona virus pandemic continues to affect all of our lives in ways big and small. Some have experienced tremendous loss--of loved ones, of businesses, of financial security, routines, and our sense of normalcy. Others, while having to make adjustments to the flow of day-to-day life, are likely experiencing anxiety and worry but also maybe some joys that might not have otherwise come along. When considering my own circumstances, I count myself lucky to have my two sons home who would now be away at college. My husband Phil and I are enjoying nightly family meals with them, trying to make the best of what is an otherwise bizarre and at times unnerving period.
As part of that experience, I know many throughout my district and across the Commonwealth have lost their jobs and are finding it necessary to apply for unemployment benefits for the first time. I have been helping many who are experiencing challenges accessing their benefits, so please don't hesitate to reach out if I can be of assistance as you navigate the process.
If you worked for a company (you receive a W-2) and you were laid off, furloughed, or had your hours or wages reduced:
If you are self-employed, an independent contractor, or a gig economy worker (you receive a 1099) and your source of income has been reduced, you may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA):
If you have further questions about unemployment assistance or encounter problems in applying for benefits with the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), contact my office at
or (617) 722-2210.
I also want to reiterate that while we physically distance, it is important that we
not socially isolate
. So, I want to reissue the challenge Lexington Select Board Member Suzie Barry proposed that is still more important that ever:
Call and check in on ten friends, family members, and neighbors. Ask them how they're doing and if they need anything. Even though we cannot physically be together, technology allows us the next best thing.
In order to help stay connected to the community, I will also be holding Virtual Office Hours next week. Please join me on
Tuesday, May 5th at 11:00am
for an update on the General Court's actions relative to the coronavirus crisis. I will be joined by my colleague
Representative Jon Santiago, who is also an emergency room doctor at Boston Medical Center
, to hear from someone who is working on the frontlines at the intersection of policy and medicine to respond to the crisis.
The office hours will be live-streamed on my facebook page. If you would like to participate in the discussion, please send an email to my
with the subject line "May 5th Office Hours" and provide your name, address, and a good phone number to reach you at, and he will send along the Zoom link on Monday, May 4th.