These are difficult, strange times. But if we’ve learned anything from our community work throughout the years, it’s that when we support one another, we are stronger together.
While many of us are trying to remain socially distanced, there are still unique ways to help one another, share resources, and provide information.
We’ve been working with the Oregon Employment Department to ensure people with X gender markers on their documents won’t have difficulties when applying for unemployment benefits. While OED must collect gender data that is either male or female due to federal demographic requirements, a claim will still be processed as long as your name, SSN, and date of birth match what is on file with the Social Security Administration. In other words, the gender marker you select will have no impact on your claim.
“For everyday interactions and usage, all customers have the right to be addressed by the name and pronoun that corresponds to their gender identity and are encouraged to let agency representatives know how they would like to be addressed. “
When applying for unemployment benefits,
-Gender M/F is required by the federal government as demographic data
-There is no delay to a claim being processed if the following three points of data match what is on file with the Social Security Administration:
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
Please note that gender is not on that list, and OED is matching claimant records to Social Security records, not the Oregon DMV.
Per OED’s policy: “In cases for which sex or gender must be collected and federal requirements allow for only the male or female options, agency systems will be updated as feasible to include an explanation that the male/female options must be collected under federal requirements, followed by a second question with additional options that are aligned with state law and policy.” As OED adopted this procedure in late 2019, they haven’t yet been able to update our system to include the second question with additional options.
Applying for Benefits through the Department of Human Services
When setting up a case through the Department of Human Services, the current web-based system requires that either Male or Female must be selected when setting up a case. However, it doesn’t typically have an impact on other records.
Similar to the Oregon Employment Department, DHS checks against the Social Security Administration, which asks for Name, Social Security Number, and Date of Birth. While DHS does not currently have a system in place for working with non-binary folks who are applying, this has been flagged for them by Basic Rights Oregon as a place for improvement.
Healthcare Access for the Transgender Health Programs
Access to Food, Internet, and Other Essentials
SMYRC is providing clothing, hygiene supplies, and food as well as virtual support for LGBTQ folks who are 13-23. Learn more about accessing these items.
The Q Center is currently collecting items for Mutual Aid in support of people impacted by COVID-19 every weekday from noon-8 pm outside of their lobby (4115 N. Mississippi Ave). Learn more about what you can contribute here. You can also drop items at JOIN (1435 NE 81st Ave) from 11 AM-2 PM weekdays, and at SJAC (400 SE 12th Ave) 12-6 pm Thursday/Friday/Sunday.
Oregonians who participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can now order groceries online. Learn more.
Any new Comcast Internet Essentials customers will receive the first two (2) months service free of charge and Comcast will assist them with the acquisition of a notebook computer. Learn more.
The major cellphone providers are waiving late fees, not terminating services due to inability to pay, and are providing free wi-fi hotspots. Learn more.
T-Mobile is working with its partners to provide its Lifeline customers with extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months. Learn more.
Our friends at APANO have put together helpful resources in multiple languages which you can see here.
Resources For Students
While Oregon schools are closed, many districts are providing free breakfast and lunch pickups for students. Find locations near you.
Certain Multnomah County Student Health Centers are open and able to serve students. Check locations and hours here.
Support Your Friends, Family, and Neighbors
Check in on your friends, family, and neighbors, especially those who are at higher risk, with letters, emails, and texts. Able to pick up necessary items for people? Great! Coordinate with them so that they feel supported. Our Executive Director Nancy Haque is talking to her neighbors about having “sidewalk parties” where they can talk to each other from six+ feet away.
We are thinking of everyone in our community as we all work through this together. You have our love and support as we all endeavor to stay healthy and safe.
As the situation changes rapidly, we will update here and on social media with the latest information and resources as we learn more.