News Briefs

Kansas directs $8 million to aid ‘essential workers’ who contract COVID-19

By: - August 27, 2020 11:27 am
Gov. Laura Kelly says the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, led by secretary Lee Norman, left, will distribute $8 million in federal aid to "essential" workers, including child-care workers and first responders infected with COVID-19. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly says the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, led by secretary Lee Norman, left, will distribute $8 million in federal aid to “essential” workers, including child-care workers and first responders infected with COVID-19. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly said $8 million in federal disaster funding will be set aside to cover health care expenses for essential workers and early-childhood professions infected with COVID-19.

Under the initiative, assistance drawn from the CARES Act aid will be limited to $25,000 for uninsured individuals and $15,000 for insured individuals. Applications are available online and require a release of information to verify the coronavirus diagnosis and treatment.

“In these challenging and uncertain times, the thing we all hold fastest to is our health,” Kelly said on Thursday. “It’s time to show our gratitude and compassion to the workers and the families who need it most right now and who show their compassion for all of us every day.”

Financial aid will be offered but not limited to essential workers in these fields: first responders, health care and emergency services, long-term services and supports, agriculture and food production, food service, transportation, construction, manufacturing, utilities, custodial and waste services, elections, education, military, licensed child care, behavioral health and social services, home visitors, and local, state and federal government workers.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment will oversee the application process for the Essential Worker Health Care Fund. The program is a collaboration of KDHE, Kansas Department for Children and Families, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund.

For more information on eligibility and application instructions, visit KSHeroRelief.com​.

“The dedication and selflessness displayed by Kansas essential workers has been critical to our recovery efforts across the state in cities big and small and rural communities,” Kelly said. “They risk their health each and every day to help others and these funds make it possible for the state of Kansas to help cover expenses in the unfortunate cases when they contract COVID-19.”

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site.

Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

MORE FROM AUTHOR