AROUND THE COUNTY

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

The state has provided a guide to filing for benefits

The full Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application form is now available. PUA is unemployment insurance for those who do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits, including:

— gig workers, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals;

— workers whose regular unemployment benefits have expired who were laid off, furloughed, or are otherwise out of work due to the pandemic;

— and those denied unemployment insurance benefits or whose benefits have been exhausted.

Please see the information below to ensure your PUA application is received and processed successfully.

YOU MUST FIRST APPLY FOR AND BE DENIED REGULAR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS BEFORE APPLYING FOR PUA.

If you have been denied regular unemployment and need to apply for PUA, visit https://ui.ok.gov and create an account.

Check your email and click on the link to activate your account.

Sign in and create your profile. You can check the status of your application without re-entering your personal information each time.

Click “Connect your SSN.” You’ll be prompted to enter your Social Security Number twice.

After successfully connecting your SSN, click “complete” to check your claim status.

Click “View Your Unemployment Claim Status.”

As your claim is processed, those changes will be reflected in real time.

WHAT TO HAVE READY WHEN FILING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT OR PUA

Proof of Employment

If you are WORKER/EMPLOYEE/CONTRACT LABORER (not self-employed), you MUST submit documentation verifying that you were working or scheduled to start work at the time of the Pandemic by one or more of the methods below:

—Pay stub or voucher;

—Earnings Statement;

—Written Statement from your employer;

—Notarized Statement from a co-worker.

—A letter from the potential employer (The letter must include the name and address of the employer, contact name and number, reason for not starting, and start date, hours and duration of the job).

If you were SELF-EMPLOYED, and became unemployed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you MUST provide documentation substantiating your business at the time of the COVID-19 related business closure by one or more of the methods below:

—Recent bank records;

—Phone, utility, or insurance bill;

—Sales tax return;

—Business license;

—State or Federal Employer Identification Number;

—Recent newspaper/phone book ad for your business;

—Property titles, deeds, or rental agreement for the place of business;

—Or a letter or rental agreement showing you were going to open a business on or after the date of the pandemic.

Proof of Wages Documentation

If you were a WORKER/EMPLOYEE/CONTRACT LABORER, submit one or more of the methods listed below:

—A pay stub or earnings statement showing your total earnings for 2019;

—IRS Form W-2 from 2019 tax year;

—IRS Form 1099 from the 2019 tax year.

If you were SELF-EMPLOYED in a previously established business at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic and filed a tax return on that business for calendar year 2019, you must provide a copy of your 2019 federal income tax forms.

If you are the SOLE PROPRIETOR, you must submit a Schedule C, Profit and Loss Statement.

If you are in a PARTNERSHIP, you must submit Schedule K-1, Partners Share of Income, Credits, and Deductions.

If you have a CORPORATION, you must submit form 1120, U.S. Corporation Tax Return.

If you DID NOT FILE a tax return for the year 2019, you MUST give OESC a statement to that fact.

OSAGE NATION WIC

Program offers online application

The Osage Nation (ON) Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program is open for business for all Oklahomans who need service during the COVID-19 health crisis emergency. ON WIC offers an online application for both new and existing clients.

The online application is available to minimize the spread of the coronavirus and protect the safety of our participants and staff. WIC clients can call our offices at 1-800-460-1006 or utilize the online application to apply for benefits. Clients and the public can also visit ON WIC’s social media sites for information and resources. These include Osage Nation W.I.C. Facebook, Instagram (osage.wic), Twitter (@Osage_WIC), and Pinterest (Osage Nation W.I.C.).

For additional information, you can visit our website at https://www.osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/women-infants-children-program

Applicants do NOT have to be Native American to apply. Osage Nation WIC looks forward to serving you.

To apply online, visit the following address: https://forms.osagenation-nsn.gov/view.php?id=69406.

For more information, call 1-800-460-1006.

OKLAHOMA BLOOD INSTITUTE

OBI collecting COVID-19 convalescent plasma

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) is collecting convalescent plasma from donors who have recovered from COVID-19, as part of an experimental initiative to use the product to treat seriously ill patients.

By creating the only statewide registry of available patients, Oklahoma Blood Institute can ensure local patients receive the donated products and have the best possible chance at fighting the illness.

“We’re excited to play our part in ensuring Oklahomans have access to all treatment options, including convalescent plasma,” said John Armitage, MD, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute.

Donors are encouraged to sign up for Oklahoma’s registry at: my.bio-linked.org. Bio-Linked allows users to submit confidential health and social information via a secure site and to list themselves as potential volunteers for medical research. Once qualified, plasma will be drawn, with each donor providing up to three therapeutic plasma doses.

“The Oklahoma State Medical Association is proud to have partnered with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to initiate this proactive program for our COVID-19 patients who may suffer from severe disease in the future,” said Larry A. Bookman, M.D., president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association.

To provide convalescent plasma, donors must be eligible to donate blood and meet the criteria below:

—Prior diagnosis of COVID-19, documented by a laboratory test;

—Present negative results for COVID-19, either from nasal swabs or a molecular (RNA or nucleic acid) diagnostic blood test;

—Symptom-free for 14 days prior to donation;

—If female, either no history of pregnancy or negative for HLA (tissue typing) antibodies.

PAWHUSKA PUBLIC LIBRARY

Online resources available for readers

During the health crisis, Pawhuska Public Library has been providing new online services to enjoy at home. For spring and summer 2020, it’s “Have device: Will read!”

Take a look at library’s website, pawhuska.okpls.org, which has added e-book and audiobook collections from companies Tumblebooks and MidAmerica Books/Abdo Press. No library card is needed to access these collections. Just click on any of the Tumblebooks or Abdo links and tumble into a new world of wonderful reading through your computer, tablet, or phone.

TumbleBooks will be available through Aug. 31, 2020, and includes collections for young children, elementary students, teens, and adults. There are picture books, stories that have a math and science focus, books about youth overcoming problems, graphic novels, classics, and videos. Adults will also enjoy older young adult books, listening to audio books, and when Mom needs a break there are plenty of romance novels available to read.

MidAmerica Books/Abdo Press present their entire e-book collection of approximately 1,000 books, which will available through June 30. This collection features books pre –K thru 12th grade — many are great short reads for adults, too. Check out the non-fiction: even our own Ree Drummond is featured!

Also, Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative (OHAI) has added links to their online classes including its popular Tai Chi exercise program. Click on the Virtual Classes: Care Givers and Health Topics link to access OHAI’s sign-up information.

Librarian Yvonne Rose encourages everyone to explore the world of online reading, and to provide feedback to Pawhuska librarians, via telephone at 918-287-3989, or on the library’s Facebook site.

You can also call the library and request a card for e-book check out. This will allow the patron to check out e-books through the OK Virtual Library, Oklahoma’s collection of e-books.

The closure of the library’s building on Lynn Avenue has been extended through at least May 6, Rose said. She added that the library is working to develop summer reading programming for youth.

If you have questions about checking out books, and about services such as obtaining photocopies or printouts of documents, please call the library and speak with a member of the staff. Rose said she has just ordered some new fiction and non-fiction books and hopes to receive them soon. When the library does reopen, there will probably be policy changes implemented to help promote safety, she said.

COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE

Office to open its doors to public May 18

The Osage County Election Board office is among county offices closed to public access until Monday, May 18, by order of the county commissioners due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

The Osage County Election Board will, however, continue to conduct business as usual by phone, email, and mail. Business hours may be modified due to the unusual circumstances, but calls and emails will be returned in a timely manner. Voters who need to conduct business in person can call or email the Osage County Election Board to make special arrangements.

Until May 18, Election Board Secretary Kelly Chouteau said she can send a staff member outside the office to help voters who need assistance.

Voters can also visit the Oklahoma State Election Board website at elections.ok.gov for more information. Those who need to request absentee ballots or make changes to their registration can continue to do so online through the OK Voter Portal at elections.ok.gov/OVP.

The Osage County Election Board is located at 630 Kihekah Ave, Pawhuska. For more information, contact the County Election Board at 918-287-3036 or Osagecounty@elections.ok.gov.