Contact Us

1-800-793-0471

REQUEST A QUOTE

Contact details:

Would you like more information about us?

Yes! No thank you.
Your message has been sent successfully. Close this notice.

REQUEST A QUOTE

Would you like more information about us?

Yes, Please. No Thank You.
Your Contact Form has been sent successfully. Close this notice.
2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Domestic Violence Reports Spike During Pandemic

Domestic Violence Reports Spike During Pandemic

 

Increase-in-Domestic-Violence-Fear-Amid-COVID-19

 

As countries impose lengthy lockdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus, reported cases of domestic abuse have spiked around the world. In the weeks since populations worldwide have been directed to “stay home” to prevent the virus’s spread, cases of domestic violence have surged — and that’s reported cases. Women who are victimized are now confined to isolated homes with abusive partners whose coercive and physically violent tendencies are enabled and further inflamed by economic stressors. Supportive community ties are severed, while emergency services, shelter systems, and social services are overwhelmed and congenitally underfunded.

Millions of Americans are not safe from violent abuse at home and now the federal, state and local governments are telling everyone to stay home – for their own safety.  For some people, going to work may be their only reprieve from emotional abuse and violence. For others, the only place their children are safe from abuse is at school. Now they have been told to stay at home.  Few jobs are completely safe from the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis and stressed abusers have their targets at home.

According to statistics released by the U. N., reports of domestic violence in France rose 30% following the country’s lockdown on March 17; during the first two weeks of lockdowns in Spain, the emergency number for domestic violence received 18% more calls; and help lines in Singapore have received 30% more calls. In the US, law enforcement agencies have seen domestic violence cases rise up to 35% in recent weeks.  Keeping in mind, that 50% of domestic abuse cases go unreported.

Advocates fear domestic violence survivors may have trouble getting away from their abusers and are calling the rise an epidemic during a pandemic. They are urging communities around the world to make sure resources are readily available for survivors.  Even before the pandemic, an average of 20 people in the United States experienced physical domestic violence every minute. Research shows 1 in 4 adult American women and 1 in 7 adult American men have experienced some type of severe violence – including being hit with something hard, being kicked or beaten, or being burned on purpose – at the hands of an intimate partner.

Advocates are already seeing a pattern of increasing domestic violence around the world, correlating with the timing of social distancing lockdowns. In Seattle, one of the first U.S. cities to have a major outbreak, the police saw a 21% increase in domestic violence reports in March. In Texas, during March the Montgomery County District Attorney saw a 35% increase in domestic violence cases. Police around the country are adapting their domestic violence response plans to prepare for the expected increases and to ensure victims can get help even with restrictions on public movement.

Many organizations that serve survivors of domestic violence may also struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic. Many child-protective organizations are experiencing strain with fewer workers available, so they may be unable to conduct home visits in areas with stay-at-home orders. While such operational changes may lead to inaccurate reporting of child abuse and neglect, many advocates are expecting a surge in cases to continue to rise while they’re resources are still limited during the pandemic.  The recent US$2 trillion federal CARES Act included assistance for nonprofits that provide support for domestic violence victims, letting them apply for business loans and help meeting payroll.

Read more

2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Covid 19 Projections

Covid 19 Projections

covid19.jpg

 

 

 

The coronavirus pandemic continues in almost every corner of the globe, with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide surpassing 1 million people — though the true number is certain to be far higher due to a critical lack of testing globally.  The largest number of cases is in the United States with over 350,000 confirmed.  Over 10,000 people in the US have died of Covid-19 as the virus continues to spread.

In Europe, COVID-19 has pushed hospitals across the continent past their breaking points. Spain has reported over 120,000 cases and their death toll topped 10,000.  In the U.K., London’s ExCeL convention center has been converted into an enormous field hospital with plans to treat up to 4,000 COVID-19 patients. Over 2,300 people have died from the disease across the U.K.

In Italy, there are over 100,000 confirmed cases and their COVID-19 deaths have topped 15,000.  It’s been reported that Italy’s true toll is far higher because the country can’t spare the resources to test every dead body.  U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said models predict the United States faces a trajectory of COVID-19 deaths similar to Italy’s.  The computer model used by the White House projects close to 82,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by August 4, assuming the country implements full social distancing until the end of May.

The 81,766-death projection is a slightly less grim figure than the 93,531 cited earlier by the administration. The model projects that the country may need fewer hospital beds, ventilators and other equipment than previously estimated, and that some states may reach their peak of COVID-19 deaths sooner than expected.  Not all states are using the federal government’s forecasting model.

While the White House projects that coronavirus cases in the nation’s capital would peak later this month, the local Washington, DC government is relying on a different computer model that says it won’t peak until late June or early July.  Health experts warn against early optimism and say it’s best to prepare for worst case scenarios.

Experts say that pandemic modelling is almost never precise and the Covid-19 pandemic, the uncertainty in the projections is because of lack of access to good data coupled with the fact that we just don’t know enough about the coronavirus.  Another factor that adds to the uncertainty is how people will behave and what kinds of policies will be enacted to change contact patterns in the weeks and months ahead.  The ranges estimated really depends on how much people actually adhere to social distancing policies and how quickly these policies are issued.

 

Read more

2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Covid-19 Spread Causes More Travel Restrictions

Covid-19 Spread Causes More Travel Restrictions

 

 

e7a0c019-0055-496f-a728-691d1c0d6d81-49708932641_f504b39c61_o.jpg

 

 

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union”, offered his prognosis as the federal government weighs rolling back guidelines on social distancing in areas that have not been as hard-hit by the outbreak at the conclusion of the nationwide 15-day effort to slow the spread of the virus.  The U.S. government’s foremost infection disease expert says the United States could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the coronavirus pandemic.

The US has become the epicenter with about 125,000 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and over 2,100 dead as of March 29, 2020.  Most people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults and people with other health problems. Hospitals in the most afflicted areas are straining to handle patients and some are short of critical supplies.

The US president has suggested that a target date for reopening the U.S economy, which has been battered by the coronavirus outbreak, is April 12, Easter. But public health officials warn that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to more deaths and further damage the economy.  To limit the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued social distancing guidelines and called for gatherings of more than 10 people to be canceled, while governors have ordered residents in their states to remain in their homes and ordered nonessential businesses to close.

The CDC has issued a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  “Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately,” the CDC said in a statement. “This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply.”  The CDC also noted that the governors of the three states would “have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.”

With more than 124,000 cases and 2,046 deaths nationwide, the three states make up more than half of the cases and nearly half of the deaths.  New York State has over 55,000 confirmed cases and over 2,000 deaths.  New Jersey has over 11,000 confirmed cases and 140 deaths.  Connecticut has over 1,200 confirmed cases and 33 deaths.  Most of the Connecticut cases are in Fairfield County where many residents commute into New York City for work.

Read more

2 months ago · by · Comments Off on What You Need To Know About The Stimulus Payment

What You Need To Know About The Stimulus Payment

 

stimulus-checks-MB.jpg

 

The $2 trillion stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was passed by the House.  The plan includes a one-time direct payment to Americans, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said should arrive within three weeks. Individuals will receive up to $1,200, married couples will get up to $2,400 and $500 will be added for every child.  You don’t need to apply for the checks. The money will automatically be transferred directly to the bank account you included in your most recent tax return. If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit information, you’ll get a check in the mail.  People receiving nontaxable income would still get checks and those receiving Social Security benefits.  Anyone behind on child support payments will not receive any payments.

There are income restrictions: If you earn more than $75,000 as an individual or $150,000 as a couple, the total amount you’re eligible to receive starts to decrease. If you earn $99,000 or more as an individual or $198,000 as a couple, you aren’t eligible to receive a stimulus check.  The more you earn, the less money you’ll get. If you earn $75,000 or less as an individual, you’ll get the full $1,200. If you earn more than that, $5 will be subtracted for every additional $100 of income. (The checks phase out completely if you earn $99,000 or more.) The same sliding scale applies for couples earning between $150,000 and $198,000.

The IRS extended the federal income tax filing due date from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020 but this deadline did not extend to state income taxes.  For those who have already filed 2018 and 2019 taxes and whose information is up to date and accurate, there’s no need to do anything at all.  If you have not filed your 2019 taxes, they will use the 2018 return.  The IRS is urging people to not wait to file their taxes and to file electronically.  Filing now will give them the most up to date information to get stimulus payments out.  They encourage anyone with a tax filing obligation who hasn’t filed a tax return for 2018 or a previous year to act now.  This step is especially important for low-income Americans who don’t typically file taxes. In that case, they would still need to file a form.

Taxpayers can defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

 

Read more

2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Internet Provider Covid 19 Responses

Internet Provider Covid 19 Responses

 

COVID-19-1024x301.jpg

 

As homebound Americans are online for work and to keep in touch with friends and family, some internet providers have lifted data caps without significant interruptions to service from the increased bandwidth. The crisis has renewed calls for the FCC to regulate the internet as a utility and for a reversal of a repeal of net neutrality protections.  Many are also adhering to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge (PDF), which asks the signees not to terminate a customer’s service for non-payment. Below are the providers and what they have pledged.

AT&T – All AT&T home Internet Wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet customers, can use unlimited data. AT&T will continue to offer $10/mo Access from AT&T service for qualifying customers. They will also not terminate the service of any customer who can’t pay their bill, and will waive the fees associated with late payments within the next 60 days.  All their public Wi-Fi hotspots will be open to everyone. 

CenturyLink- CenturyLink said it has committed to waive late fees and to not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19 for the next 60 days. They are also suspending data usage limits for customers during this time period and hav committed to the FCC’s Keeping Americans Connected Pledge.

Comcast- Comcast has paused enforcement of its data caps for 60 days, giving all of its customers unlimited data for that period. (Comcast normally gives its Xfinity customers two “grace” months for every 12, allowing them to exceed their data cap without penalty.) New subscribers to Comcast’s $9.95/month Internet Essentials plan will receive two months free, and speeds were increased to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up.  Comcast is also making its Xfinity WiFi service free for everyone, regardless of whether you’re a Comcast subscriber or not. 

Cox- Cox is eliminating data usage overages for the next 60 days. Customers with a 500GB or existing Unlimited plan will receive credits. They also will not terminate service for any residential or small business customers, and would open its Cox WiFi hotspot network to keep the public connected. 

Cox is offering free support calls and the first month free to its low-cost Internet service, Connect2Compete. Customers on its Essential plan will see their speeds increased from 30Mbps to 50Mbps.

Charter (Spectrum)-Charter Communications’ Spectrum services does not have data caps. They will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi for 60 days if that household has K-12 students or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Charter said it will open its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use.

Mediacom Communications- Mediacom has paused monthly data allowances through May 15 across all broadband service tiers.  New customers who sign up for Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 broadband service can do so for $19.99/mo for 12 months, rather than $29.99/mo. It has also made its Wi-Fi hotspot network publicly accessible, for free, for 60 days. They also will not disconnect service or assess late fees for the next 60 days to any customer who calls and informs the company that they cannot pay their bill.

Sprint- Sprint has extended its network to include T-Mobile’s network as well for the next 60 days. Sprint has also signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will waive fees and not terminate services if customers are unable to pay because of the coronavirus for the next 60 days. Customers with metered data plans will now receive unlimited data for 60 days. They will also receive an additional 20GB of hotspot data for the same period. 

Starry- Wireless broadband ISP Starry has made Starry Connect, a broadband program for public and affordable housing owners, free through May. Normally, the program, which provides 30Mbps symmetrical speeds, is $15/mo. Starry has also agreed to suspend cancellation of service due to nonpayment due to the coronavirus. It already does not charge additional fees or late fees. Starry’s service does not include data caps, either.

Verizon- Verizon will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected if negatively impacted by the global crisis.  It is also upgrading the data plan on its Verizon Innovative Learning program for Title 1 middle schools from 10GB/month to 30GB/month for the next two months and removed data caps on Verizon home Internet subscribers.  They will also waive overage charges in addition to pledging to not terminate service and waive late fees. 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more

2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Non Essential Businesses Shut Down Across US

Non Essential Businesses Shut Down Across US

 

mallshutdownscovid2.png

 

At least 24 states have enacted policies to close nonessential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19 in the United States.    While guidance varies from state to state, recreational spaces like museums, movie theaters, gyms, day cares, music venues and malls, as well as personal care retailers like spas, nail and hair salons, tend to fall in the nonessential businesses category.

The states with nonessential business shut-downs are Washington, California, Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.  Other states like Missouri and Kansas have shut down orders in certain counties.

Shuttering nonessential businesses resulted in tens of thousands of American workers losing their jobs in recent weeks. In New York and New Jersey, so many people filed for unemployment insurance over the past week that both states’ online systems crashed.  While guidance varies from state to state, recreational spaces like museums, movie theaters, gyms, day cares, music venues and malls, as well as personal care retailers like spas, nail and hair salons, tend to fall in the nonessential businesses category.

In New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday warned that the “rate of new infections is doubling about every three days,” essential businesses that remain open include health care facilities, infrastructure and manufacturing entities and essential services like trash collection, law enforcement and homeless shelters. Bars and restaurants can only offer take-out or delivery.

 

 

 

 

Read more

3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced To 23 Years

shutterstock_editorial_10565830a.jpg

 

 

A Manhattan judge sentenced former Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein to 23 years in prison.  His 20-year sentence for a criminal sexual act, the more serious of the two counts he was convicted of last month, is on the higher end of New York state’s guidelines. For the other count, rape in the third degree, Weinstein was sentenced to three years in prison.

After his sentencing, Weinstein was taken under armed guard and bussed from the Manhattan courthouse to the Rikers Island jail. He was later transferred to Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital after complaining of chest pains. 

Weinstein was found guilty last month of raping then-aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a hotel room in 2013 and of sexually assaulting production assistant Mimi Haley at his apartment in 2006.  Meanwhile, prosecutors in Los Angeles are working to extradite Weinstein to face further charges of rape and sexual assault in California.

In a rambling statement during his sentencing hearing, Weinstein expressed remorse, defended his relationships with the women who testified against him, said he was “confused,” bragged about the charity money he raised after 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy, lamented that his children won’t speak to him and fretted about the future of the American legal system.

His statement was unexpected and, perhaps, unwise. In general, defendants like Weinstein, who plans to appeal his guilty verdict and faces other rape and sexual assault charges in Los Angeles, are advised not to speak because what they say can be used against them, according to Michelle Simpson Tuegel, an attorney who has worked in criminal defense.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement “We thank the survivors for their remarkable statements today and indescribable courage over the last two years.  Harvey Weinstein deployed nothing less than an army of spies to keep them silent,” he added. “But they refused to be silent, and they were heard. Their words took down a predator and put him behind bars and gave hope to survivors of sexual violence all across the world.”

 

 

Read more

3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Chelsea Manning Released

Chelsea Manning Released

 

190509-chelsea-manning-ac-836p_b810401a241d15ba5dac1b2c94dbb2de.fit-760w.jpg

 

A US judge ordered Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning released from jail after one year behind bars on contempt charges for refusing to cooperate in a federal grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks. The order for her immediate release came one day after Manning was hospitalized in Virginia after she reportedly attempted suicide at a federal prison in Alexandria. 

Judge Anthony J. Trenga wrote, “The court finds Ms. Manning’s appearance before the grand jury is no longer needed, in light of which her detention no longer serves any coercive purpose.” Judge Trenga, however, rejected a request to cancel the fines imposed against Manning for refusing to testify. Manning will now have to pay $256,000. 

Manning and her legal team showed that her imprisonment was nothing but punitive, and thus unjustifiable under the legal statutes governing federal grand juries. Yet for nearly a year, Manning has been caged and fined $1,000 per day. Ever since she was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks, Manning has also insisted that there was never any justifiable purpose to asking her to testify.

In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking documents and video to WikiLeaks showing evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Obama granted her clemency in 2017.  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia for violating the Espionage Act, and is accused of helping Manning try to access the Department of Defense computers. Assange is fighting extradition from London.

 

Read more

3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Cases In The US

Coronavirus Cases In The US

 

coronavirus-us-cases-map-promo-1583277425489-facebookJumbo-v77 (1).jpg

 

The World Health Organization is warning the number of cases of COVID-19 caused by coronavirus is approaching 100,000 worldwide, with more than 3,100 deaths due to the illness. Most of the deaths and infections have occurred in China, where health officials reported 139 new cases and 31 new deaths recently.  

South Korea confirmed 438 new cases, making their total number of confirmed cases over 5,700.  Italy has over 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 100 deaths have been reported. Officials have closed down schools in Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere, with nearly 300 million children kept home from school worldwide. 

In the United States, there are now more than 300 confirmed cases and the death toll has reached 11 — with 10 of the deaths occurring in Washington state. California recorded its first coronavirus death: an elderly man who traveled on a Princess cruise ship that departed from San Francisco and traveled to Mexico in February. Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the ship quarantined off the coast of California and is airlifting tests for passengers and crew. Governor Newsom made the announcement as he formally declared a state of emergency across California.

The CDC issued new guidance for clinicians on screening patients for novel coronavirus and assessing their risk for infection. The agency also started shipping its coronavirus assay to labs across the U.S. and in other countries.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 13 states in the US have reported confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. Washington State has the highest number of cases with 70 confirmed illnesses and 10 associated deaths. California has 60 positive cases and 1 death. 

Of the confirmed cases in California, 42 of them are linked to repatriation or international travel. Cases are rising rapidly in New York, where there are 22 confirmed cases across the state with an additional 24 testing results pending, and 122 individuals under investigation.  In response to the rise in cases, the US Senate passed an $8.3 billion bill to fight the outbreak. This came just a day after the bill was approved by the House of Representatives. More than $3 billion is expected to be put into research and development of treatments, vaccines, and testing.

 

Read more

3 months ago · by · Comments Off on Coronavirus Continues to Spread-What You Should Know

Coronavirus Continues to Spread-What You Should Know

 

Coronavirus-symptoms-what-is-COVID19-2339564.jpg

 

The death toll from Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases has surpassed 3,000 with the number of cases reaching over 90,000.  While 51,000 people who have contracted the illness have since recovered, the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) said that the global mortality rate for Covid-19 was 3.4 percent, a figure that primarily reflects the outbreak in China, where the vast majority of cases have been detected.

 

The organization’s director general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said at a news conference that Covid-19 is deadlier than the seasonal flu but did not transmit as easily.  Dr. Tedros said. “By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected.” He added “While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, Covid-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity,” meaning more people can be infected and some will suffer severe illnesses, Dr. Tedros said. The coronavirus does not transmit as efficiently as the flu but “causes more severe disease.” 

 

While the prospect of being infected with a new virus can be frightening, the CDC warns that the symptoms to look out for are fever, coughing and shortness of breath. These symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus.  According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients have a fever, between 76% and 82% have a dry cough, and 11% to 44% report exhaustion and fatigue. 

 

The disease appears to become more severe with age, with the 30 to 79 year-old age range predominating the detected cases in Wuhan.   The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe. People who are older or have existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, may be at higher risk of serious illness. This is similar to what is seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

 

It’s unclear exactly how contagious the new coronavirus is but it appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact. It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes.  Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. Although there is no vaccine available to prevent infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to reduce your risk of infection. WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:  

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other household items if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick.

 

Read more

Over 25 Years of Experience!

* State specific differences may apply to each insurance carrier or benefits provider, and each entity is responsible for their own contractual and financial obligations. Insurance products offered through HI4E.Org, Health & Life Solutions, LLC, and Health Insurance 4 Everyone, are not available to residents of New York or Oregon.

Get Social with us!

hi4e-800-number