I want to start by saying thank you to all those on the front lines. Thank you to all those who work in health care--nurses, doctors, physician assistants, first responders, home care workers, hospital cleaning teams, hospital maintenance and janitorial teams, and more--for taking care of our community members while risking your health and that of your loved ones.

Thank you to people working in essential services like grocery stores, pharmacies, transit, garbage collection, construction, maintenance, and more.

Thank you to social workers, therapists, and other social service workers who are giving all you have to care for the mental well being of our community members through these incredibly difficult times.

Thank you to all who are staying home. I know this is not easy for many of you. Many have been furloughed, laid off, or had to close a business. Many are working full time while caring for elderly or sick relatives or home schooling. For many, isolating is detrimental to your mental health. Staying home is difficult in so many ways. And still, you're staying at home to protect our most vulnerable residents and those on the front lines.

To you all--I'm committed to keeping you up to date on the latest resources and information from the State as well as other levels of government and our community organizations to make sure you all make it through this with all the resources and support possible. Below is the latest on a wide range of topics. Have a question that isn't answered in this email? Please respond or give us a call at 872-208-5188 and we'll make sure to get back to you with an answer. 

We're also going beyond resource lists and doing our best every day to make sure our constituents have basic needs met. Over the last two weeks, our volunteers, interns, and staff have made over 3,000 calls to seniors around the 8th District to see how they're doing and ask how we can be of help. In coordination with food pantries, including the Niles Township Food Pantry and ICNA Relief, our volunteers have delivered groceries to 35 seniors, and have at least 10 more deliveries lined up for this week. 

Click HERE to sign up for phone banking or grocery delivery.

Finally, a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our volunteers. 



1. Face Coverings

2. Tax Information

3. Education & Childcare

4. Businesses

5. Food Resources

6. Unemployment Benefits for Independent Contractors and Self Employed Workers

7. Legal Aid

8. Housing

9. Assistance for Undocumented People

1. Face Coverings

The Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health are now recommending that all people should wear non-medical grade facemasks when in public. As before, we encourage you to donate all medical-grade facemasks, especially N-95 masks, to medical personnel.

Non-medical face covering resources

Volunteer groups sewing masks that are seeking more members 

How to provide medical-grade face masks to health care workers in Illinois

  • PPE Donations - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • PPE Manufacturing information - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • PPE Procurement information - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Tax Information 

Income Tax Deferral

The state and federal governments have deferred income tax payments from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. No action is required on the part of taxpayers to receive this deferral. 

Scheduled Income Tax Payments

If you scheduled an electronic payment for 2019 income taxes to be paid on or before April 15, 2020 via MyTax Illinois, a credit card or your bank, or a tax professional or tax preparation software, you are able to cancel or reschedule this payment if it has not been processed. You must cancel or reschedule the payment before its scheduled date, this will not be done automaticallyThe State of Illinois has provided information on cancelling payments available at this link.

Employer Payroll Tax Delayed Payment

Employers can defer paying payroll taxes through the end of 2020 with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two installments--the first at the end of 2021 and the second at the end of 2022.

Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure

Through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, employers can receive a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers. Employers are eligible if their operations have been fully or partially suspended due to government-ordered limitations or if their quarterly receipts diminished by greater than 50%.

3. Education & Childcare

Childcare for Essential Workers

Effective April 1st, all essential workers in health care, human services, essential government services, and essential infrastructure now qualify for the state's Child Care Assistance Program. This expansion of eligibility includes those working as nurses and doctors, supporting staff in hospitals, grocery store clerks, and food producers. The state will cover most of the cost of care provided by emergency childcare centers and homes. More details and applications for assistance are available on the Illinois Department of Human Services' website and the Illinois Coronavirus website

Remote Learning & Other School Resources

Illinois State Board of Education

Chicago Public Schools

East Maine School District 63

Park Ridge-Niles School District 64

Evanston-Skokie School District 65

Golf Elementary School District 67

Skokie School District 68

Skokie School District 69

Morton Grove School District 70

Niles Elementary School District 71

Fairview South School District 72

East Prairie School District 73

Skokie School District 73.5

Lincolnwood School District 74

Maine Township High School District 207

Niles Township High School District 219

Niles Township High District for Special Education 807

4. Businesses

Opportunties to Learn About Available Resources

**TODAY** Wednesday 4/8, 9:30-11AM - How the Paycheck Protection Program Impacts Small Businesses in Cook County with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

Join ABIC, IRA, NPNA, and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for a webinar on the Paycheck Protection Program. Click here to register.

Tuesday 4/14, 1-2PM - Webinar with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Erin Guthrie and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Join Director Guthrie and her team in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to learn about state and federal programs being offered to small businesses and have a chance to ask questions. Click here to register or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Available Grants and Loans

  • Paycheck Protection Program- The $374 billion program provides federally-backed loans to small businesses, non-profits, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. If your small business maintains its pre-pandemic payroll size, and the loan is used for designated purposes, it is completely forgivable. This program is being administered through banks across the country. Click here to find a local lender.
  • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund- Small businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue are eligible for a loan of up to $50,000 to support working capital. Loans have a 5-year term with no payments due in the first six months.
  • Cook County Community Recovery Initiative - This loan fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County. Loans will be administered by the Chicago Community Loan Fund and provided by a network of community lenders. Applications open in mid-April on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Chicago Resiliency Fund - Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees within the city of Chicago are encouraged to apply for a loan from the Resiliency Fund for up to $50,000. Proceeds of the loan are required to be used for working capital with at least 50% being applied to payroll. The interest rate will be 1% for the first 18 months, then increased to 5.75% for the remainder of the loan duration.

5. Food Resources

Food Pantries

Food pantries in the 8th State Senate District

Food Delivery

Unable to leave your home and in need of grocery delivery from a food pantry or a store? Our office can connect you with a volunteer who can drop food at your door with no in-person contact. For more information and to request delivery call our office at 872-208-5188 or email Outreach Director Veton Hasku at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meals for Students and Families

This Friday, some schools will not be handing out meals, giving staff a break for Good Friday. Here are some resources to help families plan ahead: 

  • Food Finder - foodfinder.us
  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository's Find Food tool - chicagosfoodbank.org/find-food
  • The USDA National Hunger Hotline - The USDA National Hunger Hotline is available for anyone seeking food assistance. The hotline, operated by Hunger Free America, can be reached Monday through Friday, 6AM-9PM at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) for Spanish.
  • Food pantries - Follow this link for a list of food pantries in the 8th State Senate District: bit.ly/sd8foodpantries

6. Unemployment Benefits for Independent Contractors and Self Employed Workers

The CARES Act will expand unemployment insurance eligibility for independent contractors and freelancers who do not typically qualify for benefits. In addition to the typical unemployment benefits, the bill provides $600 per week for up to four months. Click here for a letter from the US Department of Labor with the latest updates.

The application is not yet open and it is not recommended that you attempt to apply yet through the Illinois Department of Employment Security. If you are a 1099 worker and would like to be updated when the application opens, please send us a message at www.senatorram.com/contact-us or call our office at 872-208-5188.  

7. Legal Aid

  • CARPLS Legal Aid Hotline can provide legal aid information, advice, and referrals for Cook County residents. Call: 312-738-9200.
  • Legal Aid Chicago can assist with a wide range of needs in English and Spanish. They cover entitlement to paid sick leave, Federal and State unemployment benefits, health benefits that are available for those who are uninsured, and more. Call: 312-341-1070.
  • North Shore Legal Aid Clinicprovides accessible, quality pro bono legal services in the areas of immigration, domestic violence, and housing. Call: 847-737-4042.

8. Housing

Rental and Mortgage Assistance

  • City of Chicago residents can find information about rental assistance here, or call 311 and ask to be connected with a community center near you to help you fill out an application.
  • Skokie Human Services is processing Emergency Financial Assistance Applications for as long as funds last. Call 847-933-8208.
  • If your landlord is receiving a three-month mortgage forbearance, they are not allowed to pursue an eviction per their agreement with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac.


Governor Pritzker has ordered local law enforcement not to enforce any residential eviction orders through the Gubernatorial Emergency Proclamation. This does not remove any financial obligation. If you are being threatened with eviction, contact the Illinois Attorney General's office at 1-800-964-3013.

9. Assistance for Undocumented People

Resource Guide

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights has released a full guide of resources for immigrants, including people who are undocumented. 

COVID-19 Programs in Chicago

All benefits the city of Chicago is offering in relation to COVID-19 are available to immigrant and refugees, regardless of documentation status. This includes food assistance through CPS schools, the Small Business Resiliency Fund, and online enrichment learning resources.


Cook County Health (CCH) system treats undocumented people living in Cook County. Emergency rooms do not ask about documentation status. CCH is a public health system with a strong charity program called CareLink for people who are uninsured or underinsured, including undocumented immigrants. The vast majority of CareLink recipients are undocumented. Those with CareLink do not have to worry about medical bills. Learn more about CareLink hereFind a list of CCH hospitals and primary care clinics here.

Category: Information

in the news

Office Info

District Office
3851 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 208-5188

Springfield Office
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room E
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

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