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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Resilience

What you need to know

  • You are not alone. The Coast Guard offers many forms of support to help ensure your wellness.
  • The resources on this page include financial, physical, mental health, family stress, and spiritual wellness.
  • The Coast Guard has relaxed the standards for telework and you may telework even though you are also serving as a primary caregiver. You are still required to work the requisite number of hours, but may fulfill that requirement using split shifts. See the Telework FAQ section for additional guidance on next steps.

Select wellness and support related FAQs from the dropdown.

Work-Life FAQs

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C1 (formerly L1) Q: Who can help me with financial assistance?

See question J2 for new military pay and entitlements, but there are additional resources for financial assistance:

Personal Financial Managers at each Work-Life Regional Practice can help you with financial education, financial counseling, and complex financial issues.

Command Financial Specialists are a unit's point of contact on financial education, basic budgeting, and resource referrals. If your unit doesn’t have a Command Financial Specialist, e-mail hqs-smb-familysupportservices@uscg.mil or reach out to your assigned Personal Financial Manager.

The CGSUPRT Personal Financial Wellness Program offers unlimited 30-minute money coaching sessions by phone, plus online live webinars and recorded webinars for all Coast Guard members, civilians, and their families. Free tax filing with H&R Block is also available. Research financial solutions or schedule a consultation at www.CGSUPRT.com or calling 1-855-CG-SUPRT (247-8778).

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance (CGMA) offers interest-free loans, grants, and referrals for Coast Guard members and civilians. CGMA’s assistance package for COVID-19 includes loans for loss of pay, child care costs, quarantine assistance and temporary medical relocations. CGMA also offers grants to help with basic school supplies, including digital learning aids, study books and printer ink.

Department of Defense Office of Financial Readiness shares resources on mortgage payments, student loans, unemployment, and small business relief.

 

C2 (formerly L2) Q: What do I do if I recognize I am stressed?

A: Fear and anxiety about the pandemic can be overwhelming, and create strong emotions in both adults and children. The CDC has some tips for managing stress related to COVID-19.
Coast Guard members and civilians may experience secondary traumatic stress, defined as stress reactions and symptoms resulting from exposure-related traumatic experiences, rather than from exposure directly to a traumatic event.

There are things you can do to reduce secondary traumatic stress reactions:

  • Acknowledge that secondary traumatic stress can impact anyone helping families, the community and friends during or after a traumatic event.
  • Learn the symptoms - including physical (fatigue, illness) and mental (fear, withdrawal, guilt).
  • Allow time for you and your family to recover from responding to the pandemic.
  • Create a menu of personal self-care activities that you enjoy, such as spending time with friends and family, exercising, or reading a book.
  • Take a break from media coverage of COVID-19.
  • Ask for help if you feel overwhelmed or concerned that COVID-19 is affecting your ability to care for your family and patients as you did before the outbreak.
  • Reach out to your command if you feel overwhelmed or concerned about work operations or home life.
  • The USCG’s Family Advocacy Program can assist during this time: Call 202-475-5100 to locate your Work-Life field office.

For more information, visit https://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/disaster-responders.

 

C3 (formerly L5) Q:  I find myself drinking more alcohol than usual and wanting to pick up smoking again to deal with the stress during this time. What support services are available to help me?
A: Try to incorporate daily stress-reducing activities, get quality rest, and practice good self-care.  Substance abuse help is always available, including through internet/phone 12 Step meetings or through your Substance Abuse Prevention Team. Substance Abuse Prevention Specialists (SAPS) are also available via the SAPS Duty line at (757) 628-4329. For support with smoking, try Smokefree.gov. You can also talk with your chaplain, or set up free counseling through CG SUPRT.

 

C4 (formerly L6) Q: Someone I care about seems to be really struggling right now. Where can I get immediate help?

  • The Health and Human Services (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) offers free and confidential help through the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-273-8255 or https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
  • Your local chaplain can be found at https://www.uscg.mil/Leadership/Senior-Leadership/Chaplain-of-the-Coast-Guard/Locations/ or call 202-372-4900.
  • CG SUPRT offers general support and crisis services 24/7 at 855-CGSUPRT (247-8778) is available 24/7.
  • If you feel as if you may harm yourself or others, call 911 immediately!

Chaplain FAQs

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C5 (formerly L10) Q: Who is my chaplain?

A: You can find your unit chaplain through the USCG Chaplain’s website. You can also locate your nearest Coast Guard chaplain by calling 202-372-4900.

 

C6 (formerly L11) Q: Where can I find spiritual and religious resources?

A: Chaplains care for all Coast Guard personnel and their families with dignity, respect, and compassion regardless of an individual's faith belief. You can follow the Chaplain of the Coast Guard’s Facebook page for regularly updated resources.  If you require a specific religious accommodation at this time (e.g., dietary restriction while self-isolated or in quarantine), please reach out to your unit chaplain who can coordinate with your command.

SPIRITUAL WELLBEING: DHS provides a good link to resources here: https://www.dhs.gov/employee-resources/make-spirituality-part-your-day.

HOLY DAYS: Social distancing has impacted celebrations of major Christian, Jewish, and Islamic holy days in April 2020. The majority of faith communities are not holding public gatherings and have moved to offering services live-stream. If you need assistance finding specific faith group resources, please reach out to your unit chaplain who can facilitate that connection.

FAITH SPECIFIC RESOURCES: Disclaimer: The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps do not endorse, promote, or favor any one religion, denomination, or sect within a faith group.

 

Religion and Spirituality (General)
Patheos – an online destination to engage in the global dialogue about religion and spirituality and to explore and experience the world's beliefs. https://www.patheos.com
Beliefnet – online resource for inspiration and spirituality. https://www.beliefnet.com/faiths.aspx

 

Hinduism
Hindu Center Temple – http://www.hinducenternyc.org/LIVEstreaming.html

 

Buddhism
The Buddhist Society – https://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/livestream

 

Judaism
Conservative Judaism – https://uscj.org/ and https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/
Jewish Welfare Board – https://jcca.org/what-we-do/jwb/
Orthodox Judaism – https://www.ou.org/ and https://www.chabad.org/search/keyword_cdo/kid/23641/jewish/Coronavirus-COVID-19-2020.htm
Reform Judaism – https://urj.org/union-reform-judaism
Rosh Hashanah Services – https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/where-to-stream-rosh-hashanah-services/

 

Christianity (Roman Catholic)
Archdiocese for Military Affairs – https://www.milarch.org/resource/staying-connected-in-faith/
Daily Mass from Casa Santa Marta with Pope Francis, Vatican Livestream, 12:30 pm ET – http://www.catholictv.org/shows/papal-programming

 

Christianity (Protestant)
African Methodist Episcopal – https://www.ame-church.com/
Anglican Church of North America – http://www.anglicanchurch.net/?/main/page/1994
Episcopal (Washington National Cathedral) – https://cathedral.org/worship/
National Baptist Convention – https://www.nationalbaptist.com/
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – https://quaker.org/
Southern Baptist Convention – http://www.sbc.net/
United Church of Christ – https://www.ucc.org/
United Methodist Church – https://www.umc.org/

 

 

Islam
Jummah Prayer Service at Masjid Muhmmad (The Nation’s Mosque in DC) https://thenationsmosque.org/jumah-stream/

 

Other Faith Traditions
Baha’i – https://www.bahai.us/bahai-temple/
Unitarian Universalist – https://www.uua.org/find
Unity – https://www.unity.org/

Other Resources for Spiritual and Emotional Resilience


Family Support FAQs

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C7 (formerly L7) Q: How can I get information about my spouse’s unit when I am isolated from everyone?

A: Coast Guard Ombudsmen are official volunteers who serve as the link between commands and families. To find your unit Ombudsman go to www.cgombudsmanregistry.org. This link will bring you to the Ombudsman Registry, where you can identify your command/unit and contact your nearest ombudsman.

 

C8 (formerly L8) Q: The stress in our family has gone up. Who can I talk to?
A: Family Advocacy Specialists are available to support you and your family members in a time of stress and when experiencing family conflict, 24/7. If you are concerned about having to isolate in an unsafe home situation, or have concerns about a child’s safety, you can contact your local Family Advocacy Specialist or the Family Advocacy Program Manager, Johanna MacGillivray, LCSW, at (202) 475-5161 or Johanna.MacGillivray@uscg.mil.

Other options:


Child Development Centers FAQs

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C9 (formerly II2) Q: Why haven’t we closed CDCs? Aren’t workers there at risk?

A:Some Child Development Centers may close pending local area assessments. However, so long as the Service may safely do so, the Coast Guard intends to keep Child Development Centers (CDCs) open to support our mission-essential personnel.

CDCs will remain open when commands require mission support for essential personnel. They will close when they pose an additional risk to the community or do not serve a support role.

The Child Development Centers and Family Child Care programs are required to follow Center for Disease Control and Prevention standards for mitigating and managing the risk of transmitting diseases, which reduces the risk of transmission for both children and workers.

 

C10 (formerly II3) Q: What happens if a CDC teacher tests positive for COVID-19? How about a child?

A: Each child care center and its parent command will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requirements for mitigating and managing risk at the child care centers. To address a specific transmission threat involving a CDC, the command will assess the risks with their subject matter experts and decide what is in the best interest of families and Coast Guard missions. For more information, visit CDC Guidance for Schools and Childcare Programs.

 

C11 (formerly I14) I4 Q: If a CDC doesn’t have enough staff, how will you turn people away? Will you prioritize those who are deemed mission essential?

A: The unit’s commanding officer and the CDC will use their best discretion to limit or otherwise prioritize certain children for services at CDCs. For questions regarding CDC operations, see ALCOAST 099/20. 

 

C12 (formerly II5) Q: If my non-USCG childcare center closes, will I still get my childcare subsidy?

A: If community-based (private) childcare programs are requiring families to pay for their childcare spaces, and families are not able to attend, invoices submitted to the CG Childcare Subsidy Program will be paid.

 

C13 (formerly II6) Q: Can military or GS/WG workers share leave with CDC workers?

A: It depends.  Military members, regardless of status, may not donate leave to any GS or NAF employees.  GS employees may enroll in the leave donation program to share their leave with other GS employees.  GS employees may not donate or share leave with non-GS employees.  NAF employees may share or donate leave with other NAF employees.  The Community Services Command, Human Resource staff will assist NAF CDC workers who wish to participate in leave donation program.  More information on leave transfer can be found here: Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) .

 

C18 (formerly II8) Q: If my Coast Guard CDC closes, will I still be charged?

A: You will not be charged for services not rendered. You will be credited if you have prepaid.

 

C19 (formerly II9) Q: In the event of a CDC closure, can CDC staff use Coast Guard Mutual Assistance?

A: Yes, NAF employees may apply and receive assistance from CGMA.  Visit: https://www.cgmahq.org/.

 

C20 (formerly I10) 0 Q: Can people volunteer to help staff a CDC if its regular staff aren’t able to come in to work?

A: Coast Guard CDCs must be supervised by accredited CDC staff. Active duty service members can be directed to work at a child care center, however they should only be used for administrative tasks, and not as caregivers, unless they have the proper training and are supervised by qualified caregivers or management staff.

Coast Guard families may use their personal family networks to provide childcare services within the Coast Guard community. Unit commands may advertise for individuals willing to provide childcare services for use at parents’ discretion.

 

C21 (formerly I11) Q: Can commands prioritize telework for parents with children at closed CDCs?

A: Yes. Commands have the discretion to run their offices and staff as long as they do not act illegally or unethically. Commands should make every effort to distribute duties as equitably as possible among members with dependents and those without dependents, but their foremost concern must be ensuring that mission-essential work is being done.

 

C22 (formerly I12) Q: What should I do if my child’s school closes due to COVID-19?

A: As a result of the pandemic, the Coast Guard has relaxed the standards for telework and you may telework even though you are also serving as a primary caregiver. You are still required to work the requisite number of hours, but may fulfill that requirement using split shifts. See the Telework FAQ  section for additional guidance on next steps.


Legal FAQs

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C23 Q: My spouse or other dependent lost their job due to COVID-19.  Are they eligible for unemployment compensation?

A:  Very likely they are, and they should strongly consider applying as soon as possible.  They can go to the Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance site to look up their state’s process. Military spouses may also file for unemployment in the member’s domicile state.  D1 recently issued a helpful legal brief on this subject, and you can talk to a legal assistance attorney for guidance.

 

C24 Q:  Does the suspension of immigration affect me or my family?

A:  The presidential proclamation includes a specific exemption for members of the Armed Forces and their spouses and children. In addition, the suspension does not apply to: (1) aliens already in the United States, (2) lawful permanent residents, or (3) spouses of U.S. citizens, among other exemptions.  If you think you might be affected, contact a Legal Assistance attorney to discuss whether the exceptions apply to you. Legal Assistance is a free benefit available to active duty service members, retirees and their dependents for all civil legal matters.

 

C25 Q:  I have multiple student loans.  Why have some been suspended and others have not?

A:  Pursuant to the CARES Act, student loans owned by the federal government have been automatically suspended from March 13 through September 30, and the interest rate is set at 0%. Debts held by private entities, including universities, are not covered. You may contact your loan servicer to seek relief if you feel you have a financial need. You can find more information here.

 

C26 Q:  I have not filed my taxes yet.  My spouse and I are from different states.  Do we need to file separate returns in both states?

A:  No, unless you want to do so. Under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military spouses have the option of adopting the active duty member's state for tax purposes. Keep in mind, the federal tax deadline is extended to July 15, but several states have set a different deadline.


Additional Resources