The safety and wellbeing of the animation community is a top priority. We have been actively reviewing California state, federal and global recommendations as we navigate this unprecedented situation. We recognize that many members may have questions and concerns and we’d like to address some of the most pressing issues. We will update this page as we receive new information.
COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here!
Multiple safe and highly effective vaccines are now becoming available at clinics around Los Angeles and are a big part of the solution to getting our country back on track. To help members decide whether the vaccine is for them, the LA Fed has taken a look at the science behind the medicines that are now available.
You can find out if it’s your turn to receive the vaccine on MyTurn.com
Returning to Work
Unions have renegotiated the AMPTP and AICP Return to Work Agreements. As such, the protocols will remain in place through Sept. 30, 2021.
AMPTP Industry-Wide Labor-Management Safety Committee Task Force: Proposed Health and Safety Guidelines for Motion Picture, Television, and Streaming Productions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
100% Subsidized COBRA Continuation Coverage
TAG members who experienced an involuntary loss of employment or reeducation of work hours may be eligible for fully-funded COBRA continuation coverage through MPIHP. This means you may be eligible to receive up to six months of health care coverage, including dental and vision coverage, beginning April 1, 2021 through MPIHP at no cost.
COVID-19 Rent Relief
Relief is available NOW for eligible households who need financial assistance for unpaid rent and utilities.
- Have experienced financial hardship because of COVID‐19
- Have past due rent or utility bills
- Have a household income under 80% of the area median income
Verify your eligibility at HousingIsKey.com or by calling 1-833‐430‐2122.
Help is available for:
- Rent Debt
- Future Rent
- Utility Debt
- Future Utility Bills
How does it work?
If you are a landlord, you can apply directly to be reimbursed for 80% of your eligible renters’ unpaid rent from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, if you agree to waive the remaining 20%.
If you are a renter, you can apply directly to receive 25% of your unpaid rent from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, even if your landlord doesn’t participate. You can also receive assistance for future rent equal to 25% of your monthly rent. Renters can also get 100% of past due utility payments from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, as well as up to 12 months of future utility bills.
For more information on California’s rental assistance program AND protections for tenants who cannot pay rent due to COVID-19, visit www.HousingIsKey.com or call 1-833‐430‐2122.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Relief
If your earned income was higher in 2019 than in 2020, you can use the 2019 amount to figure your EITC for 2020. This temporary relief is provided through the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020. More information at: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit/use-the-eitc-assistant
Free Tax LA is up and running, and may be able to help offset the additional EDD PUA income with the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). More information and/or make an appointment with them online at www.freetaxprepla.com
Many studios have started the process of reaching out to their employees to determine needs and identify ways to support a gradual return to working onsite. IATSE C.A.R.E.S has released a COVID Tip Sheet to reinforce ways everyone can contribute to a safer work environment.
Mental Health & Social Distancing
The current climate of unease and unpredictability along with a need for social distancing and solitude can be a difficult combination both emotionally and mentally. The Animation Guild is here to support the health and wellbeing of all our members, our families, and our community as a whole. Check out our Mental Health & Social Distancing page devoted to the subject.
Telemedicine and MPI Updates
MPI is sending updates on health plan benefits, which include:
- Early prescription refills
- No out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 diagnostic testing
Special Eligibility Hours Extension
The Board of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan (MPIHP) have voted to grant hours to participants who were hardest hit by the COVID-19 production shutdown and are going to lose eligibility for health benefits. For more information on requesting credit extensions click here or contact MPI at email@example.com.
Medical Premium Waiver
Effective immediately, Participants responsible for paying active health premiums are granted a one-time premium waiver for one eligibility quarter. This waiver will only be extended to Participants enrolled in the Active Health Plan of the Motion Picture Industry Health (MPIHP) on March 1, 2020; the waiver provided is based on the number of dependents enrolled in coverage on March 1, 2020, as well as the Participants’ rate group on March 1, 2020. For health premiums that have already been paid by Participants for an upcoming quarter of coverage, MPIHP will not extend a refund; rather, a credit for health premiums for a future quarter of coverage will be provided. This credit will be applied automatically to all Participants regardless of need.
Several of the health plans offered through MPI provide an online telemedicine portal. Participants enrolled in Anthem Blue Cross will no longer be required to pay co-payments or coinsurance during this crisis. Participants may visit with a provider using LiveHealth Online (www.livehealthonline.com).
Participants enrolled in Anthem Medicare Preferred Plan (Medicare Advantage) may use telemedicine for medically necessary visits with their primary care provider or specialist for a $5 co-payment so long as the provider accepts Medicare. LiveHealth Online (www.livehealthonline.com) is also available 24/7 at no co-payment.
Participants enrolled in Kaiser Permanente or the Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage Plan should call (833) 574-2273 to schedule a telemedicine visit. There will not be a required co-payment to use this benefit.
Participants enrolled in Health Net or the Health Net Seniority Plus Plan may call (800) 835-2362 to use their telemedicine benefit or visit www.Teladoc.com. Participants will not be required to pay a co-payment.
Many animation studios are currently allowing employees to work from home; however, those who are currently unemployed or looking for work may be struggling during this precarious time. There are some resources to turn to for temporary assistance.
Withdrawal Provisions for the TAG 401K plan
In an effort to provide financial support for participants of our 401k plan who may need it, the Trustees unanimously approved enacting new hardship withdrawal provisions. Learn more about the provisions here.
Motion Picture Television Fund
As part of the IATSE Emergency Relief Fund donations that were made, the Motion Picture Television Fund was designated as the organization to assist Animation Guild members in financial need. If you are in need of financial assistance and would like to apply, please read the IATSE Emergency Relief Fund FAQ first then click on the link below.
Did you lose your job because of COVID-19? Are currently unemployed and having a difficult time finding work? Are you unable to work because you have young children at home and no childcare? Are you sick with COVID-19 and do not have enough paid sick leave? There are several resources available to you. Click here to learn more.
Take advantage of online training
Spending more time at home can offer an opportunity to take advantage of free and reduced cost skills training. IATSE has expedited processing for LinkedIn Learning and you can take advantage of online classes through EIDO and partners. Learn more.
Click here to fill out the LinkedIn Learning application online →
LinkedIn Learning is a self-guided learning platform with over 15,000 online courses on all types of topics and software. Free LinkedIn Learning Subscriptions are available to active IATSE members and those working under an IATSE agreement. Click here to learn more about LinkedIn Learning →
LAAFA has put together several affordable short session LIVE workshops for $49 where you can chat with the instructors in real-time. You may also take advantage of a variety of on-demand and unlimited access self-study courses at Artschoolvideo.com starting at $29. TAG members receive a 15% discount. Please use this code during check out: TAGASV15. Expires 5/15/2020. Additionally, a limited set of FREE on-demand video lessons are available on Artschoolvideos.com.