AMTA Update: State Status Changes During COVID-19

AMTA Update

Massage therapist reports: the AMTA to give update weekly

The American Massage Therapy Association is engaging regularly with government officials and policymakers to keep members aware of changes to work status, unemployment and other resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The following AMTA update, posted on the group’s website, is updated weekly to reflect any recent changes:

Arkansas – The Division of Workforce Services has announced that they are building the system to accept Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) applications and to make payments to claimants. Those who choose to sign up will be notified by the state via email when and how to apply, once the system is in place.

Georgia – The Governor has announced massage therapy practices, massage schools and education programs, gyms and fitness clubs may re-open on April 24, if they meet “Minimum Basic Operations” criteria.

In making the announcement, the Governor clarified that Minimum Basic Operations will mean businesses re-opening may only conduct minimum basic operations and must adhere to restrictions including 20 specific recommendations around social distancing, employee health monitoring, and increased sanitation and workplace safety practices.

Illinois – The Governor announced that he will sign a modified version of the state’s stay at home order that will go into effect on May 1 and extend through May 31.

Maryland – The Department of Labor has announced that it will be launching a one-stop online unemployment insurance application process on April 24 to allow Marylanders to file claims for all unemployment programs, including those through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. This includes independent contractors and self-employed persons applying for unemployment benefits.

Massachusetts – The Division of Professional Licensure, Board of Registration of Massage Therapy announced that it will accept online interactive learning for initial massage therapist licensure requirements, except for 150 supervised classroom hours of massage theory and technique and 100 required hours of unpaid and supervised clinical or externship experience.

Michigan – The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has provided videos online to educate people about how to file for unemployment under Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
Missouri – The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Division of Employment Security (DES) is encouraging self-employed and independent contractors whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 to apply for unemployment assistance based on federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The DES expects to begin processing claims as early as this week.

Pennsylvania – The Office of Unemployment Compensation has announced that previous issues with their website have been resolved and the unemployment application process for self-employed workers and independent contractors affected by COVID-19 through federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is available online.

Rhode Island – The Department of Labor and Training has announced that the unemployment application process for self-employed workers and independent contractors affected by COVID-19 through federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is available online.

Texas – The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has clarified that a massage therapist may only provide massage services if it is medically necessary as determined by the client’s physician or chiropractor. Massage therapists may not provide massage services for general wellness or other non-medically necessary reasons.

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