COVID-19: Member Resources & Updates

29 May 2020

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What You'll Find On This Page


News You Can Use

Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health's COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

May is Mental Health Month. Check out all of the great links and support services put together by the LA County DMH. Full list of resources here.

MPI Update (5/19/2020)

As the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic continues to evolve, following is a message from the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plans (“Plans” or “MPI”) about the current crisis:

MPI is aware that many Participants are experiencing an unexpected reduction in hours due to Coronavirus-related production shutdowns that may impact future health plan eligibility. MPI staff and the Board of Directors continue to review options to minimize benefit disruptions to the extent possible. We are keenly sensitive to the importance of this issue and will notify all Participants as quickly as possible of any further actions taken by the Board of Directors. Please continue to check the MPI website for the most up-to-date information.

Some of the updates include:

  • Hours Credit Extends Eligibility for Health Care Coverage for Benefit Period of June 1, 2020 through November 30, 2020
  • Individual Account Plan Hardship Withdrawal is Permitted
  • Waiver of Health Premiums

Read the full update here

BTS Launches "Be Scene - Be Heard" Chat App (5/19/2020)

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and Behind the Scenes Mental Health has launched Be Scene - Be Heard, a 24/7/365 anonymous, peer-to-peer chat app for entertainment professionals.

Join now and receive free access through July 2020. After that it's just $0.99 cents a month.

IATSE Hires Epidemiologists to Consult on Reopening Procedures (5/18/2020)

IATSE announced Monday they have hired a team of three epidemiologists to consult the union on best practices for workers in the entertainment industry to safely return to work. The move comes as workers in all sectors of the industry face unprecedented levels of unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, and employers look to find a way to resume business. Read the full article here

House Democrats Unveil HEROES Act, Addressing Many IATSE Legislative Priorities (5/14/2020)

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced H.R. 6800, The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a proposal for the next federal coronavirus relief package. The full House of Representatives is scheduled to return on Friday, May 15 to consider and likely vote on the bill.

Read the HEROES Act's provisions here

"Quarantine Fatigue is Real" (The Atlantic, 5/11/2020)

Instead of an all-or-nothing approach to risk prevention, Americans need a manual on how to have a life in a pandemic. Read the full article here

Essential Worker Bill of Rights Petition (4/24/2020)

Join the Labor Network for Sustainability and the many other organizations in signing the Essential Worker Bill of Rights. Sign the petition here

Check on the Status of Your Economic Impact Payment (4/15/2020)

The IRS has built a new site where you can check on the status of your check, your payment type, and if you need to provide any additional information in order to receive your payment. Get My Payment

A Video Message from IATSE President Matt Loeb (4/1/2020)

Lender's COVID-19 Mortgage Plans (3/25/2020)

Here's a rundown of how various mortgage lenders are taking action

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program (3/24/2020)

Check if you may be eligible for this benefit here.

How to Suspend Your Student-Loan Payments (The Wall Street Journal, 3/21/2020)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. is giving most borrowers the option to suspend payments for at least two months. Read the full article here.

U.S. Tax Filing Deadline Moved to July 15, 2020 (CNN, 3/20/2020)

Americans will have an additional three months to file their taxes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the US treasury secretary said on Friday. Read the full article.

U.S. Orders Up To A Yearlong Break On Mortgage Payments (NPR, 3/19/2020)

Read the full article Read the full article.



Unemployment Information

Local 600 Unemployment Insurance Assistance Contacts (4/3/2020)

Local 600 Business Reps and staff are here to assist you and answer questions you might have about applying for Unemployment Insurance in your state. 

Local 600 Unemployment Insurance Assistance Contacts

Local 600 Step-by-Step Guides to Filing for Unemployment (PDFs)

Eastern Region

Central Region

Western Region

Unemployment Links

DGA's Unemployment Insurance and Benefits Chart (4/21/2020)
Government support for creative professionals impacted by COVID-19.

How to Access Information on "Pandemic Unemployment Insurance (PUA)" (Updated, 4/20/2020)

Legendary Underwrites Public Counsel Initiative to Help Furloughed Hollywood Workers Navigate Complex Unemployment Paperwork Gauntlet (Deadline, 4/9/2020)

US Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak (4/6/2020)
Find your state's Unemployment Insurance site on this page. 

US Department of Labor Publishes Guidance on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (4/5/2020)

Federal and State Resources for Workers Impacted by the COVID-19 Outbreak (3/31/2020)
Select your state below to find unemployment insurance benefit resources and related information for workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Certify or Not Certify? (3/24/2020)
If you are considering certifying for the week to receive an unemployment check on Friday, please check out this Unemployment Insurance assistance provided by our sisters and brothers at IATSE Local 479.

SAG-AFTRA UI Insurance and Benefits Resource
Our brothers and sisters at SAG-AFTRA have compiled a comprehensive database of all the state's Unemployment Insurance and Benefits sites

National Association of State Workforce Agencies' Updates on UI
Additionally, the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) has compiled this list of sites (again, organized by state) that highlight the latest updates on Unemployment Insurance and Benefits across the nation. 

The National Employment Law Project's Chart on UI Protections
The National Employment Law Project has created a helpful chart detailing the Unemployment Insurance protections taken, state by state, in response to COVID-19. has UI information broken down by state. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to find your state's Unemployment Benefits site. This site also breaks down what each state requires of you (documents, data, etc.) before you apply.

NYT's "Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis"
The New York Times has put together a helpful guide to managing your finances during this time. Check out "Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis." The page is updated daily.

Eastern Region


District of Columbia (DC)



New Jersey

New York

North Carolina


Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

Central Region

Unemployment Benefits and Insurance information by state (3/17/2020)







Western Region





New Mexico






Entertainment Industry Resources

The Actors Fund
Questions related to MPI, disability support, quality of life resources, social security benefits, unemployment insurance, worker's comp, and retirement planning should now be directed to our dedicated representative at The Actors Fund, Emily Lerner Garlick at or (323) 330-2417. 

The Actors Fund Mental Health

Local 600 Hardship Fund

Members seeking financial assistance may also apply for the Local 600 Hardship Fund, administered by The Actors Fund. Once they receive the application, The Actors Fund will reach out to you to continue the process. 

Donate to the Local 600 Hardship Fund
Apply for the Local 600 Hardship Fund


MPI Coronavirus Update (5/19/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (5/14/2020)
IAP Hardship Withdrawal (4/2020)
Kaiser Permanente Telehealth (4/27/2020)
MPI COVID-19 Special Eligibility Hours Extension FAQs (4/15/2020)
2020 COBRA Monthly Rates (4/14/2020)
MPI's Summary of Benefits in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (4/10/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (4/10/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (3/27/2020)
MPI Coronavirus Update (3/12/2020)
FYI from MPI - Coronavirus Update

Therapy Helplines

A new counseling service to connect entertainment industry workers with therapists:  

Now offering online counseling

The Motion Picture Television Fund intake line (323-634-3888) is open. They address wide and varied requests from both working and retired members of the entertainment community. If you or an industry friend need help, give MPTF a chance to listen to your story and determine how and where they can make life better for you. 

UCLA Health and MPTF Health Centers Will Re-Open (5/11/2020)

MPTF COVID-19 Update (3/31/2020)

First Entertainment Credit Union
FECU branch lobbies are currnently closed. During this time, online services and ATM networks across the nation are available to you 24/7, and fee free. You can always bank from home safely, make your deposits via the Mobile App and/or call to speak with one of their representatives at (888) 800-3328. At this time, FECU is offering:

  • Zero interest emergency loans up to $5,000
  • Eliminating all foreign ATM fees, including reimbursing those charged by the other financial institutions
  • Increased access to check deposits made via mobile deposit

First Entertainment Credit Union COVID-19 Update (3/18/2020)

LinkedIn Learning (LiL)
Membership is free for IA members and those who work under IATSE contracts. The Training Trust Fund is ready for an uptick in sign ups so encourage your members to register! In addition the newsletter today highlights various online craft classes including AVIXA, Safety First, and through LinkedIn Learning. Click here for more information.

Entertainment Partners

EP Business Continuity Preparedness (3/10/2020)

Union Plus
If your family has been directly impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit the Hardship Help section.

EIDO-ED Offering Free Online Lectures to Local 600 Members (4/7/2020)
The first lecture on Thursday, April 9 at 11:00 am will be open to the first 100 members who sign up.

The IATSE National Benefit Funds 

Benhind the Scenes
The Behind the Scenes charity issues grants to entertainment technology professionals in need due to serious illness or injury that may be used for basic living, medical or funeral expenses. 

Therapist Finder (in partnership with HealthPro)

Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative

IATSE Women's Committee Resource List (4/20/2020)


Resources By Region


Local 600's Eastern Region Resources Guide (4/6/2020)

District of Columbia (DC)



New Jersey

New Jersey residents can call the NJ COVID-19 & Poison Center Public Hotline at 1-800-962-1253 OR 1-800-222-1222 for updated COVID-19 information.

New York

Local Resources

Over 400 NYC Schools locations offer three free meals Monday to Friday. Kids pick up 7:30 am—11:30 am. Adults pick up 11:30 am—1:30 pm. Text ‘NYC FOOD’ or ‘NYC COMIDA’ to 877-877 to find a location.  


Puerto Rico

Triple-S Benefits During COVID-19



Local 600 Central Region Resources (4/13/2020)


Local Resources

Georgia COVID-19 hotline: 844-442-2681 

The Atlanta Community Food Bank has launched their new “Text for Help" SMS platform to assist those who need access to food during the current crisis of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Text “FINDFOOD” for responses in English or “COMIDA” for responses in Spanish to 888-976-2232 to get locations near you.



Local Resources

Chicago Cinema Workers Fund (4/14/2020)

AgeOptions supports services and programs that make it possible for older adults to live independently in their homes and communities in the Chicago area. At this time, if you know of someone in need of meals, transportation, or telephone reassurance, please visit their site. 








Leadership Support for Entertainment Worker Relief

California IATSE Council (CIC) and Entertainment Union Coalition (EUC) Letters to CA Governor Newsom Concerning Entertainment Worker Relief (3/19/2020):

California IATSE Council (CIC) Letters to CA Congressional Leaders for Entertainment Worker Inclusion in Federal Relief Legislation (3/18/2020):


Notify LA Those in the Los Angeles area can sign up to receive text and email updates on COVID-19.

Local Resources

CA Labor & Workforce Development Agency's Chart on Benefits for Workers Impacted by COVID-19 (3/19/2020)
This link has a chart detailing what employees are entitled to. The purpose of this information is to make it easier to understand what resources may be available.

Los Angeles Resources Available (3/19/2020)
This is a crowd-sourced guide to local services available during COVID-19, covering government benefits, worker, housing, low-income resources, entertainment, education, best practices, etc. It is not an IATSE-generated document.

Project Angel Food (3/20/2020)
Project Angel Food prepares and delivers healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness and compromised immune systems - exactly the sort of people at greatest risk from Coronavirus. Right now, they’re urgently working to secure three weeks worth of shelf-stable meals to provide for their clients in the face of the COVID-19 emergency, and could really use your help.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles (3/20/2020)
United Way of Greater Los Angeles provides housing, education, and economic opportunities to those impacted by poverty and homelessness. They’ve just launched their Pandemic Relief Fund to support L.A. County’s unsheltered.



New Mexico





Safety on Set

Entertainment Unions Outline Industry Reopening (5/13/2020)

EXCERPT: The havoc the coronavirus is wreaking on the entertainment industry was the focus of a national media call last week that included the impact on IBEW members in sports and news broadcasting, and how their union is fighting for them. Read the full article here

NABTU and CPWR COVID-19 Standards for U.S. Construction Sites (4/27/2020)

EXCERPT: The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires construction employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. To do this, construction industry employers should develop a comprehensive COVID-19 exposure control plan, which includes control measures, symptom checking, social distancing, hygiene and decontamination procedures, and training. Read the full release here

L.A. Building & Safety Announcement (3/31/2020)

EXCERPT: The following guidelines are based on Interim CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, and other publications. Please check for the latest updates. Read the full release here



Helping Those in Need

IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (4/1/2020)

IATSE C.A.R.E.S. (Coronavirus Active Response and Engagement Service) is a new initiative designed to provide support to our most at-risk, elderly, and/or disabled members during the COVID-19 crisis. This website will also be used to provide information about future Mutual Aid efforts from the IATSE.

American Red Cross

Critical Need For Blood and Platelets (Nationwide)
Right now, eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment to provide lifesaving blood products to patients. Make an appointment here

Volunteers Needed (Nationwide)
The Red Cross need for volunteers is constant and continues to evolve as we navigate this Coronavirus health crisis. Volunteer opportunities include supporting blood donations and delivering much-needed disaster services to your community. They even have a wide variety of remote (work-from-home) opportunities available. Sign up to volunteer here

Food Distribution Volunteers Needed (Los Angeles)
The Red Cross is looking for 160 Food Distribution Volunteers per day to serve at 50+ distribution sites across the county. Sign up to volunteer here

Local 487 COVID-19 Recovery Drive (5/26/2020)

Local 478 is working together to support their community members in need, as well as those individuals who are putting it all on the line for our health and safety. Monetary and physical donations are welcome.

Physical donations for nursing homes and field hospitals:

  • travel sized toiletries for healthcare workers
  • decks of cards
  • books and crosswords
  • devotionals
  • adult coloring books and colored pencils
  • ipod or mp3 player loaded with music

Donate and learn more about the Recovery Drive here

Los Angeles: IATSE Tradeswomen Unite to Feed Families (5/8/2020)

The L.A. Regional Food Bank has been partnering with unions across the county to provide nutritious food to families in need, including two food drives so far at the IATSE West Coast Office. The Tradeswomen of our Los Angeles locals are asking for your support to raise funds for this vital charity during this trying time. 

Donate here

"TV Dinners" Fundraiser for NY Front Line Workers (5/8/2020)

New York Television and Film professionals have come together to form TV DINNERS, an initiative to feed the frontline workers of New York as a way of expressing the tremendous gratitude felt toward the extraordinary New Yorkers who have supported the industry for years.

Donate here

Atlanta: Face Shields for Health Workers (4/28/2020)

Local 600 Camera Assistant Pedro Escobar has been printing 3D face shields for health workers in the Atlanta area. Pedro has been receiving donations from his fellow camera department friends to keep on printing. If you'd like to donate and help Pedro create more face shields, you can Venmo him at @pedrojea. You can also reach out to Pedro here if you would like to join the cause.

Feeding America (4/28/2020)

Find your local food bank and help support them in these uncertain times. The Feeding America food bank network serves over 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs across the United States. 

Find your local food bank and donate here

NYC-Area and New Jersey: Film Industry Feeds the Front Lines (4/26/2020)

Film Industry Feeds the Front Lines has a simple mission statement: provide free meals to health industry workers in the New York City area and New Jersey.

Read more about the fundraiser and donate on their GoFundMe

Chicago: The Shield Project (4/23/2020)

The Shield Project is a not-for-profit initiative that provides much needed PPE to the medical community while supporting Illinois-based artists, creatives, and filmmakers.

Donate or get involved here

MPTF #TodayWeThank Campaign (4/17/2020)

MPTF needs our help with their social media campaign to help draw attention to available Emergy Relief Funds.

Click here to find out what you can do.

New York City: CityMeals on Wheels (4/1/2020)

As the designated emergency responder for New York City’s seniors, Citymeals is preparing 300,000 meals in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Help us guarantee a continuous lifeline of nourishing meals during this crisis – more than 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers are relying on your generosity.

Donate here

Los Angeles: Join the COVID-19 VOLUNTEER CORP (4/1/2020)

The LA Fed is calling on all union members in good health to stand with our community by volunteering to join the LA Labor COVID-19 Volunteer Corps. As a member of the volunteer corp, you will be able to join different efforts across the county, ranging from food distribution to building structures. With your support, we will come away from this crisis a stronger and more united labor movement. Please fill out the form here.

IATSE Delivers 10,000 Masks, More Needed (4/16/2020)

Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped deliver 10,000 much-need masks to essential personnel on the front lines. More help is needed. Click here to find out how you can help.

3D Agents of Shield (3/30/2020)

A team of Local 600 members have teamed up to create 3D Agents of Shield, printing face shields around the clock for medical professionals in need during this pandemic.

If you have a 3D printer and would like to join the cause, click here.

3D Agents of Shield GoFundMe 

Request Shield Donation

City of Seattle Protective Equipment Donation (3/30/2020)

Seattle, WA is in need of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). If you or someone you know has masks or other PPE to spare, please consider donating to the City of Seattle.

Donate here

Philadelphia COVID-19 Fund (3/30/2020)

At-risk populations in the Philadelphia area need our assistance in this time. The elderly, homeless, disabled, and economically disadvantaged who rely on food pantries and health services need a helping hand. The Fund was created by The Philadelphia Foundation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.

Donate to the PHL COVID-19 Response Fund

Questions about the fund? Email

Greater Chicago Food Depository 

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago's food bank. They provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the Chicago community.

Support the Greater Chicago Food Depository by donating food here.

If you or someone you know is in need of food, please reach out to GCFD here

MPTF: Social Connectivity in a Time of Social Distancing

The staff and volunteers of MPTF are embarking on a unique effort to keep our entertainment industry community creatively engaged during this uncertain time of COVID-19. Channel 22, the on-campus TV station, is broadcasting live from the Susan and Gary Martin Screening room in the Louis B. Mayer Theater, with game shows, exercise classes, trivia, meditations and more. MPTF will be LIVE on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11am-4:30pm.

MPTF wants your help as well since their residents would love to know you are thinking of them. You can send a video (spoken, sung, whatever!) for the residents by email to

MPTF: Care Calls

Care Calls is MPTF's newest volunteer program that provides quick-and-easy, friendly check-in calls with their older industry members who are sheltering-in-place. MPTF provides the talking points and you call on behalf of MPTF to say hello and let them know about the services MPTF provides especially during this COVID-19 time.

Click here to volunteer

Introducing and the Local 600 Media Task Force (4/1/2020) is a website that spotlights our members doing great things to assist those in need in this time of uncertainty. 

If you know of a worthy cause, event, or organization that is bringing entertainment industry workers and unions together to fight the good fight, please go to and click on Submit a Project. We will make sure to spotlight that story.

National President John Lindley appointed a Media Task Force of members by region to work on any media requests that come through. Any projects submitted through will get forwarded to the task force. 

If we stand together, we will get through this together.



Legislative Action

Entertainment Industry Unions and Music Groups' Letter to Speaker Pelosi (4/22/2020)

On April 22, 2020, entertainment industry unions and music groups came together and sent a letter on behalf of the over 500,000 entertainment industry workers to Speaker Pelosi, urging her to support the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act. 

Read the letter here

Top Priorities for Entertainment Workers in Subsequent COVID-19 Legislation (4/29/2020)

From the IATSE: Congress has begun to pursue additional federal legislation in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The entertainment industry will continue to be disproportionately impacted by this health crisis and we need to ensure that that subsequent COVID-19 legislation puts workers first. 

Write to your state representatives here

Joint Letter: A Message to the Working Professionals in the Entertainment Industry (4/20/2020)

The American Federation of Musicians, DGA, IATSE, Teamsters, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA East lay out the actions taken to protect the working professional in the entertainment industry. 

Read the letter here

IATSE Priorities for Subsequent COVID-19 Relief Legislation (4/16/2020)

Read the letter here

IA Members Encouraged to Send Letters to Congress for Additional Relief (4/17/2020)

IATSE members and allies sent over 100,000 emails to Congress urging lawmakers to include displaced entertainment workers in a legislative relief package, and our voices were heard. Please join us in thanking your Members of Congress for passing H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security “CARES” Act. We encourage you to express your appreciation, and to ask for additional relief efforts.  

We recognize that states are implementing these expanded federal benefits with widely varying degrees of efficacy. This correspondence also asks your Members of Congress to closely monitor access to this vital economic support and pressure the state agencies responsible to make benefits available as expediently as possible.

The IATSE political department is also calling for subsequent federal COVID-19 relief legislation. The IATSE priorities can also be found here.

Congress Passes CARES Act Providing Immediate Relief for Entertainment Workers (3/27/2020)

Representative Adam Schiff and More Members of Congress Sign Letter in Support of Entertainment Workers (3/19/2020)

Several key members of congress, under the leadership of California Representative Adam Schiff, have signed a letter to Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in support of arts and entertainment workers impacted by the mass closures of theatres, studios, and more around the country.

Read the full article here.

Read the letter from Adam Schiff and his fellow members of Congress here.

Update: IATSE Facilitates 80,000 Letters to Congress to Support Displaced Entertainment Workers (3/19/2020)

IATSE is working tirelessly to ensure that any economic relief package allows hundreds of thousands of entertainment families across the country to continue to pay rent, put food on the table, and care for their children despite the public health emergency.

Although the bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) will provide relief to workers in other industries, the provisions on the table for emergency paid leave benefits won’t apply to displaced entertainment workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify.

Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against COVID-19.

Read the full press release here.

IATSE: Tell Congress to Include Displaced Entertainment Workers in Relief Package (3/16/2020)

The bipartisan Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) is a good start to providing relief to workers, however, the provisions on the table for emergency paid leave benefits won’t apply to displaced entertainment workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify.

Entertainment workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against COVID-19. We need a special Emergency Coronavirus Economic Support Benefit geared to include workers who have a bona fide, good faith offer to work that gets canceled due to the coronavirus. 

Write to your Congress representative here



Industry News & Updates

Studio Statements



Lionsgate / Starz >

Netflix >



General Info on COVID-19

CDC's Mental Health and Coping Page

OSHA COVID-19 Guidance Website

World Health Organization

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 

By the Numbers

April 28, 2020

April 14, 2020

March 30, 2020

March 23, 2020






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