Coronavirus Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

OPRI is committed to making sure our members have up-to-date information and resources they need to keep themselves safe during these uncertain times. We will work to update this page with information as it is available.

 

If you have any questions about how COVID-19 has impacted your benefits, don’t hesitate to Call 888-320-737​7 to talk with a PERS Member Services representative (M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.). You can also Email Member Services.

 

Questions and Answers:

 

Will I continue to receive my PERS benefits?

Yes, PERS benefit recipients will continue to receive benefit payments as scheduled. If you have a disruption in payments or questions, call PERS Member Services 888-320-737​7.

 

 

Will my PERS Benefits be impacted?

No, you will not experience a disruption in your PERS benefits throughout COVID-19. If your payments are disrupted please call PERS membership services or email.

 

What precautions should I take during this time?

 

The Oregon Healthy Authority advises to take simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19 as well as influenza and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with regular soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people or animals.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that you frequently touch.
  • Avoid non-essential travel to regions listed in CDC travel advisories​.

 

 

If you have further questions about how to protect yourself, go to https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html

 

 

Will my PERS-sponsored health insurance coverage be at risk in any way?

While Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-03 is in place, no person’s PERS-sponsored health insurance coverage shall be terminated for failure to make payment of monthly contributions by the applicable due date.

 

Will PERS offices and staff still be available?

Oregon PERS will be changing the way it provides services at its headquarters building in Tigard and the PERS/Oregon Savings Growth Plan (OSGP) office in Salem, starting Wednesday, March 25.

 

While PERS and OSGP member and employer resources can be reached by phone and email, during regular business hours, the Tigard and Salem buildings are closed to the public starting Wednesday, March 25, until further notice.

 

 

How will the Federal CARES Act Impact me?

A major component of the CARES Act is a rebate of up to $1,200 per individual. These rebates will be processed by the IRS.

The IRS plans to use Social Security records and tax returns from 2018 and 2019 to coordinate these rebates. As a result, OPRI retirees who neither receive Social Security payments nor file federal taxes, as well as OPRI members who do not file federal income taxes, should be aware that they might need to take an additional step to receive a rebate. The IRS has provided a website with more information and for individuals to enter payment information.

The House Committee on Ways & Means has addressed many common questions about this topic.

 

What if I keep getting calls and emails from strange numbers asking me for financial commitments?

The global coronavirus pandemic has shut down or affected nearly all facets of life, but phishers, scammers, and hackers are unfortunately still hard at work. To keep your family’s finances and technology safe, OPRI reminds members to be wary of coronavirus cybercrimes, which include:

  • Apps that appear to track COVID-19, but instead launch a ransomware application on your phone.
  • Interactive COVID-19 maps claiming to be from reputable medical organizations, but instead infect your device with malware and ransomware.
  • Phone scams that offer access to a COVID-19 vaccine, but ask that you first share your credit card or Social Security number.

Just as in normal times, we suggest you take a few simple precautions to protect yourself:

  • Avoid opening attachments and clicking on links within emails from senders you do not recognize or were not expecting. These attachments can contain malicious content, such as ransomware or malware that can infect your device and steal your information.
  • Be suspicious of emails or phone calls requesting personal information or requesting you to verify your account. Legitimate businesses will never call you or email you directly for this information.
  • Verify that any requested information is from a legitimate source. This may be done by opening a browser and going to a known website or locating another trusted source for verifying information.

The coronavirus pandemic is a prime opportunity for criminals to play on fear being felt by everyone. OPRI reminds members to spend some time researching any offers before clicking and providing information. Learn more about protecting yourself from coronavirus scams here

 

What if I still need to get ahold of OPRI about my membership or a PAC contribution?

You can reach OPRI by email or phone. You can email info@opri.org with any questions at all and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

How I can get groceries or shopping done while remaining safe?

Grocery stores are offering special hours for retirees and seniors throughout the day to make sure they can get the groceries and supplies they need with the safety of avoiding the crowds. Here is the special hours listings:

 

Albertsons/SafewayAt a minimum, the company will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 a.m.” for seniors and other consumers at higher risk for the coronavirus, including pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. For its other brands, including Safeway, check with your local grocer,

Big LotsThe first hour of each day is reserved for seniors and those vulnerable to the virus.

Costco: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 to 9 a.m., are designated for shoppers 60 and older.

Dollar General: The first hour of operations is dedicated to “senior” customers. Although a specific age was not specified, the company said the period is for shoppers most vulnerable to COVID-19. Stores will also close an hour early to allow employees to clean and restock shelves. Store hours vary by location.

Fresh Market: For seniors and “other individuals most at risk,” the grocery chain is offering shopping hours between 8 and 9 a.m., Monday through Friday.

KrogerSome Krogers have adjusted their hours of operation to include senior times. Check your store for availability.

TargetThe first hour of shopping at stores each Tuesday and Wednesday is dedicated to older adults and those with underlying health concerns. Opening hours vary by location.

Trader Joe’s: The first hour of each shopping day is dedicated to those over 60 and customers with disabilities.

WalgreensEvery Tuesday is seniors day, with all-day discounts and senior-only shopping from 8 to 9 a.m. The hour is also designated for caregivers and immediate families. Discounts include 30 percent off Walgreen brands and 20 percent off national brands for those 55 and older.

WalmartBeginning March 24 through April 28, on Tuesdays, shoppers 60 and older can shop one hour before the store open. Its pharmacies and vision centers will also be open. Store hours are 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Whole FoodsShoppers who are 60 and older can shop at stores for one hour before the store opens to the general public. Store hours vary by location. So if a store is scheduled to open to the general public at 9 a.m., for example, older shoppers can shop 8-9 a.m.

 

WinCo Foods: 6-7:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

Additional resources

COVID-19 Resources for Oregonians

 

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