FAQs Related to COVID-19

March 25, 2020

For OT practitioners still providing services:

1.      We have to re-use our facemasks all day long even in and out of isolation rooms. What is everyone doing to protect themselves? Is there a way to clean them?

 2.      How can I protect my family when I come home after a day of work where I am potentially contracting COVID-19?

 3.      How can I better understand coding and billing allowed during this time period?


Regarding Employment Benefits/Unemployment:

 4.      Our outpatient clinic is closed and we’re using up all our PTO then unpaid. Is this legal? Should I file for unemployment?

 5.      Are self-employed workers or 1099 employees eligible for unemployment during this time?

  • This depends on if you have been paying unemployment taxes. Please refer to the links related to unemployment above.


For School-Based Practitioners:

 6.      I know that IEP's are federally regulated, but it seems that from readings, it might turn into local decisions regarding how to manage all that is in an IEP. Will the state have a say or do you feel that it will be a district by district decision?


 7.      Legally, will there be ramifications if students OT minutes are not met in schools at this time? Will compensatory minutes be expected?

  • Please refer to the US Dept. of Education, AOTA, and ISBE resources above.

 8.      Will time spent answering questions via email and preparation/assisting students’ families be counted as minutes on their IEPs?

  • Traditionally, collaborating with IEP team members, including families, and preparing materials to support a student does not count toward ‘direct’ minutes on student IEPs. However, please refer to the US Dept. of Education, AOTA, and ISBE resources above for further information.



For OT Educators:

 9.      Do you have any recommendations for how long universities/colleges should remain closed or use distance learning?  

10.  How should I set expectations for students during this time?

  • Seek out resources where educators are sharing resources and ideas through social media forums such as AOTA CommunOT and the “Occupational Therapy Educators” private group on Facebook
  • Consider accessing information using resources such as the Chronicle of Higher Education (https://www.chronicle.com/)