Assistance for individuals, homeowners, workers, artists, veterans, the unemployed (and pets) and volunteers
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Resources & guidance
NYC Resources page for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance: www1.nyc.gov/site/em/resources/covid-19-services-resources.page and www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/covid-19-main.page
4/29/2020 Tenants' Rights for Tenants with COVID-19 or Under Home-Quarantine www1.nyc.gov/content/tenantprotection/pages/covid19-home-quarantine
ACCESS NYC, a NYC site for general resources on COVID-19, workers benefits and rights, medical/health insurance, food, people with disabilities, housing, employment, school, mental health access.nyc.gov/coronavirus-covid-19-updates
To request a wheelchair-accessible taxi, the citywide accessible dispatch program is still running. Call 646-599-9999. www1.nyc.gov/site/tlc/about/accessible-dispatch.page
Masks can be shipped to people who are concerned about leaving their homes (e.g. older, immunocompromised and/or disabled New Yorkers) you can request to have masks shipped to you using this form from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. a002-irm.nyc.gov/EventRegistration/RegForm.aspx?eventGuid=5c6b9250-3729-4021-8241-650a0d1eecf4.
5/8/2020 The National Disability Rights Network has produced a new video series on the rights of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and what to do if those rights are violated ndrn.org/resource/know-your-rights-during-covid-19-series.
5/1/2020 Emotional support service for frontline health care workers, available 24/7. Those workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access these services. The state is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide this service.
3/31/2020 The City launched the Help Now Portal www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/index.page for individuals and organizations who need help and want to help. The portal connects New Yorkers who need help to resources on employment, benefits, seniors, food security, NYCHA residents, mental health, and education--and to also give those who want to GIVE help a way to do so.
4/1/2020 NYC COVID-19 Engagement Portal cv19engagementportal.cityofnewyork.us. This website is designed to provide you with information about COVID-19 and give you the ability to update the City on your status.
The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) guidance for employees and employers about the different mandates under COVID-19: Update about Workplace Laws www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/workers/Complying-with-NYC-Workplace-Laws-During-COVID-19.pdf.
4/8/2020 A well designed Resources Page for individuals, small businesses, nonprofits, freelancers, tenants, homeowners, and more, courtesy of NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer comptroller.nyc.gov/services/for-the-public/covid-resources/overview/
5/3/2020 Process for claiming paid sick leave due to COVID-19
Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot issued a Commissioner’s Order detailing the process for New Yorkers who missed work because they tested positive for COVID-19 or were sick with COVID-19 to claim paid sick leave from their employer under New York State’s COVID-19 paid sick leave law. www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-paid-sick-leave-order.pdf. The order applies to health care workers, essential employees, and nonessential employees. An FAQ on the Order can be found here (PDF). New Yorkers can check if they are qualified to claim paid sick leave and obtain the documentation they need by calling the Health Department at 855-491-2667. Visit paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/covid19 for more information about the State law. All New Yorkers can also call 311 to be transferred to receive the documentation needed to qualify for paid sick leave.
The Community Service Society (CSS) has created a new guide, COVID-19: What Workers Need to Know bplc.cssny.org/benefit_tools/15
4/11/2020 The Community Service Society has established the Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP), a free health coverage helpline assisting people with how to manage the health care bureaucracy, including applying for hospital financial assistance, resolving billing issues, or appealing coverage denials. Reach MCCAP at 888-614-5400, Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm.
4/17/2020 Community Service Society: Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program (MCCAP) can help constituents with how to use their health insurance, accessing low cost care, applying for hospital financial assistance, resolving medical billing issues, and appealing coverage denials. Call the MCCAP helpline at 888-614-5400, Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm. They also offer guidance on student loans, financial coaching and correcting rap sheets. For guidance on long-term care or behavioral health services through a managed care plan, call 888-614-8000. All services are free.
4/12/2020 New York Public Library's Business Library offers online and phone consultations:
Career & Resilience Coaching (Free and Confidential): Get help with updating your resume and getting other marketing materials ready. Get advice on networking, interviewing skills, etc. Career coaches can help! Career & resilience coaching too. A great group of coaches can help you build your mental resilience by creating an action plan for whatever you need to accomplish career-wise. Book career and resilience coaching appointments at https://www.nypl.org/help/services/career-coaching.
Financial Counseling (Free and Confidential) Counselors are now available by phone. Make a 30-minute appointment to speak with them about your current financial situation, including general money management, budgeting, saving, banking, retirement planning, and more. Come prepared with your questions. This appointment is for a specific date and time; the counselor will contact you as the appointment approaches, and call you at the appointed time. Book your financial counseling appointment at https://www.genbook.com/bookings/slot/reservation/30088127?category=87376814.
Credit Counseling (Free and Confidential) Do you have credit or debt issues? Questions about your loans? Make a one hour phone or web appointment with a counselor from the Financial Coaching Corps, Community Service Society of NY. Please call 212-614-5586; leave a message, and a counselor will contact you.
New York Public Library resources: For Job Seekers: NYPL’s Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) continues to provide career services nypl.org/education/adults/career-employment/sibl. For communities: NYPL’s community resource page covers Wellness, Housing, and Food Security, and more nypl.org/about/remote-resources/community-resources
NYLAG has developed a financial crisis planning guide for people living paycheck to paycheck with guidance and info about benefits: nylag.org/coronavirusfinancialplanning.
DOROT has programs for older adults to stay socially connected in their homes during COVID-19, especially those who are not computer users and may be feeling even more isolated. DOROT’s University Without Walls offers connections from home and lifelong learning for older adults – just by picking up the phone. New programs are added weekly. To register for programs and discussion groups on the arts, news, literature, wellness and more, facilitated by engaging experts, call 877-819-9147 or email UWW@dorotusa.org. DOROT’s new Caring Calls program matches older adults with volunteers for social connections by phone once or twice a week. Interested older adults should call 212-769-2850 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources and articles for older adults and those who care for them at nyam.org/what-can-i-do/health-for-all/older-adults.
Resources for those who have problems with addiction. Help is available through online meetings provided by SMART Recovery smartrecoverynyc.org and Alcoholics Anonymous aa.org. Both organizations are offering mutual support meetings that are free and open to anyone seeking to abstain from addictive behavior.
BIGVISION bigvision.nyc, an organization offering support to young adults (ages 18-35) who are currently in recovery from drug and alcohol use and living sober lives, is offering free virtual social events. These events include hangouts, cooking demonstrations, and game nights. Click here for more information and to register for these events.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) naminycmetro.org/covid-19-coronavirus-support, is continuing to offer mental health resources. NAMI offers a variety of support resources to help you or a loved one with general or COVID-related mental health concerns. Their help line continues to be available as a source of information and support. You can call them from 10 AM to 6 PM at (212) 684-3264 or email email@example.com.
4/29/2020 The NYC COVID Care Network is a multilingual network that connects essential workers and their families during the COVID-19 crisis with free mental, spiritual, and emotional support. Find more about them on their website http://www.nyccovidcare.org/, or on Facebook facebook.com/NYCCOVIDCare, Instagram instagram.com/nyccovidcare/, or Twitter twitter.com/nyccovidcare.
4/21/2020 Community nonprofit The Pillars pillarsnyc.org/ is partnering with luxury bridal lifestyle brand Signature Bride and WedWeb Mobile to find medical staff (nurses, doctors, aides) who have had to cancel or postpone their wedding in response to the pandemic. One lucky couple could win a virtual wedding and honeymoon package worth $10,000 - register to win at their website signaturebride.net/WEDDINGGIVEAWAY, and email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Free legal services
4/29/2020 The NYS Bar Association has launched a new service to connect pro-bono attorneys with New Yorkers having trouble collecting or filing for unemployment benefits nysba.org/unemployment-insurance-relief
Manhattan Legal Services: 917-661-4500
Legal Aid: 212-577-3300
Mobilization for Justice: 212-417-3888
Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS) https://volsprobono.org/resourcesduringcovid19. Small businesses/VOLS Microenterprise Project: 347-521-5729, Seniors/VOLS Elderly Project: 347-521-5704, Older Veterans/VOLS Veterans Initiative: 347-521-5725, Immigrant Youth/VOLS Immigration Project: 347-521-5722, Unemployed Workers/VOLS Unemployed Workers Project: 347-521-5735, Main VOLS Office: 212-966-4400
Legal Services NYC: a dedicated staff of nearly 600 advocates continue to fight for justice for low-income New Yorkers across the city on issues like housing, immigration, unemployment insurance, access to public benefits. Their Access Line is up and running and people can call 917-661-4500 for help. Qualified applicants can expect to be contacted by an attorney within 3 business days.
Help for individuals and families
5/31/2020 Deadline to submit applications is August 30, 2020. The Cooling Assistance benefit, provided by the NYC Human Resources Administration has released the application access.nyc.gov/programs/cooling-assistance-benefit for which helps eligible households buy and install an air conditioner or fan up to a cost of $800.
5/20/2020 All NYC public school families will receive $420 per child for food benefits through federal coronavirus relief effort
May 20, 2020, ny.chalkbeat.org, by Christina Veiga
3/27/2020 Economic Impact Payments: What you need to know
The distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file to receive a payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. However, some people who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child. Tax filers with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for individuals, and $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns, will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the thresholds. The IRS will use information from their 2018 or 2019 tax filing to calculate the payment. Check this page for updates: irs.gov/coronavirus.
4/11/2020 Related information: IRS web tool to help ensure that people who are not typically required to file tax returns receive their coronavirus relief payments irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here.
5/7/2020 The IRS has opened a new, online portal and launched a new, free app for economic impact payment tracking. irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.
Guaranteed Paid Leave for New Yorkers Under Mandatory or Precautionary Quarantine Due to COVID-19, 3/18/2020. This benefit is not available to you if you are able to work through remote access or other means.
COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Application paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/if-you-are-quarantined-yourself.
Department of Labor (DOL) Complaint process related to COVID19 law that provides benefits - including sick leave, paid family leave, and disability benefits - to New York employees impacted by mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19. If your employer does not comply with this law, you have the right to file a complaint. labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/laborstandards/coronavirus-complaints.shtm.
Moratorium on Utilities Termination. Governor Cuomo has asked the New York State Department of Public Service to direct utilities providers not to terminate service for any person who has not paid their bill as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Con Edison is also waiving new late fees and many other fees. Learn more. Con Ed has halted all meter reading and installation of smart meters; stopped shutoffs of electric, natural gas or steam service, except for safety issued. Customer service walk-in centers are shut. Residential customers can pay their bills online at My Account, by mail with a check or money order, or by phone at 1-888-925-5016.
6/8/2020 Using the KeyBank debit benefits card to withdraw cash. The following is a link to an FAQ sheet that includes information on how no-fee cash withdrawals can be made, and more: key.com/corporate/treasury-management/key2benefits-faqs-english.jsp. In addition to the one KeyBank branch ATM machine in Manhattan, it is also possible to make no-fee cash withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs. The following link allows you to locate Allpoint ATMs closest to you: allpointnetwork.com/atm-locators.aspx. The FAQ sheet also indicates that you can make no-fee cash withdrawals at any Master Card member bank at the teller’s window. You will have to show identification.
6/5/2020 If you need assistance with an unemployment issue, State Sen. Liz Krueger can help. Complete an unemployment intake web form to request assistance: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfF5eMgY_Jrjh_1_qXlx0ri7coPS01j4GvWJ4Lu7mpWTG2kNQ/viewform.
4/3/2020 Unemployment Insurance Benefits under the CARES Act
4/3/2020 What You Need to Know and Do About the CARES Act
The federal CARES Act was signed into law March 27, 2020. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/cares-act-need-to-know.pdf
4/9/2020 The NY State Department of Labor unemployment website was upgraded, including a new application form that promises to be easier to fill out and eliminates the need for applicants to call in to complete the process. Instead, if a phone call is needed, the DOL will call the applicant. The call centers have hired 300 more phone reps. Applying for unemployment means money in your pocket if you're out of work. Freelance or gig-economy workers earning 1099 income could qualify, guidelines: labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/self-employed-ui-guide.pdf. The Federal CARES Act is supplementing all states' unemployment benefits, increasing checks by $600 per week. And the State extended benefits by 13 weeks to 39 weeks in total. Apply online at labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm.
7-day waiting period for unemployment insurance waived by New York State for New Yorkers who have been laid off due to the virus. Source: Email from Councilwoman Carlina Rivera 3/14/2020. [People are reporting that the website is overloaded and it is difficult to enroll, 3/20/2020.]
4/10/2020 The State Dept. of Labor is announcing unemployment claims are now extended by 13 additional weeks, from 26 to 39 weeks. New York is among the first states to include the additional $600 in unemployment payments, as provided by the federal CARES Act.
4/6/2020 The State Dept. of Labor is working to improve the process for applying for unemployment insurance https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm. Meanwhile, in an effort to manage the influx, applicants are now asked to call based on the first letter of their last names, as follows: Monday, last names starting with A - F. Tuesday, last names beginning G - N. Wednesday, last names beginning O - Z. If you miss your day you can file Thursday-Sunday. Claims will be back-dated to the date the filer became unemployed, NOT the date of filing. If you are eligible, you will be paid for all benefits due. If you are instructed to call to complete your claim, the ONLY valid number is 1-888-209-8124.
5/16/2020 Unemployment Status certification with the NYS Department of Labor. The DOL will send recurring emails to New Yorkers who need to certify their unemployment status. Once you’ve been contacted by the DOL, here is how you may proceed: Login with your ny.gov ID and tap ‘Unemployment Services’ on the My Online Services page, tap ‘Claim Weekly Benefits’. If you are unable to certify your status online, you can do it through DOL’s automated phone system by calling 1-888-324-0366 (traditional unemployment insurance) or 1-833-324-0366 (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance). The DOL’s Unemployment Office has extended their hours. You can now call them at 888-209-8124 from 8am-7:30pm Monday-Friday and from 7:30am-8pm Saturday and Sunday. A DOL representative will call you if (1) you have an incomplete claim or (2) DOL needs more information regarding your claim. Caller ID for incoming calls may appear as "private."
If you are having trouble with unemployment insurance and benefits, contact your State representatives, who are in daily touch with the state Department of Labor. You can search by address to look up either your Assembly Member nyassembly.gov/mem/search or State Senator nysenate.gov/find-my-senator.
5/31/2020 Landlords cannot evict tenants or ask renters to leave their apartment for having COVID-19, for being under home-quarantine, or because of fears and stigma around COVID-19. Tenants who have questions or concerns or want to make a complaint can call 311 to be connected to free legal advice, or visit www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/legal-services-for-tenants.page through HRA's Office of Civil Justice or to the New York City Commission on Human Rights www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/index.page.
5/31/2020 Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) Section 8 voucher holders facing rent hardships due to drops in income are encouraged to reach out to us as soon as possible at DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax us at 212-863-5299. More information can be found on HPD’s website www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/index.page.
5/7/2020 Moratorium on evictions. Gov. Cuomo announced in his press conference that the moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial renters has been extended to August 20. Tenants who are having financial hardship can use their security deposits, and then pay them back later. There is also a moratorium on late fees. Read more: New York’s coronavirus eviction moratorium, explained, The state has partially suspended evictions — here’s what renters need to know in the meantime, July 6, 2020, ny.curbed.com, by Caroline Spivack.
Lease Expirations. If your lease is expiring on April 1st or anytime during the COVID-19 pandemic and you want to renew, you should try to work with your landlord to extend the current lease or proceed with a month-to-month extension. The resulting correspondence and agreement should be done over e-mail so that there is a paper record of the precise terms agreed upon. Source: New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer's email of April 1, 2020.
4/11/2020 NYC Rental Assistance. The Department of Social Services (DSS), which includes both the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and the Human Resources Administration (HRA), can help you connect to rental assistance programs like CityFHEPS, and many other programs available through the State and Federal Government. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/rental-assistance.page.
5/24/2020 NYC Human Resources Administration www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/other-services.page. If you are about to become homeless, Homebase can help you stay out of a shelter. Homebase offers assistance with obtaining public benefits and emergency rental grants, relocation. Learn more at www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/homebase.page or call 311 for help.
Assistance for Section 8 Recipients: In order to ensure New Yorkers who use Section 8 rental assistance vouchers have undisrupted access to housing, we are taking the following steps to strengthen housing stability: The City will automatically extend any Section 8 voucher set to expire.
NYCHA encourages households experiencing a loss of income to visit the NYCHA Self-Service Portal. The HPD Section 8 Customer Service Office at 100 Gold Street is closed until at least March 30th, but the HPD Section 8 team is available by email at DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov or fax 212-863-5299 for assistance. Be sure to share and make use of the NYCHA Rent Hardship Program. District 2 (Councilwoman Carlina Rivera) has the third highest public housing population of any Council District.
The NYC Department of Finance has created an FAQ page for those who are part of the Rent Freeze Program, which includes the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program and the Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE). To find out if you qualify for the Rent Freeze Program under SCRIE or DRIE www1.nyc.gov/site/rentfreeze/tools/rent-freeze-qualifier-tool.page.
Households living in a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building, may qualify for a rent reduction based on rent hardship if all the following conditions are met: there is at least a 5% reduction to gross income, current rent is more than 30% of net household income www1.nyc.gov/assets/nycha/downloads/pdf/Rent-Hardship-03.16.20-with-links.pdf
Frontline workers, first responders and health care workers
Marriott and Hilton are offering free rooms for first responders. Marriott’s program, “Rooms for Responders”marriott.com/default.mi, was launched on April 8. Beginning the week of April 13, Hilton rooms newsroom.hilton.com/corporate/news/hilton-american-express-team-up-to-donate-rooms will be available to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, and other frontline medical staff without charge.
4/29/2020 Hotel Isolation Program: Community healthcare providers can now refer clients who are COVID positive or COVID-symptomatic and unable to isolate where they live to the hotel isolation program. This is for individuals who do not require medical care and can self-isolate with basic services, including: onsite medical and social services, meals, laundry, phone, internet, daily check-in calls by medical staff, and transportation to and from the hotel as needed. To learn more about the program, visit nyc.gov/covid19hotel.
5/31/2020 Governor Cuomo signed into law a new measure providing death benefits to the families of frontline workers who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. The bill, S.8427/A.10528, establishes a COVID-19 death benefit for the families of state and local government employees who have been on the front lines of response to this public health emergency.
5/7/2020 MBP Gale Brewer's list of grants available for freelancers: manhattanbp.nyc.gov/help-available-for-freelancers/
Freelancers Union has created a survey for freelancers to gauge how COVID-19 is impacting their work and their lives. While the survey is national, MOME will be working with Freelancers Union to review responses from New York City and communicate feedback to City Hall, as well as state and federal government, to inform policy recommendations. surveygizmo.com/s3/5507278/Coronavirus-Member-Survey.
4/2/2020 Freelancers Relief Fund freelancersunion.org/resources/freelancers-relief-fund to support freelancers impacted by the pandemic. The fund will offer financial assistance of up to $1,000 per household to cover lost income and essential expenses not covered by government relief programs, including food/food supplies, utility payments, and cash assistance for income loss.
5/10/2020 The Documentary Freelancer Relief Fund is adding a third and final round of applications. Second round opens May 6, but it appears to be over subscribed. Third round opens June 10. Learn more at https://www.fieldofvision.org/relief-fund.
Moratorium on mortgage payments and foreclosures based on financial hardship (90-days), 3/19/2020.The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers: Banks in New York will waive mortgage payments for 90 days and suspend foreclosures based on financial hardship, Gov. Cuomo said. The 90 days constitutes a grace period-- those who participate in the program will still owe their payments but be allowed to pay them at a later date. Foreclosures will be postponed or suspended.
Tax Lien Sales postponed until August: The City will postpone its annual tax lien sale until August, in consideration for property owners who may be coping with the COVID-19 outbreak. Also see the city's hardship programs. Visit Ways to save www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/benefits.page.
5/16/2020 Property owners with hardships who need help to pay for property taxes can apply for a New York City Department of Finance program. For information www1.nyc.gov/assets/finance/downloads/pdf/20pdf/hardship-programs-press-release.pdf.
Federal agencies, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency will stop foreclosure and eviction proceedings for federally-backed mortgages.
Debt and financial fees
Collection of medical and student debt owed to NYS temporarily halted. Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James announced that the state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection for at least a 30-day period in response spread of COVID-19. Application for Debt Suspension. 4/17/2020 The state has extended the suspension of collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and that was specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for an additional 30-day period.
4/8/2020 The Governor announced an agreement with the largest student loan servicers in New York to obtain relief for student loan borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. Borrowers must contact their private student loan servicer. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies, and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, only provides relief to borrowers whose loans are owned by the federal government. New York student loan borrowers should visit DFS' website for more information about available student loan relief dfs.ny.gov/consumers.
COVID-19 Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activity:
DFS is instructing state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees, and fees for credit cards to help lessen the financial hardship of COVID-19 on New Yorkers.
Attorney General State Debt Collection Suspension Application: ag.ny.gov/covid-19-debt-suspension-application
Debt Collection: DCWP released a letter template today in multiple languages that people can use to respond to aggressive debt collectors during the state of emergency. www1.nyc.gov/assets/dca/downloads/pdf/consumers/DCA-Template-Cease-Debt-Collection-Communication-Letter-for-Consumers.pdf For more information about scams and other consumer issues, visit nyc.gov/consumers.
General advice if you are behind on debt payments. Contact your lender. Some banks, credit unions, and auto financing companies are letting people delay payments or renegotiate their payment schedules. If your lender agrees to any changes, make sure you have them in writing. Find out what rights you have. Many debt programs provided by Federal and State authorities have suspended payments during Coronavirus. See if you can refinance your loan. Just make sure you refinance with a credible lender or company. Would it make sense to sell and downsize? Even if you have to miss a payment, talk to your lender to learn about your options.
Domestic violence survivors
5/22/2020 Mayor Bill de Blasio announced emergency financial relief to survivors of domestic violence, one day after the state launched a task force to examine the increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. Under the program, service providers will apply for "micro-grant" funding for survivors to provide needs-based resources, for housing and economic stability. Call 311 for details.
All shelters are operating and hotlines are available 24/7.
- 4/25/2020 New York State launched a new texting program and confidential service to help New Yorkers experiencing domestic violence. Text 844-997-2121 or visit opdv.ny.gov to confidentially chat with a professional at any time of day or night.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: call 1-800-799-7233 (TTY: 1-800-799-7233), log onto http://thehotline.org, or text LOVEIS to 22522
- Safe Horizon: call 1-800-621-HOPE or visit http://Safehorizon.org/SafeChat to speak with an advocate; all Domestic Violence Shelters are operating.
4/3/2020 New York State of Health insurance marketplace is offering a special enrollment period through June 15th. New Yorkers who sign up for health insurance between March 16th and April 15th will have coverage starting April 1st. If you have lost your job, you have 60 days to sign up for insurance through the marketplace info.nystateofhealth.ny.gov. If you need enrollment assistance visit GetCoveredNYC https://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/get-covered.page. You can also call 311 or text CoveredNYC (SeguroNYC en Espanol) to 877877 to be connected to a specialist and receive free enrollment assistance.
5/8/2020 Tele-medicine: In order to expand access to healthcare and reduce the need for New Yorkers to leave home, the City launched a Phone-a-Clinician program with Health+Hospitals, available at 844-NYC-4NYC.
4/3/2020 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)'s Expansion of Home Health Services for Medicare Beneficiaries. If a physician determines that a Medicare beneficiary should not leave home because of a medical contraindication or due to suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and the beneficiary needs skilled services, he or she will be considered homebound and qualify for the Medicare Home Health Benefits. Such beneficiaries can receive services at home, including the administration of Part B drugs.
5/11/2020 Health Insurance for Public Servants: At least 260 dedicated public servants have lost their lives fighting COVID-19. In order to ensure families don’t immediately lose health insurance at a time when they may also be sick, the City will be taking immediate action to extend health insurance for surviving family members of municipal employees for 45 days.
4/3/2020 Home Health Agencies can provide more services to beneficiaries using telehealth, as long as it is part of the patient’s plan of care and does not replace needed in-person visits.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
If you experience a loss of income, this federally funded program can help with your utility bills. benefits.gov/benefit/623
4/3/2020 Info about emergency relief checks nyassembly.gov/coronavirus/pdf/info/recovery_check.pdf
5/31/2020 Antibody Testing for Healthcare Workers and First Responders: To sign up, visit FirstSeroSurveyNYC.com or Text “TestNYC” to 78378.
4/19/2020 The City of New York's COVID-19 Hotel Program provides select individuals and groups (e.g., healthcare workers) a place to stay to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To determine if you are eligible and make a reservation visit nyc.gov/covid19hotels.
5/31/2020 City Resources for Immigrant Communities During COVID-19 Pandemic www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/help/city-services/resources-for-immigrant-communities-during-covid-19-pandemic.page.
If you live in NYC and have DACA, call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365 for help renewing your application.
If you have been harassed or discriminated against due to race, national origin, age, or disability, contact the NYC Commission of Human Rights by calling 311.
4/3/2020. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that treatment and preventive services for COVID-19 will not negatively impact the outcome for any person subject to the "public charge" test, even if the treatment and/or preventive services are provided or paid for by one or more public benefits considered under the "public charge" test. Visit the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs COVID-19 page for more information. www1.nyc.gov/site/immigrants/help/city-services/resources-for-immigrant-communities-during-covid-19-pandemic.page
The New York City Department of Finance offers several programs to assist property owners who face hardships making their property tax payments:
Property Tax and Interest Deferral Program (PT AID)
Standard Payment Plans
IRS page on coronavirus for businesses, individuals and other taxpayers: irs.gov/coronavirus
5/1/2020 New IRS portal to track your NY CARES stimulus payment (relief payment) irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. his portal will allow taxpayers to find out the status of their payment. If a payment hasn't yet been issued, individuals can provide their banking information for direct deposit. Individuals who were not required to file 2018 or 2019 taxes can enter their information at irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here so that they will receive economic impact payments.
If you received your Economic Impact Payment/stimulus check (EIP) as a card, call 1-800-240-8100 to activate it. You will be asked to input your Card Number, last 6-digits of your social security number and the 3-digit security code from the back of your Card. You could be asked to further validate your identity by providing, at minimum, your name and address or answer identity verification questions. In a few instances, the first name of one payee is linked to the last name of a second payee on the Card. For mismatched names, the payee with the first name on the first line must activate the Card and/or validate identity to continue activation. You will also be asked to create a 4-digit PIN required for ATM transactions and automated assistance and to hear your balance. For your Account security, do not use personal information as your PIN. For Cards with more than one name, only the primary Cardholder (listed first on the Card) may activate the Card. FAQs eipcard.com/faq.
Federal and New York State's income tax filing deadline are delayed until July 15. Further guidelines will be released soon. IRS page on coronavirus for businesses, individuals and other taxpayers: irs.gov/coronavirus. 4/5/2020 updated.
5/23/2020 Free Virtual Tax Prep is available for the new tax filing deadline of July 15, 2020. The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection is offering NYC this service for families earning $64,000 or less in 2019 and single filers earning $45,000 or less in 2019 www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/file-your-taxes.page. Full list of providers, including a checklist of documents needed to file your taxes www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/file-your-taxes-documents.page. Note: NYC Free Tax Prep volunteers can also assist non-filers with stimulus payments.
4/2/2020 IRS to Accept Email, Digital Signatures. The IRS is continuing to review standards for e-signing other documents and invites suggestions and comments as it pursues additional efforts designed to lessen the burden on taxpayers and professionals during this period.
NYC Department of Veterans' Services COVID-19 www1.nyc.gov/site/veterans/covid-19/covid-19.page
6/12/2020 COVID Coach app for veterans and service members: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, in collaboration with the National Center for PTSD, created the COVID Coach app ptsd.va.gov/appvid/mobile/COVID_coach_app.asp. Through this app, veterans and service members can receive support for self-care and overall mental health.
Artists & writers
5/7/2020 MBP Gale Brewer's list of grants available for freelancers: manhattanbp.nyc.gov/help-available-for-freelancers/
Public Theater has put together a resources web page for artists, freelancers and arts organizations https://publictheater.org/ and https://publictheater.org/news-items/buckets/Resources/resources/
Submissions are now open artswriters.org/application/guidelines for the 2020 Arts Writers Grant Program, which supports both emerging and established writers whose work discusses contemporary visual art with grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 awarded in three categories: articles, books, and short-form writing.
4/21/2020 Applications open Thursday April 23, 2020 for unrestricted grants of up to $2500 from the newly formed Maurice Sendak Emergency Relief Fund, administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Applications will close once 600 are received, and grants will be made in the order in which applications are received. The Maurice Sendak Foundation has funded the first $100,000, with a goal of raising $250,000. Applicants must be children’s picture book artists and/or writers who have published at least one picture book in the last five years (or who have a book currently under contract) and must show documented losses of income for the period of 2/1 - 7/30/2020 (including, but not limited to, cancelled freelance projects; teaching, speaking, or consulting assignments; lost temp work; layoffs or furloughs as a result of business closures, etc.). Applications will be reviewed between 4/23 and 5/4, and applicants will be notified by 5/4/2020. Please visit NYFA’s website nyfa.org/Content/Show/Maurice-Sendak-Emergency-Relief-Fund for more information including a list of application questions and requirements. All questions should be directed to email@example.com.
The Actors’ Fund has released a round-up of resources available to artists, bartenders, and freelance creatives actorsfund.org/services-and-programs/covid-19-resource-list.
4/10/2020 The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation started a new $5 million relief effort to support artists and art institutions during the coronavirus pandemic. The first round of funding includes $500,000 to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and $500,000 to the Artist Relief Fund, an initiative that will offer direct grants to artists. The remaining $250,000 will go toward small New York City-based arts organizations, including Artists Space, Creative Time, The Drawing Center, The Laundromat Project, The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and Socrates Sculpture Park. resnicow.com/client-news/helen-frankenthaler-foundation-commits-5-million-multi-year-covid-19-relief-effort-arts.
The National Endowment for the Arts has posted this covid-19 resource page for both artists and organizations arts.gov/covid-19-resources-for-artists-and-arts-organizations.
Additional links for artists:
Artist grants. The Indie Theater Fund is offering unrestricted rapid relief grants to independent theater companies and individual artists in need due to the financial strain of COVID-19. They will be offering grants of up to $500 on an ongoing basis until funds run out. They are prioritizing companies and artists with budgets less than $250,000 and will be reviewing applications on a first come first serve basis. Visit the Indie Theater Fund info page.
A New Grant Program Will Assist Choreographers With Emergency Medical Costs
March 11, 2020, dancemagazine.com, by Courtney Escoyne
Visual artists, media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, with or without health insurance, are eligible to apply. The funds will be allocated based on need as well as their impact in allowing the applicant to return to their creative work. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis, and the granting panels intend to meet monthly to ensure timely responses. Applications will be accepted, and the first grants awarded, between late May and early June. Visit nyfa.org for more info.
Netflix Creates Emergency Fund for Workers in Creative Community
March 21, 2020, teenvogue.com, by De Elizabeth
[Netflix] announced...a $100 million fund on March 20, to assist workers in the entertainment industry who are facing job loss due to the COVID-19 outbreak...the majority of the funds would be given to “the hardest hit workers on our own productions around the world,” with $15 million donated to third parties and non-profits providing emergency relief to out-of-work people in the TV and film industries. The post noted that many folks in the entertainment industry are paid hourly wages and work on a project-to-project basis.
A Freelancer's Guide to Unemployment Benefits—and Other Financial Help (especially dancers, but also some tips for others)
April 1, 2020, dancemagazine.com, Garnet Henderson
New York Foundation for the Arts Grants page: nyfa.org/Content/Show/Awards-and-Grants
COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resources: covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com and covid19freelanceartistresource.wordpress.com/emergency-funding.
Legislation & Executive Orders
5/27/2020 Mayor de Blasio signed Intro. 1936-A which expands the definition of tenant harassment to protect tenants from threats based on status as an essential employee or being impacted by COVID-19.
3/27/2020 Congress Passes $2 Trillion Relief Bill
The federal COVID-19 stimulus and relief package was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. The bill includes one time payments of $1,200 to every American making less than $75,000, and an additional $500 per child. The bill also includes:$500 billion for distressed companies and corporations, $377 billion for small business loans, $100 billion for frontline hospitals, unemployment insurance will be extended by 13 weeks, and include a 4 month enhancement of benefits. The federal stimulus package expanded unemployment insurance to include far more workers than are usually eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed people and part-time workers. Those who are unemployed, partly unemployed, or cannot work for a wide variety of coronavirus-related reasons will be more likely to receive benefits. This expansion includes gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors.
4/17/2020 The federal government began distributing stimulus funds. This funding comes from federal legislation, the CARES Act, passed through efforts of our representatives in Congress including Rep. Carolyn Maloney. If you have not filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, or want to register your children, visit the secure IRS website to register at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. If you receive social security, disability, or railroad retirement; the IRS will use Form 1099 and your payment will be sent automatically.
4/18/2020 The stimulus funds sent to New Yorkers will be protected from garnishment for unpaid debt, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced in a guidance issued to banks, creditors and debt collectors Saturday ag.ny.gov/sites/default/files/cares_act_guidance.pdf.
3/27/2020 For a 90-day period, consumers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums. No late fees will be assessed and no negative data will be reported to credit bureaus during this time. Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. The Life Insurance Council of New York (LICONY), which represents more than 80% of the life insurance industry, has agreed to these measures.
3/27/2020 For a 60-day period, consumers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance, including auto, homeowners, renters, workers compensation, medical malpractice, livery and taxi insurance. No late fees will be assessed and no negative date will be reported to credit bureaus during this time and late payments will be payable over a one-year period.
The United Way has established a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund; they will help with bills, rent and food. Call 1-866-211-9966 and give them your ZIP code.
The Robin Hood Foundation has done something similar at robinhood.org.
The Hebrew Free Loan Society Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan Program provides interest-free loans of $2,000-$5,000 to residents of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island who are facing financial challenges caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. All low- or moderate-income New Yorkers are eligible, regardless of credit history. Loans require one guarantor. For more information or an application, visit
CUNY opens emergency relief fund for struggling students with $2.75 million in private donations
April 8, 2020, nydailynews.com, by Michael Elsen-Rooney
4/11/2020 USBG National Charity Foundation has created a grant program for bartenders who are now out of work https://www.usbgfoundation.org/covid-19-response.
See the Volunteer, jobs and donation opportunities page for ways you can help.
4/5/2020 ASPCA opens by appointment pet food pantry in NYC during coronavirus crisis
New York City pet owners affected by coronavirus can get free dog and cat food, and other supplies like cat litter, through the ASPCA's New York City pet food distribution center. Call the ASPCA Helpline at 1-800-738-9437 for information and appointments.
4/8/2020 Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) is posting updates at nycacc.org/help. As an essential service, ACC staff continue to care for animals at our Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island centers. They are closed to the public, with emergency services provided by appointment only.
4/20/2020 Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) guidance on how to plan for your pets if you are not able to care for them, Have a Plan for Your Pet nycacc.org/HaveAPlan
4/8/2020 If someone is having difficulty keeping their animal, fill out this questionnaire: surveymonkey.com/r/JRQ5MNZ. An Admissions Counselor will contact you as soon as possible to discuss the best options for the you and your pet.
5/3/2020 Pets + Elders Together, a program from the Search and Care nonprofit that pairs seniors with both pet companions and volunteer “Pet Pros” to assist in caring for the pets, is seeking new volunteers as well as referrals of NYC pet owners aged 60+ in need of support. For more information, contact program coordinator Robin Strashun at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4/29/2020 The NYC COVID-19 Pet Hotline helps to find help for pets whose owners have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak, call 877-204-8821 from 8am-8pm daily. The program is staffed and supported by New York City's Animal Planning Task Force, a collaboration between the city and several nonprofits like the Humane Society, PAWS NY and more.
Call 911 if you see or experience a hate crime and call 311 if you see or experience harassment.
Assistance for end of life
The NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/about/about-hra.page is offering burial assistance for any individuals who are in need of assistance to meet funeral expenses. New York City residents may be eligible to receive up to $900 in financial assistance to help pay for funeral expenses.
End of Life Choices New York, in collaboration with The Completed Life Initiative completedlife.org, has developed The Healthcare Proxy Helpline endoflifechoicesny.org/helpline (212-726-2034). This FREE service was created to provide support to New Yorkers as they complete the New York State Health Care Proxy Form. In this time of COVID-19, it is essential to appoint someone you trust as your Health Care Agent to communicate you medical wishes if you lose the ability to do so yourself. By completing this form, and discussing your wishes with your Health Care Agent, you ensure your wishes will be known and honored.
Dealing with a deceased relative’s debt | FTC Consumer Information consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/06/dealing-deceased-relatives-debt
5/5/2020 For older adults, AARP Community Connections: AARP has launched a new online platform that allows users to organize and find local volunteer groups to help pick up groceries, provide financial assistance, or lend emotional support to neighbors, friends and loved ones. For more information, visit aarpcommunityconnections.org.
5/5/2020 NYC Council Member Keith Powers (email@example.com) needs volunteers to help call our neighbors to check in on their well-being. You can sign up to join them at docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSegRdzfWh3j4POqOzzGxySfgPJ_pJg2b9E5f8_a8BLlyeITwA/viewform.
The Grand Central Neighborhood Social Services Corporation is committed to providing immediate relief to Midtown Manhattan’s homeless population through their Mainchance Drop-In Center at 120 East 32nd Street (off the 6 train stop at 33rd Street). They offer everything from basic necessities like clothing, showers, and three meals a day, to a range of social services for clients at various levels of need. To learn more, call 212-883-0680 ext. 108, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.