Assistance (and jobs) for homeowners, workers, artists and the unemployed

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Resources & guidance

NYC Resources page for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional

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

Help for individuals and families

New York State of Health insurance marketplace is offering a special enrollment period through April 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

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

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. ?

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.]

Tips, tricks and hacks for navigating New York’s archaic unemployment website
March 25, 2020,, by Max Parrott
Claimants with last names starting with A through F should apply on Mondays, G-N on Tuesdays and O-Z on Wednesdays. Thursdays and Fridays are for people who missed their filing day.

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.

Moratorium on evictions
The New York State Office of Court Administration announced that they are imposing a one-week moratorium on evictions in New York City, subject to further extension. Source: Email from Councilwoman Carlina Rivera 3/14/2020.

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.

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.

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 or fax 212-863-5299 for assistance.

COVID-19 Application For Suspension Of Debt Collection Activity:

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.

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:

Property tax relief

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)

Exemption Programs

Standard Payment Plans

Resources and guides

NYLAG has developed a financial crisis planning guide for people living paycheck to paycheck with guidance and info about benefits:

Legislation & Executive Orders

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. Freelancers and gig workers will be eligible for payment for the first time.

3/26/2020 Federal and New York State's income tax filing deadline is delayed until July 15th. Further guidelines will be released soon.

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

Artist Grants

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,, 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 for more info.

Netflix Creates Emergency Fund for Workers in Creative Community
March 21, 2020,, 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.


The City is setting up a recruitment site for TLC-licensed drivers, DeliveryTLC, to help with important work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults who can’t leave their homes. This work will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. The initial need for drivers will be small, but is expected to increase as programs expand. 





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