Assistance for individuals, homeowners, workers, artists, veterans, the unemployed (and pets) and volunteers
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
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
5/25/2021 Governor Cuomo Announces $3.5 Billion in Assistance for Renters and Small Businesses
Rental Assistance Program. The rental assistance program will assist households behind on their rent and that have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income. During the first 30 days, the program will prioritize the unemployed, those with income at or below 50 percent of area median income and other vulnerable populations. After the first 30 days, applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available. For more information, applicants and landlords should visit otda.ny.gov/programs/emergency-rental-assistance (ERAP). Once approved, eligible households will receive up to 12 months of past due rent. Those eligible could also receive up to 3 months of additional rental assistance, if the household spends 30 percent or more of its gross monthly income on rent. The program also will provide up to 12 months of utility arrears for eligible applicants. In addition to fiscal relief, ERAP will provide significant tenant protections. In order to receive assistance, the landlord must agree to waive any late fees due on past-due rent; and not increase the tenant's monthly rent or evict them for one year, except in limited circumstances. The program is funded by $2.6 billion in federal resources and $100 million of state funding. OTDA is organizing an unprecedented effort to establish partnerships with local governments across the state to ensure that community-based organizations will provide outreach and direct application assistance in multiple languages to potential recipients. This effort will mobilize substantial resources in order to ensure tenants from all across the state are aware of ERAP and able to apply.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. FEMA is reimbursing up to $7,000.00 for COVID-19 funerals. To learn more about eligibility and the application process, visit their website fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance. Gather the necessary documents, receipts, death certificates, etc. before contacting FEMA.
Fraud Alert! FEMA has received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent any such notifications and they do not contact people who have not already registered for assistance.
Requesting Changes to Death Certificates for Purposes of Applying for FEMA Burial Assistance: If you are trying to apply for Burial Assistance from FEMA, you may be experiencing difficulty due to FEMA’s death certificate requirement that the death certificate attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19. The death must have occurred in the U.S., including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Many death certificates issued in NYC did not include this information. The NYC Health Department has issued the following guidance to provide assistance with navigating this process, including how to request a change to the death certificate www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/businesses/covid-19-burial-assistance-death-certificate-request-process.pdf. If you need additional assistance, please contact State Senator Liz Krueger's office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-490-9535.
12/28/2020 Local governments are required to carry over Senior Citizens' Homeowner Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowner Exemption (DHC) exemptions from the 2020 assessment roll to the 2021 assessment roll at the same levels. State Senate Housing Committee Chair Brian Kavanagh sponsored this bill.
Updated 5/4/2021 Legislation (S.6362-A/A.7175-A) Extends the Moratorium on COVID-related Residential and Commercial Evictions and Foreclosure Proceedings for Those Filing a Hardship Declaration Until August 31, 2021. Gov. Cuomo signed the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act (S.9114 (Kavanagh)/A.11181), which extends the moratorium on COVID-related residential evictions until May 1, 2021, while also providing foreclosure protections to homeowners and small landlords. The Act prevents residential evictions, foreclosure proceedings, credit discrimination and negative credit reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also extends the Senior Citizens' Homeowner Exemption and Disabled Homeowner Exemption from 2020 to 2021. The bill provides protections against foreclosure and tax lien sales for small landlords who own 10 or fewer apartments. Press release.
12/24/2020 NYC Vaccine for All. New York City is committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy by ensuring that access to COVID-19 vaccines is fair and equitable. COVID-19 vaccines will likely be available for most New Yorkers by mid-2021. Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the COVID-19 vaccine. www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/covid/covid-19-vaccines-faq.pdf. See the MHNA Vaccinations page for further information.
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.
1/3/2021 Unemployed New Yorkers will receive an additional $300 payment through the extended (Federal) Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation programs. New Yorkers currently receiving benefits do not need to call the Department of Labor to receive these extended benefits—they should continue to certify for unemployment benefits in their usual manner and will automatically receive extended benefits.
1/1/2021 New Yorkers can use accrued paid sick leave. Learn more about New York State's paid sick leave law at https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-paid-sick-leave.
12/31/2020 Death benefits to families of frontline government workers are extended for 30 days.
12/24/2020 Suspension of some preauthorization and administrative requirements for medical insurance coverage. Gov. Cuomo announced the issuance by the Department of Financial Services of a circular letter, developed in collaboration with the insurance industry and hospitals, directing insurers to suspend certain preauthorization and administrative requirements to help hospitals implement New York State's "surge and flex" protocol. The protocol, which mandates all hospitals to begin expanding their bed capacity to prepare for a COVID-19 surge, is part of the winter COVID-19 Plan recently announced by the Governor. With today's action, hospitals will be ready to quickly transfer patients between hospitals and, when appropriate, discharge patients to skilled nursing facilities or their homes to increase bed capacity and balance patient load. [Source: State Sen. Liz Krueger's Covid update email of 12/24/2020.]
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. Worker Protection Hotline at 311 or 1-212-436-0381 for questions about reopening or to report an employer that is not following reopening requirements.
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.
NYC Financial Empowerment Center is providing free one-on-one financial counseling. Counselors can help individuals develop a strategy to minimize debt, access federal, state, and local resources, receive student loan debt tips, and more. www1.nyc.gov/site/dca/consumers/get-free-financial-counseling.page.
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.
The Dept. of Small Business Services has launched Career Discovery NYC, a free career search and skills training tool careerdiscovery.cityofnewyork.us.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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
COOLING CENTERS & ENERGY BILL ASSISTANCE
7/12/2020 During July and August we would normally be giving information about NYC cooling centers, but during the pandemic, they are not open. The City of New York is providing free air conditioners through the GetCool Air Conditioner Program to seniors who pre-qualify based on their enrollment in City benefits programs. Those who are eligible for the program will be contacted by a City case manager. For more information and determine eligibility portal.311.nyc.gov/article/?kanumber=KA-03305.
NYC Beat the Heat website www1.nyc.gov/assets/em/html/beat-the-heat/beattheheat.html
Con Edison will not be shutting off anyone’s power for failure to pay during this pandemic. Information from Con Edison about the program and the financial help they are offering coned.com/en/about-us/media-center/news/coronavirus/updates.
5/13/2021 (NYS legislation) The moratorium on shutting off utilities to residential households and small businesses that are struggling with their bills due to pandemic-related hardship is extended for a period of 180 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted or 180 days after December 31, 2021, whichever is earlier.
Public Utility Law Project of New York, Inc.: Governor Cuomo extended the COVID-19 State of Emergency until October 4, 2020, providing utility consumers an extra 30 days of universal relief from all energy, gas, telephone and water utility shutoffs due to non-payment. During the emergency, utilities cannot terminate service to customers behind on their bills, even if the consumers did not contact the company and “self-certify” a change in financial circumstance due to the health pandemic.
PULP strongly recommends that any utility consumers already behind or falling behind on their electric, gas, water or telephone bills contact their utility now and “self-certify” to receive an additional 180 days (or six months) of protection from service terminations. This is easy and can be done by following these steps:
Step 1: Contact your utility company and tell them that you are falling behind, or have fallen behind on your bills and that you want to “self-certify” that you have experienced financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 health pandemic.
You should be able to attest to this verbally and not be required to complete paperwork at that time.
Confirm with the utility company before getting off the phone that they are accepting your request and ask for a confirmation number. Keep a record of the time, date and name of the representative on the call.
Step 2: Once your finances are more stable, you can request a deferred payment agreement (“DPA”) with your utility provider that will allow you to pay back the overdue balance over a period of time in a manner you can afford.? Customers are entitled by law to an affordable DPA but may need to provide financial documentation to qualify for one with little or no back payment of arrears.
Any utility customer experiencing issues with this process should contact the Department of Public Service’s complaint line at 1-800-342-3377.
Any utility customer who experiences a termination of their service should contact the Department of Public Service’s emergency hotline at 1-800-342-3355.
Utility customers can also contact PULP’s toll-free hotline for assistance at 877-669-2572.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/energy-assistance.page helps individual homeowners and renters pay for their utility bills. To apply for the program www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/heap_application.pdf
Utility Assistance Program (UAP) for financial assistance to help families and individuals who meet certain criteria pay their energy bills. If you meet the requirements for UAP, can contact the Heat Line for more information at 212-331-3150.
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
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.
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.
9/18/2020 NYS finally distributing $300 weekly jobless benefits to 2.26 million residents
September 18, 2020, nypost.com, by Carl Campanile
The state Labor Department said the jobless New Yorkers received retroactive federal Lost Wage Assistance benefits of $300 each for the weeks of Aug. 2, 9 and 16...New York City’s unemployment rate dropped from 20 percent to 16 percent. But there were still 626,000 fewer jobs in the city compared to August 2019, when the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.
8/22/2020 N.Y. to apply for federal funds to pay $300-a-week unemployment benefits
August 21, 2020, nydailynews.com, by Denis Slattery
New York will apply for coronavirus unemployment money President Trump made available after the feds [The U.S. Department of Labor] dropped a requirement making states pony up a portion of the funds. State budget director Robert Mujica said Friday that the Empire State will sign up for the so-called Lost Wages Assistance program, which will provide $300 a week to out-of-work New Yorkers in addition to state benefits...States have the option of meeting the 25% match by allocating Coronavirus Relief Funds from the CARES Act or other state funding. This replaces the $600 that has expired.
7/30/2020 Unemployment benefits update from the New York State Department of Labor (DOL). DOL has announced the following benefit extensions:
- Traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are now extended for up to 59 weeks: Traditional UI lasts for 26 weeks in New York, and has been extended by both the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which adds 13 weeks, and the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which adds an additional 20 weeks.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are now extended for up to 46 weeks: Under Federal law, those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for PEUC or EB, but are now eligible for up to 46 weeks of benefits in New York – up from the original 39 weeks.
To continue receiving your unemployment benefits, you must continue to certify each week. You do not need to re-apply or contact DOL unless you are specifically told to do so. You can certify online at labor.ny.gov/signin or on the phone by calling 1-888-581-5812 (for UI) or 1-833-324-0366 (for PUA).
Visit the PEUC and EB FAQs at labor.ny.gov/ui/pdfs/extended-benefits-faq.pdf. You can also visit labor.ny.gov, as well as check DOL’s social media accounts on Twitter (@NYSLabor), Facebook (facebook.com/nyslabor) and Instagram (@nyslabor) for updates.
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.
3/20/2020 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.
12/3/2020 New York State's COVID Rent Relief Program's application window will be reopened and eligibility will be expanded
The Governor announced he will be signing an executive order expanding eligibility for New York State's COVID Rent Relief Program and reopening its application window. The Program, which was created by the state legislature when it passed the Emergency Rent Relief Act of 2020, appropriated up to $100 million from the federal CARES Act to provide subsidies for tenants who lost income due to the pandemic. Based on the legislature's parameters, as much as $40 million is expected to be paid to eligible applicants approximately 15,000 New York households. This executive order will expand the program's eligibility so more rent relief can be provided to New Yorkers. Additional details will be available in the coming days.
Related article: Cuomo Announces Executive Order To Help Needy Renters
December 3, 2020, nystateofpolitics.com, by Susan Arbetter
New York State Rent Relief Program hcr.ny.gov/RRP
11/15/2020 Program for Seniors at Risk of Eviction: Assigned Counsel Project
New Yorkers aged 60 or older who are at risk of being evicted from their residences may be eligible for free legal services through the Assigned Counsel Project. This is an initiative of the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA), the Civil Court of the City of New York Access to Justice Program, and the New York City Human Resources Administration office of Civil Justice (OCJ). Read more details about the program on DFTA's website www1.nyc.gov/site/dfta/services/housing-support.page. If you believe you qualify, please contact 311 and ask for the City’s Tenant Helpline or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8/12/2020 Memorandum from Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge, Revised Procedure for Addressing Residential and Commercial Eviction Proceedings. Eviction proceedings filed on or after March 17, 2020 continue to be suspended. Cases filed before March 17 may proceed. No evictions may be executed prior to October 1.
7/21/2020 [Source: Email from Sen. Liz Krueger, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates 7/21/20] The Mayor announced a new program to provide housing security to tenants across the City who may be facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting immediately, the Citywide Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will serve hundreds of New Yorkers each month by addressing rent-related issues in a mediation setting, outside of the housing court system, with a focus on hardest hit communities. Mediation puts decision-making power in the hands of the parties involved, which results in practical solutions for both landlords and tenants. Through this project, non-profit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) will assist tenants and small landlords in finding solutions to rental issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to resolve cases before they reach litigation and avoid the long-term effects of an eviction proceeding which can lead to displacement for vulnerable tenants and limit future housing options. The Mediation Project will handle cases in a setting where both parties feel safe, and priority will be given to tenants and small landlords who do not have legal representation. The City-Wide Landlord-Tenant Mediation Project will be managed by CDRCs in coordination with Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT), and the Mayor's Public Engagement Unit (PEU), with support from the Human Resource Administration’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ). Eligible tenants will be referred to CDRCs in each borough, and each CDRC will manage case intake, provide mediation sessions, and monitor case follow up for tenants.
12/18/2020 Deadline for applications has been extended to February 1, 2021. Renters impacted by the pandemic can apply for aid from a new COVID rental assistance program, the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) COVID Rent Relief Program. The program will provide direct aid for tenants who lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fun, which is part of the federal CARES Act, and is administered through the state. Application form hcr.ny.gov/RRP. If you have already submitted an application, and were denied, you do not need to apply again – your application will be reviewed again based on the new eligibility criteria. If you are approved, you will receive a subsidy for the difference between your household’s rent burden on March 1, 2020 and your household’s rent burden in the months of April, May, June, and July 2020. The subsidy is a one-time payment available for a maximum of four months of rent, up to 125% of the Fair Market Rents (FMR) for your household’s area. The following are the eligibility requirements, all of which must be met:
- You must be a renter with primary residence in New York State;
- Before March 7, 2020 and at the time of application, your household income (including unemployment benefits) must have been below 80% of the area median income, adjusted for household size. You can find your county’s area median income, based on your household size, by following this link: hcr.ny.gov/eligible-income-limits-80-ami-county;
- Your household must be “rent-burdened” during the months you are applying for assistance between April 1 to July 31, 2020. Your household is rent-burdened if you are paying more than 30 percent of your income towards housing costs; and
- You must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020.
For more information about the program, including eligibility criteria, the application process, the documents that will be requested as part of the application process, and answers to frequently answered questions, you can go to the HCR website hcr.ny.gov/RRP. Additionally, HCR is operating a special helpline to answer questions and provide support with the application process. For assistance, you can contact HCR’s COVID Rent Relief Extension Program Call Center for assistance at 1-833-499-0318 or email@example.com. Call Center representatives are available Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5pm.
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.
As of June 15, 2020, all eviction proceedings continue to be suspended indefinitely. The New York State Unified Court System Administrative Order 68/20, dated March 16, 2020 www1.nyc.gov/assets/doi/downloads/pdf/marshals/AdministrativeOrder68-203-16-20(Marks).pdf. The Department of Investigations has also released guidance to the Marshals regarding the suspension of eviction proceedings. To read DOI’s latest guidance, click here. If individuals witness or know of any City Marshals attempting to execute on warrants of evictions, they can report the activity by calling DOI’s Bureau of City Marshals at 212-825-5953.
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.
7/10/2020 The NYC annual tax lien sale will be postponed until September 2020, as the city continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The lien sale is administered by the NYC Department of Finance, which sells overdue property taxes, water and sewer charges, and other property charges to a non-profit trust. The agency sends out four warning notices to property owners starting three months prior to the sale, alerting them that the property is at risk of being on the lien sale list. More than 80 percent of owners pay the full amount owed, enter into payment plans, or obtain an exemption that removes them from the at-risk pool. DOF also advertises at risk properties and conducts extensive outreach to property owners at risk of having their liens sold, often partnering with community groups and elected officials to reach as many property owners as possible. Property owners who are facing hardships making their property tax payments can take advantage of several existing DOF programs. These include exemption programs to lower the amount of taxes owed, standard payment plans, or a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program, for those who qualify. DOF also provides a monthly property tax billing service to facilitate budgeting for property owners billed on a quarterly or semi-annual basis. More information on those programs can be found on the agency’s website www1.nyc.gov/assets/finance/downloads/pdf/20pdf/hardship-programs-press-release.pdf.
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.
Property owners - do you have a vacant apartment? The City of New York’s Home Support Unit (HSU) is working with landlords, real estate brokers and property managers to lease vacant apartments to qualified New Yorkers receiving rental assistance. More information about the program, including eligibility and online form www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/home-support-unit.page.
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. 10/6/2020 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 through November 3, 2020.
New Yorkers with non-medical or non-student debt owed to the state of New York and referred to the OAG may also apply to temporarily halt the collection of state debt. Individuals seeking to apply for this temporary relief can fill out an application online or visit the OAG’s coronavirus website to learn more about the suspension of payments ag.ny.gov/coronavirus#debt. If an individual is unable to fill out the online form, they can also call the OAG hotline at 800-771-7755 to learn more.
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.
2/19/2021 New York State of Health insurance marketplace is offering a special enrollment period through December 31, 2021. 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 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. Telephone 1-855-355-5777, and ask to be connected with a free enrollment assister.
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.
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
10/7/2020 Non-filers: Expect a letter about your stimulus check
October 7, 2020, consumer.ftc.gov, by Lisa Lake, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC
If you don’t usually file a tax return, or didn’t file a return for 2018 or 2019, you might not know you could qualify for an economic impact payment. You might be one of the nine million people getting a letter from the IRS letting you know how to register on their website to claim your payment. The new deadline for filing is November 21, 2020. If you get this letter from the IRS, it’s legit. Go only to the IRS’s real website at IRS.gov/EIP, or call them directly at 800-919-9835 to register to claim your payment. [DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY CALLS, EMAILS OR TEXTS ABOUT THE STIMULUS PAYMENT, THEY ARE SCAMS.]
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 deadlines 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
7/27/2020 Artist Relief Cycle V (through August 26), Cycle VI (August 27-September) artistrelief.org.
To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States. Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. To be eligible, you must be able to answer ”Yes“ to the statements below. The Artist Relief coalition will make final eligibility determinations as needed. I am a practicing artist able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to my work, career, and a public audience; I am experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic; I am 21 years of age or older; I can provide a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) after I’ve been notified of my selection; I have been living and working in the U.S. for the last two years; I am not a full-time employee, board member, director, officer, or immediate family member of any of the coalition partners; I have not previously been awarded a relief grant from this fund. Learn more by reviewing this FAQ https://www.artistrelief.org/faq. Apply at https://artistrelief.submittable.com/submit. NOTE: A final cycle is expected to run through September. Check back if it hasn't been posted yet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund opened 3/8/2021. Over 26 million dollars is available to support essential workers and first responders through the Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund. The program is designed to reimburse out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging and other qualifying expenses that enabled workers to perform their duties; up to $1,000 is available per household. Qualifying applicants include first responders, health care, and many multi-industry workers. Families who earn up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level - or $125,470 for a family of four - are eligible to apply for the funds to cover expenses. Learn more at ocfs.ny.gov/main/news/COVID-relief.
New Yorkers for Children COVID-19 Emergency Grants
New Yorkers for Children has five COVID-related emergency grants available for youth in and aged out of NYC foster care, as well as foster parents and caregivers. newyorkersforchildren.org/nyfc-emergency-funds
Apply by August 10 if you want to qualify before classes start. For Baruch College students: Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Scholarships @ Baruch College
Applications after August 10th will be accepted on a rolling basis and based upon availability. In order to encourage more first-generation undergraduates to study entrepreneurship, Santander Universities, a division of Banco Santander, S.A., is providing funding for a series of $750 scholarships to support CUNY students that take an entrepreneurship course at Baruch College during the Fall 2020 semester. Students interested in this opportunity must fill out the application by the September 1, 2020 deadline. Scholarships will be subject to verification of GPA, as well as fulfillment of any relevant pre-requisites for and completion of the course of interest. Questions can be directed to Scott Newbert, Academic Director of the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship at Baruch College (email@example.com).
August 31 application deadline. COVID-19 grant for CPA Exam candidates
If you know future CPAs affected financially by the pandemic, they may qualify to receive up to $2,000 toward their educational expenses through the AICPA’s COVID-19 Student Hardship Grant. Apply by August 31 at thiswaytocpa.com/education/scholarship-search/student-hardship-grant.
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.
7/26/2020 A Grant for Black Trans Women. Queer Art has introduced the Illuminations Grant for Black Trans Women, a $10,000 grant intended for visual artists who are self-identified Black trans women and trans femmes. The grant is intended to highlight the existing work of an underrecognized artist and also support their future endeavors. It has been spearheaded and supported by visual artist Mariette Pathy Allen and consultant and writer Aaryn Lang. Applications are open until August 30. queer-art.org/illuminations-grant.
See the Volunteer, jobs and donation opportunities page for ways you can help.
4/23/2021 Pet Owner Eviction Project. Animal Haven's Pet Owner Eviction Project, in partnership with the Mayor's Office of Animal Welfare and NYC Emergency Management's Animal Planning Task Force, is seeking to connect vulnerable tenants at risk of losing their pets while facing a potential eviction with free and low-cost resources. COVID-19 Pet Hotline: 877-204-8821. Learn more at www1.nyc.gov/site/animalwelfare/covid-19/evictions.page.
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.