COVID-19 & HEALTHCARE
- The COVID vaccine is now available for certain groups.
- You can also call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment for a vaccine.
- It’s free, safe, and confidential. Immigration status is not a consideration.
- DOE students, employees, and employees of DOE-contracted early childhood programs and the Learning Bridges Program can get priority COVID testing at some Health & Hospitals testing sites.
- Call the new COVID-19 hotline: 212-COVID19 (268-4319) to get information about testing sites, advice from medical staff, information about quarantining, mental health support, and more.
- Download the COVID Alert NY app to get alerted when you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.
- Get updates from Notify NYC, text “COVID” to 692692, for Spanish text “COVIDESP” to 692692
- Call 311 if you need help finding a healthcare provider.
- If you tested positive for or live with someone with COVID-19, you may qualify to self-isolate in a hotel, free of charge, for up to 14 days if you do not have a safe place to self-isolate.
- To see if you qualify, call 311 or 844-NYC-4NYC (1-844-692-4692) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- Enroll in health insurance or change your coverage as part of the annual open enrollment period by January 31, 2021.
- You can also get free enrollment assistance for health insurance from GetCoveredNYC.
- Every New Yorker can get health insurance, regardless of immigration status. There are counselors to help you choose a plan.
- There are mental health programs that are free to New Yorkers, regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.
- You may also contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline staffed by trained counselors. You can get counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.
BENEFITS & RIGHTS
Understanding benefits for workers affected by COVID-19
You may be eligible for certain benefits. Refer to the chart below to understand which benefits you may be able to get in your situation.
- You may be eligible for a range of unemployment benefits based on your situation.
- If you started, but have not finished filing a claim: DOL claim specialists will call you to complete your claim. Expect a call from any number/ blocked number, and be ready to answer calls on your phone.
- Call 1-888-209-8124 for extended telephone hours: Monday through Friday, 8am to 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday, 7:30am to 8pm.
- Adults and families with work-eligible social security numbers (SSN) can receive one-time payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- You may be eligible for an emergency cash grant to:
- pay back rent to avoid eviction
- pay bills to maintain or restore utility service(s)
- pay for moving expenses, security deposit vouchers, broker’s fees, or temporary storage for furniture and personal belongings
- Here are fact sheets with more information:
- You can also contact HRA’s Infoline at 718-557-1399 to learn more.
- You can apply for a one-time $500 grant from non-profit Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) if:
- You are a part- or full-time restaurant worker who lost work or wages, or have extraordinary healthcare expenses on or after March 10, 2020.
- You live in one of NYC’s five boroughs.
- Given the unemployment rates in Queens and the Bronx, priority will be given to applicants from those two boroughs.
- If you are experiencing sudden changes to your household budget or income due to COVID-19, counselors from NYC Financial Empowerment Centers can help you:
- Manage your money and set up a spending plan
- Contact creditors about existing loans, including student loans
- Draft letters to creditors to lower payments or temporarily suspend payments due to hardship
- Low-income New York City residents may be eligible for financial assistance to meet funeral expenses for a deceased low-income New York City resident family member.
- Assistance includes burial allowance up to $1,700 and burial costs up to $3,400
- You can apply up to 120 days from the date of the individual‘s death.
- All applications received will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.
- Federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments until January 31, 2021.
- New Yorkers with privately-held loans who are impacted by COVID-19 should contact their student loan servicer to request relief
- Learn more from about Federal and Private Student Loan Debt from NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP).
EMPLOYMENT AND JOB TRAINING
- NYC employees have legal rights to paid and unpaid leave, including new rights provided by State and Federal laws related to COVID-19.
- You can take unpaid and paid leave to care for yourself or family members impacted by COVID-19.
- Browse free job and adult education programs and learn about eligibility criteria and how to apply for programs.
- Take a wide range of short and free online skill-building programs that will prepare you for a new job.
- If you successfully complete a certificate and have a high school diploma, you’ll be eligible for automatic enrollment to any SUNY community college or SUNY Empire to continue to an associate or bachelor’s degree.
- Grow or learn new skills in data science, business, and technology.
- Request a no-cost account through the NYS Department of Labor.
- Programs are available for jobs in technical, transportation, and healthcare fields.
- To be eligible, you must be a NYC resident, be above 18 years old, be legally able to work in the US, and meet selective service requirements.
- You can access free career services virtually or over the phone.
- Get one-on-one help from professionals who can help you identify and prepare for jobs that are a fit for your experience and skills
- New jobs are posted on an ongoing basis.
- Find your nearest food pantry or food distribution location.
- Emergency home food delivery services are available if you cannot go out to get food.
- Any New Yorker can get free meals at NYC public schools. No registration or ID is required.
- Families and students can go to any school building between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm on weekdays to pick up free meals.
- Members of the community can pick up multiple meals at specific schools from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm on weekdays.
- To find a location through text:
- You can also call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777.
- Plentiful is an app that lets you reserve a spot in line at a participating food pantry near you. Use it to save time on your next visit.
- Visit a NeON Nutrition Kitchen to get free, nutritious groceries! There is a Nutrition Kitchen in each borough.
- CityHarvest’s Mobile Markets provides fresh produce in the 5 boroughs. You must meet certain criteria to be eligible for food.
- Each Mobile Market has its own dates of operation. From January 2021 through March 2021, Mobile Markets will be open from 11 am to 1 pm.
- P-EBT food benefits help cover the cost of food that children would have gotten at school during March – June 2020.
- Funds come in an EBT card. If you already have an EBT card or a Medicaid card, the money will be added to your card automatically.
- You may call the P-EBT Food Benefits Helpline at 833-452-0096 if you have questions about the benefits you received.
- Fill out this contact form if you have any questions about P-EBT food benefits.
- You may be eligible for SNAP benefits to help pay for groceries.
- You will receive a debit card with funds that you can use at many grocery stores including some online stores and farmer’s markets.
- You can check your SNAP balance on your phone with the Fresh EBT app (not government operated).
- The Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guide shows you where to get food by neighborhood and zip code
- You may be eligible for a one-time rental subsidy that will be sent to your landlord.
- The application period is open December 18 to February 1, 2021.
- If you applied to this program previously, you do not have to reapply. Your application will be reevaluated according to new criteria:
- You must be a renter and have a primary residence in New York State; and
- You must have lost income during the period of April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020; and
- Before March 7, 2020, your household income must have been at or below 80% of the Area Median Income, adjusted for household size; and
- Your household must be “rent burdened” during the months you are applying for assistance between April 1, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Households are considered rent-burdened if your rent is greater than 30% of your household’s pre-tax income.
- At least 1 member of your household is a citizen or has valid immigration status.
- Ways to apply:
- Most tenants are protected from eviction through May 1, 2021 under a State law called the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. Uou can prevent your landlord from evicting you if you have lost income or increased expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic or if moving from your home would pose a hardship during the pandemic.
- To be protected under this law, you must sign a “Hardship Declaration” and deliver it to your landlord. If you do so, you cannot be evicted from your primary residence pursuant to a pending case, and your landlord may not file a new case to evict you from your primary residence, until at least May 1, 2021.
- You can use this form from Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, a coalition of advocacy groups, to help you automatically send notice to your landlord and the court that you are eligible for protections.
- You can also call the Tenant Helpline by calling 311 and asking for “Tenant Helpline”.
- The portal has resources for residential tenants to help them avoid eviction and stabilize their housing situations.
- It also has up-to-date information on the general status of evictions in New York City Housing Court.
- Homebase can help you develop a personalized plan to overcome an immediate housing crisis and achieve housing stability. You may be eligible for Homebase services if you:
- Are at imminent risk of entering the New York City shelter system
- Are low-income
- Want to remain stably housed in your community
- Ready to Rent, offered by the NYC Housing Preservation & Development, helps New Yorkers prepare to apply for affordable housing.
- Get free financial counseling and assistance with affordable housing applications.
- Unlock NYC is a non-governmental tool that lets you learn about your rights and report landlords you believe are refusing housing vouchers to the NYC Human Rights Commission for potential intervention.
- Residents experiencing income loss may qualify for NYCHA’s rent hardship program to reduce your rent during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Call 718-707-7771 to learn more.
NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Section 8 voucher holders having trouble paying rent because of income loss should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov.
- Survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, stalking, and intimate partner and family violence can get free and confidential services at NYC Family Justice Centers (FJCs).
- To get help with domestic violence, call 800-621-4673 for help from the NYC Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline. For the hearing impaired: TTY 866-604-5350.
SCHOOL & CHILDCARE
- Learning Bridges is a DOE program that provides free child care to children from 3-K through 8th grade.
- It is available on days when your children are scheduled for remote learning. It is not available to children who opted for 100% remote learning.
- Complete the learning preference survey if you want to enroll your child in remote learning. You can do this at any time of the year.
- You will not be able to switch your child back to blended learning.
- You can borrow an iPad with internet access for your child if they are enrolled in remote learning through the NYC Department of Education.
- If you need technical support, call 718-935-5100 (press 5)
ACCESS NYC Resources For All Immigrants
For information for all of the government benefits, resources, services hosted on ACCESS NYC that are available to immigrants and do not include immigration status as an eligibility determination.
Apply for an ID card
- Having an ID card allows you to apply for government services and benefits.
- You can enroll in IDNYC, a free ID card from the city, if you are age 10 or above. To apply for IDNYC, make an appointment on IDNYC’s Online Portal. You may also renew your card on the portal.
- You can apply for a New York State ID card regardless of your immigration status depending on the documents you have. Learn more about getting an ID card from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. Make a reservation for a time and date to visit a DMV location.
Report Hate and Bias to NYC Government
It is illegal for business owners or staff at places of public accommodations (e.g. grocery stores, medical facilities, restaurants, among others) to kick you out, refuse to serve you, or otherwise treat you less well than other customers because of fears or stigma around COVID-19. This includes harassment or discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived race, national origin, disability, or other protected classes.
If you have faced harassment or discrimination in housing, at work, or in any public place:
- Fill out an online form
- Call 311 and ask for “human rights” to report
- Learn more about COVID-19 and Your Rights.
If you are a victim of, or witness a hate crime, call 911
Free and safe legal help for immigration related issues
Through Action NYC, you can get free legal screenings to find out if you qualify for any immigration benefit. You can also get free legal help from an experienced attorney or representative regarding citizenship, green card application/renewals, DACA, TPS, and more.
Call 1-800-354-0365 on weekdays between 9am – 6pm to make an appointment.
Online English lessons
We Speak NYC offers free weekly online classes for intermediate English Language Learners ages 16+.
Weekly Immigration Newsletter in Spanish published on WhatsApp
Documented is a non-profit news site, not affiliated with the government, covering NYC immigrants and immigration policies.
- Contact Documented reporters to ask questions and make suggestions about news to include.
- Question and answer sessions with special guests, where subscribers can text in questions to be answered by immigration lawyers, diplomats, professors or other experts.
- Learn how to join on DocumentedNY
Additional Resources for Immigrant Communities
- Immigrant Eligibility FAQ from NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) – download in your language
- Services for Recently Arrived Immigrants and Refugees Resource and Referral Guide – download in your language
- Learn more about more city services available regardless of immigration status from the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs
- Resources for Undocumented New Yorkers provided by New York State Leadership Council.
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
- Free and confidential financial counseling for people with disabilities from EmpoweredNYC.
- NYC Department Of Transportation is extending the all City Parking Permits or Temporary Permits for People with Disabilities that expired or will expire in 2020.
- The citywide accessible dispatch program is still running.
- Call 646-599-9999 to request a wheelchair-accessible taxi.
- Visit COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities
- Access-A-Ride is currently not collecting cash fare for the safety of drivers and customers.
- Shared rides are not allowed but you can still travel with your personal care attendant or a guest.
- The AAR eligibility process was temporarily adjusted. Assessment centers are temporarily closed. Those who wish to apply for AAR may call Eligibility at 877-337-2017, prompt #1 and speak with an agent for assistance. Those customers whose service is scheduled to expire shortly should also call Eligibility.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans for Small Businesses
- PPP loans helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
- The PPP is a forgivable business loan, meaning you may not need to pay it back.
- The PPP is offered by SBA-approved lenders who each have their own application process.
- Learn more about how to apply.
Remote Notarization and Witnessing
You can now remotely have a document notarized through a video conference up until January 29, 2021. Learn more about remote notarization.
Overnight Transportation for Essential Workers
The MTA has guidance for travel between 1am – 5am for when subways are not running.
Get Help From Your Neighbors
This page lists Mutual Aid Groups, voluntary community groups, in NYC and surrounding areas currently providing support. Groups listed here have not received any type of vetting and are not affiliated with government.
- Learn more at mutualaid.nyc/groups
Hotline languages and hours, call 646-437-8080 to get help
- English (Monday – Thursday 2-8pm, Friday 2-5pm)
- Spanish and Mandarin (Monday & Tuesday 2-8pm, Wednesday & Thursday 5-8pm, Friday 2-5pm)
- French (Wednesday 5-8pm, Thursday 2-5pm)
- Creole (Thursday 5-8pm)
- Arabic (Monday 5-8pm)
- Hindi, Urdu, and Korean (Wednesday 5-8pm, Thursday 5-8pm)
Discounted Telephone Service
- Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly discount to qualified low-income customers.
- Apply for a reduced telephone rate provided by Verizon.
Learn more about the Lifeline discounted telephone service.
New York Public Library WiFi Hotspots
You can connect to free wifi from a public library. Find a library near you:
- Queens Public Library Locations
- Brooklyn Public Library Locations
- New York Public Library Locations (covering Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island)
Hotspot and tablet loan program
Public libraries may have tablets and hotspots, depending on inventory, available to loan to those with a library card and who meet requirements:
- Queens Public Library: Learn more about borrowing a tablet or hotspot device.
- Brooklyn Public Library: Learn more about borrowing a hotspot device.
LinkNYC Public WiFi
You can connect to free Wi-Fi through a LinkNYC kiosk. To connect, select the ‘LinkNYC Free Wi-Fi’ network from your device’s Wi-Fi settings, and register with your email. Find a Link kiosk near you.
Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots
Xfinity WiFi Public Hotspots are now open to everyone on the “xfinitywifi” SSID.
Justice-Involved New Yorkers
- Call the ACS Office of Advocacy at 212-676-9421 for concerns related to child welfare and juvenile justice.
- The Correctional Health Services (CHS) Point of Reentry and Transition Practices (PORT) can help with medical needs/concerns. Call 646-614-1000 or email CHSPORTline@nychhc.org for help with prescriptions for people recently released from jail.
- Re-entry individuals are eligible for certain public benefits. For more information, see the Re-Entry Benefits FAQ from the Legal Aid Society, a non-profit or call their hotline 888-663-6880.
More resources from the City of New York