COVID-19 & HEALTHCARE
- The COVID vaccine is now available, at no cost, to people who live or work in New York and are 16 or older.
- 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 212-COVID19 to get information about testing sites, advice from medical staff, 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.
- The open enrollment period for health insurance has been extended through December 31, 2021.
- 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.
- NYC Care is a health care program that gives you access to your own doctor and services at little or no cost.
- You will receive affordable health care regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay.
- 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.
- Unemployment insurance has been expanded for many workers who lost their jobs during COVID-19.
- Adults and families with work-eligible social security numbers (SSN) can receive one-time payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- You don’t need a permanent address, bank account, or job to be eligible.
- The Empire Pandemic Response Reimbursement Fund reimburses essential workers and first responders up to $1,000.
- Qualifying expenses include out-of-pocket childcare, transportation, lodging, and expenses that enabled you to perform your duties.
- Families who earn up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to apply for the funds to cover expenses.
- Funds are available until they are exhausted.
- Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) is giving cash assistance to restaurant workers facing unemployment and rampant uncertainty.
- Part- or full-time restaurant workers can apply for a one-time cash grant of $500 if they:
- made $49,000/year or less;
- lost work or wages as a result of COVID-19 and its economic aftermath; AND
- live in one of NYC’s five boroughs.
- Aid is given on a first-come-first served basis.
- FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
- To be eligible for funeral assistance:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
- There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
- 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.
- 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.
- PPP loans helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Apply by May 31, 2021.
- 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.
- Federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments until September 30, 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).
- 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
EMPLOYMENT AND JOB TRAINING
- The City is hiring 2,000 New Yorkers to work on City-run vaccination efforts.
- No healthcare experience is required for many positions, which include roles in site management, operations, client services, and clinical roles.
- The City Cleanup Corps (NYC CCC) is hiring 10,000 New Yorkers to help beautify the city.
- Workers will wipe away graffiti, powerwash sidewalks, create community murals, tend to community gardens, beautify public spaces, and work with community organizations to clean their neighborhoods.
- 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.
- 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
- Most tenants regardless of immigration status are protected from eviction through August 31, 2021 under a State law called the COVID-19 Emergency Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Act. You may qualify for protections if:
- you had lower income or higher expenses during the pandemic or
- moving poses a health risk to any member of your household
- To protect yourself, submit a hardship declaration form now:
- whether or not your landlord has started an eviction case against you
- whether or not a warrant of eviction has issued against you
- whether your landlord is trying to evict you for not paying rent
- How to submit a hardship declaration
- Complete a Hardship Declaration Form. You may find one in your language at nycourts.gov/eefpa
- Submit the form to your landlord by email, certified mail, or in person.
- In addition, email a copy of the form to the housing court in your borough:
- If you need help filling out the form:
- Call 311 and ask for “Tenant Helpline”.
- Alternatively, evictionfreeny.org is a website that will help you fill out and send your Hardship Declaration online. The site was created by nonprofits to help renters.
- 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.
- JustFix.nyc provides tools to help you fight for a safe home.
- You may use JustFix.nyc to send a letter to request repairs from your landlord.
- You can also start a legal case against your landlord for harassment or failure to conduct repairs.
- Harassment includes asking about your immigration status or using your status to make decisions on whether to rent to you, raise rent, renew a lease, or kick you out.
- 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.
- At this time, you may not request to switch 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)
INTERNET AND PHONE
- Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly discount to qualified low-income customers.
- SafeLink Wireless is a government supported program that provides free cell phone service each month for income-eligible customers.
- A private company provides the service. It is not connected to any New York City agency.
New York Public Library WiFi Hotspots
You can connect to free wifi from a public 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:
- You can connect to free Wi-Fi through a public LinkNYC kiosk.
- To connect, select the ‘LinkNYC Free Wi-Fi’ network from your device’s Wi-Fi settings, and register with your email.
- The federal government has blocked the Public Charge rule as of March 9, 2021.
- All New Yorkers in need of medical care, food assistance, and other benefits and services should seek the help they need without fear.
- Many health and social services—including COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and care, food assistance, tenant protection, and free legal help—are available to New Yorkers no matter your immigration status or ability to pay.
- Get information for all government benefits, resources, and services hosted on ACCESS NYC.
- Available to immigrants and does not include immigration status as an eligibility determination.
- You can enroll for IDNYC, a free ID card from the city, if you are age 10 or above. Having an ID card allows you to apply for NYC government services and benefits.
Additional Resources for Immigrant Communities
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
- A list of city resources for food, social services, and more.
- Get help managing your SSI or SSDI benefits, tackle SSA overpayments, and transition to work.
- EmpoweredNYC sessions will be conducted over the phone.
- Request a wheelchair accessible yellow and green taxi from anywhere in the five boroughs.
- View a list of community resources and neighborhood groups from Mutual Aid NYC. Groups are not affiliated with the government.
- Different types of help may be available depending on group resources including:
- Supply and grocery delivery
- Prescription assistance
- Translation and interpretation
- Social services assistance
- You can also call the Mutual Aid Hotline at 646-437-8080 to request help.
- You can now remotely have a document notarized through a video conference up until May 27, 2021.
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.