Skip to main content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Last Updated Friday, January 14th, 4:01pm

This page has government and non-government resources for New Yorkers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

City agency Service Updates

COVID-19 & HEALTHCARE

Get a COVID-19 vaccine

  • Available for free to anyone 5 and older.
    • Children 5 – 17 years old can get the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, three weeks apart.
    • Children who are 5 – 15 years old must go to the vaccination site with a parent, guardian, or another adult caregiver chosen by the parent or guardian.
    • Workers get additional leave under CITY law to get their kids vaccinated. Workers get 4 additional hours of sick leave for EACH child; and EACH vaccine injection.
  • Vaccine booster shots are now available for New Yorkers ages 16 and older. These shots boost your immunity from an initial vaccination series.  
    • No one will be denied a booster shot in New York, as long as they are 16 or older and received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
  • There are some vaccination requirements in NYC:
    • People 5 and older need to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine for indoor dining, fitness, and entertainment. See the full details from DOHMH.
    • Starting December 27, workers who perform in-person work or interact with the public in the course of business must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Workers will then have 45 days to show proof of their second dose (for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines). See the full details from DOHMH.

 

Free at home COVID-19 tests available for online ordering January 19, 2022

  • Every home in the U.S. can order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests from the Federal government. 
  • The tests will be completely free—there are no shipping costs and you don’t need to enter a credit card number.

 

Locations for COVID-19 testing

  • Find a testing site near you. You may have to pay for testing depending on the site.
  • Tests are free and no appointment is needed at NYC Health and Hospitals testing sites.
  • At-home testing is available for all immunocompromised residents and anyone 65 and older. Call 929-298-9400 to schedule an appointment.
  • You can also call 212-COVID19 (212-268-4319) for information about testing, medical advice, quarantining, mental health support, and more.

Isolation Hotel Program for COVID-19 Positive

  • You may be eligible to self-isolate in a hotel for up to 14 days for free if you do not have a place to self-isolate, which can mean:
    • Your home does not have space for you to stay six feet away from others
    • You share rooms or a bathroom
    • You live with someone who is vulnerable
  • Call 844-692-4692 and a medical provider will assess your situation.

Low-cost health insurance

  • You can enroll in private health insurance through January 31, 2022 during the open enrollment period. 
  • You can enroll in public health insurance at any time.
  • GetCoveredNYC is a free service that helps you enroll in health insurance.
  • Every New Yorker can get health insurance regardless of immigration status. There are counselors to help you choose a plan.

 

Low-cost or free healthcare from NYC Care

  • NYC Care is a health care program that gives you access to a doctor and medical services at little or no cost.
  • You can get health care regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay.

 

Free mental health support from NYC Well

  • You can get mental health help regardless of insurance coverage or immigration status.
  • NYC Well is a confidential 24/7 helpline staffed by trained counselors. You can get counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Money for homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure, or displacement

  • Homeowners may be eligible for up to $50,000 if they lost income or had increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applications open January 3, 2022.
  • To qualify, you must:
    • Own a home, co-op, or condo in New York State
    • Live in the home
    • Be in forbearance or late with payments including: mortgage, maintenance charges or HOA fees, property taxes, bills

 

Unemployment insurance

  • You may be eligible for weekly payments if you lose your job.

 

Federal Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payment)

  • The federal government sent three rounds of stimulus checks during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Adults and families with social security numbers (SSN) were eligible for these checks.
  • You don’t need a permanent address, bank account, or job to be eligible.

 

Child Tax Credit

  • Families with children under 18 may be eligible for the Child Tax Credit. You can get an expanded credit when you file your taxes for 2021.

 

Grants for Small Businesses

  • The New York State COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program gives assistance to eligible small businesses and other organizations that experienced economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

 

Up to $9,000 per funeral related to COVID-19

  • You can get money from FEMA to pay for funeral expenses related to COVID-19.
  • The person who died did not have to be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or immigrant with satisfactory immigration status.

 

Burial Assistance

  • New Yorkers with low income may be eligible for financial help to pay for funeral expenses.
  • Assistance includes a 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 will be reviewed regardless of immigration status.

 

Emergency cash grants from HRA

  • 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

 

Federal student loan payments paused until May 1, 2022


 

Free Financial Counseling

  • 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

Paid Safe and Sick Leave Updates

  • 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.

 

NYS Paid Family Leave

  • You may be eligible to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for family.
  • Your job and health insurance benefits are protected when you’re on leave.

 

Find job services and resources on WorkingNYC

  • Browse free job and adult education programs and learn about eligibility criteria and how to apply for programs.

 

Learn new skills through the SUNY Online Training Center

  • 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.

 

Access nearly 4,000 free training courses through Coursera

  • Grow or learn new skills in data science, business, and technology.
  • Request a free account through the NYS Department of Labor.

 

Apply for free training programs through NYC Small Business Services

  • 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.

FOOD

Food pantries and soup kitchens near you

  • Find the nearest food pantry or soup kitchen. 

 

SNAP (food stamps)

  • 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).

 

Reserve a spot at your local food pantry with Plentiful

  • 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.

 

Groceries from NeON Nutrition Kitchens

  • Visit a NeON Nutrition Kitchen to get free, nutritious groceries! There is a Nutrition Kitchen in each borough.

 

Get free fruits and vegetables from CityHarvest

  • CityHarvest’s Mobile Markets provide fresh produce in the 5 boroughs.
  • Residents of certain zip codes and housing developments are eligible for free produce.

HOUSING

Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Update January 11, 2022: Applications for ERAP have re-opened for a limited time, tenants behind on their rent should apply immediately.

  • Applying provides protections against eviction.
  • ERAP has limited funds. You are not prevented from also applying to other programs like Cash Assistance or One Shot Deal emergency assistance from NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA). If you applied for ERAP earlier, include proof of your ERAP application with your HRA application for rental assistance.
  • If you are at risk of eviction, you may be eligible for free legal assistance. Call 311 and ask for “Tenant Helpline.”
  • Learn more about how Emergency Rental Assistance Program works on ACCESS NYC.

Note: Applications previously closed November 14,2021. If you applied during the last round, there is no need to apply again. You can check the status of your application at the ERAP portal.

 


 

Current Eviction Protections

  • As of September 1, 2021, tenants can generally prevent eviction until at least January 15, 2022 if they’re experiencing financial challenges or for whom moving would pose a health risk. To prevent eviction:
    1. Sign and give a Hardship Declaration to your landlord, their representative, or to your local Housing Court. You can do this no matter if an eviction case was filed against you. If you’ve already submitted a Hardship Declaration, you don’t need to submit a new one.
      You can use www.evictionfreeny.org to submit a hardship declaration as well.
    2. If your landlord challenges your claim of hardship, there will be a court proceeding. Tenants in NYC have the right to free legal counsel for this court proceeding—call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline. 
    3. If the court finds your hardship claim to be valid, your eviction case will be postponed until at least Jan. 15, 2022. Otherwise, your landlord’s case can move forward and possibly end in your eviction.
  • Tenants who file hardship declarations may still be evicted if they violate their lease by intentionally causing significant property damage or by creating a nuisance to other tenants in the building. 
  • For more information on how to access free legal services for tenants in NYC, call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline, or visit HRA’s Office of Civil Justice online at www.nyc.gov/civiljustice
  • For more information about eviction protections, visit MOPT’s website at nyc.gov/tenantprotection.

 

Money for homeowners at risk of default, foreclosure, or displacement

  • Homeowners may be eligible for up to $50,000 if they lost income or had increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Applications open January 3, 2022.
  • To qualify, you must:
    • Own a home, co-op, or condo in New York State
    • Live in the home
    • Be in forbearance or late with payments including: mortgage, maintenance charges or HOA fees, property taxes, bills

 

Get assistance if you are at risk of becoming homeless

  • 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

 

Affordable housing lotteries through NYC Housing Connect

  • Find an affordable rental unit near you and apply to its lottery. 

 

Free Affordable Housing Application Assistance

  • 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.

 

Address problems with your landlord using JustFix.NYC

  • 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.

 

Report housing search discrimination with Unlock NYC

  • 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.

 

NYCHA Rent Hardship Program

 


 

Help for survivors of gender-based and domestic violence

  • 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.

INTERNET AND PHONE

Up to $30 discount per month for internet service

  • You might be eligible for a discount on internet service. Apply to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) today.

 

Up to $9.25 discount per month for telephone service

  • Lifeline is a federal program that offers a $9.25 monthly discount on phone or internet service to qualified low-income customers.

EDUCATION

Search for classes and programs offered by non-profits

  • One Degree is a non-governmental website where you can search for educational opportunities in NYC.

IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

“Public Charge” Is Blocked Nationwide

  • 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.

 

Free and safe legal help for immigrants

  • ActionNYC can screen you for free to see if you qualify for any immigration benefit.
  • You can also get free legal help from an experienced legal representative for immigration-related cases.
  • Services are offered in your language.
  • You are eligible if you’re an immigrant living in New York City, regardless of your documented status.
  • Call the ActionNYC hotline at 800-354-0365.

 

Get an IDNYC card

  • 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 

View COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities

  • A list of city resources for food, social services, and more.

 

Get free financial counseling through EmpoweredNYC

  • Get help managing your SSI or SSDI benefits, tackle SSA overpayments, and transition to work.
  • EmpoweredNYC sessions will be conducted over the phone.

 

Citywide accessible dispatch program

  • Request a wheelchair accessible yellow and green taxi from anywhere in the five boroughs.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Get help from mutual aid groups

  • 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
    • Diapers
  • You can also call the Mutual Aid Hotline at 646-437-8080 to request help.

 

Find job and training opportunities from an organization near you

  • One Degree is a non-profit that shares info about local education and employment programs for youth and adults.

 

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

Last Updated Friday, January 14th, 4:01pm

Back to top
Stay updated on benefits

Get occasional emails about benefits news, upcoming enrollment periods, and deadlines. Translations are available in 11 languages.