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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Last Updated Friday, May 29th, 4:41pm

This page is updated daily by 5pm. Due to the fast-changing situation, info across ACCESS NYC may not reflect the latest updates.

Learn about City Agency Services Updates.

COVID-19

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. An accessible version can be viewed here.

various nyc worker benefits related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) 1

various nyc worker benefits related to Coronavirus (COVID-19) 2

Download a PDF of the COVID-19 benefits chart (Spanish PDF).

Updates to Unemployment Insurance

  • You may automatically qualify for larger payments and additional weeks of UI benefits.
  • Learn more about Unemployment on ACCESS NYC.

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, depending on your circumstances and the type of employer you work for, to care for yourself or family members impacted by COVID-19.

Learn more about Safe and Sick Leave on ACCESS NYC.

If your employer is not providing you with leave and you believe you’re eligible, file a complaint with the City:

Get COVID-19 Sick Leave Documentation
If you are uninsured or unable to get sick leave documentation from your primary care physician, and become ill with COVID-19 symptoms, get sick leave documentation assistance from the NYC Department of Health.

This documentation is required for workers to claim paid sick leave from your employer under New York State’s paid sick leave law.

EMPLOYMENT & FINANCES

Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Updates
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) expands UI for more workers including part-time, self-employed, and those without recent work history.

Learn more about these updates and how to apply for Unemployment Assistance on ACCESS NYC.

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

Stimulus payments (aka Economic Impact Payments)
Adults and families with work-eligible social security numbers (SSN) can receive economic impact payments from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

If you have a valid SSN and are without a permanent address or who normally don’t file taxes, you may qualify for a one-time $1,200 Economic Impact Payment. No income is required to claim the payment however, you need to sign up with the IRS and add your payment information. Learn more.

Check the status of your Economic Impact Payment
If you’re eligible for a one-time coronavirus pandemic payment and haven’t received your check yet, you can track your payment with the new IRSGet My Payment tool Payments are automatically deposited into your bank account if you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return and received a refund via direct deposit.

Learn more about Economic Impact Payments on ACCESS NYC.

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
  • Develop a strategy to minimize debt
  • Access local, state, and federal emergency resources

Book a free financial counseling appointment with an NYC Financial Empowerment Center Counselor.

Job Seekers

Funeral Assistance
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
  • Download the application for burial allowance.
  • 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.

Applications received on or after March 12, 2020 will be considered for the increased burial assistance allowance.

Relief for Federal Student Loan Borrowers

  • Federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making monthly loan payments until Sept. 30, 2020
  • 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).

FOOD

COVID-19 Food Assistance Resources
Options include:

  • Free Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools for children and adults
  • Emergency meal delivery those who cannot access food themselves.

Find a school with free Grab & Go Meals near you:

Learn more about food options NYC.gov/getFood

Food Benefits for All NYC Public School Students Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)
Every single NYC public school student, ages 3-21, regardless of income or immigration status will receive P-EBT.

Benefits will be issued automatically.

  • If you already have an EBT card or a Medicaid card, the money will be added to your card automatically.
  • If you do not have an EBT card, you will receive one in the mail. Info about how to provide an updated address is coming soon. 

Parents of non-public school students should contact the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to learn if they are eligible.

There is no application or documentation required and it does not affect eligibility for other benefits or public charge status.
Learn more at on.nyc.gov/p-ebt.

Emergency Food Assistance
To find the nearest food pantries and community kitchens, call the Emergency Food Hotline at 866-888-8777.

SNAP (food stamps)
Get help paying for groceries with SNAP. SNAP benefits are sometimes called food stamps. They come on a debit card that you can use at many grocery stores and farmers markets.

Shop online for fresh produce and groceries. Use your EBT card at these online stores in NYC. You can’t use SNAP benefits to pay delivery fees.

Learn more about SNAP and how to apply on ACCESS NYC.

Check your food stamp (SNAP) balance on your phone.
Fresh EBT is an app from a tech company that makes it easy to check your food stamp (SNAP) balance on your phone.

Food stamps for women, infants, children (WIC)
WIC provides free healthy food and services to low-income women and children, including nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, health education, and referrals.

Learn more about WIC and how to apply on ACCESS NYC.

Senior residents and food

Find Food Options In Your Community
The Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guides is collected by Hunger College NYC Food Policy Center and Beta NYC.

Comprehensive food information by neighborhood and zip code:

  • meals for students and seniors during this time
  • delivery services for people with disabilities
  • resources for immigrants

Search for food in your neighborhood with the Coronavirus NYC Neighborhood Food Resource Guide.

Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Nutrition Kitchens
The Department of Probation has opened five NeON Nutrition Kitchens throughout the city. When you visit a NeON Nutrition Kitchen, you’ll get free, nutritious groceries and great service from our friendly staff. Everyone in the community is welcome.

Food Markets
CityHarvest offers free food every other week across NYC. Find a location near you.

HOUSING

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), including:

  • Counseling for adults and children, and mental health services for adults
  • Help with safety planning, housing, shelter, and other needs
  • Legal help with orders of protection, custody, visitation, divorce, immigration, and housing matters
  • Help filing police reports
  • Financial services, job training, and education program referrals

To get help with domestic violence:

  • Call 911 in an emergency.
  • Call 800-621-4673 for help from the NYC Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline.
  • For the hearing impaired, TTY 866-604-5350 to speak with a counselor.
  • Learn more about how Family Justice Centers can help.

Eviction Protection

  • Effective May 7, the Governor announced that all residential and commercial evictions will be suspended until August 20th.
  • At this time, there is no rent suspension in effect.
  • Utility shut-offs have also been suspended.
  • Call 311 for free legal advice and counsel.
  • All New Yorkers, regardless of income or immigration status are eligible.
  • It is illegal for your landlord to change your locks, shut off your utilities, or physically remove your belongings without a court order of eviction.

Learn about Tenants’ Rights from the NYC Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants.

Risk of homelessness and emergency rent assistance
Homebase offers:

  • Services to prevent eviction
  • Assistance obtaining public benefits
  • Emergency rental assistance
  • Education and job placement assistance
  • Financial counseling and money management
  • Help relocating
  • Short-term financial assistance

Learn more about Homebase and call 311 to find out how to get help.

Money for heat, utility, and air conditioning expenses
Get help paying your heating and utility bills through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). The enrollment period is extended until June 30, 2020.

Stay cool this summer. Get help paying for the cost and installation of air conditioning units and fans through the Cooling Assistance Benefit. Application opens May 1, 2020.

Free Affordable Housing Application Assistance
Ready to Rent, offered by the NYC Housing Preservation & Development, helps New Yorkers prepare to apply for affordable housing.

  • Free financial counseling
  • Free assistance with affordable housing applications
  • Get your credit checked
  • Calculate your income
  • Save for moving expenses

Create an account and book an appointment.

Rent Arrears and Cash Assistance
If your work schedule was reduced and you are unable to pay your rent, apply for a Cash Assistance special grant request to get emergency benefits.

Section 8
NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Section 8 voucher holders having trouble paying rent because of income loss should email DTRAI@hpd.nyc.gov.

NYCHA Rent Hardship

Rent Freeze for Seniors and People with Disabilities Updates
Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) helps eligible senior citizens stay in affordable housing with a rent freeze. If their rent goes up, people with SCRIE do not have to pay the higher rent. The City pays the landlord the difference between the current rent and the future rent.

Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) provides a rent freeze to tenants with disabilities. If their rent goes up, tenants with DRIE do not have to pay the higher rate. The City pays the difference between the current and future rent.

Updates: Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, application processing times may be impacted. You can expect a determination within a few weeks of applying.

Expansion of NYC COVID-19 Hotel Program
The City will offer “Take Care Hotels” free of charge for individuals living with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and who are unable to separate safely at home. This 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
  • Any doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant across the city can email CommCareCP@nychhc.org to refer a patient to a room.

If you don’t have a doctor, any symptomatic New Yorker can call the City’s COVID hotline at 844-692-4692, and ask for the COVID Hotel Program. Learn more.

Mortgage Relief

  • Effective March 24, the Governor announced state-regulated financial institutions to waive mortgage payments for 90 days.

Learn more from NY State Department of Finance.

HEALTH INSURANCE & HEALTH CARE

Feminine Hygiene Products

The DOE is providing access pads and tampons available to the public at select 211 Meal Hubs.
Find Hygeine products at select Meal Hub sites.

Low-cost health insurance from New York State
Every New Yorker can get health insurance. There are low-cost and free plans for people who qualify, and counselors to help you choose a plan.

  • The Health Insurance Special Enrollment Period for uninsured New Yorkers has been extended to May 15th.
  • Certain programs like Medicaid, Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus are open for enrollment year-round and do not have a deadline.
  • Apply at nystateofhealth.ny.gov, or call 855-355-5777.

Help Enrolling In Health Insurance

  • GetCoveredNYC helps New Yorkers enroll in health insurance with dedicated specialists who can assist you in your language.
  • Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), there are many low- or no-cost health insurance options.

Get connected to a GetCoveredNYC Specialist and receive free enrollment assistance

Learn more about Health Insurance Assistance on ACCESS NYC.

Low-Cost or Free Healthcare from the City
NYC Care is available to all New York City residents regardless of immigration status. This is not an insurance plan.

  • Primary care, specialty, and emergency services (including hospital stays) are all available for NYC Care members.
  • Call the 24-hour NYC Care service at 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-3373) to enroll and make an appointment.
  • For help in other languages, visit nyccare.nyc.

Affordable Health Care from Community Health Centers
Community health centers provide medical care on a sliding-fee basis, regardless of immigration status. This is not an insurance plan.

  • Call your nearest health center or health department to discover their availability for COVID-19 screening, testing, and other health needs.
  • Health Centers can provide assistance by phone or using telehealth (video chat or online communication)
  • Get primary health care services at a reduced cost or free of charge depending on economic status

Find a location with findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov or see a list of NYC locations.

SCHOOL & CHILDCARE

All public school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Remote learning and free meal pickup will continue. For more information, visit the DOE website.

Childcare While You Work

  • Submit a request to be matched with a safe, low-cost option for your family with WorkersNeedChildcare.org.
  • First responders, health care workers, key transit employees, grocery, restaurant, food, takeout and delivery workers, and residential and commercial building staff, can apply for Regional Enrichment Centers.

Devices for remote schooling
The NYC Department of Education is helping families that need remote learning devices.

After school and enrichment programs

  • All DYCD-funded programs based in NYC DOE schools, including Beacon, are closed.
  • DYCD-funded afterschool programs are conducting virtual check-in and/or remote learning, wherever possible.

Child care scholarships to essential workers

The CARES Child Care Scholarship is available for essential workers using licensed or registered child care providers while New York state is on PAUSE and the funds to support the scholarship are available. 

To qualify, families of eligible workers must have an adjusted gross income less than or equal to $78,600 for a family of four. 

Apply online: English, Spanish, Chinese.

IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES

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.

See ACCESS NYC Resources For All Immigrants.

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:

If you are a victim of, or witness a hate crime, call 911

Free, safe immigration related legal help
ActionNYC is a network of trusted and safe community organizations and schools.

  • Free legal screenings to find out if you qualify for any immigration benefit
  • Free legal help from an experienced attorney or accredited representative for a range of cases, including:
    Citizenship
  • Green card applications and renewals
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Call 1-800-354-0365 to make an appointment to get help:

Online English lessons

  • We Speak NYC is offering free weekly online classes.
  • Learn about New York City services available regardless of immigration status
  • View the schedule
  • Sign up

Telephone Assistance With Applying for Unemployment Insurance in Chinese and Spanish
Asian Americans for Equality, a non-profit, is offering assistance by appointment. To be ready, have the following information prepared:

  • Social Security Number
  • Mother’s Maiden Name
  • Valid New York State driver’s license or Non-Driver Photo Identification Card number
  • Complete mailing address and zip code
  • Employer Registration Number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) of your most recent employer
  • Complete name, address, zip code and phone number of your most recent employer
  • Alien Registration Card number (if you are not a U.S. Citizen)

To make an appointment:

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.

To join (must have Whatsapp installed):

  • Click this link and send the message that appears
  • Save the number to your contact list. It is the only way you can receive every message sent and interact.

Additional Resources for Immigrant Communities

MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health Support
Contact NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline, staffed by trained counselors, providing counseling and referrals to care in over 200 languages.

Learn more about free mental health services from Thrive NYC
Services are tailored to the needs of:

  • aging New Yorkers
  • veterans
  • students and young people
  • people harmed by violence, crime or abuse
  • substance users

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES 

Updates:

FOR ORGANIZATIONS

New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF)
Update: Pre-applications for the New York Forward Loan Fund will be open on May 26, 2020 at Noon Eastern Daylight Time.

A new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

  • NYFLF is for the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords.
  • Priority will be given to industries and regions that have been reopened. This is not a first-come, first-served loan program.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as regions and industries reopen.
  • For small businesses and nonprofits that are in industries and regions that have not yet reopened, prepare your pre-application in advance. Get help with your loan application.
  • This will allow you to quickly submit your pre-application once it is announced that your industry and region is phased to reopen.
  • Learn about New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF).

Nonprofits
Visit the “Grants and Funding Opportunities” tab on the NYC Comptroller’s page for more information.

Financial Assistance Businesses and Nonprofits
Small Business Administration (SBA) provides small businesses and nonprofits low-interest loans of up to 30 years that they might not have to start repaying for one year. Learn more.

Paycheck Protection Program
Update: Additional funding is available.

The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA loan that will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Learn More.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Electronic Notary
Executive order by Governor Cuomo allows the temporary notarization of documents using remote audio/video communication that would normally have to be notarized in person.

Requirements for electronic notarization:

  • The person seeking the Notary’s services, if not personally known to the Notary, must present valid photo ID to the Notary during the video conference, not merely transmit it prior to or after;
  • The video conference must allow for direct interaction between the person and the Notary (e.g. no pre-recorded videos of the person signing);
  • The person must affirmatively represent that he or she is physically situated in the State of New York;
  • The person must transmit by fax or electronic means a legible copy of the signed document directly to the Notary on the same date it was signed;
  • The notary may notarize the transmitted copy of the document and transmit the same back to the person; and,
  • The notary may repeat the notarization of the original signed document as of the date of execution provided the Notary receives such original signed document together with the electronically notarized copy within thirty days after the date of execution.
  • Learn more about electronic notarization from the Department of State

Overnight Transportation for Essential Workers

As of May 6th, the MTA subway service will be unavailable between 1am to 5am until further notice. Increased bus service and commuter rails will be available. Essential employees can apply for one free trip in a for-hire vehicle per night if:

  • A bus trip would take more than 1 hour and 20 minutes
  • A bus trip requires more than two transfers, or
  • The walk to or from a bus stop is more than 1/2 mile (10 minutes)

You must sign up in order to receive this service.

Learn more and find other resources to help you get where you’re going during the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

Phone hours:

  • Monday 1:30-8pm (English)
  • Tuesday 5:30-8pm (English, Mandarin)
  • Wednesday 1:30-8pm (English, Español)
  • Friday 1:30-5pm (English, Español)

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.

Internet

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, May 29th, 4:41pm