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Resources For All Immigrants

Last Updated Tuesday, July 7th, 10:51am

This includes information for all of the government benefits, resources, services hosted on ACCESS NYC that are available to every New Yorker regardless of their immigration status so long as they meet other eligibility requirements.

It is NOT a comprehensive list of all government resources available to immigrants.

  • You must apply to receive a benefit. Services and resources do not require an application, you can get help without applying.
  • To get help, contact the agency for assistance under “More Ways To Get Help With This Program.”
  • Call the ACTION NYC hotline for free, safe immigration related legal help at: 1-800-354-0365

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

CASH & EXPENSES

Fair Fares
Fair Fares NYC is a City program that helps low-income New Yorkers. Using the Fair Fares NYC MetroCard, participating New York City residents receive a 50% discount on subway and eligible bus fares. Pay-Per-Ride, 7-Day (Weekly) and 30-Day (Monthly) Unlimited Ride options are all available.

NYC Free Tax Prep
If you earned $64,000 or less last tax year, the City can help you file your taxes for free. You can file for free online or in person, depending on your individual or family income.

Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
This tax credit helps working families pay for the care of children, adult dependents, or disabled spouses. You can claim up to $3,000 in expenses for one dependent or $6,000 for more than one when you file your taxes.

School Tax Relief Program (STAR)
STAR provides property tax relief to New York State’s homeowners. It lowers the tax burden on New York residents who live in school districts.

Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE)
SCHE gives property tax help to senior homeowners. It lowers the taxes of seniors who own one to three homes, condos, or coop apartments.

Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE)
People with disabilities who own one to three homes, condos, or coop apartments can get property tax on their primary residence lowered through DHE. DHE reduces property tax between five and fifty percent. The property tax reduction depends on how much the family earns.

FOOD

COVID-19 Food Assistance Resources
Options include:

  • Free Grab & Go meals at NYC Schools for children and adults
  • Meal Hub summer service operates at approximately 400 sites across the city and will continue regular service from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Vegetarian and halal options are available at all sites.
  • Certain sites offer exclusively kosher certified meals.
  • All Meal Hubs now also offer take home pizza meal kits alongside grab-and-go meal offerings.
  • 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 from 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. Parents are encouraged to call their school’s parent coordinator or secretary in order to update their address, if needed.
  • 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 about Pandemic EBT from OTDA.

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP)
There are two ways to get free food quickly: get groceries from a food pantry, or a cooked meal from a community kitchen. Find the closest food pantries and community kitchens.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
WIC provides free healthy food and services to low-income women and children, including nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, health education, and referrals.

SchoolFood
Breakfast and lunch are completely free for all students in every New York City public school.

Summer Meals
During the summer, children can get free breakfast and lunch. Locations include schools, libraries, community pools, and NYCHA buildings. There are also food trucks at some beaches, parks, and playgrounds.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
CSFP provides healthy food packages to eligible low-income adults ages 60 and older. CSFP nutritionists also give cooking demonstrations and nutrition lessons. Plus, the program can connect you to health care and social service agencies.

HOUSING

Eviction Protection

  • All residential and commercial eviction proceedings and pending eviction orders have been suspended in New York until August 20, 2020 – for everyone, no matter what your immigration status is.
  • This means that your landlord cannot make you leave your home or your business space for failure to pay rent during this time.
  • At this time, there is no rent suspension in effect.
  • Utility shut-offs have also been suspended.
  • 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.

New York State Passes “Tenant Safe Harbor Act”

  • Under the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, you cannot be evicted for unpaid rent that accrued or came due during the COVID-19 period if you “suffered financial hardship” during that period.
  • The New York State law applies to any unpaid rent between March 7 and the yet-to-be-determined date on which all COVID-related restrictions on non-essential gatherings and businesses will be lifted.
  • This legislation builds upon the protections of the current eviction moratorium.
  • The Court will consider the following and other relevant factors to see whether someone has “suffered a financial hardship”: income prior to COVID-19 covered period; income during the covered period; liquid assets; and eligibility for and/or receipt of cash assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Social Security Income (SSI), New York State disability, Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), or unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law.
  • Learn more about the Tenant Safe Harbor Act.

Call 311 and ask for City’s Tenant Helpline For Free Housing Legal Advice and Assistance
HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) has partnered with nonprofit legal services providers and can help all New Yorkers, regardless of zip code, income, or immigration status with tenant / renter’s issues, providing guidance on:

  • How to access city benefits or apply for assistance
  • Free legal advice
  • Other resources available
  • Call 311 and ask for “City Tenant Helpline” Operating hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Email civiljustice@hra.nyc.gov
  • Learn more about HRA Legal Services for Tenants
  • Homebase
    Homebase is a homelessness prevention network with 26 locations across NYC’s five boroughs. If you’re at risk of homelessness, you can get services through Homebase to help with a housing crisis and support housing stability.

    Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)
    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)
    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.

  • Learn more about Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE)
  • HEALTH

    COVID-19
    Every New Yorker can get a free, confidential, and safe COVID-19 test today! Available regardless of immigration status.

    Find a testing site near your home.

    Health Insurance Assistance
    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. This is a State operated program with many options available for all immigrants, including: Child Health plus, Essential Plan, Emergency Medicaid, Qualified Health Plans.

    Medicaid for Pregnant Women
    This program offers complete pregnancy care and other health services to women and teens who live in New York State and meet income and residency guidelines.

    NYC Well
    NYC Well is your connection to free private mental health support. You can connect to a counselor or peer specialist by phone, text, or chat and get help with problems like stress, depression, anxiety, or drug and alcohol misuse.

    CHILD CARE

    EarlyLearn NYC Head Start
    EarlyLearn NYC Head Start programs provide early child care and education that supports the whole family. Families can get services for at least eight hours a day.

    EDUCATION

    Pre-K For All
    In free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K, teachers spark wonder and ignite learning in children. Pre-K for All gives children stronger math and reading skills in elementary school and a better chance at success in life. Studies show that early childhood education improves performance throughout a child’s school experience.

    ENRICHMENT

    Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS NYC)
    Students can join one of hundreds of free afterschool programs in NYC through COMPASS NYC. COMPASS programs can offer homework help, sports, arts, and more. They are free and located all over the city.

    FAMILY SERVICES

    NYC Family Justice Centers (FJCs)
    Survivors of sexual violence, human trafficking, stalking, and intimate partner and family violence can get free and confidential services

    NYC Nurse-Family Partnership (NYC NFP)
    The NYC Nurse-Family Partnership (NYC NFP) helps first-time mothers by providing a personal nurse. Your nurse can answer your questions and provide valuable guidance and support.

    • Learn more about NFP.

    Child Support Services
    The program helps mothers, fathers, and guardians with child support. People who receive child support can get help collecting it. People who pay child support can get help finding a job and managing their child support debt. Other services are also available.

    CITY ID CARD

    IDNYC
    IDNYC is a free government-issued photo ID card for people over 10 years old who live in NYC. It can help you get City services, museum memberships, and more.

    • Learn more about IDNYC.

    WORK

    Safe and Sick Leave
    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.

    PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

    Access-A-Ride (AAR)
    Access-A-Ride (AAR) Paratransit Service provides public transportation for eligible customers with disabilities or health conditions that prevent them from using the public buses and subways for some or all of their trips. AAR operates 24/7/365.

    Adult Protective Services (APS)
    If you have a mental and/or physical disability that makes it hard to live alone and manage your affairs, and no one can help you, APS can. APS’s caseworkers make home visits, help you apply for benefits and services such as healthcare and managing money, and look into reports of abuse.

    Special Education Parent Centers
    Special Education Parent Centers provide information and resources to families of students with disabilities. The centers can help families be more involved in their child’s education, understand their child’s disabilities, resolve issues with families and school districts early, and more.

    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

    Additional government resources available to all immigrants, regardless of citizenship status, that do not yet have a full “program guide” on ACCESS NYC.

    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)
    • And more

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

    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)

    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.

    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

    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.

    Additional Resources for Immigrant Communities

    Find additional resources that are not hosted on ACCESS NYC as program guides on ACCESS NYC Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates.

    Last Updated Tuesday, July 7th, 10:51am