The COVID-19 situation in the United States is evolving rapidly as more becomes known about the virus, how it is spread, and how it effects people. For the most accurate and timely information about the virus, testing, and self-quarantine guidance, visit the CDC’s website or monitor CDC social media channels.
Questions about your Economic Impact Payment (aka Stimulus Check)? Click here for more information, or call 1-844-322-3639 for help from our dedicated helpline.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
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Want to help?
Please consider donating to your local 211 agency directly, local United Way or community fund.
Join the Response to COVID-19
To support the entire 211 network and communities most in need, please consider donating to the United Way National COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund.
PLEASE NOTE: Financial assistance is NOT available through every 211. If you hear that a United Way fund for financial assistance has been established in your area, consider finding your local United Way’s website to learn more about eligibility and application before reaching out to 211.
Economic Impact Payments/Stimulus Payments from Federal Government
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) authorized stimulus payments to be made to many people in the U.S. The distribution of economic impact payments have been distributed automatically, with no action required, for most people. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account. People who are undocumented, lack Social Security numbers, file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or adults who were claimed as dependents are not eligible for the payment. The amount of these payments varies depending on your financial situation. Read more, check your payment status, or change your bank or address information on the IRS website here.
If you did not file taxes in 2019 and did not need to, you must complete the Non-Filer Form to receive your Economic Impact Payment if you are eligible. More information is available here.
Rent & Mortgage Payment Assistance
Use this tool created by the Pew Charitable Trusts and Stanford Law School to find more information about eviction and rent protections in your state.
At this time there is no nationwide resource available to assist with mortgage or rent payments.
- The CDC issued a temporary national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent. The moratorium takes effect on September 4, 2020 and will last until December 31, 2020. To be eligible, renters must meet certain qualifications. A complete list of qualifications can be found here alongside a helpful FAQ from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. If you meet all of the qualifications, you must send a signed declaration to your landlord. Here is a template.
- Other renter resource from HUD: https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus/renters
For Homeowners: The FHA has permitted borrowers to enter into mortgage forbearance, a pause or reduction in their monthly mortgage for up to six months. Borrowers can request an additional six months if needed.
- FHA does not require lump sum repayment at the end of the forbearance, and has developed the COVID-19 Standalone Partial Claim to assist with repayment.
- If borrowers were current or less than 30 days delinquent as of March 1, 2020, they may be entitled to this option. Homeowners who are suffering financial hardship, directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 should contact their servicer to request a forbearance.
- Homeowners will have to attest to financial hardship caused directly or indirectly by COVID-19 to receive a forbearance but are not required to provide any further documentation to prove such financial hardship.
- Homeowner resource from HUD: https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus/homeowners
Health Insurance and Medical Expenses
If you have health insurance, visit the website for your provider or contact their customer support line with any questions about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Many healthcare insurers are also making telemedicine available to customers for low or no cost.
If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for benefits through your state. Visit this website to explore options based on your household income, children in the home, and state.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, and shortness of breath) and are concerned that you cannot afford to seek treatment or a test, contact your medical provider or the nearest Urgent Care facility to seek guidance. Free testing for COVID-19 is becoming available in many places, but medical care may still incur a charge. Be sure to ask questions about cost if you seek medical care or treatment.
Home Internet Access
If you do not have internet access at home, or cannot afford to maintain it, but need internet for work or school, there are several options available through providers:
Access from AT&T is a low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households (no special for COVID-19 but still available at a low cost).
Comcast Internet Essentials, a low-cost home internet package for qualifying individuals and households, is now available for free for the first two months.
Mediacom is offering internet access to students at a reduced rate.
- Verizon is offering reduced fee internet services at a 3-tier level for low-income customers.
Additionally, many internet providers have announced that they are waiving late payment fees, increasing caps on internet speeds, and will not disconnect customers for not paying monthly bills on time. If you have questions or concerns about your internet connection, contact your provider or visit their website for more information.
- The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemployment insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Use this tool to find the agency that manages unemployment insurance in your state and visit their website for more information about eligibility and how to apply for benefits.
- When the Paycheck Stops – An AFL-CIO Survival Guide to Unemployment
- Cuando El Sueldo No Llega – Una guía de supervivencia de AFL-CIO en caso de desempleo
Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they work for a covered employer and:
- have worked for their employer for at least 12 months
- have at least 1,250 hours of service over the previous 12 months
- and work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.
Employers are required to give eligible FMLA workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected (but not necessarily paid) leave if they are sick, including with complications from the flu or a similar illness and/or they need to care for an immediate family member (children, spouse, parents) who are ill. Visit this Department of Labor resource for more information.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
Visit the SNAP Eligibility Page to learn more about eligibility requirements. To apply for benefits, or get information about SNAP in your state, contact your local SNAP office by selecting your state on the this map and using the contact information. Each state has its own application form. If your state’s form is not available online, you’ll need to contact your local SNAP office to request one.
Already a SNAP recipient? Fresh EBT is a free smart phone app available to check your SNAP balance and purchase history. Fresh EBT also includes a COVID response help center with information about changes to government benefits programs and connections to local organizations and resources. Learn more or download Fresh EBT at www.freshebt.com.
If you are not already a SNAP recipient but have a food need, consider applying for SNAP benefits online today. To be eligible for SNAP in most states, households must demonstrate consistently low bank balances. The threshold for a “low balance” may be higher for households with an elderly (over 60) or disabled household member.
As a part of application, in-person interviews are normally required; however, most states are conducting telephone interviews instead of face-to face-interviews for SNAP Quality Control purposes during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP)/Disaster Food Stamps have not been activated for COVID-19.
Contact your local 211 or search for your local 211 using the search bar above for more information about food pantries and food distribution sites.
Relief for “Gig Economy” Workers & Self Employed
Self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, people seeking part-time work, and those who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state unemployment benefits may qualify for benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Those seeking benefits should check with the Department of Labor in their state for the rules.
Mental Health and Crisis
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Visit this CDC page to learn more about things you can do to support yourself and your loved ones. If you need to talk to someone, these resources are confidential and available for free 24/7:
- Call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Text HOME to 741-741 for Crisis Text Line
- Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66-746 for the Disaster Distress Hotline
- Call 1-866-488-7386, text START to 678-678 or click here to chat with The Trevor Project (for LGBTQ youth)
- Call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22-522 to connect with The National Domestic Violence Hotline.
All 211 providers across the United States and Canada are operational and continue to connect people with services and resources in their local communities, including people who are in need of financial or other assistance as a result of lost wages from event cancellations, business closures, and quarantines.
Additionally, many 211s are working closely with state and local health officials to provide up-to-date information to the general public about the virus and outbreak. State officials in these states are directing the public to contact 211 for any questions related to COVID-19: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Remember if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.