Dealing with the impact of COVID-19 can be stressful mentally, physically and financially. If you are struggling financially, many resources can alleviate some of the burdens of this challenging time. Review the list below and take proactive measures to work through the challenges and decisions you may face in the coming days and weeks.
The United Way’s 211 service is the nation’s leading source of local social services information. Call 2.1.1 (or go to 211.org) for expert help locating the following resources in your area. If the 211 service is not available in your area, go to unitedway.org to search for their local phone number. They can help locate a variety of resources including:
- Basic human aid: food banks, clothing closets, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance
- Physical and mental health resources: health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, medical information lines, crisis intervention services
- Employment support: financial assistance, job training, education programs
- Support for older Americans and Persons with Disabilities: adult daycare, Meals on Wheels, respite care, home health care
Religious Organizations, Charities & National Relief Groups
Local churches and religious organizations often operate assistance programs. Even if you are not a member of a particular organization, you may still be able to receive assistance in your community.
National relief groups may also be able to help meet short-term immediate needs:
Catholic Charities: Go to catholiccharitiesusa.org to search for resources in your area.
Goodwill Industries: Visit goodwill.org to search for resources in your area.
Salvation Army: Go to salvationarmyusa.org to search for resources in your area.
Benefits Check Up
Benefits Check Up (benefitscheckup.org) is an online resource that provides a personal report of public programs and benefits you may qualify for. Designed primarily for adults age 55+, it may also be helpful for younger individuals, but may not include every program they may qualify for.
Although getting help from the government can take time, it may be worth the wait. City, county, and state governments vary in the types of assistance available.
Contact your local Department of Health and Human Services (sometimes called County Social Services) to find out if you qualify for public assistance programs such as food stamps, emergency financial funds or Medicaid. Go to https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/help to search for your state’s local HHS office.
Contact HUD (Housing and Urban Development for housing counseling, including advice for eviction or foreclosure, and rental help in your state. Contact them at 1-800-569-4287 or online at hud.gov.
Military Benefits: The military has emergency financial assistance that may be available if you meet the qualifications.
Army Emergency Relief: https://www.aerhq.org/Financial-Assistance
Air Force Aid Society: https://www.afas.org/how-we-help/emergency-assistance/
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society: http://www.nmcrs.org/
Government Benefits: For benefits information, go to benefits.gov, a government resource for federal benefits. You can also call 1-800-FED-INFO (1-800-333-4636).
This is a difficult time, but we will get through it! If you’re struggling to cope and need additional assistance, seek help from a licensed professional counselor.