Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Resources for New Yorkers During Coronavirus Pandemic

Apr 7, 2020
The Serrano Report

***THIS WEEK: Deadline to update banking information for stimulus checks ***

Individuals have until NOON TOMORROW, May 13, to go into the Get My Payment portal and update their banking information if they would like to receive their stimulus payment by direct deposit.  After May 13, it will be too late to provide direct deposit information, and the Get My Payment portal will only be available for taxpayers to check the status of their payments. Visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to updated your information.

General Information & Resources

CARES Act Economic Impact Payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started sending Economic Impact Payments to taxpayers. Most people do not have to take any action to receive the payment by direct deposit or paper check. 

Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will automatically receive Economic Impact Payments of $1,200 no later than early May with no further action needed on their part. For SSI recipients with dependents, extra steps may be needed to claim the extra $500 for qualifying children. For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic. However, many benefit recipients aren’t required to file tax returns. They can quickly register by visiting the special tool available only on IRS.gov and provide information about themselves and their dependents in the Non-Filers section.

SSI recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits. For those with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS web site when claiming children under 17.

To check the status of your check, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments. General information about the Economic Impact Payments is available at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center 


Help for Small Businesses, Job Opportunities and Unemployment Benefits

  • Unemployment Benefits: To file for unemployment insurance in New York visit https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm. The State Department of Labor also created this chart to guide individuals seeking unemployment benefits after passage of the federal CARES Act. The Act provides enhanced Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for New Yorkers. The webpage on Unemployment Benefits and Health Insurance FAQ provides guidance for those recently unemployed due to COVID-19.  If you are having any issues filing for unemployment insurance, you can contact my district office for help at 718-620-0084.
     
  • Grant and Loan information for Small Businesses: 
    https://www1.nyc.gov/site/sbs/businesses/covid19-business-outreach.page
    • Small Business Loans:  The application for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has opened for businesses and nonprofits that employ less than 500 people. These are forgivable loans for payroll (up to $100,000/employee), interest on mortgages, rent, and utility payments. More information here. The City is still providing the Small Business Continuity Fund, which provides loans of up to $75,000 to businesses with up to 99 employees.
       
  • NYC Jobs
    • The City's Workforce1 Career Center has launched a Virtual Center to help New Yorkers prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City's five boroughs in every sector of the economy. Current employment opportunities include Stop & Shop, Fresh Direct & PBM Guardian Industry Services. 
    • Recruiting Drivers: New York City is recruiting TLC-licensed drivers through DeliveryTLC to help with work related to COVID-19, such as delivering food to older adults. Drivers will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be paid $15/hour plus reimbursement for gas and tolls.The initial need and hiring of drivers will be small, but it is expected to increase as the City expands its programs.
    • Seasonal Jobs at NYCHA: NYCHA is currently hiring temporary workers to assist with the maintenance of their properties throughout the city. The job will last as needed throughout the spring season at a rate of $15/hour. For more info and to apply, constituents who are NYCHA residents can contact their local NYCHA Property Management Office. Click here for more details.

Health Care & Food Safety

  • Health Insurance: If you are uninsured, the NY State of Health Department recently announced a Special Enrollment Period in response to Coronavirus through May 15. Visit their website or call 1-855-355-5777 to check eligibility.
  • COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Application: https://paidfamilyleave.ny.gov/if-you-are-quarantined-yourself
  • Visitor Policy for NYC Health & Hospital: Some constituents have asked what NYC Health & Hospital's visitor policy is, particularly for women after giving birth (visitors are allowed).  You can find more details here.
  • Mental Health Resources: This is a stressful time for New Yorkers.  Resources are available by contacting 1-888-NYC-WELL or Texting “WELL” to 65173.  For more information visit: https://nycwell.cityofnewyork.us. The City is also connecting older New Yorkers who are feeling isolated with friendly volunteers to talk with over the phone through the Friendly Visiting Program. Please call 212-AGING-NYC (212-244-6469)
  • New Yorkers with disabilities: During this crisis, New Yorkers can reach out on Twitter to @NYCDisabilities, 311 or visit http://nyc.gov/disability for more information. Deaf New Yorkers can also connect via video phone at 646-396-5830
     
  • "Feeding New York" details the City’s plan to feed hungry New Yorkers throughout this crisis and protect the security of its food supply chain. In recent weeks, from Meal Hubs at public schools to home deliveries to seniors and other vulnerable populations, the City has provided approximately 4.5 million meals to hungry New Yorkers and projects serving 10 million in April. "Feeding New York" consists of two central components: meeting immediate needs and planning for a more resilient food system. Learn more about the initiative here: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/home/downloads/pdf/reports/2020/Feeding-New-York.pdf.
  • Additional information on COVID-19 food assistance resources is available online at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/contact/services/COVID-19FoodAssistance.

  • Grab and Go Meals for All New Yorkers: In this time of historic high unemployment, more New Yorkers are experiencing food insecurity for the first time. To help all ensure everyone has food on their table, the City is providing grab and go meals for all New Yorkers. No one is turned away, and participants are able to pick up to three meals. The hours are:
  • Senior Centers Grab and Go Meals: Most senior centers are still open for grab-and-go meals. However, DFTA is currently transitioning to meal delivery. For more information about Senior Center Meal Provision, click here. Social adult day cares should all be closed.
  • Information about school meals and remote learning: https://infohub.nyced.org/in-our-schools/operations/coronavirus-communications


Landowners, Homeowners, Renters, and NYCHA Tenants

  • NYCHA: NYCHA’s journal has information about how the agency is responding to COVID-19. This flyer provides information on hardship reductions for NYCHA residents struggling to pay rent.
  • Property Taxes: For homeowners who are having challenges paying their property taxes, the Department of Finance offers several programs to assist with hardship, including exemption programs as well as a new Property Tax and Interest Deferral (PT AID) program for those who qualify. More information here.
  • For Tenants/Landlords - Disinfection Guidance for Buildings: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-19-residential-buildings-faq.pdf
     

Labor Issues 


Donations & Volunteer Opportunities

  • Learn more about how you can help as we face the coronavirus pandemic in NYC:  https://www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/resources/covid-19-relief.page
  • Support NYC Healthcare Staff: NYC has raised more than $1.6 million from private donors to provide comfort items (including meals, groceries, taxi rides, and hotel rooms) to front line staff. For more information about the program and to make a donation, visit: nychhc.networkforgood.com.
  • Medical Volunteers: Hundreds of retired or non-practicing healthcare professionals have signed up to the City’s medical reserve. Anyone interested can sign up at nyc.gov/helpnownyc.
  • Information about space: New York City is still identifying and standing up new hospital capacity. They are particularly interested in private spaces that may not be yet on their radar. For those you know who have space they want to offer, please have them fill out this space survey here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/em/ready/share-your-space-survey.page.  
  • DonateNYC: The City is taking donations from those who want to help -- food, medical gear, etc. Please click here for information and to share: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/donate/site/
  • Supplies:
    • Please visit our new website for all the ways you can get or offer help with all issues related to COVID-19:  www.nyc.gov/helpnownyc  
    • Individuals/Organizations/Companies offering to DONATE PPE: Visit www.nyc.gov/ppedonations
    • Companies that have stock on hand and are offering to DONATE or SELL medical supplies and equipment (e.g. gowns, masks, ventilators, face shields): http://www.nyc.gov/covidsuppliers. Offers will be vetted and respondents will be contacted if there is interest.
    • Local manufacturers and industry sector companies looking to begin producing supplies: https://edc.nyc/covid-19-emergency-supply-sourcing-manufacturing  
    • Food and other non-medical donations should go through www.nyc.gov/donate. This site provides a platform to connect with organizations in need of food.
    • We now also have a phone number that folks can use for donations: 1-833-NYC-0040.


Other Resources