Coronavirus Resources : These are the first two, immediate steps the CDC recommends you can take to protect yourself
Health, Meals, Transportation, and How to Report Price Gouging
New York City Council candidate Rick Echevarría is making available to the public this collection of resources. If there is additional information that is specific to Council District 37 that would benefit the entire community, please send us a message on our Contact Page so we can consider updating this resource list.
Federal Health Authorities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") provide the most thorough and credible information about Coronavirus ("COVID-19"), including offering information you need to know and some online resources for the community.
- Read More : Coronavirus (COVID-19) - What You Need To Know [CDC]
- Lee mas : Hoja informativa sobre el coronavirus [NYCDOH]
- En savoir + : Fiche d'information sur le coronavirus [NYCDOH]
What if you feel sick ?
The CDC has issued recommendations for individuals to follow, in case you become sick during the Coronavirus outbreak. Please follow the recommendations to help prevent your illness or Coronavirus from spreading to people in your home and community. These recommendations can be superceded by orders of your physicians.
If you have symptoms of illness for more than 3 or 4 days, please call 3-1-1 in New York City. You can be connected to a clinician, who can help determine if you need to seek medical treatment, or if you should continue to stay home and monitor your symptoms to prevent exposure to others. Please call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
If you need medical insurance and have lost your job or suffered a loss of income, you may be eligible to apply for Medicaid from the State of New York. Open enrollment period has been extended through April 15, 2020 for new applicants.
- Read More : What To Do if You Are Sick [CDC]
- Apply for Medicaid : Individual Marketplace [New York State]
Food and SNAP Resources
The Food Bank for New York City has made it possible for individuals to do ZIP Code searches to find food pantries, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers, SNAP Centers, and Kosher centers. Note that many soup kitchens now only provide "Grab-and-Go" meals.
If you are a K-12 public high school student or a member of their family, you can get "Grab-and-Go" breakfast and lunch at area schools from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. Adults are also provided up to three meals per week-day from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Please read the section about New York City Public Schools, below.
If you don't earn a lot of money, you may qualify to receive receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. New York State has published income guidelines for qualification. In New York City, you can apply online for SNAP benefits with the New York City Department of Human Resources Administration.
- Read More : Get Help Finding Food [Food Bank for New York City]
- Public School Children : Find your Grab-And-Go Meal Location [NYC Public Schools]
- Apply for SNAP : ACCESS HRA [NYCHRA]
Volunteer for the Gouge Watch Crew
The City Council campaign for Rick Echevarría has assembled a team of volunteers to check in on bodegas, delis, and 99 cents stores in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to monitor if businesses are engaged in price gouging or bulk selling. If you are healthy, can walk around, and want to make a difference in your community, please consider volunteering.
- Read More : Volunteer [Friends of Rick Echevarría for 37]
How can you report price gouging ?
You can report price gouging to the New York State Attorney General's Office by using this online complaint form. Please provide as much detail as possible. You can also upload attachments.
- Read More : Price Gouging Complaint Form [New York State Attorney General]
Income and Taxes
Unemployment Benefits in New York
New York State is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for individuals, who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.
Due to heavy Internet traffic for new time filers for Unemployment Benefits, the New York State Department of Labor has instituted a rule that requires you to file on days based on the first letter of your last name : "If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G - N, file your claim on Tuesday. For last names starting with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday."
- Apply Online for : Unemployment Benefits [NYSDOL]
Federal and State Income Taxes
The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and the New York State Department of Taxation have extended the deadline to file income tax returns from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
The IRS has begun making some direct deposit payments of the Coronavirus Impact Payments to those individuals, for whom the IRS had banking information. For individuals, who must file income tax returns but have not provided the IRS with banking information, you can provide your direct deposit information to the IRS when you file your 2019 income tax returns. On or about April 17, the IRS is expected to make available a smart cellphone app to download and track your Stimulus payment.
For individuals, who were not required to file income tax returns, the IRS has set up a Web portal to register your direct deposit information.
If you are unable to update the IRS with your direct deposit information, you should receive paper checks in the mail at your address of record, beginning on April 24, 2020, according to the IRS.
- Apply Online for : Coronavirus Tax Relief [IRS]
Housing and Utilities
New York State suspended all eviction cases and warrants of eviction for not paying rent. As of March 20, 2020, there began a 90-day eviction moratorium in New York State, which runs until at least June 20, 2020. As a result, you cannot be evicted during this time (for at least three months), even if you do not pay rent. Activists are fighting for a rent moratorium, which means a suspension of rent, but that has not yet been legislated or decreed by the Government. For people facing mortgage payments, there is better news. The executive of New York State Government issued an executive order on March 21, 2020, resulting in a State banking regulation, urging banks to postpone mortgage payments for 90 days for individuals facing financial distress due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Please check with your mortgage company to learn how to apply for mortgage payment deferment.
The New York City Housing Authority ("NYCHA") allows residents to file an interim recertification to decrease their rent due to decreased income. Following public pressure, the housing authority has also announced it is observing a moratorium on evictions. NYCHA directs all tenant inquiries to the online self-service protal.
- Read More : Self-Service Links [NYCHA]
Con Edison have announced that they are "temporarily" suspending any electric and gas service shutoffs involving customers having payment difficulties. Nevertheless, Con Edison continue to advise customers to "pay bills online" and to register their accounts online.
- Read More : Company Statement [Con Edison]
National Grid have announced that they are "temporarily" suspending collections and service suspensions involving customers having payment difficulties. Whereas walk-in payment centers have been temporarily closed, National Grid continue to advise customers to pay bills online.
- Read More : COVID-19 and Your Service [National Grid]
Government authorities are recommending everybody to stay home, if you can do it. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority ("MTA") is remaining open to get first responders, other critical Government employees, and others doing service work where they need to go. Nevertheless, subway service has begun to suffer, because fewer subway train crews are reporting for work, the MTA has admitted. Beginning on 23-Mar-2020, most buses will begin rear door boarding, meaning there will be no fare to be paid. Rear entry has been described as a safety precaution intended to put bus drivers at ease.
- Read More : Coronavirus Updates: What to Know About the MTA [MTA]
The MTA reports that, although Access-A-Ride has suspended shared rides, you can still travel with a Personal Care Attendant ("PCA") or guest. The E-Hail Pilot Program has been extended past mid-April (for now).
If you need to call the Customer Care Comment Line, please dial : 877-337-2017 (M-F from 9 am - 5 pm).
- Read More : Coronavirus Updates: What to Know About the MTA [AAR/MTA]
New York City Public Schools
Public schools in New York City were closed for an extended "Spring Recess" as of Monday, 16 Mar 2020, and they plan to possibly reöpen on Monday, 20 Apr 2020. Students are expected to begin "remote learning" on Monday, 23 Mar 2020. During the Spring Recess, "Grab-and-Go" breakfast and lunch will be available for students, their families, and adults at area schools.