(Compiled by the SABES Program Support PD Center. Updated 3/23/20)
Emergency counseling resources from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
1-800-985-5990 or Text "TalkWithUs" to 66746
Searchable database of local social services https://mass211.org/services/
Printable COVID-19 Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages
MA Essential Services Information (companies that remain open as of 3/23/20)
Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation – Relief Fund for Undocumented People
If you are undocumented yourself or have family members who are undocumented and have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, click on the link below to fill out the request form.
MA Workers Emergency Relief Funds
Compiled by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice for workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please research, apply, and share. This is a work in progress! If you find new funds, please let us know! And please reach out if you would like to volunteer to help workers, particularly ones who are not fluent in English or need help with technology, email@example.com. Shareable link: https://bit.ly/MassWorkerReliefFunds
Resources for LGBTQ Youth During COVID-19
This list is compiled by the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth based on submissions from partner organizations and the community. Please send submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org for us to review and potentially add!
Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) Virtual Town Halls
Sign up for a town hall presentation on applying for unemployment assistance.
In order to better meet the needs of customers whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus, DUA will be hosting daily town hall meetings where we will take our constituents through a step by step process of achieving a successful unemployment claim and taking questions from claimants across the Commonwealth. A web link to the daily visual presentation can be viewed here. You can also download the step by step presentation by going here. Sign up information for the virtual town hall is below.
Learn more and sign up here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/massachusetts-department-of-unemployment-assistance-dua-virtual-town-halls
- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) are filing emergency regulations that will allow people impacted by COVID-19 to collect unemployment if their workplace is shut down and expects to reopen in four or fewer weeks.
- New federal guidance has allowed for more flexibility at the state level for unemployment insurance. Massachusetts has suspended its one week waiting period, and other requirements have been temporarily relaxed to assist workers like bartenders and servers, who may not have been laid off but are currently out of work.
- If you already have an unemployment claim, all requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended, and missing deadlines due to the effects of COVID-19 will be excused under the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance's (DUA) good cause provision.
- To learn more and file unemployment claims online, click here.
Relief for Affected Workers, Small Businesses and Non-Profits
Assistance for Small Businesses and Non-Profits:
- The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses and non-profits with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Click here to apply for assistance.
- Massachusetts is postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would have been due in March, April, and May until June 20. All penalties and interest will be waived. Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and businesses that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.
Emergency Sick Leave:
- If you are sick, please stay home. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expanded paid emergency sick leave to more workers, and we are working to make sure all employees can receive paid sick leave. For more information, please read this fact sheet.
- Emergency paid sick leave also covers those who need to stay home to care for a sick child or family member.
- Contract workers, or gig economy workers, can now receive a tax credit in case they need to take emergency sick leave.
Useful Information for Parents and Kids
From March 17 through April 6, all Massachusetts public and private schools will be closed. All Massachusetts daycare and child care centers, with the exception of residential and placement schools, will also be closed starting on Monday, March 23 through April 6.
- Massachusetts is establishing a process to approve child care programs that will serve vulnerable children and the children of families who are essential to the health, safety, and welfare of our communities. More information can be found here.
- Massachusetts has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide free school meals to students after their school has been closed due to COVID-19. To learn more, please click here.
- The State is also working with multiple organizations to set up grab and go meal sites at various public locations like playgrounds or bus stops. To be notified of these locations, please follow Congresswoman Katherine Clark on Twitter, where she regularly shares updates on new food assistance locations in the 5th district.
- To stop the spread of COVID-19, many Massachusetts colleges and universities are switching to remote learning, ending study abroad programs, and closing on campus housing. If you or someone who know has been impacted by these changes, please contact Congresswoman Katherine Clark for assistance.
- I have also sent a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, demanding that affected students be given immediate access to loan debt relief and guaranteed reimbursement for classes, study abroad programs, and housing.
Advice for Renters and Homeowners
- For renters: If you are unable to pay your rent due to loss in income, please contact your landlord as soon as possible to make arrangements. Boston and Cambridge Housing Authorities have suspended evictions for their residents, and the Massachusetts Housing Court has halted evictions until April 21st.
- For homeowners: If you are unable to pay your mortgage due to loss in income, please contact your mortgage provider as soon as possible. A number of banks have posted their policies online. For those with government-backed mortgages, the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac have suspended foreclosures. For those with private lenders, there are mechanisms in place for borrowers experiencing an economic hardship that may enable you to reduce or suspend payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a list of suggestions and resources that can be found on their website.
- The CFPB also has a dedicated page on COVID-19 to help you stay financially secure during this pandemic.
Social Security Information
It is important for everyone to know that all Social Security benefits will continue to be paid to those who receive them. Scammers and other bad actors may try to misinform you into thinking that the pandemic will stop you from receiving Social Security payments, but that is not true.
- To slow the spread of COVID-19, all local Social Security offices will be closed to the public and will no longer be able to accept walk-in visitors.
- In case you or a loved one is need of assistance during the pandemic, you can access most services on the Social Security Administration (SSA) website or call toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.
- To access the SSA's designated COVID-19 webpage, which includes a list of frequently asked questions regarding the pandemic and its impact on Social Security benefits and services, please click here.
Important Health Care Updates for Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its medical facilities are working hard to protect and care for veterans during this pandemic.
- Veterans and their families should consult VA's website for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and treatment at VA facilities.
- Guidance from local VA medical facilities about their current operating status is available on each facility’s website, which can be found through VA’s facility locator tool.
Getting Home from Abroad Safely
I've heard from many constituents about a friend or loved one who is stuck abroad and trying to get home. While it is important not to panic, I encourage those who are impacted to follow these steps.
- Any American who is currently abroad and trying to return home should enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrolment (SMART) Program. SMART is a free service that provides travelers with important information from the U.S. Embassy about safety conditions in the country that they are visiting, allows the U.S. Embassy get in contact with them in an emergency, and helps family and friends get in touch with the enrollee while they are abroad.
- Please also contact my office so my staff can coordinate with the State Department to get you the assistance you need.
Stay Updated, Stay Healthy
Mental Health Resources
For the most up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19 at the state, national, and global level, please check these webpages regularly:
Here are some additional resources help you protect yourself and your family from COVID-19:
Emergency Relief Funds
(primarily for community based organizations, not individuals)
- All of Massachusetts: The US Small Business Administration (SBA): offering loans for small businesses and nonprofits through funding provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.
- Asian American Communities by Nellie Mae Education Foundation: Racism is a Virus Too Rapid Response Grant Fund
- Berkshires: The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation's Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund
- Berkshire United Way and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation: COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County
- Boston area/Merrimack Valley: United Way of MA Bay/Merrimack Valley's COVID-19 Family Support Fund
- City of Boston: The Boston Resiliency Fund
- Boston/Greater Boston: COVID-19 Response Fund at The Boston Foundation
- Cambridge: Cambridge Community Foundation's COVID-19 Emergency Fund
- Cape Cod & Islands: Cape and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund
- Essex County: The Essex County Community Foundation's Essex County COVID19 Response Fund
- Framingham: Established by the Foundation for MetroWest in Partnership with the City of Framingham, Feed Framingham COVID-19 Fund
- Greater Lowell Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
- Individuals in Boston: Union Capital Boston established a one-time direct gift campaign to send Visa gift cards to those who need it urgently in the Greater Boston area. 100% of donations will go to families in need.
- Jewish Community: Combined Jewish Philanthropies - the CJP Coronavirus Emergency Fund
- Life Science Cares’ new COVID-19 Response Fund
- MetroWest: The MetroWest Emergency Relief Fund at the Foundation for MetroWest
- Nantucket: Community Foundation for Nantucket established two funds: 1) to offset the cost of feeding school children who qualify for free and reduced lunch, and 2) an emergency fund processed through its discretionary grant to support local nonprofits.
- New England: The New England Grassroots Environment Fund's COVID19 Rapid Response Fund
- South Coast: The Community Foundation of Southeastern MA's South Coast Emergency Fund
- Tufts Health Plan Foundation: Committed $1 million to address COVID-19 to support efforts driven by community and nonprofit organizations supporting older people affected by coronavirus in MA, RI, NH, CT.
- Western MA: The Community Foundation of Western MA Fund to support urgent and longer-term needs.
- Worcester: The Greater Worcester Community Foundation's COVID-19 Response Fund
- Women’s Foundation of Boston Response Fund - Rapid Relief Grants to Greater Boston women and girls serving nonprofits