COVID-19 Resources

Last updated September 21, 2020

Have resources that should be added to these lists? Please send them to info@helpmlp.org.

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and comfortable during the current COVID-19 pandemic. To help you navigate necessary systems and helpful services during this time, in which many of our lives have become disrupted, we have compiled resources and information. The following resources are organized by the location in which the resources are available or applicable, including:

Important Information

It is important to only listen to accurate information from trusted sources. The best source for health-related information on COVID-19 is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Please do not rely on or use questionable websites to find information. The federal government has flagged several phone scams, as well as false webpages advertising COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. As of now, there is no COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, despite President Trump’s statements, the malaria drug, chloroquine, has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19. Taking chloroquine without doctor’s orders can result in harmful side effects, including death.

Do not give personal information over the phone or to any questionable source. This includes Social Security numbers, credit or debit card numbers, birth dates, and medical insurance information.

The Social Security Administration has issued a warning to the public about fraudulent letters being sent to homes threatening the suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19. If you receive a letter like this, do not respond. The Social Security Administration states it will will never:

  • Threaten you with a benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee;
  • Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment;
  • Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, internet currency, or prepaid debit card;
  • Demand secrecy from you in handling Social Security-related problem; or
  • Send official letters or reports containing personally identifiable information via email.

The FBI also issued a public announcement describing various scams taking place during COVID-19 on March 20, 2020. The USDA released a warning about a text message scam that is targeting SNAP recipients.

Below are National resources and information grouped by location.  Please stay safe and contact us with any concerns or questions at info@helpmlp.org.

National Resources

Health-related resources

Resources for pregnant women

Resources for people experiencing intimate partner violence or abuse

Resources for victims of abuse and violence have NOT stopped during the COVID-19 crisis.

Resources for people who use drugs

Resources for people in recovery

Resources for mental health

Resources related to sexual health

Resources for people experiencing homelessness

Resources for the LGBTQ+ community

Resources for students who are homeless or in foster care

Resources for parents

Resources for older adults

Resources for immigrants and individuals who speak languages other than English

Information in languages other than English

Legal Services

Public benefits and income supports

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”)

The previously announced changes to SNAP have been stayed by a federal court indefinitely. Individuals who lost SNAP as a result of the time limit will be able to reapply for SNAP.

Because these emergency SNAP benefits were allotted to households that were not receiving the maximum SNAP benefit allotment, households with the lowest or no income were excluded from additional benefits. CLS sued the USDA, and with the cooperation of Department of Human Services, lowest income households in Philadelphia should be able to receive extra SNAP in addition to their maximum benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Unemployment Assistance

The Social Security Administration is closed to the public due to COVID-19. Individuals will continue to receive their benefits during the COVID-19 crisis. In-person services are currently canceled and local Social Security offices will not accept walk-in visitors. The Social Security Administration will provide limited service by phone, mail, and online. If you currently have a hearing scheduled at a Social Security office, the office will contact you prior to your hearing to offer you a hearing by phone. The Social Security Administration is extending deadlines during the COVID-19 crisis.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance and Generocity put together this useful guide to changes and clarifications about benefits that are relevant to Pennsylvania workers.

Housing and utilities

All evictions and foreclosures on HUD-backed properties have been suspended until the end of April. The moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for homeowners has been extended through the end of the year.

Beginning March 27, there’s also a federal eviction moratorium for 120 days on the filing of any new evictions against tenants in any type of federally-related subsidized housing, including LIHTC and Housing Choice Voucher Programs (including “Section 8 housing”).

The utility shutoff moratorium appears to continue until the end of the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation (November 30), and the winter moratorium will begin on December 1 to protect low-income consumers (at/below 250% federal poverty level).

Though the LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program has ended, the regular season will reopen on November 2.

Federal taxes

The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) extended the deadline to file federal taxes to July 15, 2020. If you don’t owe money, these can be filed by October 15. Additional information about Coronavirus tax relief can be found here.

Free tax preparation

Free, virtual tax preparation is available for low-income families through the Campaign for Working Families at GetYourRefund.org. Once there, verify your identity, answer some required questions, and upload your tax documents.

Consumer and debt relief resources

Resources for people with student loans