COVID-19 Resources

Last updated January 6, 2021

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 SNAP maximum allowance has been increased by 15% from January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021. The added extra 15% will be added in the second half of the month for January. Afterwards, the new SNAP amount will come in the first half of the month on your normal payment date.

The new maximums are $234 for a household of 1, $430 for a household of 2, $616 for a household of 3, $782 for a household of 4, $929 for a household of 5, $1114 for a household of 6, $1232 for a household of 7, and $1408 for a household of 8 ($176 for each added person).

There are currently extra SNAP benefits in January 2021, Emergency Allotments (EAs). This is separate from the 15% increase in SNAP benefits boost. These benefits will continue for the duration of federal and state emergency public health declarations. From January 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021, you are eligible for the EAs if you received SNAP in January 2021 and didn’t get the maximum benefit for your household size. The extra benefits will be loaded to your EBT card in the second half of January. You do not need to file additional paperwork for the EA.

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

Pandemic unemployment benefits have been extended for 11 weeks, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). They must be claimed by April 5, 2021, and they don’t apply to any weeks of unemployment before January 2, 2021. If your unemployment claim is inactive, you do not need to file a new claim to receive the extension; instead, reopen your claim and continue filing. 

Unemployment claimants who qualify for an extra $300/week (e.g. those who qualify for Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, and Extended Benefits) will be automatically paid out until March 13, 2021. You do not need to file a separate application, and the benefits are not retroactive.

If you are an app-based driver, you are now eligible for regular unemployment benefits in PA. You can apply for benefits if your work involves assignments through a mobile app, predetermined rates for trips or assignments, customer reviews, negative consequences for declining assignments, GPS tracking of your driving, and restrictions on your ability to subcontract AND you have lost work through being fired, lack of work (received significantly fewer assignments and your weekly pay has decreased by at least 25%), or voluntary quit (health condition that prevents you from driving, high-risk for COVID-19 or share a house with someone who is high-risk for COVID-19, lost childcare, no access to vehicle). You will need to email UCappeals@pa.gov 10 days after you apply or once you receive a Notice of Determination. Include your full name and mailing address, the date of your application to UC benefits, last four digits of your social security number, and proof of your earnings from each driving company you work for (e.g. 1099s and monthly pay statements).

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 2020. The moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for homeowners has been extended through the end of 2020. The CDC and federal eviction moratoriums have been extended to January 31, 2021.

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 reopened on November 2, 2020 and closes April 9, 2021.

Federal taxes

For the 2020 tax return, you can claim stimulus checks you were entitled to but did not receive through your 2020 tax return.

The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) extended the deadline to file federal taxes to July 15, 2020. If you don’t owe money, these could have been filed by October 15, 2020. 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