COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit for New Yorkers

Message from Comptroller DiNapoli

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a serious public health crisis for New York and the economic impact to our State will likely be felt for a long time to come. My office is taking many proactive and positive steps to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and we want to help New York’s residents, government entities, nonprofits and businesses alike as they navigate these uncharted waters. We created this page of helpful resources and links to give you easy access to vital assistance and information you need at this time. Since the situation is changing rapidly with each passing day, please check back regularly as we update this information.”

Updates

Health: COVID Alert NY (NYS Department of Health) - A COVID-19 tracing app to help protect New Yorkers has been launched by the NYS Department of Health.

Evictions:

  • Tenant Safe Harbor Act (NYS Senate) - The Tenant Safe Harbor Act prohibits courts from evicting residential tenants who have experienced financial hardship for non-payment of rent that accrues or becomes due during the COVID-19 period. (The COVID-19 period as defined in the Act is from March 7, 2020 until the date on which all COVID-related restrictions on non-essential gatherings and businesses are lifted in the county of the tenant’s residence.) A tenant may raise financial hardship during the COVID-19 covered period as a defense in an eviction proceeding and the court shall consider certain relevant factors, including: the tenant’s income prior to and during the COVID-19 covered period, the tenant’s liquid assets, and the tenant’s eligibility for and receipt of various government assistance programs. The Tenant Safe Harbor Act does not prohibit the court from imposing a money judgment for rent due and owing by such tenants.
  • Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency (NYS Office of the Governor) - Executive Order 202.66 modified the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to prohibit the execution or enforcement of a judgment or warrant of eviction through January 1, 2021, including those cases where a judgment or warrant of eviction for a residential property was granted prior to March 7, 2020 – thereby extending the protections to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.
  • Executive Order Extending Moratorium On COVID-Related Commercial Evictions Through January 1 (NYS Office of the Governor) - The Governor has issued certain protections through January 1, 2021, against eviction or foreclosure due to nonpayment of rent or mortgage by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or is otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Your Health

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Your Health

During this difficult time maintaining good physical and mental health is critically important. For guidance and assistance, you can find the latest and most reliable information on the COVID-19 outbreak using the following links:

New Yorkers can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for free and confidential emotional support.

COVID-19 Testing Is Available to All New Yorkers

COVID-19 Updates and Alerts

  • COVID Alert NY (NYS Department of Health) - A COVID-19 tracing app to help protect New Yorkers has been launched by the NYS Department of Health.

Staying Safe in Your Home During COVID-19

Worried about having to self-isolate in a dangerous home situation? Co-quarantined with an abuser?

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CARES Act
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Employment Issues

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Employment Issues

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating effect on many of New York’s working families. If you have been laid off, are ill or taking care of a sick family member, you may be eligible for assistance. Check out the links below to find out about unemployment, sick leave, and family sick leave benefits.

 

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Paying Your Bills

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Paying Your Bills

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a financial hardship for many people. Help may be available for those who are having trouble paying their bills at this time. Check the appropriate resources for your particular situation.

  • Mortgage Relief Coronavirus: Information for Consumers and Businesses (NYS Department of Financial Services)
  • Rent Relief - COVID Rent Relief Program (NYS Homes and Community Renewal) - This program provides eligible households with a one-time rental subsidy to be sent directly to the household’s landlord.
  • Evictions
    • Tenant Safe Harbor Act (NYS Senate) - The Tenant Safe Harbor Act prohibits courts from evicting residential tenants who have experienced financial hardship for non-payment of rent that accrues or becomes due during the COVID-19 period. (The COVID-19 period as defined in the Act is from March 7, 2020 until the date on which all COVID-related restrictions on non-essential gatherings and businesses are lifted in the county of the tenant’s residence.) A tenant may raise financial hardship during the COVID-19 covered period as a defense in an eviction proceeding and the court shall consider certain relevant factors, including: the tenant’s income prior to and during the COVID-19 covered period, the tenant’s liquid assets, and the tenant’s eligibility for and receipt of various government assistance programs. The Tenant Safe Harbor Act does not prohibit the court from imposing a money judgment for rent due and owing by such tenants.
    • Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency (NYS Office of the Governor) - Executive Order 202.66 modified the Tenant Safe Harbor Act to prohibit the execution or enforcement of a judgment or warrant of eviction through January 1, 2021, including those cases where a judgment or warrant of eviction for a residential property was granted prior to March 7, 2020 – thereby extending the protections to eviction warrants that existed prior to the start of the pandemic.  
    • Executive Order Extending Moratorium On COVID-Related Commercial Evictions Through January 1 (NYS Office of the Governor) - The Governor has issued certain protections through January 1, 2021, against eviction or foreclosure due to nonpayment of rent or mortgage by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or is otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • NYS Unified Court System Website or call 1-833-503-0447 (24/7 hotline), press prompt #4 for eviction information.
    • Governor Cuomo Announces Moratorium on COVID-Related Residential Evictions will be Extended Until January 1, 2021 (Office of the NYS Governor) - The moratorium for COVID-related residential evictions and foreclosures in NYS has been extended to January 1, 2021.  
    • Executive Order Extending Moratorium on COVID-Related Commercial Evictions (Office of the NYS Governor) - The Governor has issued certain protections through October 1, 2020, against eviction or foreclosure due to nonpayment of rent or mortgage by someone that is eligible for unemployment insurance or benefits under state or federal law or is otherwise facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions To Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (Federal Register) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an order calling for a temporary halt in residential evictions, effective through December 31, 2020.
  • Utilities - Department of Public Service Website | 1-800-342-3377
    • Note: Under new state law recently signed by the Governor (Laws of 2020, Chapters 108 and 126) utility services cannot be shut off through March 2021 for those who have been financially affected by COVID-19. If you are having difficulty paying your utility bills, contact your utility company directly.
    • COVID-19 Moratorium on Utility and Municipal Shutoffs (NYS Department of Public Service) - For a clear understanding of your rights as a utility customer, the New York State Department of Public Service has developed a “frequently asked questions” page.  
  • Credit Cards, Debt, Mortgages and other bills - Coping with Debt (Federal Trade Commission)
  • Student Loans
    • There is broad relief for federal student loan borrowers under the CARES Act. Generally, borrowers may temporarily stop making federal student loan payments from March 13, 2020 to December 31, 2020. For more information, visit: Coronavirus and Forbearance Info for Students, Borrowers, and Parents (U.S. Department of Education) or call 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243) or (TTY 1-800-730-8913).
    • New York State has collaborated with many commercial and private student loan lenders to offer help to those facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. For more information, visit: Coronavirus: Information for Student Borrowers (NYS Department of Financial Services). 
  • Loan Program - The Hebrew Free Loan Society is offering a COVID-19 Financial Impact Loan Program for those impacted by the pandemic due to job losses, child care or medical costs, and small business losses. This is a non-sectarian program for moderate and lower income residents of New York City, Long Island, and Westchester. For more information and to check eligibility, visit: Coronavirus Financial Impact Loan (Hebrew Free Loan Society).
  • Debt Collection - For those facing debt collection, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides certain rights and protections. For more information, please visit: Debt Collection FAQs (Federal Trade Commission).
     
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Assistance for Small Businesses, Local Government and Nonprofits

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Assistance for Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Local Government

Resources for Small Businesses

Small businesses are the backbone of New York’s economy and our nonprofits help countless individuals and families in communities across our State. Both types of entities have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic but financial assistance may be available for those small businesses and nonprofits that qualify. To learn more, please check these links:

Resources for Local Governments, including School Districts

The Office of the State Comptroller’s Division of Local Government and School Accountability has created a financial toolkit to offer guidance to municipalities in these challenging times. For more information, please see: Financial Toolkit for Local Officials in 2020 and Beyond.

Resources for Nonprofits

For nonprofit organizations, these links are useful:

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Personal Finance Information/Education

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Personal Finance Information/Education

Now more than ever it’s important for all of us to take greater control of our own personal finances and teach our children about sound financial practices. Except where expressly indicated, none of these materials necessarily represent the views of the Office of the New York State Comptroller. Here are several resources that provide a wide range of personal finance information that could help you now and in the future:

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Avoiding Scams

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Avoiding Scams

During this time of crisis, it’s important to be on alert for those who would attempt to defraud you or your family. To learn how to protect yourself from scams, refer to the following sites:

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Assistance for Seniors, People with Disabilities, Veterans & Active Military

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Assistance for Seniors, People with Disabilities, Veterans & Active Military

Military

  • Military OneSource is dedicated to providing timely resources, information and answers to address the health and financial impact of COVID-19 on the military community. For more information, please visit: Military OneSource (U.S. Department of Defense) or call 1-800-342-9647.
  • The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which was enacted in 2003, is designed to ease financial burdens on servicemembers during periods of military service. For more information, please visit: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (U.S. Department of Defense)
  • The Department of Defense has launched an initiative to assist military spouses with financial readiness. For more information, please visit: MilSpouse Money Mission (U.S. Department of Defense) - Note: the reference to this website does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of the Office of the State Comptroller and is provided for informational purposes only.

Veterans

For those Veterans affected by COVID-19, please check with Federal and State resources:

Seniors

  • For help in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, seniors can contact the NYS Office for the Aging by visiting: NYS Office of the Aging or calling 1-844-697-6321

People with Disabilities

To find resources for those with disabilities affected by COVID-19, please visit:

COVID-19 Financial Toolkit - Additional Resources

Additional Resources

The websites below also have helpful information and resources available:

Food Assistance

NYC Resources

Unclaimed Funds

  • New York State has over $16.5 billion in unclaimed funds. See if you are owed money - Unclaimed Funds (Office of the New York State Comptroller)

Motor Vehicle Services

  • The NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will only offer in-person services by reservation for limited transactions that cannot be completed online or by mail or drop box. To make a reservation and get more information visit: DMV Office Locations and Reservations (New York DMV)

*Please note that the reference to this website does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation of the Office of the State Comptroller and is provided for informational purposes only.