Financial Empowerment Resources for New Yorkers

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Financial Empowerment Resources for New Yorkers

Message from Comptroller DiNapoli

“While we continue to emerge from financial hardships caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers are returning to a sense of normalcy. However, inflation, the emergence of new variants and supply chain issues have proved challenging to everyone. This office is dedicated to helping New York residents, government entities, nonprofits, and businesses as they rebuild financially during the post pandemic era. This page offers resources and links to give you easy access to assistance and trusted information. Please check this page regularly for updates.”

Updates

Personal Finance Information/Education

  • (NEW) Money Smart for Young People (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) | 1-800-877-8339 - Financial Literacy is a skill that has lifetime benefits. Kids as young as preschool age can learn how to handle money, budget, and save. The FDIC offers age-appropriate lessons for all ages. Take the time to teach your kids about the value of money and how they can manage it wisely. 

Student Loans:

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Your Health

With variations of the original virus strain on the rise, including the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges those who are still unvaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible. For more information on the benefits of vaccinations and what new variants are spreading, please refer to the links below.

  • COVID-19 Testing Sites (BioReference Laboratories) - In response to the latest Omicron variant uptick, NYS has made available 13 new free testing sites statewide. 
  • COVID-19 Vaccine: Get the Facts (NYS Department of Health) - Get regular updates on the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker (NYS Department of Health) - Track the progress of the vaccine program in your region. 
    • Vaccination availability has expanded to include more populations.
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CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides direct economic assistance for American workers and families. 

The Treasury Department is Delivering COVID-19 Relief for All Americans (U.S. Treasury Department) - Find specific information about:

  • Assistance to workers and their families;
  • Small businesses;
  • State, local and tribal governments assistance;
  • Preserving jobs; and
  • Emergency rental assistance program.
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    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.

    • NYS Department of Labor Website | 1-888-209-8124
      • Excluded Workers' Fund (EWF): A $2.1 billion fund was created to support New Yorkers who could not get unemployment, pandemic, or other federal relief benefits. Applications for the EWF are now being accepted. It is the first entirely state-run and state-funded program in the country to support workers who did not qualify for government-issued economic relief.
    • New Paid Leave for COVID-19 (Office of the NYS Governor)

    If you believe you have been a victim of unemployment benefit fraud, here are some helpful resources: 

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    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.

    • An Essential Guide to Building an Emergency Fund (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) - While all of us should have the goal of saving for the future, it’s also critical to have a dedicated emergency fund for life’s unexpected expenses. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a great guide to building an emergency fund. 
    • Mortgage Relief 
    • Evictions
      • Emergency Rental Assistance Program (Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance) - The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is accepting applications for the New York State Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), which provides economic relief to low and moderate income households for rental arrears, temporary rental assistance, and utility arrears payments. Applications for all eligible households will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as funds remain available. New York State residents are eligible for ERAP if they meet certain criteria, including income limits that vary by county and household size. Refer to OTDA’s website for more detailed eligibility requirements.
    • Funeral AssistanceCOVID-19 Funeral Assistance (Federal Emergency Management Agency) - As part of the federal stimulus package, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will reimburse certain funeral expenses up to $9,000 for individuals who died as a result of COVID-19 after January 20, 2020. 
    • Utilities - Department of Public Service Website | 1-800-342-3377
    • Credit Cards, Debt, Mortgages and other bills - Coping with Debt (Federal Trade Commission)
    • Student Loans
      • (NEW) COVID-19 Emergency Relief and Federal Student Aid (Federal Student Aid) - Repayment of student loans that were suspended during the pandemic will restart on August 31, 2022. Take steps now to prepare for payments to resume. 
      • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver Opportunity (U.S. Department of Education) - Eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is temporarily expanded through October 31, 2022, so that it now includes borrowers who have older loans that didn't originally qualify, as well as those who were in the wrong repayment plan but met the other requirements. 
      • 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

    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:

    • Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program (Empire State Development) - The $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program provides grant funding to small and micro businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic. Grants range from $5,000-$50,000. Applications are available starting on Thursday, June 10, 2021.

    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

    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

    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:

    • Report Unemployment Insurance Fraud (NYS Department of Labor) - If you have been the victim of suspected unemployment fraud, the NYS Department of Labor has set up an online reporting tool to open an investigation.
    • Report Identity Theft and Get a Recovery Plan (Federal Trade Commission) - If you believe you’ve been the victim of unemployment fraud or any other identity theft, please visit this website for assistance.
    • FTC COVID-19 and Stimulus Reports (Federal Trade Commission) - COVID-related fraud is on the rise nationwide and the Federal Trade Commission is tracking these cases. In New York State, there were more than 11,000 cases reported.
    • Report Government Fraud (Office of the New York State Comptroller) | 1-888-672-4555 - You can report allegations of fraud involving taxpayer money on our website.
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    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

    People with Disabilities

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

     

    Additional Resources

    The websites below also have helpful information and resources available:

    Income Tax Credits and Refunds

    • Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 (Internal Revenue Service) – On July 15, the IRS began paying half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments to qualified individuals. If qualified, you will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. These changes apply to tax year 2021 only. Use their Eligibility Assistant to see if you qualify.

    To check on the status of your income tax refunds, visit:

    Food Assistance

    NYC Resources

    Unclaimed Funds

    • New York State has over $17 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.