March 22, 2020

Managing Finances in a Time of Crisis

Source:  NYSUT Program Services
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managing finances

What support and relief is available to New York workers to help manage finances amid the coronavirus pandemic?

There is variability in what services are provided depending on what county you reside, but the following are statewide initiatives in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Unemployment and Financial Assistance

New York State is waiving the seven day waiting period to apply for unemployment if you have been laid off due to the coronavirus.

If you have become temporarily unemployed due to the crisis and expect to return to work, you are eligible to collect up to four weeks unemployment and you will not expected to seek employment during that period. 

For more information, or to apply for unemployment insurance, go to

Payment of Utilities and Phone Bills

Most companies including gas, electric and cell phone services are halting disconnections due to lack of payment due to the coronavirus.

Check with your local companies regarding their specific policies but it appears that this will be in effect for the next 60 days. 

Food Assistance

Grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open and food supply does not appear to be a problem at this time.

However, for the homebound and elderly there is the establishment of special deliveries to keep them fed and safe.

Contact your local Office for Aging to find out what may be available.

Meals on Wheels is still operating statewide if you meet the following requirements:

  1. You are 60 years or older
  2. You are unable to prepare nutritious meals or have no one to do so for you
  3. You are physically or mentally incapacitated and in need of some assistance
  4. You are able to live safely at home if services are provided

In New York City, a program called CityMeals is addressing this need. For information on how to get meals, you may call 212-687-1234

NYS Mortgage Relief for Financial Hardship of COVID-19

Due to the virus outbreak Governor Cuomo has ordered the NYS court system to suspended eviction proceedings indefinitely for both commercial and residential properties, in addition to other non-essential cases.

Property owners working part-time or who have lost their jobs will be able to refinance their mortgages and stop paying them for 90 days. This includes:

  • waiver of mortgage payments
  • no negative reporting to credit bureaus
  • grace period for loan modification 
  • no late payment fees on online payment fees
  • postponing or suspending foreclosures    
  • waive fees for overdrafts, ATMS, credit cards

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