If you need assistance in Massachusetts, call 2-1-1 or visit mass211.org
Boston residents: call 3-1-1
Available 24/7

Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
Available 24/7

Latest information, updates, and guidance from:

IMPORTANT: Getting tested or treated for the virus will NOT count as a public charge for immigrants.

Organized According to EMPath's Bridge to Self-Sufficiency®

Family Stability: Housing

Are you worried you’ll get evicted soon? Call City Life/Vida Urbana’s Housing Hotline at 617-934-5006 (English)

¿Estás preocupadx de que te desalojen pronto? Llame a la línea directa de City Life/Vida Urbana al 617-397-3773 (español)

Evictions

IMPORTANT: If you receive an eviction notice (“Notice to Quit”), do NOT move out. An eviction notice does not mean you have to move out; it means a court process will begin, & you can defend your home. Only a court order can force you to leave your home. See this flyer that explains what a Notice to Quit means.

MA’s moratorium on evictions & foreclosures expired on October 17, 2020. The CDC’s federal eviction moratorium is now in effect through December 31, 2020. You are covered if:

  • You are an individual with a net household income under $99,000 or a couple with a net household income under $198,000
  • You are unable to pay rent due to a substantial loss in income or extraordinary medical expenses
  • You would likely become homeless if evicted
  • You have tried to obtain state or local rental assistance, and
  • You are making best efforts to pay as much rent as possible.

If a tenant can attest to the above, complete the CDC Declaration Form. Also please see this CDC Eviction Moratorium Assistant Tool for help completing the form.

Shelter

Rent Adjustments

  • Folks in subsidized housing/public housing/vouchers who have lost income or jobs should contact their rental manager. This may be difficult as offices are closed; keep a log if you cannot reach anyone. Keep paystubs, layoff notices, etc. These will be essential is obtaining rent adjustments.
  • NOTE: Anyone living in BHA public housing must see their property manager to report income changes.

Utilities

  • Click here for utility assistance.
  • The MA Department of Public Utilities is extending the state’s moratorium on electric and gas service shutoffs for the duration of the state of emergency in MA.

Additional Housing Assistance

Family Stability: Family

Domestic Violence

  • If you are in danger right now, call SafeLink at 877-785-2020 or 877-521-2601 (TTY). SafeLink is the 24/7 statewide domestic violence crisis hotline.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 / 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center: call the 24/7 hotline at 800-841-8371 or web chat 9:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.
  • If you are not in immediate danger, but still need assistance or services, you can call SafeLink at 877-785-2020 or Casa Myrna Vasquez at 800-992-2600, or see Jane Doe’s list of domestic violence programs in MA here.

Child Care

Immigration

  • Getting tested or treated for the COVID-19 will NOT count as a public charge for immigrants.
  • For women seeking immigration advice, contact the Rosie’s Place Legal Program at (617) 318-0280.
  • Click here for resources from MIRA Coalition in multiple languages.
  • For immigrants without access to benefits (undocumented, TPS, DACA, etc.) such as SNAP, unemployment, disability, and cash assistance, click here for assistance in your neighborhood and call 211 to ask for information on the United Way’s COVID-19 Family Support Fund.

Internet and Phone Services

Free and low-cost internet offers

  • PCs for People offers low-cost desktop & laptop computers, mobile internet, and affordable computer repair to qualifying households.
  • Click here for more free and low-cost internet programs.

Other internet resources

Low-cost phone

  • Certain low-income or specific program recipients in Massachusetts are eligible for a low-cost phone through the Lifeline Program.

Transportation

  • Click here for COVID-19 updates from the MBTA.
  • The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has switched to an appointment-only reservation system for necessary and required in-person transactions. Click here for more information.

Well-Being: Physical Health

Health Care and Virus Testing

General Information

MassHealth

  • If you’re uninsured, you can apply for MassHealth or Connector plans.
  • If you have MassHealth, you’re FULLY COVERED for COVID-19 testing and treatment. No referrals are needed.
  • All MassHealth Enrollment sites are closed for walk-in visitors until further notice. If you have questions about coverage or applications, call the Customer Service Center at** 800-841-2900; TTY: 800-497-4648**.
  • Click here for more information on MassHealth.

Food Assistance

  • Hotline: MA residents can contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (TTY 1-800-377-1292) or gettingsnap.org for resources in their community and help signing up for SNAP (“food stamps”), WIC (Women, Infants, & Children). Available in 160 languages and for those who are hearing impaired.
  • Find food pantries and community meal programs: Click here.
  • Free groceries: Wednesdays at 2pm at the Brazilian Worker Center (14 Harvard Ave, Allston). Click here for more info.
  • Map of food resources in the City of Boston

SNAP

  • If you lost your job or work hours because of COVID-19, you can apply for SNAP at any time. You do not have to wait to file an application.
  • Current SNAP recipients may get Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). Click here for more information and to see if you’re eligible.
  • Reminder: households can give permission to friends, family, or other trusted people to use their EBT card on their behalf, with no need for formal documentation or written paperwork. This may be helpful for seniors, persons with disabilities, and other populations who are particularly vulnerable and at risk from COVID-19, and who may need to ask others to go shopping on their behalf.

WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) Nutrition Program

  • All WIC Programs are providing all services by phone: (800) 942-1007. Hours are Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. If you hear a recording, leave a message with your name and telephone number.
  • Contact your local WIC office with any questions about breastfeeding, nutrition, or shopping.
  • Click here for more information and updates.

Free Meals for Kids & Teens

  • Free meals to all youth and teens are being offered at hundreds of locations throughout the state, no registration or ID required. Meals will be available as late as December 31, 2020. Find a meal site near you.

Well-Being: Mental Health

Emergency Helplines

General Information

Free and Low-Cost Therapy

Mindfulness and Meditation

For Children

Financial Management

Cash Assistance

Student Loans

  • Loan repayment flexibilities have been extended through Dec. 31, 2020. Click here for Coronavirus and forbearance info for students, borrowers, and parents.
  • Assistance: Call MA Attorney General’s Student Loan Helpline at 1-888-830-6377 or submit a Student Loan Help Request.

Debt Protection

  • If you have questions or need assistance with debt collection or other issues around debt, contact the MA Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 617-727-8400 (Monday - Friday, 10am-4pm)
  • Click here to learn more.

How Do I Manage My Finances During COVID-19?

Tips from EMPath’s Financial Specialist

Communication is key

  • The most important advice in managing debt during ANY financial hardship is regular communication with your financial institution such as your bank, creditor, or student loan servicer.
  • Always alert your financial institution immediately when you are beginning to experience financial hardship and inquire about options they can provide such as lower interest payments, changing the bill due date, temporary relief, etc.
  • It is understandable that taking the time to call and have those conversations can be difficult emotionally. Keep in mind that financial hardships often happen at no fault of your own. Speaking with your bank as soon as possible can save you money in the long-run, such as reduced interest payments or preventing a debt to go into collections.
  • Be prepared to explain your situation to your bank/creditor. You may want to write down your story prior to the call to help you better explain your situation to the customer representative. This may include important dates related to your employment and a list of other debts/accounts/medical expenses you have financial obligations to at this time and having difficulty paying due to reduced income or employment.

What steps can I take?

  • Contact your bank or financial institution immediately via the customer service phone number on the back of your credit card to inquire about financial help during the pandemic.
  • You may also be able to contact your financial institution via online support through their website or online chat support. Take notes as you speak with your financial institution and request for documentation of any agreed upon terms or changes to your credit card/bank etc.
  • Utilize online banking or mobile apps to manage your payments or fund transfers to decrease in-person contact at financial institutions.

Education & Training

Online Educational Resources

For Children with Special Needs

Aquariums, Zoos, Museums & Other Activities

Additional Resources

Employment & Career

Unemployment

Note: If you believe you were unfairly fired from a job or are currently working but believe your employer is not following labor laws (not paying you correctly or for overtime, not giving you breaks or access to sick time and other types of leave, retaliating against you, etc.), contact the MA Attorney General’s Fair Division hotline at 617-727-3465 (TTY 617-727-4765) for help. Click here for more information and to file a complaint. All workers, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights in Massachusetts.
Click here for FAQ from MA Attorney General Maura Healey’s office on employee rights and employer obligations regarding COVID-19.

Applying for Unemployment in MA

If you have been laid off, terminated, or have experienced a significant decrease in hours, you may be eligible to receive unemployment assistance.

  • Click here for information on Greater Boston Legal Services’ free assistance filing for unemployment benefits claims, figuring out why your claim hasn’t been paid, or appealing the denial of a claim.
  • Apply: The quickest way to file a successful unemployment claim is through the state’s online portal. You can also call the Department of Unemployment Assistance at 877-626-6800 (open Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Multilingual call agents are available).
    • Click here for unemployment assistance information in 12 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Khmer, Lao, Italian, French, Korean, and Arabic.
    • Click here for a step-by-step guide to filing a new unemployment claim.
    • Click here for more information and the latest updates.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
    • Click here to apply online and to check your application status.
    • You can also call the Department of Unemployment Assistance at 877-626-6800 (open Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.. Multilingual call agents are available).
    • Click here for more information, including what information you need for the application.

Public Assistance

  • If you are currently receiving public assistance, such as SNAP, and have lost hours at work, let the overseeing agency, such as DTA, know that you have experienced a decrease in income.
  • If you previously did not qualify for public assistance, but have lost wages, you may now be eligible. Feel free to apply!

Remote Job Search Sites