COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC) INFORMATION AND REFERRALS

Top  Important Resources  FAQs

If you need assistance finding food, paying house bills, accessing free childcare, or other essential services, dial 2-1-1 or 877-211-8661, search on the homepage of 211Arizona.org or download the 211 Arizona app. Visit our Contact Us page to learn more.

Arizona Relay callers, dial 7-1-1 or 800-367-8939 and ask for 877-211-8661.

In response to COVID-19, many organizations have made changes to their in-person availability. These changes happen frequently, sometimes on a hour-by-hour basis. As a result, some of the information may be out-of-date. We suggest attempting to call ahead before attempting to visit any in-person resource.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.

Important Resources

Housing

On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (the Order). The Order imposes a temporary national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Order applies to all standard rental housing, including mobile homes or land in a mobile home park. However, it does not cover individuals renting hotels, motels, or other guest homes rented temporarily. The Order takes effect September 4, 2020, and lasts until March 31, 2021.

A complete list of qualifications can be found on the National Low Income Housing Coalition website along with more details about the Order. If you meet all of the qualifications, you must submit a signed declaration to your landlord. Download an unsigned declaration in English on the CDC website or a declaration in one of 20 other languages on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Rental Assistance:

Rental Assistance Options – You may be eligible for rental payment assistance. If you need help finding resources to pay unpaid rent, call 2-1-1 or visit our listing of rental assistance resources on 211Arizona.org to see if your local jurisdiction or service organizations have established rental assistance programs. You can also find a list of COVID-19 specific rental assistance and eviction prevention programs on the Arizona Housing Coalition website.

Mortgage Assistance:

 

  • CARES ACT Mortgage Forbearance – Forbearance is when your mortgage servicer (that’s the company that sends your mortgage statement and manages your loan) or lender allows you to pause or reduce your payments for a limited period of time. The CARES Act offers protections for federally-backed and GSE-backed (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac) mortgages.
    • If you have a federally-backed loan, the lender or loan servicer cannot foreclose until after March 31, 2021.
    • Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans cannot be foreclosed until after February 28, 2021.
    • To check if your loan is federally-backed, please visit one of these sites:
    • If you are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, you have the right to request and obtain a forbearance for up to 180 days. You also have the right to request an extension for up to an additional 180 days.
    • Homeowners who are suffering financial hardship, directly or indirectly related to COVID-19, should contact their servicer to request a forbearance.

 

  • Financial counseling – Financial counseling can help you avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy. If needed, consider contacting a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved housing counseling agency to learn more about options that are available to you. To find your local housing counseling agency, call the Arizona Mortgage Foreclosure Help Line at (1-877-448-1211) or visit HUD Office of Housing Counseling.

Utility Assistance

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, various cities and companies suspended utility shut-offs in an effort to help struggling residents. Now, as shut-offs are beginning to resume, residents are being encouraged to seek financial assistance or work with their utility company to develop a payment plan if they are unable to pay their bills.

Contact your utility company as soon as possible if you anticipate being unable to pay your bill for any reason. Your utility company will walk you through available assistance options such as setting up a payment plan, applying to one of their programs, or applying for aid through a local agency.

If your utility company is unable to provide an option that works for you, you can contact a nonprofit agency or city program that offers utility assistance. Visit 211Arizona.org for a list of utility assistance programs, or call 2-1-1 to get connected with your local utility assistance program.

Water services are controlled by the city that you live in. Some cities, districts, and municipalities have issued their own moratoriums that temporarily suspend water disconnections for nonpayment, however, customers may continue to accrue charges for water, reclaimed water, sewer, and solid waste services. If you need assistance paying your water bill, contact your city, district, or municipality’s water services department as soon as possible to determine if there is a local moratorium in place, or to discuss flexible payment options. Customers can also call 2-1-1 for local agencies that may be able to offer assistance.

Information and Referral Links for Utilities and Emergency Shelter:

Please make sure to call all programs ahead of time, even when they list their locations to ensure they are open.  You can sort results by city or ZIP Code.

* This resource should be used if you are currently in a safe place. If you are in danger, please call 9-1-1.

Information for Pet Owners

Pet owners impacted by the COVID-19 housing crisis can visit PetHousingHelpAZ.org for resources to help care for your pet, including shelters and temporary housing, low-cost veterinary services, and pet food assistance.

In addition to these resources, PetHousingHelpAZ.org can connect pet parents in need of help directly with other valley residents to rehome or temporarily foster their pet.

Additional Resources

The Unpaid Rent Accommodation Request Generator allows you to ask for more time to pay rent, delay an eviction, or even forgive past rent if you or someone in the house has lost a job because of COVID-19, lost income because of COVID-19, or if losing a job or income is making someone in the household’s mental health worse. This tool lets you use the protections of federal civil rights laws to ask for more time. Click here to access the request generator.

 

Food

All of USDA’s programs, including SNAP, WIC, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, have flexibilities and contingencies built-in to allow us to respond to on-the-ground realities and take action as directed by Congress.

Emergency Food Assistance

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – Formally known as the Food Stamp Program, SNAP provides food benefits, access to a healthy diet, and education on food preparation and nutrition. Benefits are provided on an electronic card (used like an ATM card) and can be used to buy eligible food in authorized retail food stores.
    • To apply, follow this link to go to the Arizona state eligibility portal for SNAP and other benefits: healthearizonaplus.gov.
    • You can also call their toll-free phone number Mon-Fri 7am-5pm: 1 (855) 432-7587.
    • If you need help with the application process, you can visit healthearizonaplus.gov, scroll down to Community Assistor, and click on Get Started. Enter your ZIP code to locate community assisters near you that can help you with the application process. Contact the community assistor’s office by telephone. In-person services may be unavailable or limited in manners that support social distancing.

 

  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) – TEFAP provides both emergency food packages and hot meals at soup kitchens.
    • Participants can receive an emergency food package for their household at least once a month by visiting their local food pantry. The food inside these packages does not require refrigeration.
    • A nutritious, hot meal is provided at least once a day at a nutrition site, soup kitchen, senior center, or other group setting.
    • To apply, visit your local distribution site. Bring photo ID or a document that reflects your current address. If you are experiencing homelessness, please be sure to know the cross-streets or location where you stay at night.

Food and meals for seniors and adults with disabilities:

  • Arizona Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP) – CSFP provides food packages to adults age 60 and older.
    • To apply, visit your local distribution site. Bring photo ID or a document that reflects your current address.
    • If you are home-bound, call your local distribution site for alternative ways to apply for the program. Home-delivery may also be available.
  • Congregate meals  – A congregate meal is a nutritious hot meal provided at least once a day at a nutrition site, senior center or other group setting.
    • For more information, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.
    • Please call ahead to confirm meals are still being offered or to arrange pick-up if available.
  • Home-Delivered Meals – The home-delivered meal program provides a nutritious meal to individuals at their residence. For more information, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

Additional Food Assistance

 

Financial Resources

Unemployment Benefits

The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemployment insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Visit the Arizona Unemployment Insurance Program portal to apply for benefits and file weekly claims, or call them Mon-Fri 8am-5pm: (602) 364-2722 (Phoenix area), (520) 791-2722 (Tucson area), 1 (877) 600-2722 (toll free).

Cash Assistance

  • The Cash Assistance program provides temporary cash benefits and supportive services to Arizona’s children and their families.
  • Work requirements for Cash Assistance recipients are temporarily suspended while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect employment opportunities.
  • To apply, complete and submit an online application though Health-e-Arizona Plus, download the Application for Benefits with KidsCare Application Addendum and turn it in by mail or fax, or call (855) 432-7587 to request a paper application be mailed to you. After receiving and completing the application, turn it in by mail or fax.

Economic Impact Payment (Stimulus Check)

Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.

The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.

As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.

Relief for “Gig Economy” Workers and Contractors

  • Self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, people seeking part-time work and those who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state unemployment benefits may qualify for benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Those seeking benefits should visit the Arizona Department of Economic Security website for more information.

Additional Financial Resources

Learn about the help you can get through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by visiting usa.gov/help-with-bills. There are government programs to help pay for phone bills, medical bills, and other expenses. You can also learn how to apply for temporary assistance.

Small Business Loans

Federal Programs

  • Paycheck Protection Program – Provides immediate cash assistance during the COVID-19 crisis to keep employees on the payroll. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for maintaining or rehiring workers, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • Emergency Injury Disaster Loans – The Economic Injury Disaster Loan helps small businesses impacted by COVID-19 with no minimum loan requirement. Additionally, all small businesses are eligible to apply for an advance of up to $10,000.
    • To learn more about the process for accessing SBA’s COVID-19 disaster relief lending, please go here or contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center: 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans – Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • Main Street Lending Program – Main Street loans are intended to facilitate lending to small and medium-sized businesses that are not eligible for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year. The Program loans are not eligible for loan forgiveness. A borrower may only participate in one of the loans under the Main Street Lending Program.
  • Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Program – The Small Business Administration will disburse $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues. There is $2 billion set aside for venues with less than 50 full-time employees. Venues, theaters, museums and zoos that saw a 25 percent reduction in revenue may receive grants of up to $10 million with the option for a supplemental grant equal to 50 percent of the initial grant.

Statewide Programs

  • Kiva Tucson Crowdfunding Loans – Provides loans up to $15,000 and a 6-month deferment. Kiva determines the loan amount based on many factors, including finances, social media presence, and quality of the narrative. Kiva loans can be used for many different business expenses. Kiva Tucson works with borrowers throughout the application, fundraising, and repayment process to help them succeed.
  • Chicanos Por La Causa Prestamos – The Chicanos Por La Causa Prestamos division is offering a microloan of up to $25,000 for payroll, rent and monthly liabilities. The first six payments will be paid (both principal and interest) directly by the SBA. The remaining balance will be amortized over a 6-12 month term based on repayment ability. There is a 3% loan origination fee and the interest rate for this loan is 6.5%.
  • Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program – Designed to assist bars and restaurants with funding for the infrastructure needed to expand their premises. Businesses may apply for up to $10,000 to cover expenditures for items restaurants need to extend their premises to approved outdoor spaces such as outdoor furniture, barriers, patio heaters, or parklets.

City Programs

  • Choose Chandler Grant Program – Reimbursement grant program to assist small businesses with costs incurred from purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE). Grants will be between $100 and $500.
  • #GilbertTogether Business Relief Grant – Provides grants up to $35,000 to support Gilbert small businesses. Approximately $11 million is available through the program on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • MesaCares Small Business Reemergence Program – Program is intended to help Mesa-based businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic, evaluate and react to necessary changes in the business environment, implement new policies, procedures and processes, stimulate new business, and strategize and plan for the future of their companies.
  • OVSafeSteps Business Assistance Program – Provides financial resources to local businesses for personal protective equipment (PPE) reimbursement, marketing support, and one-on-one coaching in areas such as technology, human resources and legal services.
  • Peoria Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) – Provides grants up to $10,000 to microenterprise business owners who meet certain criteria.
  • Queen Creek Together – Small businesses in Queen Creek can apply for up to $12,500 each to offset the costs of safety measures due to COVID-19 concerns. The grant program will be implemented by the Town to reimburse businesses for costs incurred in connection with enhanced sanitization, employee safety, and customer safety. Businesses can receive $500 per full-time equivalent employee with a maximum $12,500 grant.
  • I Choose Chandler Business Hiring & Retention Program – Businesses may receive $1,300 per employee retained or hired since Dec. 31, 2019, up to $10,000 total. The funds support Chandler businesses that are keeping employees on payroll as they adjust to business disruptions.

Tax Relief

  • Employee Retention Credit – Fully refundable tax credit for employers who have closed or partially closed due to COVID-19. This tax credit is 70 percent of qualified wages that employers pay their employees, up to $10,000 per employee for any quarter. Businesses that utilize this tax credit may also participate in the PPP.
  • Federal Payroll Tax – The CARES Act allows employers to defer the payment of the employer’s share of Social Security taxes. Self-employed individuals may defer payment of 50 percent of the Social Security tax based on net earnings.

Home Internet Access

If you do not have internet access at home, or cannot afford to maintain it but need internet for work or school, many internet providers have announced that they are waiving late payment fees, increasing caps on internet speeds and will not disconnect customers or not paying monthly bills on time. If you have questions or concerns about your internet connection, contact your provider or visit their website for more information.

  • To find free internet access at public libraries, schools, businesses, and other sites, visit this map of free public WiFi. Many of the hotspots are accessible from your vehicle, if necessary, to maintain safe physical distancing practices.
    • If you need assistance connecting to a hotspot, call or text the Arizona Libraries Tech Access Phoneline (AZ LibTAP) at (602) 529-1519.
  • To view low cost internet plans, visit Connect Arizona (English and Spanish).
  • To find out which providers are available in your area, check the provider zip codes list.

You can talk to a library staff member about your options for getting online by making an appointment with the Arizona Libraries Tech Access Phoneline (AZ LibTAP) or calling/texting at (602) 529-1519. AZ LibTAP also provides free tech support, troubleshooting, and support for learning to do things online.

Health Insurance and Medical Expenses

Applying for Health Insurance

If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for AHCCCS (Medicaid), KidsCare, or the Healthcare Marketplace.

  •  If you missed the open-enrollment period, you may still be eligible for health insurance under the Special Enrollment Period.
    • You are only eligible for Special Enrollment if a qualifying life event occurs, such as getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage.
  • You can apply and enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year.

To see if you can still get or change your 2021 health coverage visit the HealthCare.gov website.

Assistance with Applying for Health Insurance

Cover Arizona offers free application assistance for individuals looking to enroll in a health plan. This can be done by scheduling an over-the-phone appointment or by going online to get connected with an assistor.

  • Call Cover Arizona at 1-800-377-3536 or use the online Get Covered Connector to get help applying for insurance.

Medical Expenses Assistance

Community Health Centers throughout Arizona accept most insurance plans. People without insurance may qualify for a sliding fee for primary health care services.

  • Find your nearest Community Health Center and call them for help with applying for insurance or for affordable primary health care.

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine

Through the CARES Act, the federal government has mandated that private insurers generally must waive an insurance plan member’s cost-sharing payments for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and certain related items and services. What each insurance company offers in terms of help will vary.

  • CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: For Patients – If you have insurance, private insurers generally must waive an insurance plan member’s cost-sharing payments for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and certain related items and services.
    • Some private insurers, including Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield system, have agreed to waive cost-sharing payments for COVID-19 treatment for insured patients.
    • If a patient has insurance and seeks COVID-19 treatment from an out-of-network provider that has received General or Targeted Distributions from the Provider Relief Fund, the provider has agreed not to seek to collect out-of-pocket payments greater than what the patient would have otherwise been required to pay if the care had been provided by an in-network provider.

The Governor of Arizona issued Executive Order 2020-07 that instructs the Department of Health Services and the Department of Insurance to require all Arizona-regulated insurers to cover COVID diagnostic testing from all qualified laboratories without regard to whether the laboratory is in-network; waive all cost-sharing requirements for consumers related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing; and, cover telemedicine visits at a lower cost-sharing point for consumers than the same in-office service to encourage utilization of telemedicine for the duration of the state’s public health emergency.

COVID-19 vaccine doses purchased with U.S. taxpayer dollars will be given to the American people at no cost. However, vaccination providers will be able to charge an administrative fee for giving the shot to someone. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they work for a covered employer and:

  • Have worked for their employer for at least 12 months
  • Have at least 1,250 hours of service over the previous 12 months
  • AND work at a location where at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

Employers are required to give eligible FMLA workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected (but not necessarily paid) leave if they are sick, including with complications from the flu or similar illness and/or they need to care for an immediate family member (children, spouse, parents) who are ill. Visit this Department of Labor resource for more information on COVID-19 and the Family Medical Leave Act.

Legal

On September 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (the Order). The Order imposes a temporary national moratorium on most evictions for nonpayment of rent to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The Order applies to all standard rental housing, including mobile homes or land in a mobile home park. However, it does not cover individuals renting hotels, motels, or other guest homes rented temporarily. The Order takes effect September 4, 2020, and lasts until March 31, 2021.

A complete list of qualifications can be found on the National Low Income Housing Coalition website along with more details about the Order. If you meet all of the qualifications, you must submit a signed declaration to your landlord. Download an unsigned declaration in English on the CDC website or a declaration in one of 20 other languages on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

Legal Assistance

If you have been evicted or are at risk of being evicted for non-payment of rent due to a COVID-19-related financial hardship between March 24, 2020 and March 31, 2021, you should contact a lawyer or legal aid organization as soon as possible.

  • To find a free or low-cost legal-service provider, you can fill out an online assessment at AZLawHelp.org and you will be contacted by a legal agency.
  • You can also call 2-1-1, or visit 211Arizona.org for a list of legal resources.
  • If you need to talk to someone about your legal issue right away, call the Legal Help Hotline at 1 (866) 611-6022, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 12pm to 3pm.

To better understand the eviction process in Arizona and learn what you can do, visit azevictionhelp.org.

Arizona law protects renters from housing discrimination and harassment based on many categories including race, color, national origin, sex, religion/creed, physical/mental disability, retaliation, and familial status.

For more information about landlord and tenant relations, you can visit Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.

Governor Ducey’s Arizona Together Initiative

Governor Doug Ducey launched the Arizona Together initiative to support Arizonans during the COVID-19 outbreak, connecting individuals and businesses to resources, raising money for community organizations and providing information on volunteer opportunities. Visit ArizonaTogether.org to learn more, donate, and find volunteer opportunities.

The Governor of Arizona issued an order to “Stay Healthy, Return Smarter, Return Stronger” policy that promotes physical distancing, while encouraging social connectedness and allowing businesses to gradually and safely open in compliance with the federal guidelines as the state continues to mitigate and prevent the spread of COVID-19. This builds on actions the state has already taken, and further memorializes some already in effect, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Visit the website to learn more.

Reopening Guidance for Businesses

Frequently Asked Questions

211Arizona has launched a COVID-19 Hotline to provide important information about COVID-19 to the community. Individuals who call the line will be connected to a specialist that can help answer questions and concerns about COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Hotline operates from 8am-8pm each day of the week and can be reached by dialing 2-1-1. Press 6 to hear the COVID options, and press 6 for the COVID-19 Hotline.

All information provided comes from trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Drug Administration (FDA), World Health Organization (WHO), and Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).

Where can I get tested?

There are various testing sites available around Arizona. Visit the Arizona Department of Health Services COVID-19 Testing Locations to find COVID-19 testing sites, hours of operation, and information about pre-registration. Additional sites and dates are constantly being added, please check back often.

How do I qualify to receive a COVID-19 vaccination?

Due to the likelihood of there being a limited supply when the vaccine first becomes available, there will be a phased approach to distribution. Visit your County Health Department website to determine if you are eligible to receive the vaccine under the current phase.

Where can I register for the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, you can schedule an appointment at a location near you. Review the Vaccine Finder webpage for pre-screening and registration information. For more information, contact the County Health Department in the jurisdiction where you live or work.