COVID-19 Resource Page

COVID-19

State Updates on COVID-19 and Pandemic Relief

 

 

Federal Child Tax Credit

The American Rescue Plan, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, is providing the largest Child Tax Credit ever. The Child Tax Credit increased from its current $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and $3,600 for children under the age of six. The age limit was also raised from 16 to 17. All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called Head of Household).

If your family meets those qualifications and you filed a tax return for 2020, you will automatically receive monthly payments, starting in July, without having to take any action. But if you are a low-income family and did not file a federal tax return because you didn't earn enough income, you must sign up in order to receive the Child Tax Credit. You can sign up here by clicking this link.  

 

State Renter Financial Relief and Eviction Moratorium

  • On June 28, 2021, Gov. Newsom signed AB 832, which provides up to 100% financial relief for renters who have been unable to pay their some or all of their rent or utilities since April 2020 due to the pandemic, or who anticipate being unable to pay future rent or utility bills.
  • Pease check Housing Is Key for renter and landlord relief relating to AB 832.

Here are the key elements of the newly revised rental assistance program:

  • Either renters or landlords can apply. NOTE: the application process works best (and fastest) if both the tenant and landlord complete it cooperatively.
  • If both the tenant(s) and landlord apply, then up to 100% of unpaid back rent - and up to three months of future rent - will be paid directly to the landlord.
  • Tenants can apply on their own without a landlord applying. In that case, program staff will contact the landlord directly.
  • If the landlord still declines to participate, the payments will go to the tenant, who must sign a legally binding document agreeing to transmit 100% of the payments to their landlord within 15 days.
  • A landlord may apply on their own, if their tenant doesn't apply. In this case, program staff will contact the tenant directly. If the tenant(s) qualifies and agrees, then the landlord will be paid directly the back rent that is owed.
  • However, if the tenant(s) still declines to participate, then, unfortunately, because of federal rules, the landlord will be ineligible to receive any program funds.
  • For tenants and landlords who already applied through Housing Is Key and received up to 80% of back rent, the Housing Is Key program will automatically "top off" those recipients to up to 100% of what is owed without the need to reapply.
  • However, tenants who need help paying future rent have to apply again to have their future rent obligations covered.
  • The program also allows non-occupancy payments. If a tenant who owes back rent has vacated the rental unit, then the tenant and landlord can apply for up to 100% of what is owed.
  • Utility Payments. Low-income renters who have been unable to pay some or all of their utilities because of the pandemic - or can't pay future utilities - can also apply for assistance on paying their utility bills. Payments will be made directly to the utility provider.
  • Tenants living in, or landlords owning property in Contra Costa County, should submit your application here: Housing Is Key.
  • Tenants who live in, or landlords who own property in Alameda County (excluding the city of Oakland), should submit your application through Alameda County's renter-landlord relief program, Alameda County Housing Secure
  • Tenants who live in, or landlords who own property in the city of Oakland, should submit their application through Keep People Housed.

 

Eviction Protections

  • Renters who apply for financial relief under AB 832 are eligible for some protections against future eviction for nonpayment until March 31, 2022. 
  • In Alameda County, the eviction moratorium will remain until 60 days after the county's health emergency is lifted. 
  • The cities of Richmond and El Cerrito also have eviction bans in place.

 

Resources for California Schools

 

Food Assistance

  • CalFresh – Food benefits for people who have low-incomes. Find out if you are eligible here.
  • Pandemic EBT - Food benefits for low-income families with children.
  • WIC - Food benefits for children under 5 years old and for pregnant people, lactating parents, and foster parents with children less than 6 weeks old.
  • Universal School Meals – All TK & PreK-12 students attending a California public school now have access to at least two free meals a day at their school.

 

Support for Families with Children

  • CalWORKs - Cash aid for low income people with dependent minors.
  • Childcare Assistance – Free child care provider referrals in your area with connections to child care fee waivers and subsidies to help pay for all or some of the costs for child care in a location of the parent's choice while the parent is working, in job training, going to college or seeking employment.
  • Afterschool Programs – Care for children before or after school for free or minimal costs. These programs are usually on or near the school campus.  

 

Healthcare Options

  • Medi-Cal or Covered California – These programs offer free or low-cost health insurance to people with incomes and assets that qualify.
  • Community Clinics – In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, you can receive free or low-cost health services at a community clinic.
  • Test the People offers free COVID-19 tests throughout the Bay Area.

 

Additional Resources

  • MyBenefits CalWIN – This service helps you apply for all the cash, food and Medi-Cal help you may be eligible for all at once through your county human services agency.
  • General Assistance – Provides a small cash grant to very low-income adults without children.
  • California EITC tax credits – You can get free help filing taxes every year. If you are very low-income, and you file your taxes, you can get a tax credit, or refund. This means that, instead of paying taxes, you get money back. The amount of these refunds can be many thousands of dollars.
  • Clipper START – Discounted BART, MUNI and AC Transit passes for low-income riders.

 

Local Resources & Updates

Local Health Departments' COVID-19 Pages

 

Local School District Covid-19 Dashboards

 

Other Resources 

Alameda County

Contra Costa County

 

Relief Funds

Oakland and Berkeley have established relief funds for those impacted by the crisis.

 

Immigration Rights

If you’re impacted by the crisis due to your immigration status, please see the Legal Aid at Work website for more information on how to get help.