Help for Individuals & Families affected by COVID-19
This program is not for businesses!
Application Deadline has been Extended!
All received applications will be processed for help.
What are the COVID Cares Pinellas funds?
This fund helps Pinellas County individuals and families affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic to help with a one-time payment to maintain housing.
These funds are available to help you if:
- You are a Pinellas County Individuals and/or Family 18 years-old or older or an emancipated youth.
- You have a COVID-related qualifying event (furloughed without pay, laid off, or your company closed due to COVID-19).
- You have less than $10,000 savings in the bank.
- Willing to sign an attestation confirming your situation to the items above.
The Pinellas COVID Cares Fund was established by the Pinellas County Government allocated from the CARES Act & COVID Cares Fund by the United Way Suncoast from donors.
How do I get help Fund?
COVID Cares Pinellas Funds FAQ
Do I have to call 211 to be screened?
No. You can text covidcares to 898211 for a simple eligibility review and learn the next steps. No phone screen is initially required to apply.
What expenses can i get help with?
This fund helps items to keep you housed and employed. This fund may provide the following assistance:
- Rent payment
- Mortgage payment
- HOA fees
- Electric payment
- Water payment
- Home gas payment
- Internet (schooling, remote work, and job-seeking)
- Deposits assistance for utilities to change in their name
- Deposit rent in a new place, if they've been evicted
- Hotel/Motel payments for those with a permanent hotel/motel stay of 30 days or longer
How do I submit the documents virtually since i can't leave my house?
211 has got you covered. All submission, review, and payments will be done virtually. You can submit all your documents virtually through email to email@example.com. In the email, attach the PDF of your online bills or take a photo with your phone and email it to 211 at the email above.
What documents will I need to submit?
You will be required to submit documents that verify your:
- US Citizenship
- Pinellas County Residency
- Sign an attestation that your income loss is due to COVID-19 with assets under $10,000
- Showing past-due amount on your utility bills or mortgage bill
- For rent assistance:
- Late Notice with the total amount due
- The first page of the lease
- Completed W9 from the landlord
All documents must have the same name and identifying information across all the documents in order to get assistance.
There are similar documents in each category below, you only need to provide one copy of the document to be used for each category above. For example, a social security card can be used for citizenship and identification. Also, a valid driver's license can be used for identification and residency requirements.
Submit copies of the following documents below:
- Proof of US Citizenship (One from below)
- Current Pinellas County Driver’s License with Real ID Star
- US social security card
- US birth certificate
- Valid & current U.S. passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- “Green card” INS forms I-151 or I-551.
- Proof of Pinellas County Residency (One from below)
- Current Pinellas County Driver’s License or State Identification showing a Pinellas County address
- Mortgage documents, rental lease, rent receipts or letter from a landlord or property owner
- Proof of Homestead Exemption
- Recent water, electric, gas, telephone, cable television or other utility bills in the name of the applicant indicating a current address within Pinellas County
- Vehicle registration in the name of the applicant indicating an address within Pinellas County
- Pinellas County Voter Identification card
- Bank, credit union, or a similar statement indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- Recent residence documented by another social service agency within Pinellas County. (Mobile Medical Unit or Pinellas County Shelter).
- Canceled mail from a Federal, State, County, or City agency addressed to the applicant at a Pinellas County address
- Declaration of Domicile recorded with the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Current professional license indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- Record of criminal activity indicating a Pinellas County address when arrested
- Employment record indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- Past Due Mortgage or Utility Bills (All from below)
- PDF of the utility late/overdue bills (water, sewer, electricity, and/or gas)
- PDF of the mortgage statement
- Past Due Rent Bills (All from below)
- Eviction notice or late notice listing the amount past due and a copy of the lease.
- If the applicant receives Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance, a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP Contract) is required in addition to the lease agreement.
- The first page of the lease.
- W9 from the landlord for payment
Where do I get the attestation to sign?
Once your case is reviewed, a reviewer will contact you about your case and forward you the attestation for signature, if we do not have your COVID impact and income documentation.
What happens after i submit my documents?
Once we receive all your required documents. We will submit your case for review. During the review process, if there are any questions, we will contact you about your case. If there are no questions, we will review your case and render a decision. Once a decision is made, we will contact you about the outcome of your case and let you know of the next steps.
I haven't heard anything. How do I get an update on my case?
211 has got you covered. We will proactively reach out to you about your case through the process. If you have not heard from us, your case is still pending review. We are working as quickly as possible to review and process each case.
I've never been late with my bills. What do I tell my mortgage company, landlord, or Utility provider?
There is a statewide moratorium on evictions. You can not be evited at this time. Please talk with your landlord about payment arrangements. Let them know you are seeking help with your rent. As long as your landlord is still willing to work with you, assistance may be available to you. Learn about your rights as a tenant by click here.
The utility providers are not terminating services for customers. Please talk with your landlord about payment arrangements. Let them know you are seeking help with your utility payment.
Review your credit history. You can submit notes to credit agencies explaining credit issues for notation on your credit history. Please note on your account you were furloughed due to the COVID-19 pandemic event.
How will my bills get paid?
211 pays vendors directly. We will work with you to contact your vendors and we will make payments over the phone or send checks to landlords or lenders. Payments are made promptly after cases have been approved in order to ensure you remain safely housed.
What if my case is denied?
There are several reasons why cases may get denied:
- There are no more funds available.
- The documentation submitted is not appropriate or clear and, after several attempts, we could not determine eligibility.
- You do not meet eligibility criteria
However, 211 has access to or knowledge about multiple funds in our community that may help. If you do not qualify for the COVID Cares Fund, we will attempt to work with one of our other funds to help you. If your case is not approved, we will let you know how to fix the situation in future requests.
What else can I do for my family?
There are other ways to cover some of your basic needs. Below is a list of other things to consider:
- Food Assistance Program (SNAP) - Apply here or call 1-866-762-2237 Mon-Fri 7 am to 6 pm.
- Search for Local Food Resources
- Temporary cash assistance for families with children (TANF) - Apply here or call 1-866-762-2237 Mon-Fri 7 am to 6 pm.
- Search for Rent Assistance Resources
- Search for Utility Assistance Resources
- Small business help is available starting May 4, 2020 from Pinellas County Economic Development. Click here for more information.