Help for Individuals & Families affected by COVID-19

This program is not for businesses!

Applications no longer accepted after June 1, 2020.

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).
  • Your income is at or below the 200% FPL at the time of application/documentation submission. Click here for a link to the most recent Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • You have less than $4,000 savings in the bank.
  • Willing to submit documentation to show your situation has changed.

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?

Text covidcares

to 898-211 to see if you qualify.

call 211

from any phone 24 hours a day. 

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)

 

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 help@211tampabay.org. 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?

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:

  1. Proof of US Citizenship (One from below)
    • US social security card
    • US birth certificate
    • Valid & current U.S. passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • “Green cardINS forms I-151 or I-551
  2. Proof of Identification (One from below)
    • US social security card
    • US birth certificate
    • Valid & current U.S. passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization
    • “Green cardINS forms I-151 or I-551
    • Current Pinellas County Driver’s License or State Identification showing a Pinellas County address
    • Marriage License
    • Voter Identification Card
    • Veterans Administration Identification
    • School Records
    • Food Stamp card
    • Police Identification card
    • Immigration Records
    • DD 214
  3. 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
  4. Proof of past & current Income (All from below)
    • Most recent pay stub and/or either earned income from legal sources.
    • Benefits letters (including SNAP).
    • Bank statement for the past 60 days. 
    • If self-employed, bank statements or self-employment records must be documented for the last three (3) months.
    • If back-child support is a source of income, documentation must be provided that the child is over 18 years of age or no longer living in the home. 
  5.  Documentation of Qualifying COVID-19 Impact (One from below)
    • Layoff or furlough notice
    • Proof of reduction in hours
    • Loss of job due to COVID-19
    • Demonstration/notice of reduction in force by business
    • Demonstration that employer office/place of business has closed
  6. Past Due 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.
    • Utility shut-off notice or late/overdue bills (water, sewer, electricity, and/or gas)

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.

If you would still like an update, you can call 211 from any phone or text your zip code to 898-211 anytime 24 hours a day and ask for any update on your case. We will provide you with a client ID to refer to for future updates.

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: