COVID-19 Emergency Services for UpGlo Job Seekers & Alumni

COVID-19 Emergency Services for UpGlo Job Seekers & Alumni


Upwardly Global has put together this emergency guide to help our immigrant and refugee job seekers secure their income, nutrition, healthcare, and other basic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guide includes government, CBO, and private sector support available nationally and information on immigrant eligibility for public programs. The final section is critical services at the state level within our service area.

For urgent needs: Dial 211 or visit 211.org

Information about COVID-19

Information in Other Languages


There are reasons to be hopeful despite major changes in the economy and job market. Companies are still hiring, and professional jobs are more secure than others.

If you are an immigrant or refugee professional who needs job search support, join Upwardly Global’s full coaching and networking program. If you are ineligible, feel free to register for our free online short courses and peruse our free resource library.

Job Search Program for Immigrant and Refugee Professionals

Free Short Courses for the Public 

Free Resource Library

Job Searching During a Pandemic: How-to Guide

Securing Your Finances

Whether you are employed or unemployed, ensure your finances are as strong as they can be as we head into a downturn.

Free Financial Advisors

What to Do When Your Paycheck Stops

Financial Guide for Workers Looking to Retire after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Your Rights as a Worker

Coronavirus raises many questions about workplace discrimination and the benefits you are entitled to at work. Make sure you learn about these issues to get the most out of your current employment.

COVID-19 and Your Workplace Rights: Caring for Yourself and Your Family

Coronavirus – Frequently Asked Questions at Work

COVID-19 and the American Workplace

Free Work-Family Legal Hotline

Paid Sick and Family Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) makes it so companies with 500 and fewer employees must provide paid sick and family medical leave, meaning you may receive paid time off if you or a family member becomes ill with coronavirus. Please check with your employer to learn how these benefits apply to you.

There are no restrictions on immigrants’ ability to collect paid sick leave.

Employer Requirements Under the FFCRA

Government Benefits

Government benefits are available to citizens and certain immigrants to help with income, nutrition, healthcare, and more if they meet economic and other eligibility requirements. The best way to see if you qualify is often to apply with the state agency that provides the federal benefits.

Public Charge does not apply to testing, screening, and treatment of COVID-19. Public charge still applies to public benefits that you may use due to COVID-19, but USCIS considers COVID-19 a relevant factor. 

Congress has significantly expanded benefits programs in response to coronavirus with the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), but immigrant eligibility for benefits programs has remained the same.

Public Benefits Eligibility Screening Tool

Does Public Charge Apply to Me?

How the FFCRA and CARES Benefits Expansions Impact Immigrants

State Benefits for Immigrants Who Don’t Qualify for Federal Benefits

Economic Impact Payments

The CARES Act provides a one-time, $1,200 payment to qualifying individuals. Immigrants with a valid social security number who are “substantially present” and filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 are eligible. 

Am I “Substantially Present”?

Where is My Payment?

Economic Impact Payment Scams to Avoid

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Unemployment Insurance replaces wages lost through no fault of your own (e.g., lay offs, business closures). CARES expands unemployment in key ways:

  • Eligibility for gig workers and contractors, those with a short work history, and those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits
  • An additional $600 per week on top of the standard benefits reward
  • 13 extra weeks of benefits (benefits for 39 weeks versus 26 weeks in most states)
  • Partial benefits for those whose work hours were reduced due to COVID-19 or for those who quit due to a “credible” health concern (usually coronavirus infection). 

Unemployment is an “earned” benefits program, so it is available to immigrants with a valid EAD during the the period of employment used to calculate your weekly payment amount (the base period) and the entire benefits period.

Find Your State Unemployment Program

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation provides medical and wage payments to people injured on the job. Many states are trying to determine if this applies to COVID-19. You should be eligible for workers’ compensation regardless of your immigration status, but be sure to check with your state workers’ compensation division before you file.

State Action on Workers’ Compensation and COVID-19

Find Your State Workers’ Compensation Division

Cash Assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF)

TANF provides cash assistance for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical to low-income families with children. TANF also includes vocational training and job placement for unemployed parents. This is available to certain non-citizens, including refugees, asylees, and some LPRs.

Find Your State TANF Program

Food Assistance (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP)

SNAP helps low-income families purchase food. The FFCRA adds Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) to SNAP to provide a one-time payment per child if your child relied on school for free or low-cost meals and the school shut down. The maximum amount of this payment varies by state (around $300).

SNAP is available to certain non-citizens, including refugees, asylees, and some LPRs. Immigrants who are not eligible may apply through eligible household members (such as children). P-EBT is available to anyone regardless of immigration status. Families do not have to be enrolled in SNAP to receive P-EBT. Check with your state SNAP agency about these funds and how you can receive them.

Find Your State SNAP Program

Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP)

EFSP provides emergency food and shelter to hungry and homeless individuals. This program is run by FEMA and the United Way and is available regardless of your immigration status.

Find Emergency Food and Shelter Near You

Food and Healthcare for Mothers (Women, Infants, and Children, WIC)

WIC provides food and healthcare assistance to low-income mothers who are pregnant, breast-feeding, or have children up to age 5. This is available to anyone regardless of immigration status.

Find Your State WIC Program

Healthcare (Medicaid, Emergency Medicaid, and CHIP)

Medicaid is free or low-cost medical coverage for low-income families. Emergency Medicaid covers certain health emergencies for the uninsured. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost medical coverage to children in low-income families that exceed Medicaid income requirements.

Medicaid and CHIP are available to certain non-citizens, including refugees, asylees, and some Green Card holders, but states can extend these benefits to other types of immigrants. Emergency Medicaid is available to anyone regardless of immigration status. 

Find Your State Medicaid Office

Child Care

Some parents, especially essential workers, need child care services at this time. Every state has a different approach to providing child care during the pandemic. Familiarize yourself with state actions on child care and check back frequently.

State-Level Information on Child Care

Child Care Search Engine

Free Health Clinics (Community Health Centers, CHCs)

CHCs are free and low-cost clinics throughout the United States. You can access them regardless of your immigration status or ability to pay.

Find a Local Community Health Center

Home Utilities Assistance (The Low Income High Energy Assistance Program, LIHEAP)

LIHEAP helps low-income families with home energy costs. Immigrants are eligible for LIHEAP if one household member is receiving TANF, Social Security, or SNAP payments.

Be aware that many utilities companies are assisting customers who cannot pay. Contact your energy provider if you will be unable to pay.

How to Sign Up for LIHEAP

State Action on Utility Shut Offs

Telephone and Internet Assistance

The FCC Lifeline Program helps low-income households pay for internet and telephone costs. Households at or below the federal poverty line or receiving SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, or Federal Public Housing are eligible for one Lifeline Program discount.

The FCC has also encouraged telecom companies to assist their customers during the pandemic. Reach out to your provider to see if they are offering delayed payments, suspended late-fees, and more.

Several major internet companies are also providing low and no-cost hardware and internet services during the pandemic.

Learn more about the Lifeline Program

Internet Providers Pledging to “Keep America Connected”

Compare Low-Cost Internet Providers in Your Area

Comcast Low-Cost Internet and Computers

Spectrum Free and Low-Cost Internet

Xfinity Free WiFi Hotspots

Other Government Actions

Federal, state, and local governments are working nonstop to confront the coronavirus pandemic, so be sure to stay informed.

Federal Government Actions on COVID-19

State Actions on COVID-19

Rent and Mortgage Relief

Emergency protections for renters and mortgage holders are in effect in numerous areas. If you cannot pay rent, tell your landlord immediately.

State Limitations on Foreclosures and Evictions

Tenant Protections During the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Letter Template to Landlords for Those Who Cannot Pay

Tax Relief

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has postponed the federal tax payment and filing deadline to July 15th, 2020. Check with your state tax agency to see if they offer similar extensions.

IRS Decision on Federal Tax Filing and Payment

Find Your State Tax Agency

Student Loan Relief

The CARES Act suspends all payments, interest, and collections on government-held federal student loans through September 30, 2020. This only applies to covered FFEL and Direct Loans, not Perkins or FFEL loans. Contact your loan provider if you are unsure you qualify.

If you have private student loans, you may be eligible for a pause in payments depending on the state you live in.

Critical Information About Coronavirus Student Debt Relief

Details on the Kinds of Federal Student Loans Eligible for Relief

Coronavirus Debt Relief for Private Student Loan Holders

Immigration & Travel

Immigration courts are closed throughout the country, USCIS has also suspended in-person services until June 4th, and ICE is scaling back its enforcement measures. The State Department has also restricted international travel. Stay up-to-date if you have important immigration appointments or are planning travel anytime soon.

Immigration Court Closure List

USCIS Coronavirus Announcements

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Changes

State Department International Travel Restrictions

Community Aid

Many grassroots initiatives and nonprofits are assisting those affected by the pandemic. The following national programs may be able to provide you with financial aid and healthcare assistance.

Cash Assistance

You can find direct cash assistance from individuals and organizations in your community. The best way to find these resources is to search them on Google. Here is a useful list that we have compiled:

Mutual Aid Hub

Domestic Worker Funds 

Creatives and Freelancer Funds 

Tipped and Service Worker Funds

Undocumented/DACA immigrant Funds

LGBTQ+ People of Color Fund

United Way Financial, Food, and Rent Assistance  

Muslims for Humanity Financial, Food, and Rent Assistance  

Nutrition Assistance

Food pantries provide direct donations of grocery items to individuals who are food insecure. 

Find a Local Food Pantry

Healthcare Assistance

The following agencies can help you find low-cost medical assistance.

HealthWell Financial Assistance for COVID-19 Treatment

NeedyMeds Assistance with Medication Costs

National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics Search Engine

Free Clinic Directory

Family & Mental Health

Coronavirus can contribute to mental health and family problems, including stress, partner abuse, and parenting challenges. Numerous nonprofit services can help you achieve balance in your household if you are currently struggling to do so.

Hotline for Those Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Crisis Line for Anxiety Related to the Pandemic

Free Resources for Those Anxious About Coronavirus

Free Guided Meditation for Healthcare Workers

How to Talk to Your Children About Coronavirus

Distance Learning

Numerous education providers are offering supplemental materials to children of families whose schools have shut down. Be sure to ask your child’s instructor for additional distance learning resources, if needed.

Online Teaching Resources for Parents During Coronavirus School Closures

Distance Learning Resources from Scholastic

Math Distance Learning Materials from STMath

Free College Student Tutors from Gopeer.org

More Distance Learning Resources from Education Reimagined

Private Sector Aid

Many private companies are offering assistance to consumers and employees during the pandemic. Search for the brands you use on this U.S. Chamber of Commerce webpage:

Corporate Aid Tracker: COVID-19 Business in Action

Gig Company and Amazon Employee Assistance

Because gig employees may not qualify for certain earned benefits, major gig companies are providing various forms of assistance. Check with your gig employer to see what they are offering if they are not included on this list.

Uber Assistance for Drivers 

Lyft’s Latest on COVID-19

Postmates Fleet Relief Fund 

Doordash Resource Center

Instacart Support for Shopper Community

Amazon Support for Employees and Contractors 

Private Health Insurance Assistance

Many states are telling private health insurers to make coronavirus testing and treatment easier. If you are currently with a private health insurer, check with them for more information about this and what else they may be offering.

State Actions on Private Insurance Providers and COVID-19

Banking & Personal Finance Assistance

The government has encouraged banks to provide relief to credit, mortgage, and other customers. Some states are suggesting similar protections. Check with your bank to learn more about what they are offering.

FDIC Coronavirus Information for Bankers and Consumers

State Consumer Protections Regarding COVID-19

Resources by State

State and local coronavirus relief efforts are too numerous to list. Stay tuned to what is happening in your community to learn about available resources. Feel free to contact your UpGlo job coach for possible suggestions. Below are state resources to help cover your most basic needs.

Resource Directories
New Jersey
New York
Washington, D.C.
Washington State

For more information about this guide or Upwardly Global services, contact Tim Workman at outreach@upwardlyglobal.orgThis guide will be updated as new resources come to our attention.

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