Government Benefits – COVID-19 Issues
Last updated August 20, 2021
Below are selected websites from reliable sources, vetted by our Law Librarians. This is not an exhaustive list of information available on this topic, but a starting point to provide you with basic information during this pandemic.
Economic Impact Payments under the CARES Act
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. Among other things, this Act provides $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with additional $500 payments per qualifying child (phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000, or $150,000 for joint filers). The link below provides a summary and full text of the Act:
Information about Obtaining Your 1st, 2nd and 3rd Economic Impact Payment from the IRS:
This page includes information about eligibility, how to obtain the payments for tax filers and non-filers, and how to update your information with the IRS:
A Guide to COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Relief – Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Video – Steps to take if you haven’t received an economic impact payment, from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
San Diego County Rental Assistance Payments
The County of San Diego 2021 Emergency Rental and Utilities Assistance Program (ERAP) helps eligible households in qualifying areas who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides payment assistance for renters who need help with rent and utilities. Applications will be accepted until funds are no longer available. (Updated July 16, 2021). Find application and details here.
If you need help with food, paying bills, child care or other essential services during the COVID-19 crisis, you can search the 211 website or dial 211 to speak to someone who can direct you to services.
Here is another list of resources for assistance in the San Diego area, including food, pet food and supplies, unemployment, help for renters, health coverage, and mental health support:
San Diego County Rental Assistance – the County of San Diego approved a new round of rental assistance funding on January 26, 2021. This program pays up to 6 months of expenses, and gives priority to single-parent households.
Financial Help from The State of California – the State of California has a website has a listing of the types of financial assistance available to Californians affected by COVID-19 (updated August 11, 2021):
Benefits.gov – information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources, from the official government benefits website of the U.S. government:
Food Service Sites – San Diego County Office of Education. Meals for children 18 or younger from the County Office of Education (updated August 12, 2021)
Help with Pets: The San Diego Humane Society programs can help with supplemental pet food for income qualified families. For more information and pick up locations see the program website:
Pet Food Bank
The Rancho Coastal Humane Society has a pet food bank to assist pet owners with pet food and pet supplies at multiple distribution sites around San Diego County.
Help for Military Families
The Office of Financial Readiness has put together a list of resources available to military members and their families to address their needs during the COVID-19 pandemic (updated August 2021):
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2
Are you a farmer or rancher whose business has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? You may be eligible for financial assistance through this program from the USDA (program was expanded in March 2021).
Monthly Payments Toward Your Internet Bill – Emergency Broadband Benefit Program
Qualifying households (low income, receiving SNAP, Medicaid and similar benefits, and those who have lost income due to COVID-19) can apply for $50 per month ($75 if you live on tribal land) toward your internet bill through the FCC.
Information about Disability Insurance in California and how to make a claim if you are sick and cannot work:
Information about the Governor’s Executive Order approving a rebuttable presumption of workers compensation benefits for Californians who contract COVID-19 during remote work (updated August 13, 2021):
Information about paid family leave in California and the Coronavirus:
Information about unemployment insurance and whether it is available if you cannot work due to sickness, quarantine, or child care related to the Coronavirus:
Video Tutorials – for video tutorials on how to file an unemployment claim, how to reopen a claim, and how to certify for continuing benefits, in English, Spanish, and several other languages, scroll to the bottom of this page:
Como solicitar pagos de beneficios del UI (presente una solicitud)(Espanol)
See this website for information about current SSA operations and services related to COVID-19 (updated August 4, 2021).
If you need health coverage, the Covered California website allows you to submit a single application to determine if you are eligible for Covered California or Medi-Cal:
Information about special enrollment for Covered California that was opened up due to the pandemic:
Medicare covers some COVID-19 related expenses such as testing and hospitalization:
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. Among other things, this Act expands health-insurance coverage for diagnostic testing and requires coverage for preventative services and vaccines. The link below provides a summary and full text of the Act:
The office of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has put together this list of links for assistance for Californians affected by COVID-19, including testing and vaccines, benefits for individuals, and benefits for businesses:
San Diego Law Library YouTube Channel
San Diego Law Library has an up to date YouTube channel. Below is a link to one of our classes dealing with government benefits: