Get Help During COVID-19

For Individuals

If you are in need of assistance, contact 211 for referral to the best local resources to fill your need. There are three ways to connect: 

  • Dial 2-1-1 (due to high call volumes please anticipate a wait time)

  • Text your zip code to 898-211

  • Search the online database at www.uwp.org/211gethelp

For Nonprofits

Nonprofits serving Franklin County residents impacted by the pandemic may:

COVID-19 Information & Resources

Contents (click title to jump to category information)

Key Information 

COVID-19 Information

Communications from the Governor

Children and Families

General Resources

Child Care

Education

Learning at Home

Employment

Job Postings

Unemployment Benefits

Financial Assistance

Food

Fraud Protection

Scams

Report Fraud

Health Care

General Resources

Prescriptions

Health Insurance

Housing

Renters

Homeowners

Mental Health

Taxes

Utilities

Voting

How You Can Help

Key Information

If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, or have been in contact with a person known to have Coronavirus (COVID-19), stay home and call your healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested or need care. Also check out this document: COVID Positive or Waiting for Test Results? What Now?

COVID-19 Information

  • Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH to report a Public Health Emergency or AN IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIABLE CONDITION such as COVID-19

  • US Government response to COVID-19

  • Text PACOVID to 898-211 to stay informed with updates on breaking news, relief legislation, and resources to help you meet your basic needs during the crisis

Communication from the Governor

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Housing

Search PA 211’s housing resources (choose a category and change search filters to refine by zip code)

Renters
  • ​If you are unable to make your rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement

  • Renters cannot be evicted due to lack of payment or overstaying a lease until July 10, 2020

  • Renters in apartment complexes whose owners have federally-backed loans (Freddie MacFannie Mae, or HUD) cannot be evicted until July 25

    • Renters will not be charged any fees related to nonpayment of rent during this time

    • The earliest that evicted renters will be required to vacate the property is Aug. 24

Homeowners
  • Homeowners cannot be foreclosed upon due to lack of payment until July 10

  • Homeowners impacted by COVID-19 are eligible for a mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months (Fannie MaeFreddie Mac)

  • Single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages cannot be foreclosed upon until June 30

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Utilities

  • The LIHEAP Recovery Crisis Program helps eligible Pennsylvanians who are at risk of losing access to various energy services in their homes

  • Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission prohibited electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication and steam utility terminations during the Governor’s Proclamation of Disaster in PA 

  • If you are having trouble paying your utility bills, PUC suggests reaching out to your provider before the bill becomes past-due, because there are programs in place to help

Electric
Water

Telephone Service

Internet Service

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Food

  • Temporary SNAP benefits are available, and work requirements have been suspended

  • Contact local businesses to see if they are putting special hours in place to accommodate seniors and other vulnerable populations

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Financial Assistance

  • The PA DHS has an Emergency Assistance Program (EAP) to help eligible families who lost wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a one-time payment to assist them in meeting basic needs

    • Applications will be accepted from May 11 through June 12 or until all funds are expended, so please apply quickly

  • Federal stimulus payments to individuals:

    • Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200

    • Married couples earning less than $150,000 combined can expect $2,400, and families would get an additional $500 per child

    • The payments are based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax filings

    • People like low-income taxpayers, seniors, some veterans, and individuals with disabilities who do not typically file taxes, will need to file a simple tax return to receive their payment (no tax will be owed)

      • Social Security recipients who do not typically file taxes will not need to file to receive their payment – payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts

  • People affected by the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible for Unemployment Compensation: the waiting week and work search requirements are temporarily suspended

  • Individuals experiencing financial hardship should reach out to creditors, utility companies, and landlords to understand what assistance they may be offering or willing to negotiate

  • Federal student loans: until Sep. 30, interest will not accumulate, payments are suspended, and garnishment of wages, Social Security benefits, and tax refunds for student loan debt collection is halted

  • Low-interest disaster relief loans for small businesses are being offered by The Small Business Administration

  • Under the CARES Act, individuals impacted by coronavirus can access up to $100,000 from their 401(k)s and IRAs with fewer consequences than usual (if you have exhausted most other resources available to you)

  • Veterans can apply for temporary financial assistance for necessities

  • Veterans and eligible family members can apply for financial assistance for immediate need

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Employment

Most employees will be guaranteed two weeks of paid sick leave and a subsequent ten weeks of partially paid family leave for care of a child, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Job Postings

  • The National Labor Exchange lists essential job postings for PA with immediate hiring during the COVID-19 crisis

  • PA CareerLink offers active job openings for life-sustaining businesses, available for immediate hire

  • USAJOBS has federal government job listings for positions that help respond to and fight COVID-19 in PA

Unemployment Benefits

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Children and Families

General Resources

  • Children, Youth, and Families resources

  • Food Access Program for Students - The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) plan will allow DHS to provide SNAP funds to households with children who qualified for free or reduced-price meals at school.​

  • Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-932-0313

  • Safe2Say Something: 1-844-723-2729 or get the app (kids can use this service to make anonymous tips on anything that makes them uncomfortable)

  • Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Child Care

  • Certified child care centers and group child care homes operated outside of a residence are closed: this includes PA Pre-K Counts, HSSAP, Preschool Early Intervention, Private Academic Nursery Schools and locally-funded prekindergarten activities

Education

  • All schools statewide remain closed for the remainder of the academic year​

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Education has announced the cancellation of all PSSA testing and Keystone exams for the 2019-20 school year

Learning at Home

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Mental Health

  • Mental Health Tips and Resources from Healthy Franklin County

  • myStrength - Personal Support for You

  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255

  • Mental Health Support Line: 1-855-284-2494

  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746

  • Crisis Text Line: text MHA to 741741

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522

  • Substance Use Disorder Hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357), text 717-216-0905, or chat

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Health Care

Prescriptions

  • CVS, Walgreens, and other pharmacies are doing free prescription delivery: please contact your local pharmacy for more information

  • Download a free prescription discount card from United Way partner, FamilyWize 

    • Or use these Familywize codes at your pharmacy -  BIN: 610194, Card ID: FW100, Group ID:  FW100, PCN: FW

    • Or, text SAVE to 700700 to download the card to your phone

Health Insurance

  • If you do not have employer-sponsored health insurance, know your health insurance options

  • The state will continue to process applications for Medicaid – COVID-19 health emergencies are being prioritized

  • Medicare will now cover telehealth services for its beneficiaries

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Taxes

  • Taxpayers have until July 15th to file and pay their federal and state income tax returns without penalty

    • Additional relief is available for state taxes​

  • Simple federal and state tax returns can be completed for free at myfreetaxes.com

  • The deadline for older adults and people with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2019 has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2020

  • PA 529 account funds that have been refunded can be returned to the account within 60 days to avoid penalties or taxes

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Voting

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Fraud Protection

Scams

  • Regarding individual benefits checks from the federal government:

    • The government will never ask you to pay anything up front to get this money

    • The government will not call to ask for your Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number

    • Anyone who tells you they can get you the money now is a scammer

  • Scammers are offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information – these services are unapproved and illegitimate:

    • Beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare or Medicaid numbers

    • Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies

    • Ignore offers or advertisements for COVID-19 testing or treatments on social media sites

  • Beware of fake unemployment filing websites designed to steal your personal information: only file for unemployment through the Department of Labor and Industry at www.uc.pa.gov

Report Fraud

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How You Can Help

  • Our communities are in need of volunteers and donations now more than ever. Check out our volunteer page for current local needs

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United Way
of Franklin County

Email: office@uwfcpa.org

Phone: 717-262-0015

Location: 182 S. Second St.

                 Chambersburg, PA 17201

Improving quality of lives by mobilizing the caring power of Franklin County.

We envision a community where all families achieve their potential through healthy living, income stability and early learning.

© 2020 by United Way of Franklin County