COVID-19 Resources and Information

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath, fever), have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or you have a compromised immune system or a chronic, serious medical condition, you can get a COVID-19 test even without a doctor’s order. 

A list of testing sites can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites or dph.illinois.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-sites

Testing guidance in Illinois can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/testing-guidanc

Pandemic EBT/Snap Information

K-12 students in Chicago are eligible for a benefit called Pandemic EBT ("P-EBT" or "SNAP/LINK"), which provides $6.82 for each school day a student lacks access to in-school lunches due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These benefits will be issued for eligible school days, including remote learning days, going back to the beginning of the 2020 Fall Semester. In order for families to receive these benefits, it is important that students be enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals or attend a Chicago public school where all lunches are free AND have their addresses with their schools up to date as soon as possible. Cards with P-EBT funds pre-loaded will be mailed out in March and will arrive in an unmarked envelope. Families without mailing addresses can use their school's address to receive their P-EBT cards, but they need to let their school know that they want to use this option.

 

 

 

Tax Resources

Turbo Tax allows some low-income filers to use their website for free for a federal return. For more information, please refer to this guide: https://getmypaymentil.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/How-to-File-a-Return-For-Free-Using-TurboTax.pdf

Ladder Up is a non-profit organization that provides financial consulting to people in Illinois who need assistance. Their Tax Assistance Program (TAP) is available for free from February 12 - April 15 for full-year Illinois residents. For more information, please refer to the following link: https://www.goladderup.org/our-services/tax-assistance/ 

Get My Payment IL is a group of non-profit organizations that provides information to help Illinois residents obtain their stimulus checks. Please refer to their Tax Help page for important FAQs about your taxes and information about your different tax options: https://getmypaymentil.org/tax-help/

Contact Information for Questions and Assistance

If you have any questions or need assistance, contact Beth Malik at beth@chicagohomeless.org or 773-339-5264.

 For more information, visit IRS.gov/eip. Soon you may check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment.

 

January 2021 Stimulus Check

The following is stimulus information provided by Get My Payment IL:

On December 27, 2020, the government approved a second round of stimulus checks worth up to $600 for eligible individuals ($1,200 for eligible married couples). People with eligible dependents under the age of 17 will receive $600 for each dependent. Families where only one spouse has a Social Security Number are now eligible!

If you received your first stimulus check directly into your bank account, you should receive your second check in the same account. If you received the first check as a paper check or debit card in the mail, you should have received it as either a paper check or debit card in January. The debit card, called the Economic Impact Payment Card, will be sent in a white envelope that prominently displays the U.S. Department of the Treasury seal. Do not throw this envelope away!

You should be able to track your first and second payments on the IRS website using the Get My Payment portal.

If you used a paid tax preparer for your taxes and you've checked Get My Payment and the status of your second check shows a direct deposit going to an account you don't recognize, the IRS advises that you should keep checking your bank account -- the IRS misdirected some payments to temporary accounts that preparers set up when filing 2019 returns.

If, for whatever reason, you don't end up receiving your second check by the end of January 2021, file your 2020 tax return and claim the Recovery Rebate Credit to claim any missing amount.

Illinois banks that can cash your second stimulus check for free include Bank of America, First Midwest, Fifth Third, Huntington, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank.

Eligibility

Individuals eligible for the Round 2 stimulus checks are U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:

• Have a valid Social Security Number,

• Cannot be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and

• Have an adjusted gross income* under:

• $75,000 for individuals 

• $112,500 for individuals filing as head of household

• $150,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns and surviving spouses

• Taxpayers will receive a reduced payment if their adjusted gross income is higher. The amount of reduced payment will be based upon the taxpayer's specific adjusted gross income. More details will be provided soon.

• You do not need to have any income to be eligible.

*Adjusted gross income is a number found on your tax return (Line 8b of the 2019 1040 tax form). It is the money you receive (wages, child support, interest, etc.) minus some specific costs, like student loan interest or alimony.

If You Have Not Received Your Stimulus

If you know the IRS has issued you the second stimulus check but you have not received it, you will need to call the IRS at its stimulus payment line (800-919-9835) to request a payment trace to let the IRS know that you never received the payment. That payment trace will be crucial to request before you file a 2020 tax return claim to claim the missing stimulus money as the Recovery Rebate Credit. Without it, the IRS records will show past insurance of the stimulus payment and will deny your claim.

Here are two ways to check if the IRS issued a stimulus payment:

1. Check the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website here

2. Create an account on the IRS website to then be able to check past payment history, which can be done here

If you are experiencing a significant change in your income, many federal offices remain open for services over phone.  

  • Social Security Administration (SSA) offices are closed to the public for in-person services as of March 17, 2020.  Use online services or contact local offices by phone. For pre-scheduled, in-office appointments, expect to receive a call from a representative from a private number at the time of the appointment. 

  • Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) remains open. Call IDES at 1(800)244-5631 or use online services. 

  • Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is still offering applications for benefits and requests for assistance for emergency food relief (SNAP), cash assistance (TANF) and Medicaid applications online at Medicaid applications online or by calling the ABE Call Center at 1(800)843-6154. 

  • Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) remain open with limited staff during this state of emergency. IDHS strongly encourages online and phone applications to limit potential exposure to COVID-19. 
     

If you have a legal matter with your income, Legal Aid Chicago can be reached by phone at (312)341-1070 or applying online. The intake line accepts calls weekdays beginning at 8:00AM. Legal Aid Chicago takes a limited number of calls each day, so it is best to call early. They offer a callback option to keep your place in the queue, so you do not have to wait on the phone. All calls are returned the same day. People experiencing homelessness can contact the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless at (800)940-1119 for issues with public benefits, education rights, and more. CARPLS can also be reached at (312)738-9200. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need help paying rent, call the Homelessness Prevention Call Center. Dial 3-1-1 or (312)744-5000 and ask for “short-term help.” Callers that are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired should dial (312)948-6817. State homelessness prevention funds should be available for documented crisis. The Call Center is open Monday–Thursday, 8:30AM–4:30PM. The Call Center will refer you to a community organization that manages the funds. If you reside in suburban Cook County, call 1(877)426-6515 for help with basic needs. 
 

Your local Department of Family and Support Services Community Service Center also coordinates rental assistance. They are open Monday–Thursday from 9:00AM–5:00PM. City residents who need assistance can drop in or schedule an appointment to have an initial assessment to identify their needs.  

  • Englewood Center, 1140 W. 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620, (312)747-0200 

  • Garfield Center, 10 S. Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612, (312)746-5400  

  • King Center, 4314 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, IL 60653, (312)747-2300  

  • North Area, 845 W. Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640, (312)744-2580  

  • South Chicago, 8650 S. Commercial Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617, (312)747-0500 

  • Trina Davila, 4312 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639, (312)744-2014 
     

If you are living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) is providing emergency assistance. If you do not have a case manager or housing advocate, navigator, or technician, call (312)690-8860 for assistance. Utilize the Chicagoland HIV Resource Coordination Hub for additional information, referrals, and other support to people living with and vulnerable to HIV. The Hub is staffed 9:00AM-10:00PM, Monday through Saturday, and 9:00AM-5:00PM on Sunday. Call the Hub at (844)HUB-4040 or (800)AID-AIDS. 
 

If you have a housing legal matter, call Legal Aid Chicago or Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH). Legal Aid Chicago can be reached by phone at (312)341-1070 or applying online for housing legal advocacy. The intake line accepts calls weekdays beginning at 8:00AM. Legal Aid Chicago takes a limited number of calls each day, so it is best to call early. They offer a callback option to keep your place in the queue, so you do not have to wait on the phone. All calls are returned the same day. LCBH can be reached at (312)347-7600. LCBH has closed its office to the public until further notice, but LCBH staff is working remotely, and LCBH is still taking applications by phone. 

 

If you are experiencing homelessness and need shelter, 3-1-1 is accepting calls to refer to shelters. Please note that there is not a clear process for shelter clients to be referred directly to a quarantine/isolation facility from the shelter–the process is typically initiated by emergency rooms. 

People who are living outside, in a shelter, or in another place not meant for human habitation can call the Coordinated Entry Call Center and be assessed for housing over the phone. The number is (312) 361-1707 and it is open M-F, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you need to access a food pantry or prepared meals, the Greater Chicago Food Depository 700 partner agencies and programs remain open–with some exceptions. Find a food program on the Greater Chicago Food Depository website. It is recommended to call a site to confirm program hours and requirements. 

 

There are 450 Chicago Public Schools grab-and-go meal sites open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., to provide meals (breakfast and lunch). Families can go online to find the closest grab-and-go meal site at https://schoolinfo.cps.edu/mealdistributionsites/index.html?timePeriod=postspring. All CPS students are eligible. You will pick up the food outside the school building. You will receive 3 days of meals for each young person in the household. If you have trouble getting to a site, call (773) 553-KIDS or email familyservices@cps.edu to make a request for food delivery. Call daily to request food delivery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CPS remote learning began April 13th. If your child does not have Internet access or a digital device please reach out to your child's school to request technology assistance. You can access all remote learning packets online at cps.edu/remotelearningpackets. Families and students also pick up a non-digital remote learning packet from the nearest CPS grab-and-go meal site.  You can call CPS at (773) 553-KIDS or email at familyservices@cps.edu for more information. For students who are homeless the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless can assist with any education issue including accessing food, remote learning, and preschool applications. Please call (800) 940-1119.

There are 450 Chicago Public Schools grab-and-go meal sites open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–1 p.m., to provide meals (breakfast and lunch). Families can go online to find the closest grab-and-go meal site at https://schoolinfo.cps.edu/mealdistributionsites/index.html?timePeriod=postspring. All CPS students are eligible. You will pick up the food outside the school building. You will receive 3 days of meals for each young person in the household. If you have trouble getting to a site, call (773) 553-KIDS or email familyservices@cps.edu to make a request for food delivery. Call daily to request food delivery.