During this unprecedented health emergency created by the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Pisgah Legal is committed to continuing to serve our clients. We want you to know about community resources that are available, and we encourage our other nonprofit partners to share news with us as well.
FAQs on EVICTION MORATORIUM (Temporary halt on evictions for non-payment), HOUSING, UNEMPLOYMENT, SAFETY FROM DOMESTIC ABUSE, RETURNING TO WORK, AND MORE.
These pages will be updated as new information comes in. These FAQs are not to be considered legal advice, if you need assistance, please apply online or call our number at 1-800-489-6144.
Informational videos on unemployment benefits, what renters need to know, accessing health insurance and more. Please check this page regularly as we will continue to upload new videos.
Please check this Resources page periodically as we will be updating it regularly.
PROJECT UPLIFT Emergency Assistance
Project UPLIFT financial assistance applications in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Polk and Transylvania counties. In partnership, Community Action Opportunities & Pisgah Legal Services will provide emergency assistance (prioritizing eviction prevention). CLICK Here to apply or call 828-253-0406. To find out more about other Project UPLIFT services, visit https://communityactionopportunities.org/.
PROJECT HOPE Emergency Assistance for Rental Assistance
The HOPE Program is administered by the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency in the state Department of Public Safety. The program promotes housing stability during the pandemic by providing rent and utility assistance to prevent evictions and utility disconnections. United Way of North Carolina and NC 211 provide call center support for the HOPE Program but do not manage the program.
- The HOPE Program is not accepting new applications at this time, but rent and utility payments for current eligible applicants continue to be processed.
- New federal COVID-19 relief funds are being used to fund an additional rent and utility assistance program. Call United Way 2-1-1 or Apply at https://nc211.org/hope/,
EBLEN CHARITIES Financial Assistance Programs
Eblen Charities provides provides heating and cooling assistance and utility payments, assistance to cover past-due rent and mortgage payments for people in crisis, and financial assistance for medication, physician visits, eyeglasses, transportation, dental visits and free dental sealants to second graders.
They are located at 50 Westgate Parkway, Asheville, NC 28806 or call (828) 255-3066 or go to https://www.eblencharities.org/programs/
Watch this video from the Let’s Talk: Getting Back on your Feet with Economic Services.
Below are links with more information about the services provided in Buncombe County:
- call (828) 250-5500 if you want to inquire about any benefits. You will be connected with a case workers that will work to connect you with everything you are eligible for.
- Information on COVID-19 related Housing and Utility Assistance
- Information on Food Assistance
- Apply for Benefits Online
- Do you Qualify for Medicaid?
- Information on the STEP Program for Continuing Education
- Emergency Assistance through Eblen Charities
- More information on Economic Services/Public Assistance
The American Rescue Plan includes a third round of tax-free economic stimulus payments. In this version, qualifying taxpayers will receive $1,400 per qualified individual ($2,800 for married filing jointly couples) and additionally $1,400 for each qualifying dependent including qualifying children in college and dependent relatives. Children of mixed-immigration status families with valid social security numbers are also eligible for the stimulus payments.
Familias con dependientes documentados (por ejemplo, hijos ciudadanos de EE. UU.) SÍ PUEDEN recibir el nuevo cheque de estímulo para sus niños, incluso si ambos padres son indocumentados. Este es el primero de los tres cheques de estímulo que se ha ofrecido a las familias en las que ambos padres son indocumentados pero sus dependientes (ya sean mayores o menores de 18 años) tienen SSN. Las familias deben declarar impuestos para recibir el cheque de estímulo y recibirán $1400 por cada dependiente que tenga un SSN. Para muchas familias que no calificaban por beneficios por desempleo y otras formas de alivio de COVID, esta es una ayuda importante.
• Para las familias que tienen UN cónyuge/padre documentado y UN cónyuge indocumentado, los cambios en las recientes leyes de cheque de estímulo pueden permitirles regresar y reclamar un CRÉDITO por las cheques de estímulo anteriores que no recibieron.
• Recibir este cheque no tendrá ningún impacto en la posibilidad de ser aprobado para una residencia permanente
Condición de Inmigración Mixta en Su Familia?
Important Information for Families!! $250-$300 monthly payments per child starting July 2021.
- Families with children may qualify for $3,600 for children ages 0-5 years and $3,000 for children ages 6-17 (based on the child’s age on 12/31/2021) through the expanded Child Tax Credit included in the American Rescue Plan Act. If you have not filed taxes in recent years, be sure to file a 2020 tax return as soon as possible, even if you are not otherwise required to file a return. Filing a 2021 return will ensure the IRS has your household information for the distribution of these credits.
- The IRS will send periodic payments from July-December to families. These payments will account for half of the 2021 child tax credit. The second half could be claimed when filing 2021 tax return.
- Experts expect the ARPA to lift 4.1 million children out of poverty in 2021
Read this Flier: Tax Benefits That Benefit YOU
Unemployment Insurance Benefits
The American Rescue Plan extends the CARES Act’s unemployment insurance expansion through Sept. 6, 2021. Specifically, this act:
- Provides an additional $300 per week to on top of what beneficiaries are getting through their state unemployment insurance program.
- The first $10,200 of jobless benefits accrued in 2020 would be non-taxable for households with incomes under $150,000.
- Extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides continued unemployment assistance to the self-employed, freelancers, gig workers, part-time workers and other individuals in non-traditional employment. It also increases the number of weeks of PUA benefits an individual may claim, from 50 to 79;
- Extends the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, providing additional weeks of federally-funded benefits to workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment benefits. It also increases the weeks of PEUC benefits an individual may claim, from 24 to 53.
- For More information on Unemployment Insurance Benefits, go to our FAQs HERE.
- The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made the first $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits tax free for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income less than $150,000.
- The American Rescue Plan includes changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). An increase in the CTC to $3,600 per qualified child under age six and $3,000 for a child up to age 17. An additional $500 credit is available for dependent children in college who are under age 24. the IRS will make advance payments of the credit, beginning in July. The exact logistics of that process are still being worked out.
- If you receive SNAP benefits, you will see a 15% increase in your benefits, which is a boost of $25.00 per person each month until September 2021.
- Families with children who qualify for free and reduced meals in school continue to receive financial assistance to replace the meals children would have received if schools had not been closed due to COVID-19.
- If you are receiving SNAP benefits, you may also be eligible for a new Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. This new benefit program will provide a discount on broadband services up to $50 a month to eligible Energy Program, Work First Program, and Food and Nutrition Services (FNS/SNAP) Program recipients who are struggling to afford internet service during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers. Eligibility and application HERE: https://getemergencybroadband.org/
KNOW YOUR EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS DURING COVID
How and where to apply for Unemployment, FMLA, Emergency Leave and Safe Working Conditions
2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages
Free Mental Health and Support Groups
Mental Health Services, Domestic & Sexual Abuse Survivor Services,
Substance Use Recovery Supports
Locator Map to access free WIFI
MANNA Food Bank: Food Hotline: 1-800-820-1109
Emergency Numbers and Resources
SAMHSA operates a Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990. It is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
Utility Information/Business Services
Asheville Water Resources will suspend all water account disconnections due to non-payment of City of Asheville combined utility bills. For more information call 251-1122.
Duke Energy has suspended disconnects for nonpayment – home and business accounts. If you need assistance, Contact Duke Energy for arranging a payment plan for any back payments needed to avoid cutoff. If you are denied a repayment plan, contact the NC Utilities Commission at 866-380-9816 to see if they can advocate for a payment plan on your behalf.
Charter Spectrum is offering free services to new customers and free wifi hotspots: https://www.spectrum.com/wifi-hotspots.html
Benefits Guide During COVID-19
Custody and Visitation Guidelines During COVID-19
Information & FAQs on Receiving Stimulus Payments from IRS.Gov
Free Wireless Phones for VAYA Members
WARNING: Social Security Scam Alert: The Inspector General of Social Security, Gail S. Ennis, is warning the public about fraudulent letters threatening suspension of Social Security benefits due to COVID-19 or coronavirus-related office closures. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not suspend or discontinue benefits because their offices are closed. Read information on what you need to know about Medicaid during the COVID crisis.
Legal Assistance for Older Americans & COVID-19
USBG National Charity Foundation is for service industry professionals needing extra assistance during and after the COVID-19 response period.
Pisgah Legal is offering free access to the digital edition of Surviving Debt: Expert Advice For Getting Out of Financial Trouble, National Consumer Law Center’s most comprehensive guide to navigating debt for consumers and consumer advocates.
Chamber of commerce resource guide
How to support local businesses, updated unemployment information,
BUNCOMBE COUNTY RESOURCES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
A list of government and nonprofit agencies providing financial assistance.
Financial assistance for employees and business owners affected by COVID-19
Resources to monitor the latest information about the COVID-19 pandemic:
- North Carolina Health and Human Services
- Sign up for COVID Alerts from Buncombe County: Text the word BCALERT to the number 888777.
- Sign up for COVID Alerts from North Carolina. Text COVIDNC to 898211 for updates and information.
- The U.S.Dept. of Health & Human Services released a statement regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections during COVID-19 and guidance for people (including those with I/DD) who may need assistance while in a hospital. It states “For individuals with a cognitive impairment or intellectual disability, it is important to ensure the individual has adequate support for decision making and treatment. These individuals may need to have a caregiver accompany them in either the ambulance or in the hospital. Accompaniment should be allowed in accordance with the guidance” listed in the bulletin. Read the full bulletin.