Program requirements have been updated so more residents qualify for help. Details below.
Text the word COVIDCARES to the phone number 898211 to start the process.
If you lost a job or significant income due to impacts from the pandemic, you may qualify for financial assistance up to $5,000 per household to pay for rent, mortgage or utility payments during the period starting March 1, 2020.
- Signed form attesting to lost job or income due to COVID-19 and that you have less than $10,000 in the bank.
- Proof of U.S. and Pinellas County residency.
- Proof of overdue bills.
- Text the word COVIDCARES to the phone number 898211 – you will be asked a few screening questions via text to confirm you qualify.
- Email required documents showing U.S. and Pinellas County residency, overdue bill and other info to firstname.lastname@example.org (see below for full document details).
- Sign electronic form attesting to your COVID-related financial need –we will email the form once all your documents are received.
- Payment will be made directly to the utility, landlord or mortgage company after your signed attestation form is submitted.
Once your signed forms and residency documentation have been received, you’ll get a message confirming the status of your application. Upon approval, all payments will go directly to the eligible utility, mortgage lender or landlord. You will not receive a direct payment.
Applicants who did not previously qualify for the program or who already received help, but need assistance for additional overdue bills, can apply again with a maximum of $5,000 per household.
You can only apply for assistance to cover coronavirus-related costs that have not already been paid for by insurance or by another federal program.
Please note: Assistance requests will be processed as quickly as possible. Due to the widespread impact of the pandemic on our local community, we anticipate a high volume of requests. Please do not call or text to check on the status of your request as this will slow down our process of approving and distributing assistance.
All documents must have the same name and identifying information to get approved for assistance.
Submit copies of the following documents to email@example.com:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or residency (one from below)
- Current Pinellas County Driver’s License with Real ID Star
- U.S. Social Security card
- U.S. birth certificate
- Valid & current U.S. passport
- Certificate of Naturalization
- “Green card” INS form I-151 or I-551.
- Proof of Pinellas County residency (one from below)
- Current Pinellas County Driver’s License or State Identification showing a Pinellas County address
- Mortgage documents, rental lease, rent receipts or letter from a landlord or property owner
- Proof of Homestead Exemption
- Recent water, electric, gas, telephone, cable television or other utility bills in the name of the applicant indicating a current address within Pinellas County
- Vehicle registration in the name of the applicant indicating an address within Pinellas County
- Pinellas County Voter Identification card
- Bank, credit union, or a similar statement indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- Recent residence documented by another social service agency within Pinellas County. (Mobile Medical Unit or Pinellas County Shelter).
- Canceled mail from a Federal, State, County, or City agency addressed to the applicant at a Pinellas County address
- Declaration of Domicile recorded with the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court
- Current professional license indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- Record of criminal activity indicating a Pinellas County address when arrested
- Employment record indicating a home address in Pinellas County
- If applying for help with past due mortgage or utility bills (All from below)
- PDF or clear photo of the utility late/overdue bills (water, sewer, electricity, and/or gas)
- PDF or clear photo of the mortgage statement
- If applying for help with past due rent bills (All from below)
- Eviction Notice or Late Notice listing the amount past due and a copy of the lease.
- If the applicant receives Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance, a Housing Assistance Payment Contract (HAP Contract) is required in addition to the lease agreement.
- The first page of the lease.
- W9 from the landlord for payment
- Signed electronic attestation that your income loss is due to COVID-19 with assets under $10,000 (Provided after submitting above documentation)