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Resources for SRLP communities during COVID-19

SRLP recognizes that issues like the spread of coronavirus disproportionately affect our communities – particularly our communities living in unstable housing, under criminalization or immigration-related surveillance, or on the inside in jails or prisons. We are in solidarity with those fighting to ensure that needed care and compassion are shown to all people at this time.

Below, we have listed resources for the different areas of our work, which we hope will be supportive to our communities, members, and clients. If you have relevant resources or mutual aid funds that you would like to add to this page, please email them to adelaide@srlp.org

Members are welcome to message us on Facebook or email staff members to share ways that we can support them during this time. We will support these needs as much as possible.

Let us take care of one another, and continue our collective work to address transphobia rooted in racial and economic justice perspectives during this heightened time in our systems and communities when many folks may need allyship and interdependence.

General Information about Impacts of COVID-19

Name and ID Document Changes

Evictions & Housing Rights 

There is a moratorium on ALL evictions in NYC from March 16, 2020 until at least August 20. This means your landlord cannot commence eviction proceedings and any pending eviction proceedings have been postponed. If your landlord tries to evict you, please contact a lawyer ASAP.

Resources for Incarcerated People & their Communities

Immigration Rights

Accessing TGNC Healthcare

TGNCI folks know how hard it is during normal times to access gender-affirming healthcare. With the COVID pandemic, finding and receiving safe and supportive healthcare is even more difficult. During these very challenging times, it is more important than ever to know your healthcare rights. 

  • General Medicaid Guidance
    • As of March 2020, all Medicaid recipients have been automatically reinstated until further notice. 
      • This means your Medicaid CANNOT be terminated during this time unless you request it, you move away, or you pass away.
    • As of March 2020, you cannot be moved to a lower eligibility level until further notice.
    • These changes must stay in effect until the last day of the month following the end of the pandemic. 
  • TGNCI Specific Guidance
    • Unfortunately, many TGNCI folks are facing changes to scheduled medical appointments and surgeries due to an executive order issued by Mayor de Blasio directing hospitals to cancel or postpone “elective” procedures.
    • If you have experienced a cancellation or postponement of a gender-affirming medical procedure, please contact SRLP.
    • NYC Health + Hospitals *is* continuing to offer “LGBTQ affirming care, urgent sexual/reproductive health services, and mental health supports via the Pride Health Center at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Judson.” To access services, please call 212-925-5000 (after the language prompt, press 3 to speak with a nurse).

Accessing Public Benefits and Unemployment

There have been many changes to the processes for applying for SNAP (food stamps), cash assistance, and unemployment insurance. Like everything else, this information is changing very quickly and may be outdated by the time you read this. If you have questions about applying for SNAP, cash assistance, or unemployment insurance please contact a lawyer ASAP or contact SRLP. Below is some general guidance about the application processes for these benefits. You can also find more information about benefits and all things related to COVID here.

Please note: Many standard requirements have been waived and processing times are lengthy due to the number of applications.

    • Recertifications for March, April, and May 2020 have been extended.
    • In-person interviews have been waived as long as you are able to provide a verified ID and you are able to submit all required IDs. 
      • HRA is still conducting phone interviews for individuals who cannot provide the required IDs. 
  • Cash Assistance
    • In order to apply for Cash Assistance, you must submit an application to HRA. HRA strongly encourages you to submit your application through its ACCESS HRA website or through its ACCESS HRA app. The application takes about 45 minutes to complete and you will be automatically applied for two other public benefits: SNAP and Medicaid.
      • After creating an account, you will be asked a series of eligibility questions, including listing any emergency indicators (like homelessness, mental health issues, etc) that you may be experiencing. 
        • you should list ALL indicators that apply to you
      • there is an immigration eligibility requirement, so if you are not a U.S. citizen, you should contact a lawyer to review if your immigration status prevents you from receiving certain benefits. 
      • You will be asked to submit documentation, which can only be done through the HRA ACCESS app. You CANNOT submit supporting documents from the website.
  • SNAP (food stamps)
    • In order to apply for SNAP, you must submit an application to HRA. HRA strongly encourages you to submit your application through its ACCESS HRA website or through its ACCESS HRA app. The application takes about 45 minutes to complete.
      • You must create an ACCESS HRA account to submit an application online or through the ACCESS HRA app.
      • You will be asked a series of questions to determine your eligibility. You should provide your social security number if you have one. 
      • You will be asked to submit documentation, which can only be done through the HRA ACCESS app. You CANNOT submit supporting documents from the website. HRA will process your application and will contact you to follow up. Due to the number of applications, processing time is considerably delayed.
      • If you have any questions, you should contact a lawyer or SRLP directly for further assistance.
  • Unemployment Insurance
    • To see if you are eligible for unemployment insurance, visit the New York State Department of Labor website.
    • You will need to create a NY.gov ID if you do not have one already.
    • Once you begin the application, you must complete it in one sitting. It takes about 45 minutes to complete.
    • Expansion of benefits under COVID
      • Due to the health crisis, many individuals who are usually ineligible for unemployment insurance may now be eligible.
        • Some expanded eligibility categories include extending coverage for self-employed people, independent contractors, and people working “gig” jobs such as food delivery or car drivers.
      • People who qualify for unemployment will automatically receive an additional $600/week pandemic unemployment benefit that will last until July 2020.
        • The additional $600 is NOT reportable income for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility and has no impact on your Medicaid application/Medicaid benefits
    • Once you submit your application, a NY Department of Health representative will contact you to finalize your application and receipt of benefits.
      • Many people have experienced significant delays between the time they submit their application and when they receive a phone call. If you have waited more than three weeks, please contact a lawyer or SRLP
  • Pandemic EBT
    • Pandemic EBT is a new benefit that replaces the free or reduced lunch programs for families who receive that for their school aged children. 
    • If you were already receiving free or reduced lunch, you DO NOT need to apply for this benefit.
    • You will automatically receive a new EBT card in the mail and this benefit will last until the end of the school year.

Accessing Your Stimulus Check

  • Website to register for stimulus check – Submit your address here if you haven’t recently submitted federal tax returns or if you did not provide direct deposit information. New Yorkers must enter direct deposit information by May 13 to avoid paper stimulus checks. 
  • Website to check status of your stimulus check – You need to put in your name, ss number, birthday, and address and zip code you used in your last tax return and/or online submission through the website above. Anyone with a social security number and valid work authorization is eligible to receive a stimulus check. Receiving a stimulus check does *not* negatively impact immigration cases. If you have questions about eligibility for immigrants, please email dst@srlp.org.

Mutual Aid Funds

Mental Health & Community Support

  • Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support hotline – CALL: 1-877-565-8860
    Available 24/7. A peer support service run by trans people, for trans and questioning callers. This hotline is staffed exclusively by trans operators and is the only crisis line with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.
  • Free Remote Peer Counseling –
    Text (929) 277- 8291 to make a phone or zoom session
  • Open to anyone in emotional or psychiatric distress, coping skills, development, crisis planning, compassionate listening, harm reduction, intersectional, LGBTQIA+ and trauma informed intentional peer support