Coronavirus (COVID-19) Alert

If you are experiencing sudden changes to your household budget or income due to COVID-19, financial counselors can help you:

  • Manage your money and set up a spending plan
  • Contact creditors about existing loans, including student loans
  • Draft letters to creditors to lower payments or temporarily suspend payments due to hardship
  • Develop a strategy to minimize debt
  • Access local, state, and federal emergency resources 

Many Financial Empowerment Centers are not providing in-person assistance at this time, but you can still schedule an appointment to speak with a financial counselor by phone. You'll need to sign up for a Financial Empowerment Portal account first.

Sign up and book an appointment online.

Need something else?

The Ready to Rent program is run by the NYC Departments of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) in partnership with Ariva. You can schedule a financial counseling appointment to help you submit a stronger affordable housing application.

While financial counseling does not impact your placement in any affordable housing lottery, it can put you in a better financial position to obtain affordable housing.

Through HPD’s Housing Ambassador Program you can contact a community-based service provider who can assist you in finding and applying for affordable housing through HPD’s Housing Connect website. Both services are free and confidential, and assistance is available in multiple languages.

Learn more about the Ready to Rent program.

As part of the City’s Ready to Rent program, you can contact a Housing Ambassador for free education and assistance with Housing Preservation and Development’s and Housing Development Corporation’s Affordable Housing Lottery Applications.

A Housing Ambassador can assist you with searching for affordable housing opportunities and applying for housing lotteries through the City’s Housing Connect website.

You can get locations, hours, and contact information for Housing Ambassadors and Housing Ambassadors for People with Disabilities.

You can schedule a financial counseling appointment to help you submit a stronger affordable housing application. 

Counselors can help you:

  • Check your credit.
  • Calculate your income for housing applications.
  • Save for moving expenses.
  • Create a household budget.
  • Reduce your debt.

Financial counseling is free and confidential.

Counselors speak multiple languages.

Online

Book an appointment online.

By Phone

  • Agency: Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Division: Ready to Rent Financial Counseling Help Desk
  • Phone Number: (718) 690-9873
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, eligible individuals and families will receive Economic Impact Payments (stimulus payments) based on income.

First Round of Stimulus Payments

Eligibility and Payment Amount

Eligible individuals and families received the first round of stimulus payments of up to $1,200 (for single filers) and $2,400 (for married couples filing jointly) plus an additional $500 for each dependent child under age 17.

To be eligible:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or resident alien.
  • You must have a valid Social Security number (SSN).
  • You must have Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in 2019 that is under $99,000 (single filer) and $198,000 (joint filers).
  • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.

Inmates are eligible for the stimulus payment if they meet the eligibility guidelines.

Receiving Payment

You should have received an automatic payment if you:

  • Filed your 2018 and/or 2019 tax return before April 13, 2020 and meet the income criteria.
  • Do not file a tax return but receive:
    • Veterans Affairs (VA) Compensation and Pension benefits
    • Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits (includes retirement and Social Security Disability Income)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits
    • Survivors benefits (VA, SSA, RRB)

The deadline to register online to receive a stimulus payment this year was on November 21, 2020.

If you missed this deadline, you may still be eligible to receive a stimulus payment in 2021 if:

  • You did not register online or by mail and did not get a payment in 2020, or
  • You received a payment, but it wasn’t the full amount of the stimulus payment. The maximum credit is $1,200, or $2,400 if married filing jointly, plus $500 for each qualifying child.

When you file a 2020 Form 1040 or 1040SR, you may be eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. Save your IRS letter Notice 1444 (Economic Impact Payment) with your 2020 tax records. You’ll need the amount of the payment in the letter when you file in 2021.

Learn more about the first round of stimulus payments.

    Second Round of Stimulus Payments

    Eligibility and Payment Amount

    Eligible individuals and families will automatically receive a second stimulus payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples, plus up to $600 for each qualifying child, as long as the child was under age 17 on December 31, 2019.

    In general, to be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien who is not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return.

    You are eligible for the full amount of the stimulus payment if your adjusted gross income for 2019 is:

    • $150,000 if married and filing a joint return or if filing as a qualifying widow or widower;
    • $112,500 if filing as head of household; or
    • $75,000 for eligible individuals using any other filing status

    If your income is above those amounts, your stimulus payment will be reduced by 5% of the amount by which your income exceeds the eligible income limit.

    Receiving Payment

    If you are eligible, you do not have to take any action to receive this second payment.

    The initial direct deposit payments began arriving on Tuesday, December 29th for some and will continue into the following week. If you do not receive it by direct deposit, you will get a check or debit card. Paper checks began to be mailed on Wednesday, December 30.

    If you received the first stimulus payment on a debit card, you will either get a new debit card or a paper check for the second stimulus payment.

    If you are eligible for a payment and did not receive one, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on line 30 of your 2020 tax return.

    Learn more about the second round of stimulus payments.

    Prepaid Debit Card

    Some people will receive their stimulus payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. These Economic Impact Payment Cards arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank. The card will come with instructions on how to activate and use it. 

    Those who receive a stimulus payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees:

    • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
    • Get cash from in-network ATMs
    • Transfer funds to their personal bank account
    • Check their card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone

    Learn more about Economic Impact Payment Cards.

    Further Assistance

    Online

    Check the status of your stimulus payment.

    By Phone

    • Agency: United States Department of the Treasury
    • Division: Economic Impact Payment Hotline
    • Phone Number: (800) 919-9835
    • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM