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?

You can schedule an appointment with a New York City Financial Empowerment Center Counselor.

Counselors can help you:

  • Take control of your debt
  • Deal with debt collectors
  • Improve your credit
  • Create a budget
  • Open a bank account
  • Start an emergency fund
  • Save and plan for your future

Financial counseling is free and confidential. Professional counselors speak multiple languages.

Same-day, walk-in appointments are possible if counselors are available.

Financial Empowerment Centers are run by the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Financial Empowerment, in partnership with:

  • Ariva
  • Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
  • BronxWorks
  • Chhaya CDC
  • Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
  • New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Urban Upbound


Book an appointment online.

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

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 in 2020 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 who filed a 2019 tax return 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. If you receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Veterans benefits, you do not have to take any action to receive the second payment. Your payment will be issued based on information the IRS has on file for your 2019 tax return.

    The initial direct deposit payments began arriving on Tuesday, December 29 and continued into the following week. If you did not receive it by direct deposit, you should have received 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 but did not receive one, you may claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on line 30 of your 2020 tax return. NYC Free Tax Prep can help eligible filers claim the credit.

    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


    • 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