COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities

COVID-19 Resources for People with Disabilities

The following information has been gathered specifically to inform people with disabilities on the resources available to the population during NYC's response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Select a topic to display its information and resources.

For the most up to date information on prevention and treatment practices of COVID-19 in multiple languages please visit nyc.gov/Coronavirus, text "COVID" to 392-392, call 311 or text 311 at 311-692.

If you have any specific questions or concerns please contact the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities directly:

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Food and Supplies

Food Delivery Services

For people with disabilities that are at higher risk for COVID-19 transmission as well as those that are unable to get out of their homes, below is a list of local service providers that can deliver groceries to directly to individual's homes.

Meal Delivery for Seniors

Older adults (60 years or older) who need to sign up for meal deliveries can sign up through GetFoodNYC
To apply you can call 311, Text 311-692 or visit nyc.gov/getfood

Supply Delivery Services

  • Invisible Hands - A group of engaged volunteers offering free delivery of groceries and supplies to those in high-risk demographics.
    • Phone: 732-639-1579
    • Email: InvisibleHandsDeliver@gmail.com

Meal Pickup

In addition to the services listed above, NYC has provided a number of free meal opportunities for various vulnerable populations including seniors and people with disabilities.

Stores with Custom Hours for Vulnerable Populations

As a result of COVID-19 response and the need for social distancing, some stores have created dedicated hours for seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations.
List of Stores Offering Shopping Hours to High Risk Population

Social Services/ Medicaid Benefits

Updated HRA Policies During COVID-19

For clients in need of public benefits, the Department of Social Services has made changes to how they provide service during COVID-19 response.
Important Information about COVID-19 and your HRA Benefits

You can apply for SNAP and Cash Assistance, manage you case, and more online with ACCESS HRA.

Prescription Recommendations and Resources

For Emergency Preparedness, the NYC Health Department is recommending individuals request 90 days worth of prescription medicine ahead of time.

To do this you may need to request a release from current policies and regulations to allow for a 60 or 90 day supply. Some pharmacies have been making exceptions under disaster relief overrides that allow for ordering prescriptions in bulk.

Individual who are on Medicaid can also call the HRA Medicaid Helpline.

HRA Medicaid Helpline Phone: 888-692-6116.

Additional Medicaid Pharmacy Guidance Regarding the Declared Disaster Emergency in the State of New York over COVID-19

New York State Medicaid Update - March 2020 Special Edition - COVID-19

Public Health Emergency Response Network Pharmacy Program An easy-to-use application that allows NYC pharmacies to provide the Health Department with their contact and service information. This information will help the City better communicate with pharmacies during emergencies to ensure the public has access to critical medications.

Home Health Care Providers

Clarification on Governor Cuomo's Executive Order 202.6

Per the Governor's Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Businesses" that would be allowed to continue operation after Sunday, March 22nd at 9PM include Home Health Care Workers and Aides (including Personal Care Attendants).

If you require a Home Health Care Worker or Aid your service should continue without issue.

Home Health Care Attendants

If you require a new or replacement Home Care Attendant, the following agencies are still taking on new clients.

Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)

VNSNY offers a wide range of home health care services, including medical nursing services, management of chronic conditions, and care to meet the needs of every generation, from at-risk infants to those at the end of life.

ComForCare Homecare

ComForCare in NYC provides personalized home care plans through an evaluation and interviews between the client, family and the ComForCare team to help determine the best plan of action based on unique needs. ComForCare Home Care can help individuals with daily activities.

NY Connects

Your trusted place to go for free, unbiased information and assistance. They can help you link to long term services and supports, such as home care, transportation and meals. Their goal is to help individuals remain in their homes as long as possible. NY Connects serves older individuals and individuals with disabilities of all ages.

Emergency Food Hotline

If you are in need of emergency food assistance dial 866–888–8777 or 311 to find a local pantry or kitchen.

Covid-19 Testing

  • Help us stop the spread by getting a free COVID-19 test and an antibody test. It's safe, quick and easy. You will not be asked about your immigration status.
  • To find a testing site near you

Transportation

The NYS Department of Health has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT)

MTA Subways, Buses and Access-A-Ride

  • Starting May 6th, there is no subway service from 1-5am. Essential Workers can use the MTA's Essential Connector Program. For the latest information visit the MTA's Subway and Bus Service Update During the Coronavirus Pandemic page
  • All trains, stations, and buses are normally cleaned every day and disinfected as needed. The MTA is disinfecting stations and high-touch surfaces—like turnstiles, ticket machines, and handrails—twice a day. Cleaners are working to disinfect trains, cars, and buses every day, with the entire active service fleet being covered every 72 hours.
  • The MTA is initiating a new rear-door boarding policy for local and SBS buses to keep riders and operators at a safe distance. Riders with mobility disabilities and all express bus riders will board through the front door.
  • Access-A-Ride is no longer scheduling shared rides until further notice. All Access-A-Ride customers can still travel with a personal care attendant or guest. All dedicated Access-A-Ride vehicles are disinfected daily.
  • People should stay home and not use Access-A-Ride services unless you are traveling for essential business or personal reasons.
  • For your safety and the drivers safety, to maximize social distancing, collection of fare payment for Access-A-Ride trips is temporarily suspended at this time for COVID-19 precautions.
  • The MTA has postponed any changes to the Access-A-Ride E-hail on-demand pilot until further notice and the 1,200 Access-A-Ride customers who are currently pilot users may continue to use the service, with no new limits on trips.

If you have an issue with MTA service regarding accessibility, you can reach out to the Systemwide Accessibility Team at accessibility@nyct.com or fill out the MTA Customer Feedback Form.

Additional Information on Access-A-Ride Paratransit Service and Phone Directory

Additional Information on MTA's Response to COVID-19

Taxis and For-Hire-Vehicles

  • Emergency Executive Order 101 prohibits group riding (also known as pooled or shared rides) in TLC licensed high-volume for-hire vehicles. Everyone can still travel with their companions.
  • For general wheelchair accessible transportation needs for people without COVID-19 symptoms or requiring medical treatment for COVID-19, for-hire vehicle companies are required to provide wheelchair accessible service.
  • In addition, Accessible Dispatch is available for yellow or green wheelchair accessible taxis.
  • All TLC-licensed drivers, vehicle owners and operators are encouraged to clean their vehicles at least daily.

Additional Information on COVID-19 from the Taxi & Limousine Commission

Ferries

Staten Island Ferry

  • The Staten Island Ferry will be operating on a reduced schedule until further notice.
  • All ferryboats, surfaces, and touch points are deep cleaned every 72 hours.
  • All passengers using a wheelchair must board via the lower level boarding area.

Please visit the Staten Island Ferry Website for more details.

NYC Ferry

The NYC Ferry is operating on a modified schedule. Please visit Ferry.nyc for more details.

Disability Parking Permits

NYC Department Of Transportation is extending the permit expiration for all City Parking Permits or Temporary Permits for People with Disabilities that expired, or will expire in 2020.

Additional information on Parking Permits for People with Disabilities on DOT's Website

Citi Bike

Citi Bike associates are disinfecting high-contact surfaces on bikes each time they arrive in our depot. At the start of each shift, associates disinfect high-contact surfaces on vans used to transport vehicles. In addition, associates will wear gloves when handling bikes both in the depot and at valets.
Additional information on Citi Bike's Response to COVID-19

Housing

  • There is a state-imposed moratorium on all residential and commercial evictions. Legal Services of New York has a hotline that will remain staffed for tenants who need guidance in emergency situations.
    Services of New York Hotline: 917-661-4500.

  • NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is only performing emergency work and addressing dire heat and hot water concerns. Additional COVID-19 Updates from HPD

  • All Housing Court actions have been postponed; participants will receive a postcard from the court with new appointment times when things get back to normal. Operating Plan for the New York City Civil Court During the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

Utilities

At this time, all utility shut offs are suspended and there are no major utility service reductions at this time.

Additional Updates from Energy Suppliers

Phone and Internet Services

List of Providers Offering Free Wi-Fi or Special Accommodations

Lifeline Assistance Program - Discounted/Free Phones or Internet Service
Federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. You can only use Lifeline for either phone or internet, but not both. You may qualify based on household income or if you or a member of your household participates in certain public assistance programs like Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Food Stamps/SNAP/CalFresh or SSI.

List of Qualifying Factors for Lifeline

Accessibility Plugins

In order to assist people with various disabilities with using computers to obtain information, MOPD has a list put together a list of free software that users can utilize.
List of Accessibility Plugins

Education

Employment

COVID-19 Services and Resources for Unemployed New Yorkers

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on New York City's workforce, the City of New York has developed a list of resources for those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance.
COVID-19 Services and Resources

Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 Impacted New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo signed the bill guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of COVID. Paid Sick Leave for COVID-19 Impacted New Yorkers

New York State Waiving Unemployment Insurance

New York State is waiving the 7-day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines
Unemployment Insurance Update on the NYS Department of Labor Website

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201). The law is effective 15 days after being signed by the president. While this act has extensive provisions in response to COVID-19, the following areas are important for employers to note: Expanded FMLA; Paid Sick Leave; Health Insurance; and Tax Credits.
H.R. 6201 – Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Businesses

Resources for Re-opening

As NYC re-opens post-COVID19 and restaurants expand outdoor seating to accommodate social distancing, we cannot forget about accessibility. The following guidance provides requirements for maintaining physical accessibility for outdoor dining.

NYC MOPD Open Restaurants Accessibility Guidelines

For additional guidance on re-opening please visit NYC.gov/coronavirus

Assistance and Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus

Businesses that are seeing a reduction in revenue because of COVID-19 may qualify for relief.
Resources for Businesses on NYC Small Business Services Website

Finance

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments

Check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment

New Guidance about COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments

U.S. Tax Deadline Extended

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has announced that the 2019 tax return filing deadline for individuals and businesses will be moved from April 15 to July 15 in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
IRS Notice on Tax Deadline Extension

NYC Department of Finance Waives Certain Tax Penalties

The City Department of Finance is now allowing for a waiver of penalties for DOF-administered business and excise taxes between March 16, 2020 and April 25, 2020. Taxpayers may request to have the penalties waived on a late-filed extension or return.
Business Tax Filing Extensions Notice on Department of Finance Website

Pets and Service Animals

Domestic Violence Resources

During this time of social isolation and staying at home, many individuals feel trapped with their abusers. Below are some organizations that can provide assistance and resources.

For emergencies dial 911

If you are in need of immediate safety planning or shelter assistance, call now:

NYC's 24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1 - 800 - 621 - 4673 (HOPE)
NYC HOPE Resource

NYC Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV)

The Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) develops policies and programs, provides training and prevention education, conducts research and evaluations, performs community outreach, and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers.

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in NYC, Family Justice Center Buildings are temporarily closed. They are still available by phone with guidance on immediate safety planning, shelter assistance, and community resources.

NYC Family Justice Center, Bronx Phone: 718-508-1220
NYC Family Justice Center, Brooklyn Phone: 718-250-5113
NYC Family Justice Center, Manhattan Phone: 212-602-2800
NYC Family Justice Center, Queens Phone: 718-575-4545
NYC Family Justice Center, Staten Island Phone: 718-697-4300

Additional Information on Family Justice Centers during COVID-19
Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence Website

Barrier Free Living

Barrier Free Living (BFL) offers comprehensive support services for survivors of domestic violence with disabilities at its fully accessible BFL Freedom House domestic violence shelter, award-winning BFL Secret Garden domestic violence counseling program, and BFL Apartments that offers permanent homes with support services to survivors with disabilities and their families. BFL is based in New York City.

Barrier Free Living Hotline: 212 – 533 – 4358
Direct Shelter Line: 212 – 400 – 6470
Video Phone: 646 – 807 – 4013
Barrier Free Living Website

Mental Health Resources

Below are a few resources to assist you in taking care of your mental health during this time.

NYC Well

Free 24/7 Confidential Mental Health Counseling, you can call, text or chat online.

New York State – Emotional Support Helpline

The Emotional Support Helpline provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Helpline is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. Voice Phone 844-863-9314

Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Healthcare Program

As COVID-19 continues its rapid spread, Lighthouse Guild reaffirms its commitment to protecting the safety and wellbeing of those that they serve. The Behavioral Health specialists at Lighthouse Guild understand the distress you may be feeling and offer a range of services to support your emotional needs.

Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Healthcare is now available via telehealth (telephone and video calling), especially to individuals with or at risk of vision loss. Those seeking behavioral healthcare via telemental health service may call 212-769-7800. They are already accepting most insurances and are working to develop support groups, too.

Information needed:

- Name
- Date of Birth
- Address
- Phone
- Insurance (primary and, where relevant, secondary)
- How would the patient like to work – telephone or Video call?
- Caseworker contact
- Emergency contact

Phone: 212-769-7800
Additional Information on Lighthouse Guild's Behavioral Healthcare

Lexington Center for Mental Health Services, Inc.

The Mental Health Services team provides individual counseling, therapeutic groups and support services to help students SOAR as members of the Lexington School community.
Voice Phone: 718-350-3143
Video Phone: 917-832-1682
Email: mentalhealth@lexnyc.org

National Deaf Therapy

An eTherapy program solution to provide increased access to Deaf (DDBDDLDHH) therapists for Deaf clients.
National Deaf Therapy

Deaf Counseling Center

A Deaf-owned and operated counseling and consulting practice staffed by Deaf licensed professional therapists. They specialize in working with Deaf people and their families.
Deaf Counseling Center Website

Cognitive and Behavioral Care at the Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai

As a result of COVID-19 the Brain Injury Research Center at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Department of Rehabilitation and Human Performance hav shifted their care platform to video visits in an effort to ensure that individuals with disabilities are able to access specialized cognitive and behavioral health care during these stressful times.

Together with their colleagues in the Spinal Cord Injury program and their physician colleagues in Physical Medicine, the Mount Sinai Brain Injury Program is currently offering a range of services via video visit for individuals with disabilities. Services include psychotherapy, cognitive rehabilitation, virtual support groups, and medical management including prescription refills and pain management. Most insurances are accepted.

To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact them below:

Phone: 212-241-4706,
Toll Free: 888-241-5152
Email: rehabneuropsychFPA@mountsinai.org
Brain Injury Research Center Website

American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center in New York State

The American Red Cross across the regions of New York State have developed a program in response to COVID-19 to support individuals and families who have lost family members to death as a result of COVID-19.

The program will link crisis counselors with families to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as targeted short-term casework to assist with navigating through the challenging processes they might be faced with as a result of the death.

This might include challenges with moving the family member’s body through the hospital, nursing home, medical examiner and funeral home systems in this time when those systems may be overwhelmed and their processes may be different than they normally are. They may also include linkage to legal resources for estate, custody, immigration or other issues related to the death.

There is an online intake form can be submitted by a family member, a friend who thinks someone needs help, or an agency on behalf of the family. For those without access to the needed online technology, the phone number submitted within the form will link the caller to an intake person who will assist with the initial steps for getting assistance.
Red Cross Intake Form (English)
Red Cross Intake Form (Spanish)
Voice Phone: 585-957-8187

The program is expected to operate for as long as families will benefit from the service or through the month of September.

Additional Mental Health Resources from USA Mental Health First Aid

Accessible Virtual Activities

Our office has created and launched a Virtual Activities Toolkit. This is a guide for people with disabilities on accessible things to do from home.

List of Accessible Virtual Activities