PINELLAS COUNTY — Individuals and families now have until June 30, 2020, to request emergency help paying overdue rent, mortgage and utilities through the Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance program.
Pinellas residents who have lost their job or significant income due to COVID-19 can apply for one-time assistance of up to $4,000 by texting COVIDCARES to 898211. Those who have questions or need to speak to someone by phone can also call 2-1-1.
A separate program providing one-time grants for qualifying small businesses will also remain open for new applications through June 1. Business owners can learn more or apply online at covid19.pinellascounty.org/pinellascaresbusiness.
Both programs are funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance serving hundreds of people
To date, Pinellas County has helped 156 households impacted by coronavirus pay for emergency overdue rent, mortgage and utilities with another 880 cases in progress expected to cover more than $1 million.
All applications started by 11:59 p.m., Monday, June 1, will be processed. The County encourages applicants to make sure they send in all required documentation to ensure eligibility and faster service.
Applicants can text pictures via mobile device of the following documents after starting the process by texting COVIDCARES to 898211.
Documentation is required for all requests. To expedite the request, applicants should submit all documents at one time.
- Job or income loss directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. your workplace shut down under state or local orders): Examples include pay stubs, a letter from employer or proof of employer business closure.
- Income level: During the month in which you apply for assistance, your household income cannot exceed 200% of the federal poverty level with no more than $4,000 in liquid assets (cash, savings and checking). This amount varies depending on the number of people in your household.
|Number of People
|Income the Month You
Apply Can Be No More Than:
- Pinellas County residency: proof may include driver’s license or utility bill with current address.
- Legal status: proof of U.S. Citizenship, including naturalized citizens, or other legal residency status (i.e. permanent residents), such as birth certificate, Social Security card, U.S. passport, green card or other documents.
Pinellas CARES Financial Assistance is managed by 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares and Pinellas County. Learn more at this website: covid19.pinellascounty.org/pinellascaresindividual.
Pinellas CARES Small Business Grants
Small business owners with a commercial location in the county must complete their application online by 11:59 p.m., June 30, 2020, to be considered for a one-time $5,000 grant to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and mortgage or rent costs.
Applicants should review all eligibility requirements and ensure all required documents are correctly submitted to expedite the review and approval process for the grant. Program details, including answers to Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at this website.
Since opening applications on May 4, the program has served 378 businesses with grants totaling more than $1.89 million, with more than 3,800 completed applications submitted.