This project was supported by the California Department of Public Health and 211 California.
Federal Stimulus Bills:
The federal government passed three laws to address the coronavirus outbreak and help the American people get through this crisis. Below are summaries of each bill. Please note that some of the benefits mentioned below have yet to be distributed by the federal agencies tasked with administering them to the public. You can check their individual websites for the latest update:
CA COVID-19 Policies and Guidance
Orange County COVID-19 Statistics, Symptoms, and FAQ’s
• Vaccine Appointment Options
• Othena Instructions/FAQ
• Vaccine Supportive Services
Employment Development Department Claims for COVID-19
Exposed to COVID-19?
Call the Agriculture Labor Regulation Board: 1-800-449-3699
Regardless of your immigration status, you have important rights to help you get through this difficult time while protecting yourself, your family, and your income. If you are sick or have been exposed, it is important to stay home or in other isolated housing to take care of yourself and protect your family members and coworkers. Undocumented workers have all the rights explained in this brochure, except for unemployment insurance. Agricultural workers can call the Agricultural Labor Relations Board for information and assistance with their labor rights in their language. Services are always free.
The EDD provides a variety of support services to people who have lost their jobs or have had their hours reduced due to the impacts of COVID-19, are unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, and are self-employed in California. For faster and more convenient access to those services, EDD encourages the use of online options to file a claim
• Public Counters at the Central Regional Office are closed beginning Friday, October 1. General Relief benefits continue to be available in person at SSA regional offices. See flyer
Medi-Cal is a health care program, locally offered through CalOptima, which pays for a variety of medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources.
CalFresh (Formerly known as Food Stamps)
The CalFresh Program is a federal nutrition program that helps eligible, low-income, people purchase the food they need for good health. For most households, CalFresh benefits are only part of their food budget. CalFresh benefits are not cash. Households that are eligible will receive a plastic electronic benefit card (EBT) that can be used at most grocery stores when buying food items.
If you want help filling out your application, call 2-1-1 to receive a phone appointment with a CalFresh Enrollment Assistor.
The California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program provides cash benefits for the care of children in need when one or both parents are absent, disabled, deceased or unemployed. If you are eligible for CalWORKs, you automatically qualify for Medi-Cal and you might qualify for Cal-Fresh (formerly known as Food Stamps) as well.
General Relief (GR) is a County-funded program that provides temporary cash aid to eligible indigent adult lawful residents who are ineligible for Federal or State programs.
Individuals wishing to apply for General Relief benefits now have another option to enroll online. They may also continue to apply or check on existing case information by calling Agency’s Service Center at (800) 281-9799 or by faxing an application to (714) 825-3155.
If you are uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage you can enroll in Covered California.
CalFresh food benefits
CalFresh (sometimes called SNAP or food stamps) issues monthly food benefits on an EBT card that can be used to buy most foods at most grocery stores and farmers markets. People and families with low income can apply for CalFresh any time. If you have a change in income, even a temporary one because of the coronavirus, you can apply for CalFresh food benefits.
To apply, visit CalFresh online or call 2-1-1.
Beginning April 28, people getting CalFresh food benefits can use their EBT card to buy groceries online at Amazon and Walmart statewide. See frequently asked questions about using EBT online.
There are many food pantries in operation in Orange County. Food pantries are physical locations that provide non-perishable groceries for free. Some have changed to a drive-through method, or to a no-contact grab and go method, check the program details page for more information on specific COVID-19 changes. Those no longer in operation will not appear.
Senior Specific Help
While most of the Senior Center and physical locations have closed, there are many programs providing support over the phone and by video. Click on the links under the Older Adults heading to view programs in operation.
Some Utility Providers in Orange County have committed to not disconnect your power because of trouble making payments due to hardships caused by COVID-19. Some are temporarily suspending service disconnections for nonpayment and waiving late fees by request. If you are having trouble paying your bill, contact your utility provider to set up an arrangement.
Housing and Homeless
If you have symptoms and have a healthcare provider, contact your healthcare provider. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. For CalOptima members, you may contact the CalOptima 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 844-447-8441 or CalOptima Member Services at 888-587-8088. If you do not have health insurance or a healthcare provider, please call 2-1-1 to get routed to a County Public Health Nurse.
If you have symptoms for COVID-19 and are currently unsheltered (meaning staying on the streets, car, other places not meant for human habitation), please contact your healthcare provider and notify your current street outreach worker or case management as they may be able to assist you in securing temporary isolation until you recover.
If you are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms and you are looking for shelter and/or housing resources, connect with a homeless service provider to explore all Available Sheltering Options.
All homeless shelters are currently in operation, however some are not accepting new clients. A note will pop up when you click on the Shelter program details explaining any changes due to COVID-19.
Housing Is Key:
The CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program provides financial assistance for rent and utilities to income-eligible California renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance.
Depending on the address of your rental property, you may be eligible for a local program. Click Apply Now to determine which program is right for you.
Have you already started an application? Click here to continue or refer to the email you received when you started your application.
For additional information, including eligibility and application help, call our CA COVID-19 Rent Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.
If you need assistance in another language, or to get help to see if you’re eligible, help you fill out an application, or upload required paperwork, schedule an appointment with an organization near you by calling 833-687-0967.
For more details about the CA COVID-19 Rent Relief program visit Program Overview.
Rental Payment Assistance: During this difficult time, you may find yourself behind on rent. There are limited resources provided by community-based organizations for partial assistance with rent. Most of those available taps out by the first couple of days of a new month. If you need assistance, reach out to these service providers on the 1st of the month to check if there are funds available.
Click here for Tenant and Landlord Resources for more information and resources, effective immediately. This site includes guidance for tenants, landlords, and homeowners relative to AB 3088.
Making a Family Plan
The County of Orange encourages residents to create a family preparedness plan in the event they are impacted by COVID-19. Family preparedness is a mainstay of planning for emergencies such as earthquakes and fires, and they are equally necessary during a health emergency. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to reach out to trusted family, friends or neighbors who may be able to assist should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 and require hospitalization and/or isolation.
Here are some important things to consider when putting together a family plan:
- Create an alternate caregiver list: Set up a roster of trusted adults who can step in to provide childcare, being mindful of the unique circumstances surrounding COVID-19. Choose individuals who are not high-risk and who would be able to accommodate an isolation area, should your child need it. Discuss the plan ahead of time with these individuals.
- Prepare documents: Write a letter authorizing your designated caregiver to seek medical treatment for your child, if necessary. Make copies of insurance cards and other important medical documents your alternate caregiver may need.
- Write down special instructions: Be sure to leave a “need-to-know” list for your alternate caregiver. This list may include information such as food allergies, needed medication, nutritional needs or limitations, or any other habit or routine that may help provide consistency of care to your loved one.
- Create a kid-friendly “go bag”: Being separated from a parent or loved one can cause stress and anxiety for your children. Pack a bag with some overnight essentials and include a special note from you, a family photo, a favorite book or other personal item that may help comfort your child. Be sure to also pack essentials including toiletries and clothing.
Most legal services are being provided completely over the phone and available by making an appointment. Call the agency ahead of time to secure an appointment.
Mental health resources
The outbreak of 2019 (COVID-19) has been stressful for many people. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief and worry about the virus. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. If you or a loved one experiences stressful feelings, reach out to the following resources for support:
The Friendship Line
Offers confidential telephone support for seniors who may be lonely, isolated, grieving, depressed, anxious, and/or thinking about death or suicide. Also provides support for caregivers of seniors and to individuals with physical and/or emotional disabilities. Offers crisis intervention phone support 24/7.
OC Links Call 1(855) OC-LINKS (855-625-4657) Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm to talk or chat with a trained, clinical navigator.
The NAMI Warmline is also available to provide non-crisis support for anyone struggling with mental health concerns from 9 a.m.to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 am to 3:00 am. Saturday through Sunday at 1 (877) 910-WARM or online.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides over the phone crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any disaster. Call 800-985-5990 24/7.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers confidential assistance to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Also offers a chat service. Call 800-273-8255 24/7.
For Clinicians During COVID-19
Physician Support Line: Provides a peer-to-peer support line for physicians by physicians. The line is open to United States based Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), Doctors of Medicine (M.D.), and other international equivalents at the attending, fellow, resident, intern, or research level.
Health Care Resources
For Medical-related questions on COVID-19, call the Orange County Health Care Agency Referral Line: 1-800-564-8448
Family and Child Care Resources
The majority of family services have transitioned to call ahead or no contact methods. Please call in advance to find out how the services have changed due to COVID-19.
Children’s Home Society of California offers services to parents including referrals to licensed child care, children's food programs, an educational resource library, workshops, quarterly newsletters, and family education materials. Also offers services to current and potential licensed child care providers and other community groups that are concerned with child care issues. Click here to look through their database.
For All Other Services