Mayor’s Message: Contacts for assistance during the pandemic

Below is the most current information about various other benefits and assistance available for those affected by COVID-19

The coronavirus is just as dangerous and contagious today as it was in March. As we continue to navigate through this pandemic, many are in need of assistance. If you or anyone you know needs help, contact our Voorhees Persons in Need Task Force at (856) 428-5400 or at vtpd.com.  Below is the most current information about various other benefits and assistance available for those affected by COVID-19.

Health Insurance:– If you do not have health insurance you may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage through NJ Family Care, New Jersey’s publicly funded health insurance program. For more information, visit NJfamilycare.org. Community health centers provide free health care and COVID-19 testing whether you have insurance or not and regardless of your immigration status. For more information, dial 211 or visit nj211.org.

Prescription Drug Refills: Medicaid and other health insurance providers must provide coverage of prescription drug refills even when the covered person has not yet reached the scheduled refill date. Senate Bill 2344 requires Medicaid health insurance coverage for certain refills of prescription drugs during this state of emergency.

Job Assistance: If you lost your job and are seeking help, visit the New Jersey Covid-19 jobs hiring portal at jobs.covid19.nj.gov/. Currently, this site shows 56,631 jobs available through 1,145 companies.

Unemployment Benefits: If your work status has been affected by COVID-19, you likely qualify for Unemployment benefits. For more information, visit myunemploymentnj.com.

Food Assistance: If you need food assistance, you may be eligible for NJ SNAP, New Jersey’s food assistance program. To learn more, go to NJSNAP.gov or to apply go to NJHELPS.org. In addition, New Jersey WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is allowing remote access to benefits and additional food items. To learn more about NJ SNAP and to apply for help buying groceries, visit nj.gov/humanservices/njsnap/.

Family Leave Benefits: If you must care for children or family members due to the coronavirus outbreak, you may be eligible for federal emergency assistance with Childcare FMLA or New Jersey Family Leave Insurance (FLI). For more information, visit myleavebenefits.nj.gov.

Temporary Disability Benefits: If you are unable to work due to illness, self-quarantine, or pregnancy, you may be able to apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI). It is against the law for an employer to retaliate against you for taking TDI, and your job may be protected under the Family Leave Act. For more information, visit getstarted.nj.gov.

Job Protection: A new law prohibits employers from firing, demoting or otherwise punishing workers if they take time off because they have or are likely to have COVID-19. You can report a violation at wagehour.dol.state.nj.us.

Eviction Protection: Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 106, which states that any lessee, tenant, homeowner or any other person shall not be removed from a residential property as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. If you are facing eviction or potential foreclosure, contact a housing counselor by visiting njhousing.gov/foreclosure or calling 1-800-NJ-HOUSE. This moratorium on evictions will remain in place for up to two months after the end of this emergency. 

Mortgage Relief: If you are facing economic hardship because of COVID-19, you may be able to request mortgage payment forbearance for up to 90 days. For more information on COVID19-related mortgage relief and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit state.nj.us/dobi/covid/mortgagerelief.html.

Child Care Resources: If you need assistance with childcare issues or costs, visit childcarenj.gov or call the Child Care Helpline at 1-800-332-9227.

Mental Health Resources: Help is available for individuals feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or suicidal during this unsettling time. The NJ Mental Health Cares Help Line offers counseling, emotional support, information and assistance in helping to get behavioral health services needed by you or a loved one. To access emotional support from trained specialists, text “NJHOPE” to 51684 or call 866-202-HELP (4357) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Resources for Veterans: Help is available for veterans and their families to cope with the stress of the coronavirus. New Jersey Vet to Vet is a peer-counseling program for assessing a veteran’s mental health needs, operated by Rutgers University and funded by the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. The toll-free help line is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for veterans and their families. Call 1-866-VETS-NJ4 (1-866-838-7654) or visit njvet2vet.com.

Domestic Violence Hotlines: Help is available for survivors of domestic violence. If you or someone you know needs help from domestic violence call the New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-572-SAFE (7233). The hotline provides confidential access to domestic violence information and services, including crisis intervention, referral and advocacy. It is bilingual and accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired.

Energy Assistance:  The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps eligible NJ residents with heating and cooling bills and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. For more information or to locate the nearest application agency call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-510-3102.

Please continue to wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines. Check on your neighbors, especially if they are alone or elderly. The Voorhees Community has always risen to the occasion in emergent times and this has been no exception.

We’re six feet apart, but closer than ever.