NYS is encouraging all citizens to stay vigilant, monitor their mail, and should they notice anything suspicious coming from the NYSDOL in the mail (particularly when they have not claimed unemployment), they should report it to the Fraud Department by calling toll-free at (888) 598-2077, or click here for an online form.
Citizens are also encouraged to email the FBI branch in Buffalo if they have received a letter or related debit card contact at: [email protected] or call the number of the New York State Police Troop A Headquarters at (585) 344-6200.
RESOURCES and SUPPORT for all of us affected by COVID-19
Our commitment to the well-being of our customers and our local communities remains as strong as ever
We will continue to update the resources and information below with the latest we have available.
Stay well Niagara - we are in this together!
>> Unemployment Insurance:
Information on How to Apply + Tips for Common Questions & Problems can be found HERE <<
>> Resources to assist affected Businesses can be found HERE <<
Latest Updates regarding....
Know Your Rights in NYS......what protections and special programs cover you?
COVID-19 Resources and Information A-Z
- 211 has a variety of very helpful information and updates related to services impacted by Coronavirus
- Anger Management virtual group: Mondays 5:30 - 6:30pm. This class will help those that are mandated or who want to learn a new skill set to better control and manage their anger. Provided by Independent Living of Niagara County. RSVP or call (716) 836-0822, ext: 208
- "Are you OK?" is a free well-check service for Niagara County residents provided by the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and the Lewiston Police Department.
These daily, timed phone calls to a resident's cell phone or landline will help to confirm the resident is ok.
Call (716) 754-8477 to sign up for this free service.
- Catholic Charities COVID-19 Hotline: (716) 218-1419
Between 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., a Catholic Charities staff member is available to discuss mental health and substance abuse counseling; make arrangements to obtain food from one of the organization’s nine food pantries; or seek assistance with housing, utilities or other related basic living needs.
- Childcare for Essential Workers with school-aged children in the Lockport area, provided by Cornerstone CFCU Arena and Youth Mentoring Services.
-Wear N' Share 4061 Creek Road, Youngstown, NY Sun & Mon 11am-1pm and Wed 11am-1pm & 5pm-7pm
Also, the Community Child Care Clearinghouse of Niagara can assist families of essential workers that are in need of childcare assistance. Call the Clearinghouse Hotline at (716) 285-8572 x109 or x105 for help finding childcare in your area.
- CRISIS SERVICES: (716) 285-3515 in Niagara County
There is Help - There is Hope.
Contact our 24 hour hotline for free confidential support and guidance in accessing the most appropriate resources and/or treatment options available to you based on your needs.
- DMV - NYS Department of Motor Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) * License and Inspection renewal deadlines expiring March 1st, 2020 or after have been extended indefinitely at this time.
For NIAGARA COUNTY residents ONLY:
- Vehicle Registration by Mail
- Surrendering plates
- Domestic Violence.....If you are in immediate danger call 911
You are not alone, you are not trapped because of Coronavirus and your do not have to stay in a dangerous situation....Let us help! Confidential.....24 hours
In Niagara County = call (716) 433-6716 for the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier's 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline.
New York State text line = text (844) 997-2121
- EPIC- Every Person Influences Children has launched a YouTube channel for families to utilize during quarantine.
"We are asking so much of parents right now," says Tara N. Burgess, Executive Director. "If EPIC can alleviate any stress for them, we want to do so."
The channel features a variety of educational content as part of EPIC Academy, a comprehensive set of activities ranging from STEM topics to Storytime, literacy, art, nature, health and wellness, special education and Common Core. also is the start of a podcast-style series, "Kitchen Table Talks", designed to connect with community experts on varying topics.
- Feed More WNY - Meals on Wheels and Food Bank of WNY (716) 852-1305
- Financial "Checkup" and advice - Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Buffalo is offering free financial checkups by phone and encourages all those concerned with their financial issues to call (716) 712-2060 or visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org
Virtual Workshop: Wed. May 6th @ 1pm
Protecting your Financial Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Learn about Relief Options and Benefits you may be eligible for and Personal Finance tips.
Presented by Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo
- Food Pantry Map for the City of Niagara Falls *You are encouraged to call before going to be sure they are open*
- Lockport Food Pantries: Call for times
NIACAP - 80 Washburn St., Lockport, NY 14094.........433-6632
The Salvation Army Worship -50 Cottage St. ..............434-1276
Grace Episcopal Church - 100 Genesee St. ..................433-2878
- North Tonanwanda Food Pantry: 100 Ridge Road, North Tonawanda, NY 14120 Monday - Friday 10am - 12:30pm
- Ransomville / Sanborn / Youngstown / Lewiston: Care and Share Food Pantry, 3628 Ransomville Rd. Ransomville, NY 14131. Tuesday 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm / Thursday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm / Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
- Little Free Pantry locations in the greater Buffalo area...."take what you need, leave what you can"
- Headspace - NYS is partnering with Headspace to provide FREE mindfulness, meditation, and mental health resources to all New Yorkers.
- Healthy NY - New York State of Health - special enrollment period extended for uninsured individuals in need of health insurance due to Covid-19.
-By phone at 1-855-355-5777 (TTY: 1-800-662-1220) or nystateofhealth.ny.gov
*If you recently lost employer coverage, you must apply within 60 days of losing that coverage. Because of loss of income, New Yorkers may also be eligible for Medicaid, the Essential Plan or Child Health Plus*
Some Healthcare options the Career Center has been made aware of:
- Housing questions/concerns - The State's Homes and Community Renewal Agency has set up a Frequently Asked Questions page with information about housing issues for tenants, landlords and homeowners.
* Governor has extended the "pause" on evictions due to Covid-related hardships until August 20th*
- Individuals with Disabilities: What is the COVID-19 impact on your benefits and work incentives?
Our Disability Resource Coordinator/Benefits Advisor is available to assist you. Contact Marilyn by EMAIL or Phone at (716) 278-1695.
At-a-glance documents from Neighborhood Legal Services:
COVID-19 and NY Medicaid, a Focus on Persons with Disabilities
COVID-19 and Federal Stimulus Payments
COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance
- Insurance - many companies are providing relief to their customers during this pandemic, including; Allstate, Farmers & State Farm. Check with your Agent or Customer Service representative to see what relief you may be eligible for, and if there's anything you need to do to receive them.
- Internet - FREE internet for students provided by Charter Spectrum
Households with students K–12 or university students can sign up for a new Charter Spectrum internet account to get the first two months of internet with speeds up to 100 Mbps for free. Installation fees will be waived for those who qualify for the offer. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.
Spectrum Wi-Fi hotspots are also currently open and free to use.
>>>> JOBS!!! Check here for who's hiring now! <<<<
- Know Your Rights - what special programs and protections have been put in place to help you?
- Life Insurance premiums - The Governor announced on 3/27/20 that for a 90-day period, New Yorkers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may defer paying life insurance premiums.
Late payments will be payable over a one-year period. Additionally, consumers and small businesses experiencing Coronavirus-related financial hardship may defer paying premiums for property and casualty insurance for a 60-day period. This includes auto, homeowners, renters and other kinds of insurance. (No late fees will be assessed and there will be no negative impact to your credit.)
- Mental Health HOTLINE: We can't underestimate the impact this pandemic is having on mental health. New Yorkers can call the state's hotline at 1-844-863-9314 to get free emotional support, consultations and referrals to a provider.
- Mortgage Assistance - Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Buffalo has Certified Financial Counselors available by phone to assist with the various options available. (716) 712-2060
- My Benefits - to apply for SNAP- nutrition assistance, HEAP- heating assistance, Temporary Income Assistance
- Neighborhood Legal Services - Neighborhood Legal Services is still assisting people by phone with many civil legal issues. They can help with domestic violence and other family law matters; health insurance; government benefits/SNAP/shelter/benefits counseling; Social Security disability/SSI hearings; and evictions/housing conditions/housing discrimination matters. To request legal services, please call: Niagara County (716) 284-8831 and Erie County (716) 847-0650. Neighborhood Legal Services has provided a COVID-19 helpful resources flyer.
- NFTA - Fares suspended on all NFTA Metro Bus and Rail services. Riders temporarily ride for FREE
- Private College Tuition Assistance - Students attending five area private colleges (Hilbert, Canisius, Daemen, Houghton and St. Bonaventure) are eligible for assistance of up to $250 in COVID-19 emergency relief funds from the SAGE scholars, who have pledged $100,000 to aid students attending any of its more than 400 colleges and universities. Students who want to apply should contact their school's financial aid office.
- Red Cross: Virtual Family Assistance Center for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19
The American Red Cross is operating a virtual Family Assistance Center to provide comfort and support, information and referrals for New York State families that have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The virtual Family Assistance Center will link families to crisis counselors who will provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as information and referrals to help them navigate the challenging process they might be facing as a result of their loved one’s death.
Families (or friends of a family) who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 can fill out an online intake form, and a Family Assistance Center volunteer will contact them:
· English: www.redcross.org/NYSCOVIDFamilySupport
· Spanish: www.redcross.org/NYSCOVIDApoyoFamiliar
Or call 585-957-8187
- RENT: The Governor has extended the "pause" on evictions due to Covid-related hardships until August 20th. (5/7/20)
- RESUME SERVICES - NO COST ways to create a professionally designed new resume or improve on your current one. Let us help you put your best foot forward!
- SNAP benefits - As of 4/10, those enrolled in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) who are not yet receiving the maximum benefit will receive an additional payment to bring them up to this amount in March and April. The supplemental benefits will be issued in April and delivered directly to recipients' existing EBT accounts.
NOTE: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is automatically extending certain TA/MA/SNAP and SNAP only recertifications scheduled to expire in March, April and May for a period of three (3) months - see FLYER for more information
- SNAP-Ed - For money saving food, meals, recipes, and nutrition ideas, including "Food Planning During The Corona Virus Pandemic" SNAP-Education Newsletter for April 2020
- Student Loan Borrowers - Those borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 can obtain relief for loans not covered by the CARES Act. Available relief includes 90 days of deferred monthly payments, waived late fees, no negative reporting to credit agencies and enrolling eligible borrowers in available long-term assistance programs. New York student loan borrowers should visit the Department of Financial Services' website for more information about available student loan relief.
- Tax Day - Both the Federal and NYS tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 15th, 2020
Questions about free tax assistance? Try these two agencies (you will likely need to leave a voicemail message);
Consumer Credit Counseling Services - (716) 712-2060
Niagara University Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) - (716) 286-7328
Or try this free online tax preparation program through the United Way
- TESTING - NYS now offering FREE COVID-19 testing to qualified individuals at 2 WNY locations:
Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, and the Sabres parking lot at 125 Perry Street in Buffalo.
The testing is a nasal swab test for active infection. The tests are free and conducted seven days a week, but all those wishing to be tested must make a reservation by calling 1-888-364-3065.
Testing is open to the following NYS residents:
Persons who have been exposed to the virus
Persons who are symptomatic
First responders, and health care workers, essential workers including bank tellers, childcare workers, delivery workers, human service providers, food service workers, hotel/motel workers, security guards, utility workers, etc.
Additional Niagara County COVID-19 Testing sites:
- Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center: 3 testing sites
There are no qualifying conditions to receive the test.
To make an appointment for a COVID-19 nose swab test, please follow these easy steps:
Step One: Call 716-287-4496 to schedule an appointment at anyone of the three testing sites noted below.
Step Two: Call your primary care provider to have him/her FAX a test referral to Memorial. The FAX number is 716-278-4061.
Step Three: Please attend appointment at designated time. Testing takes just a few minutes and you can be tested while you sit in your car.
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Campus - Take Pine Street Entrance (Located adjacent to Mary B. Dyster Women’s Pavillion) Open Daily 8 a.m. to NOON
Summit Healthplex - 6934 Williams Road, Wheatfield: Follow signs for outdoor testing site at Summit Section G. Week of May 11th and Week of May 25th, Monday – Thursday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m
NFMMC Health Home - Lockport Office - 80 Main Street, Lockport (behind Lock 34 Restaurant). Week of May 18th, Monday – Thursday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Rite Aid - 1030 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls
- US Census...Shaping Niagara County's future! - If you have not already done so, please complete your 2020 US Census ONLINE or by phone at 1 (844) 330-2020 from 8am - 10pm EST [español 1 (844) 468-2020]
- Utilities relief assistance:
- National Grid - On March 13th we temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardships for our customers. These policies will remain in effect at least until the end of April, when we will evaluate their continued need. National Grid is also not charging late payment charges.
- National Fuel - is waiving late charges for people impacted by this pandemic.
- NYSEG- To assist customers that have fallen on hard times as a result of the coronavirus they announced last month that they would temporarily suspended shut-offs and late fees associated with non-payments. If you find yourself suffering a hardship, you are encouraged to contact their customer service team to make arrangements that may assist you.
- WIC - Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a federally funded program which supports pregnat women, post-partum women, breast feeding women, infants and children up to age 5, providing nutrition assistance.
- WNY Arts Emergency Relief Fund: The current state of emergency caused by COVID-19 has profoundly impacted Western New York’s creative industry. With the cancellation of performances, workshops, gigs, and more, artists and arts and cutural organizations who rely on event-based income are losing revenue that is essential to continue their operations. So, the goal is simple: to ensure that our rich and diverse arts sector withstands this crisis.
The application for Individuals OR Art Organizations will open on Friday, May 1. FAQs
Home with the kids? Here are some activity ideas!
- How to talk to children about why they need to wear a mask:
- Live WebCams and Virtual Tours from around the World! Compiled by Irondequoit Public Library.
- Niagara County Sheriff's Department Reading to WNY kids on YouTube or Facebook
- Playworks "Play at Home" Live Virtual Recess supports kids' healthy movement and play while students are home. Monday thru Friday at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm EST
- STEM Topics through EPIC Academy
- Storytime through EPIC Academy