California State Controller's seal

COVID-19 Relief and Assistance for Individuals and Families

The Controller’s Office has compiled the following resources from various agencies to help you navigate available COVID-related aid. For additional program information, please visit the agency’s website or contact your local government. The Controller’s Office will update these resources as more program information becomes available.  Visit the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response website for information about the state’s response to the pandemic.

[En Español]

As of July 23, 2021

Direct Financial Relief

PROGRAM
(Source)
WHAT DOES IT DO? WHO QUALIFIES? HOW DO YOU APPLY? DEADLINE
Advance Child Tax Credit Payments
(Federal)
Advance Child Tax Credit payments are early payments from the IRS. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments beginning July 15. Taxpayers will claim the other half when filing the 2021 income tax return. These changes apply to tax year 2021 only. To qualify for advance Child Tax Credit payments, you — and your spouse, if you filed a joint return — must have:
  * Filed a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claimed the Child Tax Credit on the return; or
   * Given us your information in 2020 to receive the Economic Impact Payment using the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool; and
  * A main home in the United States for more than half the year (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) or file a joint return with a spouse who has a main home in the United States for more than half the year; and
  * A qualifying child who is under age 18 at the end of 2021 and who has a valid Social Security number; and
  * Made less than certain income limits.
The IRS will determine if you are eligible from your 2020 or 2019 tax returns and will automatically enroll you to receive payments.

If you are not required to file a tax return and have not given the IRS your information already, you will need to provide some basic information on the Sign-up Tool: https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/child-tax-credit-non-filer-sign-up-tool
Payments will end December 2021.
Tax Relief
(State)
California is offering tax relief, filing extensions, and tax preparation assistance. Visit the Franchise Tax Board COVID-19 FAQs in the next box to see if any of these apply to you. https://www.ftb.ca.gov/about-ftb/newsroom/covid-19/index.html Varies
Golden State Stimulus
(State)
The Golden State Stimulus provides one-time payment of $600 or $1,200 to low-income families and people excluded from federal stimulus funds. Everyone who receives the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) based on their 2020 tax return, as well as Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) tax filers with a 2020 California adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, should receive the Golden State Stimulus. You must file your 2020 income tax return with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) by the deadline to qualify for the Golden State Stimulus.
ftb.ca.gov
October 15, 2021
(If you owe taxes, the deadline to pay is May 17, 2021.)
California Earned Income Tax Credit(CalEITC)
(State)
CalEITC is a refundable tax credit meant to help low- to moderate-income people and families. The maximum credit for an individual with no qualifying dependents is $243, while a married couple filing jointly with three or more children could get back up to $3,027. An adult, or a person with a qualifying child, who has a valid SSN or ITIN (for them, their spouse, and all qualifying children), earned income, and an AGI of $30,000 or less may qualify for CalEITC. You must file your 2020 state income tax return with FTB to receive CalEITC. You can go back up to four years to claim CalEITC by filing or amending a state income tax return for those years, if you were eligible then. October 15, 2021
(If you owe taxes, the deadline to pay is May 17, 2021.)
Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC)
(State)
Gives low- to moderate-income working parents of pre-school-aged children additional assistance in the amount of up to $1,000 per tax filer. If you qualify for CalEITC and have a child who was under the age of six as of the end of the tax year, you likely qualify for YCTC as well. You must file your 2020 state income tax return with FTB to receive YCTC.
You can go back and file or amend your 2019 return to claim YCTC for that tax year, if you were eligible then.
October 15, 2021
(If you owe taxes, the deadline to pay is April 15, 2021.)
Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits
(State Program with Federal Enhancements)
UI benefits are cash payments based on past earnings. December 2020 federal legislation extended the maximum length of payment to 59 weeks, included more workers, and supplemented state benefits by $300 per week through the week ending September 6, 2021. People who lost their job or had their hours reduced, as well as parents who are missing work to care for a child whose school is closed due to COVID-19, may qualify. Apply for benefits with the Employment Development Department (EDD).
https://unemployment.edd.ca.gov/guide/benefits
Ongoing
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
(Federally Funded State Program)
PUA benefits are cash payments for unemployed Californians who are not usually eligible for UI benefits, currently available through September 6, 2021. People who are not working or working reduced hours as a direct result of COVID-19 including business owners, self-employed workers, independent contractors, and those with a limited work history. Apply for benefits with EDD.
https://edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm
TBD
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
(Federal)
FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
To be eligible for funeral assistance, the following conditions must be met: The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia; the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19; and the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number:
(844) 684-6333 or TTY: (800) 462-7585
More information: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq
Ongoing
Emergency Broadband Benefit  (EBB) Program (Federal)
Provides up to $50 a month to help cover the cost of internet access. There is also a stipend available (up to $100) toward qualifying connected devices such as a laptops, tablets, or computers. Individuals with disabilities and others in low-income households. There is an enhanced benefit for tribal citizens living on tribal lands. Full program eligibility requirements can be found on the EBB site. Applications can be submitted through the GetEmergencyBroadband site or by mail to:
Emergency Broadband Support Center, P.O. Box 7081, London, KY 40742.
Enrollment opens May 12, 2021, and expires when program funds run out.
Tax Filing Extensions
(State and Federal)
 
The tax filing deadline has been extended for both state and federal taxes for the 2020 tax year. All individual tax filers. Automatic. Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call tax agencies to qualify for this relief. Status: Expired. The tax filing deadline was May 17, 2021.
Click here if you did not file your state taxes in time.
Recovery Rebate Credit
(Federal)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two rounds of federal stimulus payments approved in 2020. The first provided up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent child, and the second provided up to $600 per person. The Rebate Recovery Credit gives people who were eligible but did not receive a stimulus check, or who did not receive the full amount due to them, an opportunity to recoup those funds through a credit on their taxes. U.S. citizens or resident aliens with a social security number (SSN) valid for employment in the U.S. who are not claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer are eligible for the full amount of the stimulus if their adjusted gross income does not exceed:
$150,000 if married and filing jointly;
$112,500 if filing as head of household; or
$75,000 for an individual filing with any other status.
(The stimulus payment will be reduced by 5 percent of the amount by which income exceeds the applicable threshold above.)
If you were eligible and did not receive either or both federal stimulus payments, you can file for them as a credit on your 2020 income taxes. The option to register with the IRS to receive these payments without filing taxes has expired. You must file a 2020 income tax return with the IRS to receive stimulus payments, even if you are not required to file taxes.
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/recovery-rebate-credit
Status: Expired. This credit was included in tax filings due May 17, 2021.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
(Federal)
EITC is a refundable tax credit meant to help low- to moderate-income people and families. The maximum credit for an individual with no qualifying dependents is $538, while a married couple filing jointly with three or more children could get back up to $6,660. U.S. citizens and resident aliens with a SSN valid for employment in the U.S. who meet earned income requirements (ranging from a maximum of $15,820 for an individual with no qualifying dependents, to $56,844 for a married couple filing jointly with three or more children) and have limited investment income may qualify for EITC. https://www.irs.gov/credits-deductions/individuals/earned-income-tax-credit-eitc You must file your 2020 income tax return with the IRS to receive the EITC and learn if you are eligible for additional credits.
https://www.irs.gov/individuals
Status: Expired. This credit was included in tax filings due May 17, 2021.
Golden State Grant Program (State) The Golden State Grant Program provides a one-time grant of $600 to low-income households already receiving certain other state or federal assistance.
Households enrolled in the CalWorks program and recipients of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payments (SSI/SSP) and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) should receive a Golden State Grant.
Application period has closed.
All payments were distributed in April 2021. 

Housing Aid

PROGRAM
(Source)
WHAT DOES IT DO? WHO QUALIFIES? HOW DO YOU APPLY? DEADLINE
Shelters and emergency housing Help finding emergency shelter in your area. Anyone needing emergency shelter. Call 2-1-1 or contact a local agency for immediate assistance. Ongoing
Eviction Moratorium
(Local)
California’s eviction moratorium prevents eviction for nonpayment of rent by tenants experiencing a COVID-19 hardship. This protection applies to any tenant who timely attests under penalty of perjury that they have not been able to pay full rent due to circumstances related to COVID-19. To avoid eviction, renters must continue to prove economic hardship caused by the pandemic and pay at least 25 percent of their total rent by October 1. Applicants who qualify can get months of help for unpaid rent dating back to April 2020. Tenants unable to pay full rent due to COVID-19 should provide their landlord a Declaration of COVID-19-Related Financial Distress. If you receive such a form from your landlord, you must sign and return it within 15 days to help you avoid eviction for non-payment of rent due.
https://landlordtenant.dre.ca.gov/tenant/forms.html

For more information and to apply, visit https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/index.html.
September 30, 2021
Emergency Rental Assistance
(State-Funded Local Program)
These funds are intended to help low- to moderate-income and unemployed renters pay their rent Emergency rental assistance is for households with incomes at or below 80 percent of area median income (prioritizing households at or below 50 percent of median income and people unemployed for 90 days at the time of application). If a landlord chooses not to participate, the tenant still can apply for relief valued at 25 percent of rent they owe for the covered period. Qualified tenants can access funds to cover 25 percent of prospective rent for the months of April, May, and June of 2021, subject to funding availability.
Past-due utility bills also are eligible for payment, subject to funding availability.
Visit Housing Is Key to find program information for your city, county, or tribe. Apply now. Program funds are limited.
Mortgage Forbearance
(Federal)
Mortgage forbearance provides mortgage and fee relief to homeowners with federally backed mortgages who are facing financial hardship. If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or the federal government, you are entitled to a 180-day extension of your COVID-19 hardship forbearance if you request it. Contact your servicer (the holder of your mortgage).
These financial institutions have agreed to provide mortgage and fee relief:
https://dfpi.ca.gov/covid19-updates-fi/
TBD
Housing for the Harvest
(Local)
This program offers temporary hotel housing to agricultural workers who need to isolate due to COVID-19.
https://covid19.ca.gov/housing-for-agricultural-workers/
Workers must meet the following criteria:
Work in California food processing or agriculture; meet FEMA non-congregate sheltering criteria for COVID-19; have tested positive, or been exposed as documented by a public health official or medical health professional; and be unable to self-isolate at home.
Housing for the Harvest is available in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and Imperial Valley regions. Call the administrator listed for your county:

https://covid19.ca.gov/housing-for-agricultural-workers/
TBD

Nutrition Assistance

PROGRAM
(Source)
WHAT DOES IT DO? WHO QUALIFIES? HOW DO YOU APPLY? DEADLINE
Women, Infant & Children Program (WIC)
(Local)
WIC is a health and nutrition program for babies, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, and new mothers. WIC is available to pregnant or breastfeeding women, infants, young children if the applicant has annual household income at or below 185 percent of the U.S. poverty income guidelines (currently $46,435 for a family of four) and is deemed to have a nutritional risk. You also may qualify if you recently lost your job or are unable to work due to COVID-19. Find your local office:
.myfamily.wic.ca.gov/../HowCanIGetWIC
Ongoing
Food Banks
(Local)
Food banks provide food to those who need it through a network of members statewide. Anyone needing food assistance qualifies. Call 2-1-1 to speak with someone about services available in your area, or find your local food bank here:
https://www.cafoodbanks.org/our-members/
N/A
CalFresh
(Local)
CalFresh, known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, provides monthly food benefits to individuals and families with low-income and provides economic benefits to communities. Normally, there is a minimum and maximum amount of CalFresh benefits you can receive based on your household size. Your county CalFresh office determines exactly how much you receive based on your income and expenses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone will get the maximum benefit for their household size. You will get your normal benefit deposit on the day you usually get benefits, and then a second benefit deposit the next month. Submit documents outlined on the CalFresh website:
www.getcalfresh.org/en/coronavirus#applying-for-calfresh
Ongoing
Great Plates Program
(Local)
California’s older adults can get three free, restaurant-quality meals a day through this home delivery program that helps seniors stay safe at home during the pandemic. You may qualify for Great Plates if you are age 65 or older, are 60-64 and have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, or are considered high risk by the CDC; live by yourself or with one other program-eligible adult; are not currently receiving assistance from other state or federal nutrition assistance programs, like CalFresh/SNAP or Meals on Wheels; have difficulty accessing food or preparing your own meals; earn 600 percent or less of U.S. poverty income guidelines; and/or live within a county or city participating in the program This program has expired. Status: Expired.

Student Aid for Higher Education

PROGRAM
(Source)
WHAT DOES IT DO? WHO QUALIFIES? HOW DO YOU APPLY? DEADLINE
Student Loan Forbearance
(Federal)
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has suspended payments on ED-owned federal student loans, stopped collections on defaulted loans, and lowered the interest rate to zero percent through September 30, 2021. Borrowers of defaulted and non-defaulted ED-owned federal student loans in repayment.Some federal student loans are held by a private lender or educational institution and are not subject to these provisions.
https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
Forbearance is automatic for ED-owned federal loans.
If your loan is held by a private lender or your school, contact them directly to request assistance.
September 30, 2021