Making Sure You Get the Essentials
Need help with the basics? We’ve got you covered.
Many people are facing financial uncertainty at this time. Fortunately, there’s help.
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services is offering Emergency Pandemic Loans and Grants. Contact Joan Goldner at the Palo Alto Office by phone at 650-688-306 or visit www.seniorsathome.org
- Santa Clara County has a Financial Assistance Program for Low-Income Residents. Apply through Sacred Heart or call 408-780-9134.
- Get Mortgage Help from Fannie Mae.
- The State of California has instituted a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments.
- Both the California Apartment Association and the National Low-Income Housing Coalition are calling for stronger protections for renters during COVID-19.
- If you’re still working and have been laid off or have to stay home to care for a family member, find out about disability benefits and paid family leave.
- Social Security recipients will automatically get $1200 stimulus checks, even if they don’t file taxes. (Washington Post).
- IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief Information
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Text of Law) (Summary by NPR)
Although there is no food shortage, lines are long and stores are having trouble staying stocked. Restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery only. Many stores are now offering special senior shopping hours in addition to providing pick-up and delivery. If you don’t see your local grocery store or favorite restaurant on this list, check with them directly.
How safe are groceries? Consumer Reports published an article on “How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus When Grocery Shopping,” and Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen made a food safety tips video. A public health expert explains that viruses degrade quickly on surfaces, which means that “If you wait even a few hours before using anything you just purchased, most of the virus that was on any package will be significantly reduced.” (Washington Post)
If you have questions about government services or how your local, county, or state government can support you during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll find the answers here. (Yes, you will continue to get Social Security benefits.)
- City of Palo Alto Community Support Call Center (650) 272-3181.
- City of Palo Alto Coronavirus Update Page.
- Santa Clara County Services & Closings
- Santa Clara County Department of Public Health
- San Mateo County Health
- California COVID-19 Response
- CA Statewide Senior Hotline: (833) 544-2374
- CA Resources for Emotional Support
- California Department of Social Services
- Official US Government COVID-19 Website
- COVID-19 Updates from the EDD
- Administration for Community Living
- Social Security Association updates, office closings, and online services. Call (800) 772-1213.
- Medicare Rights Center help line (800) 333-4114.
- Complete the 2020 Census online.
COVID-19 has the highest mortality rate in the older adult population. Don’t take chances. Please consult medical experts, not social media, for guidance. (And don’t forget to check the Government section above for public health info.)
- Stanford’s Dr. Mehrdad Ayati is publishing Updates for the Aging Population each week. We will post these to the Resources section as they come in.
- If you think you may have COVID-19 and live in Santa Clara or San Mateo County, you can schedule a test through Verily.
- Stanford Health Care is offering drive-through testing for those referred by their primary care physicians.
- Medicare is expanding coverage to include Coronavirus testing and telehealth services for more people. Read FAQ from the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- How is your medical facility handling Coronavirus? Find out more from Stanford Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health, and the VA.
- While our Loan Closet is closed, you can contact Bay City Medical Supplies about renting medical equipment. CHME provides a full range of medical supplies and equipment and accepts many forms of insurance.
Avenidas Door to Door is not providing rides at this time, but if you use this service, you can expect a call from a Door-to-Door volunteer soon to see how you’re doing and find out whether you need medication, groceries, or other essential supplies delivered. If you absolutely have to leave the house, here are some options for you.
- Go Go Grandparent at (855) 464-6872 does something similar to Door to Door and schedules rides for you using Lyft and Uber.
- VTA is not collecting fares and is prioritizing “service to hospitals, health care facilities, pharmacies, grocery stores, food banks, shelters and other essential destinations.”They have produced an updated schedule and a map with the new routes that highlights food pantries within 1/4 mile of transit.
- SamTrans is also operating on a reduced schedule and has introduced rear-door boarding. Like VTA, they are not collecting fares.
- For help with transport in San Mateo County, call Peninsula Rides. Dial 1-800-660-4287 and then press 4 for assistance.