COVID-19 not only affects your health, it also can affect your finances. Hillsborough County and its community partners are offering resources to help you and your family get through this. If you or your family need assistance with social programs or support, call: 211 or visit the 211 Tampa Bay site.
Jobs & Reemployment Assistance
Florida residents whose incomes are negatively affected by efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance. Find resources.
Hillsborough County Health Care Plan is available to Hillsborough County residents who don't have any other health insurance options. The plan provides primary and specialty care, outpatient treatment, and assistance with prescriptions. Find eligibility guidelines, begin the enrollment process, and choose from doctors who accept the plan in our Health Care Plan section.
The Bristol-Myers Squibb expanded Patient Support Programs. These programs are designed to help newly uninsured patients impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus. The national programs are for eligible, unemployed patients who have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic. The expanded programs offer access to branded Bristol Myers Squibb medicine for free, including some of its most widely prescribed products, as well as those prescribed via telehealth services.
The programs feature:
- Immediate access for patients who have lost their employment and health insurance
- A simple, single point of entry
- Streamlined enrollment process
- Vouchers to assist with continuity of care for several self-administered BMS medicines, for eligible patients
Hillsborough County residents, interested in learning more about these programs can call (800) 721-8909 or visit BMS.com.
Mental Health Assistance
During these challenging times, mental health is just as important as physical health.
- Local assistance for mental health support. Anyone can find themselves facing a crisis in life and Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is here to help residents.
- Managing stress and anxiety for Veterans. Veterans having thoughts of suicide or that need mental help during this time can contact the Veterans Crisis Line by either calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1, texting 838255, or chatting online with Veterans Crisis Line. The free support is confidential and available 24/7.
- Wellness resources for mental health and wellbeing. The national Disaster Distress Helpline is available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a counselor. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
- Food for families and individuals - several organizations throughout Hillsborough County offer a number of different ways to bring food to your table
- Food for pets - Pet Resource Center offers people who need help feeding pets with its Food Pantry. To receive assistance, call (813) 744-5660
FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. Applications will be available on Monday, April 12, 2021.
Information about who is eligible, how to apply, and how funds are received can be found on the FEMA website.
- Seniors who attend dining centers/congregate meal sites, receive services through adult day care centers, or receive home delivered meals, please call (813) 272-5160, for information about the continuation of services.
- Easy to make recipes from Aging Services
Phone-In Wellness Session
To help ease those feelings and keep older people healthy, Aging Services is offering virtual phone-in wellness sessions so seniors can stay mentally and physically engaged while at home.
Virtual senior wellness sessions are offered twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday in both English and Spanish.
- Sessions in English are from 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
- Sessions in Spanish are from 1- 2 PM
The Call-in Number is: 1-888-585-9008
Conference Room Number is 784132094#
Each session is broken into segments that feature the following topics:
- Health and safety tips with a registered nurse
- Healthy eating tips during stressful times by a registered dietician
- Updates related to COVID-19
- Senior resources and links to stay connected
- Activities focused on the seven dimensions of wellness
- Mindful meditation or laughter is the best medicine for stress
- Go to NIA's Exercise and Physcial Activity page, and find a workout one that works for you.
- Workout with Silver Sneakers videos on YouTube. Facebook users can get engaged at Facebook.com/SilverSneakers
- A variety of fitness videos for active older adults are available on demand at YMCA360.org.
College & University Students
Many students may be facing financial challenges associated with higher education. Here are resources:
- University of South Florida’s Office of Financial Aid
- University of Tampa Financial Aid
- Hillsborough Community College Financial Aid
- Affordable Colleges Online
Farmers Impacted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program application process began May 26. Agricultural producers may apply through USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA).
How to Prepare Now
You can start gathering information on your farm's recent sales and inventory, as well as completing eligibility forms at farmers.gov/CFAP
Some of the info you'll need includes:
- Tax Identification Number
- Farming operating structure
- Adjusted Gross Income
If you have worked with FSA previously, much of this information is likely on file.
How to Apply Once Sign-Up Begins
- Call your FSA county office at (813) 752-1474 ext. 2 to make an appointment.
- FSA will not be able to meet in-person, but will work with you via phone, email, fax, mail, or online tools to receive and complete your application. You can contact your Hillsborough County FSA team by email at Hilary.Howard@usda.gov and Marcinda.Kester@usda.gov.