By: Richard Vega
United Way launched the United for U.S. Coalition to mobilize its corporate partners, organized labor, the United Way network and other nonprofits to assist federal workers, contractors and others who may be impacted by the ongoing government shutdown. The United for U.S. Coalition is addressing vital needs, including food, utility assistance, rent, mortgage payments and other basic needs. We are doing this by bringing together United Way’s deep community knowledge and partnerships with organized labor and corporations to help those in need during the extended shutdown.
The 2-1-1 service anchors United Way’s community support by providing information about local social services, including the availability of public benefits and corporate assistance programs that can help callers with essential living expenses. We have created a list of the available resources which are available to support the Bay Area community.
RESOURCES AND INFORMATION
• Need Assistance? Call 2-1-1 or go to 211.org. Our 2-1-1 specialists can help those in need connect to food pantries, health care services and utility and eviction prevention assistance. Callers also can receive information on mental health counseling, transportation, job training, substance use recovery services, child care and volunteer opportunities. 2-1-1 is available 24/7, in over 150 languages. 211bayarea.org
• Unemployment Insurance Resources Additional information about unemployment benefits for furloughed employees is available from Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Click here for details.
• EDD State Unemployment Benefits If you are a federal employee in CA that has been furloughed or working without pay due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, you can apply for state unemployment benefits immediately. Simply fill out and submit an application or call 855-327-7056. If your wages are ultimately recovered, you will need to repay this benefit. FAQs-Federal Shutdown
• FamilyWize offers Prescription Savings cards to anyone in the U.S. with or without insurance. The discount card will get you the lowest possible price on the prescription medications and participating pharmacies including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and RiteAid. Learn more and download a card at https://familywize.org
SUPPORT FROM COMPANIES
• AT&T is providing flexible payment options for impacted customers to keep service including cellphones, television and internet running. Make payment arrangements online at www.att.com
• Eli Lilly is offering support to customers struggling to afford insulin supplies during the shutdown due to lost wages. Customers can call the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center at 833-808-1234 to speak with a live representative or visit https://www.lilly.com/patient-resources for information about patient assistance programs for other medicines.
• Sprint is encouraging customers struggling to pay bills because of the shutdown to call 888-211-4727 or go online at Sprint.com to talk with a customer care representative about short-term payment solutions to keep service uninterrupted.
• Comcast urges federal workers to call 800-934-6489 to find a payment solution that works for them.
• Airbnb will pay hosts who are furloughed employees for an extra night (up to $110) for every three nights they rent out their house, apartment or room to travelers. https://press.airbnb.com/anightonus/
• Verizon is offering flexible payment options and a “Promise to Pay” program for customers which can be setup in the My Verizon app or website, or available by calling 866-266-1445.
• T-Mobile is providing short-term account assistance for customers who are federal workers. Customers can call T-Mobile Customer Care to discuss options by dialing 6-1-1 from a T-Mobile device or 877-746-0909 from any phone.
BANKS AND CREDIT UNIONS
• Travis Credit Union will consider lowering loan payments and extending the terms of loans as well as payroll advances for members who are impacted by the furloughs and work as military and civilian personnel should the government shutdown extend into February. Visit nearest Travis Credit Union to speak with a representative to address any financial challenges.
• JPMorgan Chase has extended the automatic waive/funds past Jan. 4. For individuals who have a mortgage, credit card, or car loan through Chase should contact 1-888-356-0023. For details on Chase’s programs, visit: https://media.chase.com/news/chase-assists-during-government-shutdown
• Bank of America is working with their clients on a case-by-case basis to help address their financial needs. Bank of America’s Client Assistance Program is available and designed to help clients experiencing financial hardship. Clients can call Bank of America’s assistance line at 1-844-219-0690.
• Meriwest Credit Union is offering a variety of hardship assistance programs for customers.
• Navy Federal Credit Union is offering a zero-percent APR loan up to $6,000 during the government shutdown. The assistance is open to federal government employees and active duty members of the Coast Guard whose pay has been disrupted by the shutdown, and who have an established direct deposit account. You can register on the Navy Federal Credit Union website, in branches or by phone at 888-842-6328. Members impacted by the shutdown who don’t meet the eligibility requirements should visit a branch or call to discuss their situation.
• San Mateo Credit Union is offering Government Assistance Loans for members who have been impacted by the government shutdown. To apply, visit a branch or call 650-363-1725.
• U.S. Bank is offering a new low-rate quick loan designed to help customers families impacted by the shutdown. Qualified federal government employees can apply for a $100-$6,000 low-rate, quick loan, or find out about mortgage relief options. Customers should call U.S. Bank’s designated federal government shutdown line at 877-760-6046.
• Wells Fargo is waiving fees for customers who have direct deposit from the federal government or at customers’ requests for those that contact them and are impacted by the government shutdown. In addition, for customers who might need more time to make their payment, Wells Fargo has options for both short and long-term assistance based on the customer’s situation. Reach out to customer service for your specific product or call 1-800-TO- WELLS.
• Quicken Loans is waiving all late fees for clients who may miss a mortgage payment due to the shutdown. For help call 800-508-0944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
RESTAURANTS/OTHERS OFFERING DEALS
• Romano’s Macaroni Grill is offering free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs and Spaghetti to all furloughed government employees. Click here for details.
• Half Moon Bay Brewing Company offering $25 gift cards, redeemable onsite immediately for food and non-alcoholic beverages. 390 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay.
• Lefty O’Doul’s New Fisherman’s Wharf Baseball Ballpark & Café 145 Jefferson Street, San Francisco. Free meal just show your federal ID’s. – Until the shutdown ends.
• Causwells: Half off the price of American Burger. 2346 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
• Madame Tussauds: Free ticket to the Bay Area outpost of the world-famous wax museum. 145 Jefferson Street, Fisherman’s Warf, San Francisco.
• San Francisco Dungeon: Free ticket to the scary-fun themed attraction that explores San Francisco’s Barbary Coast past. 145 Jefferson Street, Fisherman’s Wharf. https://twitter.com/thesfdungeon
• Alba Ray’s: Half off jambalaya at Cajun-Creole restaurant. 2293 Mission Street, San Francisco.
• Jules Thin Crust: Free Slice of pizza at East Bay Locations. 5804 College Avenue, Oakland, and 820 Sycamore Valley Road, Danville.
For more information go to 211bayarea.org or dial 2-1-1. It’s free, confidential, and available 24/7.