COVID-19 Newsletter

Message from the Representative

Dear Residents of NY-14,

Today, Congress passed its third bill to help families weather COVID-19.  The bill will provide cash relief to couples who earned less than $198,000 and individuals who earned less than $99,000 in 2018. It also increases unemployment benefits for those who have lost their jobs. Details on this economic relief are included below. 

I will be frank - I believe working families deserve far more. I am urging Congress to return to D.C. as soon as possible to pass paid sick leave; a mortgage and rent moratorium; a debt moratorium; additional support for New York state’s emergency response; free health care for those infected by the virus; and real relief for all immigrant families. You can watch my speech on the House floor today here

My office is also working with state and city officials to get you the information you need. Two weeks ago, we held our first virtual town hall with public health officials from the City to answer questions about COVID-19. You can watch some of the highlights here.  

I also wanted to remind you that the 2020 Census is now here. Please self-report at The Census is completely confidential and an accurate count is essential to getting our community the funding it deserves for schools, roads, and other public services. Additional information is included below. 

My congressional staff is currently teleworking, but they remain committed as ever to serving NY-14. You can receive assistance by calling our offices (718-662-5970) or by sending an email message through our website. Staff will return all messages from constituents during normal business hours. Finally, everyone can go to my website for up-to-date information on COVID-19.  

These are extraordinarily difficult times. Daily life has changed as we know it and for some of us it will never be the same. Just two years ago, I was a bartender. I know personally the devastation many of you are facing. Both in D.C. and here at home, I will be fighting to get each and every one of you the relief you deserve.  

In service,

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Economic Relief is Available

Cash Relief: Due to recently passed federal legislation, adult U.S. residents with Social Security numbers will receive up to $1,200 check if they had an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less in 2018. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of up to $2,400. Individuals or married couples who fall in these income brackets with children age 16 or under, will receive an additional $500 per child.

For families or individuals who earn more, the payment decreases gradually until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people who have no children and earn $198,000. A family with two children would no longer be eligible for any payments if its income surpassed $218,000. 

Unemployment Insurance:  Due to recent Congressional action, Americans laid off due to COVID-19 can now receive up to $600/week for four months in addition to their state’s regular unemployment insurance payments. You can file for unemployment insurance here. The Treasury estimates you will receive a check within 3 weeks, once your claim is processed. If you filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, you do not need to prove you are searching for employment to make a claim. 

Help Finding a Job: Call the Workforce Career Center at 718-960-2458 to prepare for, and connect to, jobs across New York City's five boroughs and in every sector of the economy. 

Eviction and Mortgage Moratorium: There is a temporary moratorium on evictions in New York City. Even if you cannot pay rent, you cannot be removed from your home. Please call 311 for more information.  The Governor has also urged a moratorium on collection for mortgages in New York State. For more information please call the state’s 24-Hour Coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

Sick Leave:  Under New York City law, all private sector workplaces with 5 or more employees must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year. All full-time and part-time workers are covered. Immigration status is irrelevant. If you are not receiving paid sick leave from your employer, call 311 or go here

If you have already used your paid sick leave, you may be eligible for more under recently passed federal legislation. If you work for a private company with fewer than 500 people, then you likely qualify for this paid sick leave program, starting April 1. If you believe your employer should be providing sick leave under this new law (full criteria outlined here), but they do not provide it starting April 1, you can call 202-693-4600. Frequently asked questions and answers about this limited paid sick leave program are available here

Unsafe Working Conditions: If you believe an employer is in violation of either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders you can contact the NYS Attorney General’s Office at (212) 416-8700 or

Utility Payments: The Governor directed the New York State Department of Public Service to suspend public utilities from cutting off service - including power and heat - to customers affected by COVID-19.  For more information, please call the state’s  24-Hour Coronavirus hotline: 1-888-364-3065.

For Small Businesses:  The City is offering small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible to apply for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help ensure business continuity. Disaster loans are also available through the Small Business Administration. For more information and to apply for relief, please go here.  

Debt Collection:   Governor Cuomo and Attorney General James temporarily suspended state debt collection in response to coronavirus. The state will temporarily halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection, for at least a 30-day period. For more information, go here

Tax Payment:  The Internal Revenue Service has extended its payment period for 90 days. You now have until July 15, 2020 to pay federal income taxes if you owe less than 1 million dollars. This extension also applies to businesses that owe less than 10 million dollars. Everyone must still file with the IRS by Wednesday, April 15, 2020.  If you need further guidance please follow this link

Price Gouging: You can report concerns about price gouging to the state here or to the City here or by calling 311. You can also report price gouging to the state at 800-697-1220. 

Healthcare: To find a health care provider, call 844-692-4692 or 311, regardless of immigration status, insurance status or ability to pay. 

Mental Healthcare: If you’re feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, you can also connect with the NYC WELL's confidential helpline: Call 888-692-9355, text "WELL" to 65173 or chat online at  NYS Mental Health Hotline: 1-844-863-9314 (to schedule a free appointment)"

Food/Grocery Assistance:  You can apply for food assistance benefits and view a map of food pantries and community kitchens here. You can also call 866-888-8777 or 311 for information on locations and hours to get immediate help with food in NYC. The Department of Education is also providing grab & go breakfast and lunch to all those under 18 at its schools. For pick up sites see here. Finally, senior centers are also open for grab and goal meals though they will begin to transition to delivery service. For more information on senior meal delivery, see here

Census2020 is Here

Fill Out The Census Here:

The Census is easy!

The Census is only 10 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete. You can do it online, over the phone, or on paper

What is the Census?

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of EVERYONE in the United States. The Census governs the allocation of funding for roads, schools, and other public institutions across our community and determines the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes.  If people are not counted, their communities will receive less representation in government and fewer resources for the next decade, until the Census is completed again. Every person counts.

Who should I include on my census form?

All household members should be included on your Census form, even if they are not related to you and even if they are not on the household lease.  This includes all children; newborns and infants born on or by April 1, 2020. You should also fill out the form regardless of your citizenship or documentation status.  The goal is to count EVERYONE. The Census is completely confidential. 

Anyone who has temporarily relocated due to COVID-19 should report their previous address. For example, college students whose term ended early should report at their college dormitory.  

Is the Census confidential?

Yes. Filling out a census form is still safe and secure. There’s no citizenship question on the 2020 Census and your individual data won’t be linked to any of these records. All data the Census Bureau collects are subject to the strongest privacy and confidentiality protections in federal law.  

How do I know if someone is with the Census when they knock on my door?  

The Bureau has temporarily paused field operations to protect the health and safety of Census workers and the American public during COVID-19. So for now, no one should be knocking on your door. 

When field operations resume, if someone knocks on your door and claims to be from the Census, you have the right to request to see their Census ID and you can call the census at 800-923-8282 to confirm that the enumerator is in fact a Census employee/volunteer. 

You can work for the Census:

Ensuring a complete count depends on having a fully staffed organization. Census Bureau jobs are good opportunities and offer competitive wages.  You can apply for jobs here:

Census and COVID 19:

The Bureau has temporarily paused field operations to protect the health and safety of Census workers and the American public. Individuals are now able to self-respond to the Census questionnaire online or over the phone through August 14th. For more information, visit

Have more questions about the census?

You can call us at:

Washington, DC Office - 202-225-3965

District Office - 718-662-5970