Massachusetts legal aid programs are still helping clients during the COVID-19 emergency. But offices may not be open for the public to walk in. If you need help phone or contact your local legal aid program online.
During The COVID-19 Crisis You Are Protected
From Eviction & Foreclosure
You do not need to leave your home unless a judge orders you out. See COVID-19 and Housing and Evictions. Where can I get help paying my rent?
From Debt Collection
Harassment from debt collectors is prohibited, but they can legally try to collect what you owe. See Bills and Debts.
From Utility Shutoffs
You may be able to stop a shut off if you or someone in your house has a serious medical condition or it is between November 15th and April. See Lockouts and Utility Shutoffs and Keep your Heat On This Winter.
From Price Gouging
Businesses cannot charge inflated prices on common goods and critical items like masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. See Avoid Scams.
You cannot be discriminated against because of your race, ethnicity, national origin, disability or other protected category in housing or when seeking health care. See Can my landlord evict me if I get COVID-19?
When Seeking Health Care
If you feel sick, seek health care. Insurance covers COVID-19 testing and treatment. For immigrants not eligible for other public health insurance programs, MassHealth Limited and Health Safety Net will cover the cost.
Benefits like SNAP (food stamps), TAFDC (welfare for families with children), and WIC may be available through the Departments of Transitional Assistance and Public Health. See Income and Benefits.
You may apply for unemployment benefits if you lose your job and are authorized to work in the United States. File a claim with the Division of Unemployment Assistance. See Unemployment.
Earned Sick Time
Under Massachusetts law, workers are eligible for benefits from their employers, including earned sick time, regardless of their immigration status. See Time Off.
Health Insurance Coverage
Uninsured residents may qualify for MassHealth or coverage through the Health Connector. See MassHealth and Health Insurance.
Assistance from Non-Profit Organizations
If your income is low enough, Volunteer Tax Assistance Agencies (VITA) can help you file your taxes.