Massachusetts legal aid programs are still helping clients during the COVID-19 emergency. But offices are not 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
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
Utilities are prohibited from shutting off your gas or electricity through April 1, 2021. See Lockouts and Utility Shutoffs.
From losing MassHealth Coverage.
During this public health emergency, if you have MassHealth, your coverage will only end if you move out of state or ask for your benefits to close. It will not end for any other reason until the public health emergency ends.
See MassHealth and Health Insurance.
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.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act), provides one-time cash payments of $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 per child for anyone who files taxes with a social security number. Other benefits, including SNAP (food stamps), TAFDC (welfare for families with children), and WIC may be available through the Departments of Transitional Assistance and Public Health. See Stimulus Payment.
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. Additional sick leave and paid family leave may be available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Health Insurance Coverage
Uninsured residents may qualify for MassHealth or coverage through the Health Connector’s extended open enrollment period. See MassHealth and Health Insurance.
Assistance from Non-Profit Organizations
MassUndocuFund, mutual aid organizations, and worker organizations are providing small cash grants for undocumented people and others who might not be eligible for other assistance. Jobs with Justice has more information. Apply for a grant from MassUndocuFund. If your income is low enough, Volunteer Tax Assistance Agencies (VITA) can help you file your taxes so you can claim your Stimulus or Economic Impact Payments.