JOIN THE RESPONSE TO COVID-19
To support the most pressing needs in our community, please consider donating to the United Community Relief Fund.
Financial assistance may be available for qualified individuals in our community. For additional information, please call 211.
Use the COVID-19 Screening Tool online if you or someone you are caring for is experiencing symptoms.
Call before visiting any testing location.
Economic Impact Payments/Stimulus Payments from Federal Government
View information from the IRS on this page.
Health Insurance and medical Expenses
If you have health insurance, visit the website of your provider or contact their customer support line with any questions about coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment. Many healthcare insurers are also making telemedicine available to customers for low to no cost.
If you do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for benefits through the state of Florida. Visit this website to explore options based on your household income, children in the home and state.
If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever and shortness of breath) and are concerned that you cannot afford to seek treatment or a test, contact your medical provider or the nearest Urgent Care facility to seek guidance. Free testing for COVID-19 is becoming available in many places, but medical care may still incur a charge. Be sure to ask questions about cost if you seek medical care or treatment.
Home Internet Access
If you do not have internet access at home, or cannot afford to maintain it, but need internet for work or school, there are several options available through providers:
If you have questions or concerns about your internet connection, contact your provider or visit their website for more information.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans for Small Businesses
Applications have closed for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans. For additional information, please contact SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance for state unemployment insurance programs to extend benefits to individuals whose employment status is impacted by COVID-19. Visit the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity – Reemployment Assistance to connect with reemployment assistance and employers.
Federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Employees are eligible to take FMLA leave if they work for a covered employer and:
Employers are required to give eligible FMLA workers up to 12 weeks of job-protected (but not necessarily paid) leave if they are sick, including with complications from the flu or a similar illness and/or they need to care for an immediate family member (child, spouse, parents) who are ill. Visit the Department of Labor for more information.
Mortgage, Rent and Utilities Payment Assistance
Temporary assistance is available to qualified individuals. For additional details, please call 211 and follow local news, radio and official social media platforms to learn the latest about additional assistance available in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/Food Stamps
Visit the SNAP Eligibility Page to learn more about eligibility requirements. To apply for benefits or get information about SNAP in Florida, visit the Florida Department of Children and Families website.
Contact 211 or check our food distribution schedule for information on food pantries and food distributions in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.
Relief for “Gig Economy” Workers & Self Employed
Self-employed workers, including independent contractors, freelancers, people seeking part-time work and those who do not have a long-enough work history to qualify for state unemployment benefits may qualify for benefits under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Those seeking benefits should check with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Mental Health and Crisis
The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Visit this CDC page to learn more about things you can do to support yourself and your loved ones. If you need to talk to someone, these resources are confidential and available for free 24/7:
HOW IS 211 INVOLVED IN THE COVID-19 RESPONSE?
Our 211 hotline remains operational in order to continue to connect individuals with services and resources in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. including people who are in need of financial or other assistance as a result of lost wages from event cancellations, business closures and quarantines.
Our team of highly trained professionals are working closely with state and local health officials to provide up-to-date information to the general public about the virus and outbreaks.
Remember if you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.
PO Box 1357,
Highland City, FL 33846
5605 US Highway 98 S.
Lakeland, FL 33812