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Cayuga County will be requesting approval of amendment changes to the childcare services portion of its Child and Family Services Plan due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 disaster emergency. The Office of Children and Family Services has given district the option of expanding the childcare services they provide to families affected by COVID-19. Any waivers granted to Cayuga County will be valid for a period of 30 days. Cayuga County will need to resubmit a new waiver request if they wish to extend the waiver period beyond the 30 days unless the district is directly notified by OCFS that the waiver is being extended.
Child Care Solutions is still open for business and working diligently to meet the child care needs of first responders in our community; medical, fire and law enforcement personnel. Child Care Solutions is maintaining a real-time data base of child care programs who remain open and have openings to meet the needs of first responders. These parents can call us at 315-446-1220, ext. 303 or complete a Referral Request form online and we will call them back.
Gavras Center daycare is open from 6 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week, birth to 12 years.
Cayuga County Homsite Development Corporation has received Emergency COVID-19 funding from Central New York Community Foundation in partnership with United Way of Cayuga County and Cayuga Community Fund. These funds will be used for those who are at or below 80% of the Area Median Income and those who have experienced a financial hardship relative to COVID-19. Homsite will manage two programs using these funds, Emergency Home Repairs, and Emergency Rental Assistance.
Emergency Home Repair – Homeowners in need of emergency repairs (plumbing, HVAC, electrical). This does not include replacement of furnaces – we have other funds available for that. Maximum funding per household is $1,500 and is disbursed on a first come first serve basis. To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria and supply the following information with their applications.
Referrals should be sent to Breanna Ryan or call 315-253-8451.
Emergency Rental Assistance – Tenants at or below 80% of the Area Median Income who are in need of a one-time rental payment due to financial hardship from COVID-19. Maximum funding equal to one month of rent and funds will be disbursed on a first come first serve basis. To apply, applicants must meet the following criteria and supply the following information with their applications.
Referrals should be sent to Kaleigh Smith or call 315-253-8451.
Download a list of Cayuga County Food Pantries (updated 4/16/20) and the Hunger Task Force Soup Kitchen Schedule in Auburn (grab and go).
Meals on Wheels 315-253-1550 for home-bound seniors age 60 & up
Fully prepared meals delivered to home:
Beware of COVID-19 SCAMS! Review the COVID-19 Consumer Tip Sheet for what you can do to stop COVID-19 fraud and what Medicare covers in relations to COVID-19.
The New York State Office for the Aging warns: If you receive a text message like the one pictured below, DO NOT click the link. It could be a phishing scam to get your personal information or install malware on your phone and/or harvest data. State or county health departments are NOT sending text messages to people to notify them of a possible exposure.
Guidelines, tips, and warnings about potential scams of homeowners
The New York State Office for the Aging was notified by the Montgomery County Office for the Aging that they have been getting a large number of NY Connects calls from older adults who had received a postcard mailing addressed to “resident” from the National Residential Improvement Association (NRIA) offering to help them get a grant to repair their home. The postcard looks official, but it is not a government program, and the company currently does not have a valid business license. NRIA has been reported to the Better Business Bureau multiple times since 2008. This is a scam.
Government grant scams are on the rise. With the recently passed federal stimulus bill, scammers are taking advantage of homeowners of all ages by making bogus offers to secure generous grants for home repairs.
What to look out for:
• Unsolicited phone calls or emails from someone claiming to be an official from the Federal Grants Administration (which does not exist), or a nonprofit organization like the National Residential Improvement Association offering grants or funding for repairs.
• Social media messages or posts from people excited to share the thousands of dollars they claim to have received from an organization that secures grants for homeowners.
• Callers who ask you to pay a fee in order to receive a grant. Federal grants never charge for grant applications.
• Magazine or newspaper ads that offer “free grants.”
• Calls or emails that claim you’re eligible for a personal grant that does not restrict how you spend the money.
• Do not answer your telephone if you do not recognize the caller or number.
• Never share personal information over the telephone, like your Medicare number, Social Security number or banking information.
• Never pay a fee to a company that says it will help you get a grant.
• Block or unfriend anyone who offers unsolicited grant information on social media. Even if you are “friends” with that person – they may have been hacked.
• Only use local contractors with validated references to do work in your home.
If you have been a victim of such a scam:
• Report it to the New York State Attorney General’s Office: 800-771-7755
• Report to the AARP Fraud Watch Network: 877-908-3360
• Report the scammer to the Better Business Bureau: https://www.bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started
Please visit the Social Security COVID-19 web page to find out what services they are continuing and which ones they are suspending, how to contact them, and important information about deadlines they are extending to ease the burden on the public and medical providers during this pandemic.
Most SSA services are available online. Here is list of available online services.
While SSA offices in New York and New Jersey are temporarily open to authorized personnel only, SSA staff from those local offices will continue to be accessible by phone. SSA local office phone numbers are available on the Social Security Office Locator. To find your local SSA office phone number, go to the Social Security website, select Contact Us under Items of Interest, and then Office Locator under Ways to Contact Us. SSA local office staff are accessible by phone Monday to Friday, 9:00 am. to 4:00 pm. Some critical services also are available by calling SSA’s national toll-free line at 1 (800) 772-1213 or 1 (800) 325-0778 TTY. National toll-free line staff are available Monday to Friday, 7:00 am. to 7:00 pm. They offer many automated telephone services so callers do not have to wait to speak with a telephone agent.
Up-to-date information about SSA office closings and emergencies
Who is eligible? Who receives the payment automatically? What do non-filers have to do? Find the answers on the IRS website.
Action needed for Social Security beneficiaries with dependents and who do not file tax returns to receive $500 per child payment. Go to Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here section on the IRS website.
There has been a lot of confusion and questions regarding the Economic Relief Payments that were sent to those who are deceased. The IRS has posted on their website that those checks will need to be returned by following the instructions on their page. Please refer to question 10
Nursing home residents are entitled to the stimulus payments; they do not count as income for Medicaid, and they are not to be used by the facility for payment for their care. Find out more
Many local healthcare providers, such as the Cayuga County Community Mental Health Center are using telehealth (video conferencing) and telephone consulting to diagnose and stay connected with patients while they are at home. Call your service provider for more information on how they continue their services.
New York State is waiving the seven day waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines. Applying for these benefits must be done online as all unemployment offices are closed.
Reach out to the County Employment & Training office for assistance with unemployment insurance.
Find more information at NYS Unemployment Assistance and NYS Department of Labor or call 1-888-209-8124.
Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255
If you believe your employer is in violation of either existing labor laws or recently issued executive orders, please contact the Attorney General’s office at 212-416-8700 or email.