Need assistance due to Coronavirus pandemic? Here's where to get help.

Woman with head in hands

The coronavirus continues to impact our Champaign County community. Our hearts are with those who have lost their jobs or seen a reduction in hours due to COVID-19. 

The State of Illinois and our Champaign County municipalities are responding to the economic hardships related to COVID-19 closures. We anticipate a federal announcement of relief as well. 

The situation is constantly evolving, and new resources are being announced daily. Here are some resources available to you now.

File for Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is a state-operated insurance program designed to partially replace lost wages when you are out of work. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to make unemployment insurance as responsive as possible. Click here to learn more.

Unsure if you qualify? The Chicago Sun-Times has published an overview of the new unemployment insurance rules.

Call 211

United Way’s 211 Help Center is prepared for increased call volume due to the pandemic. If you need services such as food, counseling, and assistance, dial 211 to be connected to a real person who can guide you to the resources available to you. If your phone does not connect with 211, please use the toll-free number: 888-865-9903

Call Regional Planning Commission

On Tuesday, March 24, the Champaign County COVID-19 Fund released $20,000 for housing assistance. Those in need should call the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission at 877-548-4205, Monday through Friday, 10am - 6pm. They will screen for eligibility, collect required documentation to support eligibility, and connect individuals with City of Champaign Township or Cunningham Township for a one-time assistance payment. This is open to all Champaign County residents regardless of the township where you reside.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Lives in Champaign County;
  • Renters without housing subsidies (i.e. renters receiving subsidized housing are not eligible);
  • Renters with earned income prior to Stay at Home order; 
  • Renters who have applied for unemployment insurance as a result of COVID-19 wage losses and do not qualify for unemployment insurance;
  • Income up to 250% federal poverty level

Access your FamilyWize Prescription Discount

Save money on prescription medications. FamilyWize is a free prescription discount program offered in partnership with United Way.  It is accepted at pharmacies nationwide, including major chains and independents. FamilyWize has partnered with these pharmacies to provide you with the lowest possible price on your prescription drugs. Visit their website for full details.

If you are calling in instead of visiting the pharmacy, the FamilyWize discount can still be applied! Use the following information:

BIN:               610194
Card ID:         FW100
Group ID:       FW100
PCN:               FW

File your taxes

If you have not already filed your taxes, now is a good time to do so. You may be eligible for a tax refund. Simple tax returns can be filed for free at MyFreeTaxes.com

Access free transportation

Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is providing fee-free transportation. Please follow their guidelines for social distancing on public transportation. For more information, visit MTD.org 

Contact creditors

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office has suspended evictions. Ameren has suspended shutoffs. And just announced, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD are suspending all foreclosures and evictions.

Some creditors have hardship plans to account for when you are going through an emergency. Reach out to your credit card issuer, auto loan provider, or mortgage company to see what options are available to you.

For families with children - Make a plan to pick up food

Local school districts have put together plans to distribute food while schools are closed. Please visit your local school district’s website to learn more. Additionally, Chambanamoms.com is keeping an excellent list of locations offering free food for children.

For small businesses - Connect with the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Small businesses face unique challenges. The Chamber of Commerce can help you navigate the resources available to you. Please visit their website for more information. 

Last updated 3/24/2020, 4pm CDT

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