COVID-19: Government Programs Available

Due to COVID19 and the financial strains it has been causing to the community at large, the government has offered additional programs available to those who have job losses, less income or financial stress due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Bills and Debt:

The Rental Assistance Program

Provides financial assistance to Chicago residents to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit.
All evictions and foreclosures have been suspended for at least 30 days in Cook County. This means that if you are unable to pay your rent, you cannot be evicted.
ComEd is suspending service disconnections providing resources, and payment accommodations for those who may have challenges paying their monthly energy bill.
Peoples Gas
Peoples Gas will not be disconnecting people’s service for non-payment through the end of March.
Comcast announced new steps they’re taking to help people stay connected to the Internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the coronavirus.
City Utility Bills (eg water)
Extend due dates until after April 30, 2020 delaying assessment of penalties
Delay referrals to collection firms until after April 30, 2020
No defaults of payment plans until after April 30, 2020
The City of Chicago is temporarily suspending debt collection, ticketing, and towing practices to provide debt relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employee Paid Leave

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. This sweeping legislation addresses a plethora of concerns raised by the recent COVID-19 outbreak. It becomes effective 15 days after the President signs it, or on April 2, 2020. The employment-related sections will require employers to provide certain paid and unpaid leave days to employees impacted by the current public health situation.


The Department of Human Services has filed a federal waiver to ease eligibility requirements for food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC, which cover 1.8 million Illinoisans and 174,000 pregnant women and parents of young children respectively.
Call: 773-727-5241
For help applying for or renewing WIC benefits, call the local CEDA office at 773-338-7334
SNAP and Medicaid
For help applying or renewing SNAP and Medicaid benefits, call the Chicago Chesed Fund 847-679-7799 x 166
For new applications the following documents are necessary:
  • birth certificates or passports for everyone in the house
  • social security cards for everyone in the house
  • proof of IL residency for the adults over 18 in the house (utility bill or mail document)
  • proof of past 30 days of income (pay stubs)
  • proof of job loss or loss of income if possible
And for additional information about SNAP benefits, call the Greater Food Depository benefits line: 773-843-5416 Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00


SBA Approves Small Business Loans in Illinois
Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans here.
Unemployment benefits info is here.
Loans, grants and tax credits for small businesses: click here.
The City of Chicago is establishing a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. For more information, click here.
Sales Tax Deferral for Bars and Restaurants
For more information, please view IDOR’s informational bulletin available at
Meals on Wheels: Supporting Home-Bound Seniors
Kosher meals (made by Circle Chicago). The assessments are now possible by phone. It can also be done by an agency/org on behalf of the applicant. Chicago Mitzvah Campaign 773-716-8872
Additional Information

As we receive additional information we will continue to keep you informed.
Chicago Chesed Fund has been helping the community for over 30 years and now is no different.
Please reach out to our office with any questions or needs by emailing