CORONAVIRUS SCAMS
Protect yourself from scammers who are taking advantage of the pandemic to steal people's personal information.

Attorney General Dave Yost’s Coronavirus Resources and Guidance
Information for consumers, businesses and more on scams and price-gouging related to COVID-19.

Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information – Job Scams
Information for job-seekers on how to spot and report job scams.

FDA - Fraudulent Coronavirus Products
Provides consumers with a searchable list of companies that have been issued warnings for marketing scam products related to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as resources such as product pictures, news and updates and information on reporting unlawful sales and scams.

IRS Tax Scams/Consumer Alerts
Alerts from the IRS for individuals and tax professionals on current tax-related scams, including coronavirus-related scams.

 

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Increasing numbers of individuals and families are finding themselves in situations of financial uncertainty. These resources can help.

Unemployment Benefits
Apply for unemployment benefits through the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. Ohio eased restrictions for filing for unemployment benefits effective March 15.

Economic Impact Payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients
Resources from the Social Security Administration and the IRS regarding impact payments for SSI recipients and qualifying children.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The CFPB provides helpful information on topics such as paying your bills during financial hardship and avoiding scams.

Cash Assistance
See if you're eligible to receive cash assistance through Ohio Works First (OWF). OWF supplies up to 36 months of cash benefits for eligible families.

Coronavirus Tax Relief and Economic Impact Payment
Most taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 are qualified to automatically receive an Economic Impact Payment from the IRS. Visit the IRS website and click “Get My Payment” to check your payment status.

 

FOODBANKS AND DINING SERVICES
Find foodbank or meals-to-go services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Children’s Hunger Alliance
Children’s Hunger Alliance has partnered with a number of organizations to offer free meals to children across Ohio to help reduce food insecurity amid the pandemic. Check out the map to find the most convenient location.

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
SNAP is a service provided by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services to help families stretch their food budgets.

Columbus City Schools
Columbus City Schools has 44 Fuel Up! Regional Meal Sites offering freshly prepared grab-and-go meals for any student under 18. Families can choose from a daily take-home meal plan or a five-day take-home meal plan (includes weekend and holiday support). Check the CSS website for locations as well as additional community food-access resources.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The USDA’s WIC program provides supplemental nutrition to households with members who are pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum, as well as households with children/foster children up to age 5.

Salvation Army of Central Ohio
The Salvation Army is providing food to those affected by the coronavirus in Franklin, Delaware and Union counties. No proof of ID or income information required.

FreshTrak
Input your ZIP code to find food access resources in your community such as food banks and pantries. Click here for a COTA bus map to local food pantries.

 

HEALTH INSURANCE

HealthCare.gov
The federal government’s healthcare website explains the differences between Medicaid, CHIP, COBRA and health insurance marketplace plans, with links to apply to each. If you have lost your job and your job-based health coverage, you qualify for a special enrollment period to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace.

 

HOUSING
Find resources during the coronavirus pandemic.

Columbus City Council FAQs for Landlords and Tenants
Recommendations and resources to help guide tenants and landlords facing challenges related to COVID-19. An FAQ for landlords can be found here, while a tenant FAQ can be found here. If a tenant feels they are being informally evicted, or their eviction is being served as a retaliatory action, please call Todd Dillard at 614-645-5650.

Mortgage Relief
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both instituted mortgage relief measures. If your mortgage is serviced by a private lender, they might be offering similar relief. Contact your lender and specifically mention that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted your ability to make payments.

Home Relief Grant
Eligible Ohioans who are behind on rent, mortgage and water and/or sewer utility bills may be able to receive help to catch up on past payments back to April 1, 2020, and additional assistance through Dec. 30, 2020. Find more information and your local Community Action Agency here.

Lead Safe Columbus
The mission of the Lead Safe Columbus program is to generate lead-safe and healthy affordable housing and to prevent lead poisoning of children and adults in Columbus neighborhoods. This program offers funding to eligible property owners for lead-based paint hazard control and to address healthy homes hazards in tenant- or owner-occupied units.

 

LEGAL HELP
Get help with your legal needs.

Ohio Legal Help
Provides interactive self-help tools and connections to local legal resources to assist individuals with resolving their legal issues.

 

MENTAL HEALTH & SELF CARE
Taking care of yourself isn’t always a priority, especially during a crisis. These resources can help you cope and manage stress.

Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH)
A centralized resource for COVID-19 linking to the Ohio, Franklin County and Columbus Public Health departments, it provides information for managing stress and anxiety and for those in crisis, as well as resources focusing on mental health and addiction.

Rally Columbus
This free running and walking initiative provides inspiration to help the community get through tough times.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

COVID CareLine
Call this toll-free and confidential emotional support helpline at 1-800-720-9616 or text the keyword "4hope" to 741741 between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. for assistance.

Netcare Access
For adults experiencing mental health or addiction crises, call Netcare at 614-276-2273.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis Line for Youth
For Franklin County children in crisis, call the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Franklin County Psychiatric Crisis Line for Youth at 614-722-1800.

Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
OhioMHAS has provided a tip sheet for Managing Coronavirus Related Stress, including a national Disaster Distress Helpline, which you can reach by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” or "Hablanos" to 66746.

Return to Work Ohio
These resources can help you manage stress and anxiety as you prepare to return to work.

 

PERSONAL CARE

The Period Pantry
Provides a consistent source of menstrual hygiene products to those in the central Ohio region in need. The Period Pantry Project provides one week’s worth of supplies with no-contact delivery.

 

SOCIAL SERVICES
Find children’s and senior services, volunteer opportunities or other social services during the coronavirus pandemic.

CAP4Kids
Includes community resources for food, housing, utilities, finances, healthcare and more.

Franklin County Job & Family Services
Provides resources for temporary pandemic childcare, tips for child care providers, Medicaid Virtual and Telehealth resources.

HandsOn Central Ohio
HandsOn Central Ohio is now LSS 211. Call 2-1-1 or visit the link above to get connected to thousands of social service, government and community resources in Franklin County to address any problem you might be facing..

Coronavirus Pandemic Childcare
Find childcare through the the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services by using their map-based search of programs approved for pandemic childcare.

Ohio Department of Education
Resources for homeless and/or disabled students, as well as information about children’s social, emotional and behavioral health, school nutrition programs and emergency feeding.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Offers resources to help veterans protect and care for themselves and their families during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

TRANSPORTATION

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)
Shares public transportation and rideshare information, including service updates, fare changes and policies with guidelines requiring passengers to wear masks. Find COTA routes and lines to your local food pantry here.

John Glenn International Airport 
Planning a trip? See how COVID-19 is changing air travel plans, including essential and non-essential travel, and requirements for visiting the airport. Those entering Ohio after travel can find the COVID-19 Travel Advisory here.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)
Provides information regarding online services and the pilot of Get in Line, Online, a virtual queuing system to better serve Ohio drivers for BMV services such as license renewal or vehicle registration.

Smart Mobility Hub
We’ve partnered with Smart Columbus to bring a Smart Mobility Hub to our Linden Branch customers. Smart Mobility Hubs bring transportation options together at a single location to make it easier to get to jobs and services in the Linden and Easton areas.

 

UTILITY SERVICES

Public Utilities City of Columbus
Provides updates on suspension of delinquency utility turnoffs and in-person bill pay.

Free WiFi Locations
Columbus City Schools has provided a list of schools and libraries that have boosted WiFi signals that can be accessed from outside the building, as well as a directory of free WiFi hotspots around the state.

Electricity and Gas 
AEP Ohio and Columbia Gas of Ohio are continuing to look for ways to support customers facing disconnections due to financial hardship.

 

The Breathing Association 
Provides payment assistance for electricity, gas, propane, bulk fuel and furnace repair. The emergency Winter Crisis Program is accepting applications for assistance from November through March 31, 2021.

PCs for People
Provides eligible families with the opportunity to apply for reduced cost technology.

Internet Access
Internet providers are instituting changes, such as moratoriums on rate hikes, removal of data caps or overage charges and temporary holds on disconnection of service for non-payment. If you don’t have internet access at home, some companies are providing free broadband internet for households that meet certain conditions. For more information about internet pricing and access options, visit the websites for AT&T, Spectrum, T-Mobile, Wide Open West (WOW!) and Verizon.