Several working groups and task forces, made up of City personnel, social service agencies and members of the faith-based and business sectors, have been established to help address the varied needs of our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Caring for the public in time of crisis requires partnership and collaboration to ensure the necessary resources and assistance is delivered to those in need, especially those in our most vulnerable populations. Working groups include:
We understand that these are unprecedented times in all of our lives, which can lead to stress and pressure at home. Below are some important resources for when you need someone to talk to:
On December 31, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 257 of the Acts of 2020, which makes important changes to summary process rules and procedures that will be in effect until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Please take note of the following new requirements:
The City of Worcester has contracted with five local housing agencies to administer $1.9 million in rental assistance to the residents of Worcester. These agencies include:
Please contact these agencies directly through phone numbers or emails. Most agencies are working remotely and cannot accept walk-ins.
On October 12, 2020, Governor Baker announced that $100 million in RAFT funding is being made available for tenants struggling to pay rent. Locally, two agencies administer these funds - Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance (CMHA) and RCAP Solutions, Inc. Additional information about RAFT and other program and how to apply for funding can be found on their websites:
To file a new Unemployment Insurance claim or reopen an established claim online:
More information can be found on the How to File a Claim for Unemployment Pamphlet.
UI Online is available 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., 7 days a week. The call center phone line is 877-626-6800.
Employers in Central Massachusetts Need You: Apply Today! If you’re in good health and not considered high risk* for COVID-19, please make a difference by filling any of these critical jobs. In some cases, you can apply today and start tomorrow!
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides payment to workers not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
As essential businesses, utility companies will continue to provide services during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, including emergency response and customer-requested service. Customers are encouraged to manage accounts online. Call-in service is still available but wait times may be longer. Those who are struggling to pay their bill should contact their utility company as soon as possible for assistance.
FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program provides financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020. To submit an application, please call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 any time between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.