Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.
Additional resources for citizens and DHS providers related to COVID-19 is available here.
The CDC updates their Child Care Guidelines frequently so please continue to check this site for the most up-to-date information.
PA Launches Emergency Rental Assistance Program
Governor Tom Wolf today announced the launch of a program that will deliver rapid relief to millions of Pennsylvanians at risk of eviction or loss of utility service. With federal funds allocated through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, the Wolf Administration built the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) in partnership with the General Assembly through Act 1 of 2021 to distribute about $569 million to Pennsylvania households through partnerships with local leaders. An additional $278 million in rental assistance was directly allocated to Pennsylvania’s largest counties by the federal government.
Pennsylvanians can submit applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program online at www.compass.state.pa.us. Forty-seven counties have opted to collect applications from county residents through the COMPASS website provided by the Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS will route applications submitted through COMPASS directly to counties for processing. Applicants can also download and print an application or obtain an application from their county ERAP office.
Twenty counties have opted to accept applications from county residents through their own application process. However, residents of all counties can visit COMPASS for information on how to apply for ERAP, including residents of counties that have developed their own process. If a person tries to apply through COMPASS but indicates that they reside in one of the 20 counties with its own application, they will be provided with information about how to apply, including a link to the county application if available.
Households may be eligible for up to 12 months of assistance to cover past-due or future rental and/or utility payments. The amount of a household’s monthly rent or utility bills does not preclude eligibility, but the amount of ERAP assistance provided to a household is determined by program administrators at the county level.
Assistance can be provided to a tenant for future rental payments, and for unpaid rental or utility arrears that were accrued on or after March 13, 2020 on a residential rental property. Counties may choose to provide additional assistance to eligible households if funds remain available.
Residential tenants can apply for themselves, or a landlord/utility provider can apply on behalf of a current tenant. Additionally, landlords do not have to agree to participate in the program for tenants to receive assistance.
To qualify for assistance, a household must be responsible to pay rent on a residential property and meet each of the following criteria:
One or more people within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits, had a decrease in income, had increased household costs, or experienced other financial hardship due directly or indirectly to the COVID-19 pandemic; AND
One or more individuals in the household can show a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; AND
The household has an income at or below 80 percent of area median income, which varies by county. Income limits by county are available on the DHS website. Resources (like bank accounts and cars) are not relevant to ERAP eligibility.
Applicants will need to provide the following information:
Head of household’s personal information;
Income information for all household members 18 and older;
Rental lease and amount owed;
Landlord’s name and contact information.
If applying for utility assistance, applicants must provide utility expenses and utility provider information.
Applicants should be prepared to provide documents that substantiate information provided, such as:
However, if applicants do not have documents, county ERAP offices will work with applicants to obtain documents or written attestations.
The program will end when all funds have been expended, which DHS expects to happen by September 2021. Per Act 1 of 2021, all funds must be spent by December 31, 2021.
More information about ERAP can be found at www.dhs.pa.gov.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) has launched a statewide Support & Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate staff who will be available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs.
DHS has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR) to supply a
Toll-free, round-the-clock support line.
The number to call is 1-855-284-2494.
For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.
CCR will collaborate with individuals, families, police, emergency medical teams, hospitals, schools, and human service providers on the local level to provide quality care to their community
Many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio:
Crisis Text Line:
Text “PA” to 741-741
Veteran Crisis Line:
Disaster Distress Helpline:
Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders):
Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline:
National Domestic Violence Helpline:
Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19 could save a life and help stop the spread of illness.
If you are displaying severe symptoms, call your health care provider. For all the latest information, go to the link below.