Coronavirus Resources for Constituents & Businesses

Coronavirus Update from Senator Fred Akshar

Over the past several days, my staff and I have received over 100 questions, messages and inquiries from local residents, businesses and families regarding COVID-19.

To help answer the most frequently asked questions, we’ve put together this resource to help you find answers and information on assistance  for residents, families, small business owners and employees that you may qualify for. 

Over the next several weeks we’ll be keep updating this page with new information on local, state and federal government action and programs to deal with this crisis as it becomes available.

Until then, my staff and I will still be available should you need any assistance. Please feel free to call us at 607-773-8771 or email us at Akshar@NYSenate.Gov.

General Information Read More

Novel Coronavirus Hotline: Call 1-888-364-3065 for Information about Coronavirus

Information and live updates regarding coronavirus, please visit:

Coronavirus Testing

Drive Through Testing is available at Binghamton University starting May 1st.

If you show symptoms and want to be tested, pre-register by calling the New York State COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-364-3065 or take the online screening assessment here:


General Assistance and Community Resources Read More

For help or guidance on a variety of assistance from access to food, shelter, or health care contact the United Way First Call for Help by dialing 2-1-1.

Governor Cuomo's Phased Plan to Reopen NY Read More

Each region of the state - Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mid-Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, New York City, North Country, Long Island, Southern Tier and Western New York - must follow these guidelines as part of the re-opening plan.

  • CDC Guidelines: Based on CDC recommendations, once a region experiences a 14-day decline in the hospitalization rate they may begin a phased re-opening.
  • Industries: Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk. Phase two will open certain industries based on priority and risk level. Businesses considered "more essential" with inherent low risks of infection in the workplace and to customers will be prioritized, followed by other businesses considered "less essential" or those that present a higher risk of infection spread. Regions must not open attractions or businesses that would draw a large number of visitors from outside the local area.
  • Business Precautions: Each business and industry must have a plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business.
  • Building Health Care Capacity: To maintain the phased re-opening plan, each region must have at least 30 percent of hospital beds and ICU beds available after elective surgeries resume.
  • Testing Regimen: Regions must implement a testing regimen that prioritizes symptomatic persons and individuals who came into contact with a known COVID-positive person, and conducts frequent tests of frontline and essential workers. Regions must maintain an appropriate number of testing sites to accommodate its population and must fully advertise where and how people can get tested. The region must also use the collected data to track and trace the spread of the virus.
  • Tracing System: There must be at least 30 contact tracers for every 100,000 people. The region must also monitor the regional infection rate throughout the re-opening plan.
  • Isolation Facilities: Regions must present plans to have rooms available for people who test positive for COVID-19 and who cannot self-isolate.
  • Regional Coordination: Regions must coordinate the re-opening of schools, transportation systems, testing and tracing with other surrounding regions.
  • Re-imagining Tele-Medicine
  • Re-imagining Tele-Education
  • Regional Control Rooms: Each region must appoint an oversight institution as its control room to monitor regional indicators during the phased re-opening, including hospital capacity, rate of infection, PPE burn rate and businesses.
  • Protect and Respect Essential Workers: Regions must continue to ensure protections are in place for essential workers.


Phase One: Starting May 15th Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier are allowed to reopen 

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

Phase Two Guidelines: Starting May 29th Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier are allowed to reopen 

Phase Three: Not Open

  • Restaurants / Food Services

Phase Four: Not Open

  • Arts / Entertainment / Recreation
  • Education


For more details on the Governor's reopening order, click here

Governor Cuomo also announced the creation of the New York Forward Re-Opening Advisory Board to help guide the state's re-opening strategy. The advisory board will be chaired by Former Secretaries to the Governor Steve Cohen and Bill Mulrow and includes over 100 business, community and civic leaders from industries across the state. A list of the members of the advisory board is available here.

2020 CARES Act Rebates Frequently Asked Questions Read More

Why is Congress proposing to pay rebates to individuals?

The public health and economic consequences of COVID-19 are significant. These rebates help Americans afford what they need during this public health crisis, as many are experiencing a significant cash crunch.

When will the rebates be distributed?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will work to deliver rebates quickly in the form of advance payments. For people who filed a federal income tax return in 2018 or 2019, payment processing will be based on payment or address information already on file with the IRS. Electronic distributions will be automatic to an account the payee authorized January 1, 2018 or later.

How large are the rebates?

The amount of the rebate depends on family size. The payment is $1,200 for each adult individual ($2,400 for joint filers), and $500 per qualifying child under age 17. The advance payment of rebates is reduced by $5 for every $100 of income to the extent a taxpayer’s income exceeds $150,000 for a joint filer, $112,500 for a head of household filer, and $75,000 for anyone else (including single filers).

Do rebates need to be repaid?

No, rebates do not need to be repaid. If an individual experienced an income loss in 2020 or if they have an increase in family size, they may be able to claim an additional credit of the difference when the individual files their 2020 tax federal income tax return in 2021.

How will rebates be delivered?

It depends. Rebates will be delivered automatically—by the IRS—to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns. When available, electronic direct deposit will be used in place of mailing a physical check.

Many individuals don't need to file a tax return. Are non-filers eligible for rebates?

Yes. There is no earned income requirement to be eligible for a rebate, but non-filers may need to take additional steps to receive their rebates. The Social Security Administration will share information for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) beneficiaries with IRS to help ensure these beneficiaries receive an automatic advance payment. The IRS will conduct a public awareness campaign to reach other non-filers and provide them with information on how they can access rebates.

How will a person who has recently moved access rebates?

The IRS will determine payment delivery systems for everyone entitled to rebates.

Will the rebates affect my eligibility for federal income-targeted programs?

No, the rebate is considered a tax refund and is not counted towards eligibility for federal programs.

What identification requirements apply to receive rebates?

Taxpayers must have Social Security Numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive rebates.

For more information, please visit

Health Care Read More

What To Do if You Are Sick

Call your doctor: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Special NY State of Health enrollment period open through April 15 for uninsured individuals to ease coronavirus fears:

Broome County Health Department
225 Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905

Tioga County Health Department
1062 State Route 38 Owego, NY 13827

Chenango County Health Department
5 Court Street Norwich, NY 13815

Delaware County Health Department
99 Main St, Delhi, NY 13753

Ascension Lourdes Hospital
169 Riverside Dr Binghamton, NY 13905

UHS Wilson Medical Center
33-57 Harrison Street Johnson City, NY 13790

UHS Binghamton General Hospital
10-42 Mitchell Avenue Binghamton, NY 13903

UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital
179 N. Broad Street Norwich, NY 13815

Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital
1 Guthrie Square, Sayre, PA 18840

UHS Delaware Valley Hospital
1 Titus Pl, Walton, NY 13856

Mental Health Resources Read More

Office of Mental Health Resources

OMH Emotional Support Helpline: 1-844-863-9314 (8:00am - 10:00pm, 7 days a week)
The Emotional Support Line provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Help Line is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.  

Tips for Mental Wellness: Click here for tips on how to cope with COVID related stress and anxiety.

Mental Health Resources During an Emergency:


  • Crisis Text Line: Text GOT5 to 741741. 

    • An anonymous texting service available 24/7. Starting a conversation is easy.
  • SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
    • Provides 24/7 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
  • Domestic Violence: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233)
    • Advocates are available 24/7 to talk to anyone who is experiencing domestic violence, looking for information or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • If your life or someone else's is in imminent danger, please call 911. If you are in crisis and need immediate help, please call.


Click here for more

More OMH Community Outreach Materials

10 Tips for Essential Workers

Frontline Workers

Healthcare Workers


Dealing with Isolation

It's Okay

Mental Wellness

Feeling Overwhelmed

Feeling Overwhelmed 2

Tax Filings Read More

Federal Taxes:

The filing deadline has been moved to July 15 for all taxpayers. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

Taxpayers will get a three-month reprieve to pay any outstanding balance on federal income taxes they owe the IRS for 2019. If an individual files their taxes and discovers that they owe money, they can opt to not pay that balance until July 15.

However, if an individual submits their taxes and includes their bank account direct debit information, the IRS will collect the taxes as soon as they receive the tax return. The IRS will not automatically wait until July 15 to debit the taxpayer’s account.

State Taxes:

New York businesses that collect sales tax will not be subject to penalties or interest for late payments.

Please visit for updates.

Mortgage Relief Read More

The Governor announced the NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued a new directive to New York State mortgage servicers to provide 90-day mortgage relief to mortgage borrowers impacted by the novel coronavirus. The directive includes:

Waiving mortgage payments based on financial hardship;
No negative reporting to credit bureaus;
Grace period for loan modification;
No late payment fees or online payment fees; and
Postponing or suspending foreclosures.

Additionally, the Governor has asked DFS to instruct state chartered banks to waive ATM fees, late fees, overdraft fees and fees for credits cards to help lessen the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic on New Yorkers.

Small Businesses and Employees Read More

Governor Cuomo has ordered all employers limit their staff capacity, requiring 100% of non-essential employees to work from home.

Businesses within essential service industries are exempt from these reductions, including: shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions, and other industries critical to the supply chain.

For more clarification on the Governor's directive on essential vs. non-essential businesses, please click here

Businesses unsure if they are included within in exempt categories but still believe they are providing essential services or functions can request a waiver from these reductions by completing this form.

Further business related questions can be forwarded to Empire State Development by clicking here.

ESD's Frequently Asked Questions link will also be updated as new information comes in:

Guidance on Governor's Executive Order Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public 

  • Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee. Businesses are deemed essential by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD), pursuant to the authority provided in Executive Order 202.6. Please visit the ESD website for specific information on essential businesses. For the purpose of this guidance, essential businesses shall also provide face coverings to contractors, including independent contractors.
  • Face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, N-95 respirators, and face shields. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” website for information on cloth face covers and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning.
  • Direct interaction with the public shall be determined by the employer, but, at a minimum, shall include any employee who is routinely within close contact (i.e. six feet or less) with members of the public, including but not limited to customers or clients.
  • Employees are allowed to use their own face coverings, but shall not be mandated to do so by their employer. Further, this guidance shall not prevent employees from wearing more protective coverings (e.g. surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields) if the individual is already in possession of such PPE, or if the employer otherwise requires employees to wear more protective PPE due to the nature of their work (e.g. healthcare).
  • Employees are required to wear face coverings when in direct contact with members of the public, except where doing so would inhibit or otherwise impair the employee’s health. Employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring medical or other documentation from an employee who declines to wear a face covering due to a medical or other health condition that prevents such usage.
  • Employees who are unable to wear face coverings and are susceptible to COVID-19 based on the “Matilda’s Law” criteria (i.e. individuals who are 70 years of age or older, individuals with compromised immune systems, and individuals with underlying illnesses) should consult with their employer to consider reasonable accommodations, including but not limited to different PPE, alternate work location, or alternate work assignment with fewer interactions with the public. Employers should work with their employees to see if they can be accommodated to ensure the employee can continue to deliver essential services in the safest manner possible.
  • If an employer is unable to procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings for their employees, they may consult with their local office of emergency management to determine if extra supplies exist within the municipality for this purpose and, if so, they may submit a request for face coverings. Please note that quantites are extremely limited and are prioritized for health care workers and first responders. Not being able to source face coverings does not relieve an employer’s obligation to provide such face coverings to their employees.  
  • Nothing in this guidance shall supercede the respiratory protection equipment requirements set forth by the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for Small Business

The CARES Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please click here:

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Assistance

 The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering two loan programs as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to small businesses throughout New York State. 

  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program - The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is part of the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion federal stimulus package passed on March 27. The PPP provides loans of up to $10 million to support small businesses and other eligible entities to pay workers, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, insurance, paid sick or medical leave, utilities, and payroll related costs incurred from Feb. 15, 2020 – June 30, 2020. To read more about the PPP, click here
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program - The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program provides small businesses and non-profits with low-interest loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing due COVID-19. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at


Businesses can take advantage of free assistance offered by SBA’s network of Resource Partners for help with preparing their loan applications. Please visit to find local help.

The NYS Small Business Development Center network recommends submitting a request for assistance online at

Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

New federal and state emergency sick and family leave laws offer specific protections for people diagnosed with, have symptoms of, or quarantined for COVID-19, people caring for those with COVID-19, or people caring for children whose schools have closed due to COVID-19.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes effect on April 2, 2020, and the state law is currently in effect. 

Am I entitled to any paid medical leave if I have COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19? Employees who are diagnosed with or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $5,110 total, if they are working for employers of 499 employees or less, with limited exceptions, under federal law. 

Am I entitled to any paid medical leave if I am under a mandatory or precautionary quarantine order? Both federal and state law provide protections for those under quarantine or isolation.  The state paid leave provisions only apply if they are more protective than the federal leave provisions.  The state law protections do not apply to those who are not sick and able to work remotely but under quarantine or self-isolation at home.  Whether state or federal protections govern depends on employer size. 

This means that in general:

For employers with 100 or more employees: Employees are entitled to 14 days of paid sick leave at full pay under state law.

For employers with between 50 and 99 employees: Employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $5,110 total, under federal law. 

For employers with between 11 and 49 employees or with 10 or fewer employees with net income over $1 million: Under federal law, employers with fewer than 50 employees are obligated to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $ 5,110 total, with limited exceptions.  

If the employer is not able to provide leave under federal law, employees are still entitled to take sick leave for the duration of their quarantine, with at least five days of sick leave at full pay, under state law.  Employees may apply for state paid family leave and temporary disability benefits to cover the rest of the quarantine period.  For state family leave benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $840.70.  For emergency temporary disability benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $2,043.92. 

For employers with 10 or fewer employees with net income under $1 million: Under federal law, employers with fewer than 50 employees are obligated to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at full pay, with a maximum of $ 5,110 total, with limited exceptions.  If the employer is not able to provide leave under federal law, employees are still entitled to take unpaid sick leave for the duration of their quarantine under state law.  Employees may apply for state paid family leave and temporary disability benefits to cover the quarantine period.  For state family leave benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $840.70.  For emergency temporary disability benefits, the maximum weekly allowance is $2,043.92.  For more information on state paid family leave, please call the PFL Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit:

Am I entitled to any paid leave if someone in my family has COVID-19 or has been quarantined? Employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of emergency paid family leave, with a maximum of $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, with limited exceptions, under federal law. Employees are also entitled to use state paid family leave to care for sick family members or for children under mandatory quarantine.  For state family leave benefits, employees will be compensated at 60% of their average weekly earnings for 10 weeks with a maximum weekly allowance of $840.70 per week.  For more information on state paid family leave, please call the PFL Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit:

Am I entitled to any paid leave if my children’s school is closed due to COVID-19? Employees are entitled to use federal emergency sick leave and emergency family medical leave to care for children whose schools have closed due to COVID-19 outbreaks if they work for employers with between 50 and 499 employees.  Employers with fewer than 50 employees may be exempt from providing family leave if it jeopardizes their business viability.  For federal paid sick leave benefits, the maximum is $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate.  For federal family leave benefits, employees will be compensated at a maximum of $2,000 total for the first two weeks and at 67% of their regular rate for the following ten weeks, with a maximum of $10,000 total.  

Am I entitled to any emergency paid leave for COVID-19 if I am an independent contractor? Under federal law, individuals who are self-employed are entitled to receive tax credits for the equivalent of 10 days of paid sick leave at the lesser of 100% of their average daily rate or $511 per day.  Individuals are also entitled to receive tax credits for the equivalent of 10 days of paid sick leave at the lesser of 67% of their average daily rate or $200 to care for family members or to care for children whose schools have been closed due to COVID-19.  Individuals may receive an additional 50 days of paid family leave at the lesser of 67% of their average daily rate or $200 per day to care for children whose schools have closed due to COVID-19.

For more information on state paid family leave, please call the PFL Helpline at (844) 337-6303 or visit:


Relief to Workers under New York State Law




State relief for workers full size version.

Relief to Workers under Federal Law

Federal relief to workers full size version. 





Binghamton University Small Business Development Center (SBDC)


SBDC has assisted 100+ small businesses regarding COVID 19, providing assistance on the CARES Act, NYS/Federal Unemployment, Cash Flow and more.

SBDC has transitioned to offer their 1:1 business advisory services virtually through Zoom sessions, or by phone. Use the following link to schedule an appointment with one of their advisors:

To help existing small businesses handle economic loss associated with reduced sales resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), financial assistance programs are expected to be released soon from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program offers loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

Binghamton Local Development Corporation (BLDC) No-Interest Loans for Businesses

The City of Binghamton has established a $350,000 fund to provide up to $15,000 in zero-interest, 12-month deferred repayment loans to local businesses with fewer than 50 employees. To qualify, businesses must demonstrate a reduction in workforce, customer access, production or other operations due to coronavirus.

Small businesses can find the BLDC loan applications on the City’s website at

Completed applications can also be submitted via email to or by mail at the Binghamton Local Development Corporation c/o Department of Economic Development, 38 Hawley St., Binghamton, NY 13901.

Applicants can also call (607) 772-7161 and leave a message to schedule an appointment to submit an application

Unemployment Information Read More

Important Information for Unemployment Insurance Claimants from the New York State Department of Labor:

The federal government enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which includes extended unemployment benefits. New York has not qualified for these extended benefits at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation and leverage all federal resources to help New Yorkers survive the economic hardships associated with the novel coronavirus. If New York State DOES qualify for the extended benefits, New Yorkers do NOT need to do anything new. DOL will post additional information here as it becomes available.

More information on the CARES Act for workers is avaiable here

NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G - N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

Here is a step by step process to file a claim online.

DOL is extending telephone filing hours as follows:

Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM
Friday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Saturdays, 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM

Frequently Asked Questions on Unemployment Claims

Find the latest Frequently Asked Questions on Unemployment Insurance here: 

Q: I filed a claim, what next?

A: For each week you wish to receive benefits, you must request payment by claiming benefits for that week. Go to How do I claim? for details. Before we can pay any benefits, you must serve an unpaid waiting period. This equals one full week of unemployment benefits. You must claim credit for your unpaid waiting week during the period that:

  • Begins on the first Sunday after you file your claim and
  • Ends the next Saturday


The waiting period  is waived now for COVID-19

Each week that you are unemployed, you must request payment if you want to receive unemployment benefits. You certify that weekly claim on Sunday, for the week ending that day.

Q: How do I claim my weekly benefits?

A: See the Guide for Claiming Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefits Fact Sheet

You may claim your weekly unemployment benefits:


Both systems are available in English and Spanish.If you use TTY/TDD equipment, call a relay operator first at 800-662-1220, and ask the operator to call the Telephone Claims Center at 888-783-1370.If you are claiming weekly benefits on-line, you may do so:

Beginning Sunday, 3/29 - all day
Monday through Friday 7:30 am to midnight
Saturday - all day

An unemployment week runs Monday through Sunday. If you wish to claim benefits for a week of unemployment, you have from the Sunday date at the end of that week through the next Saturday to do so.

The first week of your claim is a waiting period and is not paid. However, you must claim benefits for that week and get credit, so that you may claim benefits for future weeks of unemployment.

When you claim weekly benefits, you must answer questions to certify how many days you were ready, willing and able to work during the past week. The certification system only handles certification for one week at a time.

You cannot claim for a given week more than a week later either online or using Tel-Service. The system will not accept certifications for any back weeks or other periods of time. If you miss claiming benefits for a week during which you were unemployed, you can request credit for this week by secure message, fax or regular mail. Do not call the Telephone Claims Center to request back credit for a week.

​To submit a request by secure message, sign in to your account at and click on the envelope icon at the upper-right corner of the My online Services page.

To fax your request, send to (518) 457-9378. By mail send to:
New York State Department of Labor
PO Box 15130
Albany, NY 12212-5130

Be sure to include the beginning and ending dates of the time period for which you did not claim benefits and the reason you did not claim benefits promptly in your request. Also, include the last four digits of your Social Security number on the upper right corner.

NYS Department of Labor will review your request and decide if you are eligible to receive benefits for that time period. This review can take two to three weeks, unless we need more information. In that case, it may take longer. During this time, be sure to continue claiming benefits for all weeks you are unemployed and eligible for benefits. If we write or call you to request more information, please respond promptly so the review is not delayed.

When you use the phone or online systems to claim your weekly benefits, you must certify for yourself. Having someone else claim your weekly benefits for you is a serious offense. It can lead to severe penalties, including criminal prosecution and jail time.

Parents and Children Read More

Free Meal Pick-Up for Children

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier and Broome-Tioga BOCES are providing free meals to children in need at over 40 locations throughout our community.

Any child 18-years-old or younger can pick up two meals per day, breakfast and lunch. These meals can be picked up in person, or through a drive-by system, however there is no option for sitting down to eat.

If your family can't pick-up food or has a child with special dietary needs, please call the Rock on Café Food Services Program at (607)-763-3403.

Click below to  view the latest meal pickup times and locations,:

Broome County

Tioga County


Free Childcare for Broome County Employees and Healthcare Workers

Broome County employees and healthcare workers now have access to free childcare for children grades K-5 at Broome Western Senior Center from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information please contact the Broome County Office for Aging at (607) 778-2411.

Volunteer Information Read More

New York State is calling on health care professionals, schools of public health or medicine and PPE products providers and manufacturers to come forward to support the state’s response. 

For more information on how you can help, click here.

New York is seeking the following:

  • Health, Mental Health, and Related Professionals - Qualified health, mental health, and related professionals who are interested in supporting the state’s response please click here
  • School of Public Health, School of Medicine, or School of Nursing Administrators - Qualified individuals who are interested in supporting the state’s response please click here. 
  • Gloves, Masks and Gowns - There is shortage of personal protective equipment — or PPE — products in the state, including gloves, masks and gowns, New York is asking all PPE product providers to sell to the state any products that are not essential or not currently being used. Businesses interested in selling products to the state should contact Simonida Subotic at 646-522-8477 or email
  • Help New York State by Manufacturing Products – New York is encouraging any company with the proper equipment or personnel to begin to manufacturing personal protective equipment products. The state is willing to provide funding to any company to obtain the proper equipment and personnel. Businesses interested in receiving funding to manufacture products should contact Eric Gertler at 212-803-3100 or email
  • Donations of Goods, Services, and Space - In times of need, New Yorkers are there to help. We are accepting donations of essential goods, services, and spaces to support New York’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. For more information click here


United Way of Broome County is helping organize volunteers and coordinate volunteer opportunities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the most timely and safe manner possible.

If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities that may arise in the near future, please call 211 or fill out the form below and United Way will connect you to those most in need.

Many businesses and organizations have expressed a desire to support New York State as it responds to the virus outbreak. Individuals or groups looking to volunteer or contribute to the State’s effort should contact the Governor’s Office at

Agriculture/Farmers Read More

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. For a summary of provisions, please click here.

Farms Exempt from Non-Essential Construction Ban

The Governor’s Executive Order 202.6 continues to exempt food processing (including but not limited those supplying goods and services to this industry such as agricultural operations, agribusinesses, etc.) from all restrictions imposed by emergency executive orders issued as a result of this emergency. This includes construction of new farm buildings as long as they are used for any type of food production.

COVID-19 and Your Produce Farm Webinar

Cornell CALS Ag. Workforce Development Specialist, Dr. Richard Stup, and Elizabeth Bihn, PhD, Director of Produce Safety Alliance at Cornell, will host an April 3 webinar and provide steps that produce farm managers and individuals working with fruit and vegetable farms should consider to protect their workforce, their business, and their markets.

Link to join COVID-19 and Your Produce Farm webinar:

For additional prevention and control tips for produce farms from Cornell, click here

Nonprofit Organizations Read More

For a summary of provisions impacting nonprofit organizations in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) please click here.