The deadline to apply for help through the Talbot CARES Individual Assistance Program is fast approaching. If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills because of COVID-19, act now to take advantage of this program.

“I’m worried that people are hesitant to apply,” says Webb. “If you are falling behind financially, apply! Don’t wait for an eviction, foreclosure, or utility cut-off notice.”

The individual assistance program offers emergency financial assistance for Talbot County residents whose income has been reduced because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. It can help with rent, mortgage or other housing costs, utilities, car payments and other emergency needs. Eligible applicants must live in Talbot County.

A total of 336 applications have been processed with more than $260,000 distributed through the program as of November 3, according to Linda C. Webb, director of Talbot County Department of Social Services.

Payments are made directly to the landlord, mortgage company, utility company or other vendor. All income levels can qualify. Families can also receive assistance with licensed childcare needed so children can attend school virtually. There is no need to demonstrate a reduction in income to qualify for the child care assistance.

“If child care is needed because schools are not open, we are treating that as an additional expense related to COVID-19,” explains Webb.

Webb and her team have distributed information through the schools and faith community, Chesapeake College, utility companies, news media, and a variety of places. In October, post cards were mailed to 8,300 people. But they still have funds to give away.

Webb believes part of the issue may be the moratorium placed on evictions and utility cut-off for several months. People may be facing eviction before the end of the year and should apply now for help.

The deadline for applications to the CARES Individual Assistance Program is December 15. All funds must be distributed by the end of December.

Non- or limited-English speaking individuals or immigrant families in need of application support can contact the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center at 1-877-77-AYUDA  (1-877-772-9832) for that assistance.