AUGUST 12, 2020
Initiative connects Angelenos impacted by COVID-19 to economic relief
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched L.A. Connected, an effort to help Angelenos hardest-hit by COVID-19 access vital financial relief. The City’s effort will connect struggling families with critical sources of economic security in the face of the ongoing pandemic, including Economic Impact Payments, unemployment insurance, income tax credits, and banking resources.
“COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to Angelenos’ economic security, and L.A. Connected will be the bridge between tens of thousands of households and their ability to make rent, pay the bills, put food on the table, and stay afloat,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Our job as a City is to save lives and safeguard livelihoods — and today’s effort will help us build a sturdy foundation of justice, equity, and stability for our neighbors struggling to get by.”
L.A. Connected aims to educate Angelenos about the financial aid available to them from the state and federal governments — and empower them to access it. A network of service providers through the City’s WorkSource and FamilySource Centers will help residents apply for unemployment insurance, file their taxes, apply for as much as $8,000 in tax credits, and access federal stimulus checks, known as Economic Impact Payments, which total up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.
Recognizing that many Angelenos are unaware of these resources, L.A. Connected will lead a robust campaign to reach distressed communities through promotional materials, local nonprofit partners, and a hub of information at LAconnected.la. All in-person assistance will follow COVID-19 safety precautions.
“Equitable recovery from the COVID-19 crisis begins with ensuring that all Angelenos receive the Economic Impact Payments they are entitled to,” said Brenda Shockley, Deputy Mayor for Economic Opportunity and Chief Equity Officer. “This moment of unprecedented health risks and unmatched economic insecurity requires the City’s infrastructure of social service systems to serve a vital role in addressing the continuing needs of Angelenos. WorkSource and FamilySource Centers are central to the foundation of our City’s social safety net. We want and urge everyone to get connected.”
“The first step in getting through this crisis is education — making sure everyone knows what rights they have and what resources are available to them,” said Capri Maddox, Executive Director the Civil and Human Rights Department, and Chief of COVID Response Equity. “L.A. Connected will help bridge that gap for so many Angelenos.”
L.A. Connected is focused on the following critical elements of the social safety net available to Angelenos right now:
Unemployment Insurance (UI)
Anyone who’s been laid off, furloughed, or had their hours reduced, including self-employed and gig workers, may be eligible to receive state and federal UI benefits from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD). Angelenos should apply as soon as they are out of work at unemployment.edd.ca.gov.
To support this effort, L.A. Connected will provide free online sessions to learn more about how to access UI benefits and jobs available, as well as phone and in-person support at one the City’s WorkSource Centers. Angelenos can find and call the center closest to them by visiting EWDD’s website or calling 311.
Economic Impact Payments
The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, directs nearly $300 billion in assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals. Yet many Americans already struggling before the pandemic remain at risk of not receiving this critical financial lifeline, or don’t have a bank account where they can easily and automatically receive their checks. Locally, that leaves folks with a history of homelessness, foster and disconnected youth, the formerly incarcerated, and persons with disabilities at-risk.
L.A. Connected will support the more than 100,000 Angelenos who make less than $12,200 a year and the tens of thousands who did not file taxes through:
Online or in-person support to complete the Economic Impact Payment form submission
Scheduled online or in-person appointments to provide more detailed technical assistance and technology support at one of the City’s WorkSource and FamilySource Centers.
Free Tax Prep L.A.
Every year, through Free Tax Prep L.A., the City’s 16 FamilySource Centers and other Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites connect experts and IRS-certified volunteers to individuals and households making under $55,000 a year — to help them file for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the CalEITC. All together, families may be eligible to receive up to $8,000 cash back this year, but only if they claim these vital tax benefits. Whether or not someone has filed an extension, support for filing will continue to be available.
To deliver these services, the City’s Housing + Community Investment Department collaborates with the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, Citi Community Development, Koreatown Youth + Community Center, CalEITC4Me, Golden State Opportunity, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and CSU5.