COVID-19 Emergency Stabilization Fund FAQ

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Newest Update May 29, 2020 

Thank you for applying to the CPA COVID-19 Emergency Stabilization Fund! Here is an update on where we’re at in processing your application.

Since we received over 4,500 applications as of May 1, 2020, we apologize for the delay in reviewing your application. Beginning May 15, a panel of staff and volunteers is conducting due diligence review on applications on a first come first serve basis or until all funds have been awarded. Applications will undergo two phases of review: 1. A panel scoring of written application, and 2. A phone screening. 

Our process is as follow:

  1. In the first round, a panel of CPA staff and community members is reviewing and scoring your application according to the information provided to understand your financial needs.
  2. Applications demonstrated highest needs will receive a phone screening to further understand your current financial and living situation. 
  3. Of the applications reviewed in the second round, a select number will be approved to receive cash assistance. 
  4. If approved for assistance, you will receive a check from CPA via mail. This is a change from what was originally communicated on the application form. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. The reason for this change is to ensure we prioritize the health and safety of you and our staff.

To date we have reviewed 350 applications. Due to limited capacity and funds, we are reviewing applications on a first come first serve basis until available funds run out. While we understand that the fund cannot meet the number of needs the community is facing, we will not be able to review all submitted applications. 

We will be distributing funds in two phases. We estimate the first group of applicants who are approved for cash assistance will receive a check in the mail estimated around June 20th. 

General Information 

1. Who is eligible?  The fund is organized to support most vulnerable members of our community living and working in San Francisco or the greater Bay Area, many of whom are low-wage workers, SRO tenants, elders, and young people from low-income families. CPA will prioritize folks who are: Working class or low-income immigrants and families, individuals and families financially impacted by COVID-19, elders (50+), youth and young adults from low-income families.

2. Do I have to be a CPA member to apply?

No, you do not have to be an active or former CPA member to apply. 

3. How does the fund work?
The funds provide direct cash assistance to community members economically impacted by COVID-19 to stabilize their livelihoods. Funds will primarily be distributed in cash and electronic payment. If applicants require another payment method (check, prepaid gift cards, etc.) we can explore that and make accommodations.

4. Is this Emergency Stabilization Fund real?

Yes, CPA (23-7404756) is a duly registered public charity, exempt from Federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This fund is supported by the generosity of individual donors who receive no benefits in return for their donation. The fund is established and managed according to IRS guidelines on Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Businesses through a charitable organization.


Information on Application Process 

5. What is the application process? 

The APPLICATION IS NOW CLOSED. Due to the higher number of requests than anticipated and limited funds, we have closed the application to begin reviewing the nearly 4,500 applications we have received.

6. How can I confirm whether CPA has received my application?

After completing the application, you should have received an automatic email of your response. This is also a confirmation that your application has been received in our system.

7. What if I need assistance applying?

CPA staff are able to provide in-language support in completing the online request form. 

8. What happens after I submit a request?

Once a request form has been submitted, it undergoes a review process by a staff and community panel to verify applicant’s needs and other due diligence. CPA staff may follow-up for additional information. 

9. How much can I apply for?

Community members seeking financial assistance can submit a request for up to $500 per individual. Given the urgency and critical needs of the current situation, we expect high volume of requests for limited funds. Therefore, we encourage individuals to submit one request on behalf of their household

10. Can I apply on behalf of my parents?

Yes, youth/young adults can apply on behalf of their parents.

11. Can I apply if I’m not 18?

Yes, youth and young adults from low-income families are encouraged to apply.

12. Can I submit the request in Chinese?

Yes, folks can submit the form in Chinese.


Post-application Information 

13. What can the funds be used for? 

The fund assists community members and their families acquire resources and pay for essentials necessary for their physical and economic well-being, including but not limited to: rent, utilities, groceries, personal protective equipment, and medical-related expenses.

14. How long will I have to wait to know if I got approved?

The fund is distributed on a first come, first serve basis. We will process the first round of requests after May 15th, so folks should expect to receive an initial update by May 22nd. You may receive an email or text message from CPA with an update that your application is under review.

15. Who or where can I contact for updates?

Due to the high number of applications, CPA staff will only follow-up with individual applicants as necessary. Only applicants who have been approved to receive financial assistance will receive a phone call from a CPA staff. 

16. How will I get paid?

CPA will send you a check through USPS mail. 


Other Information

17. Do I have to report this on my taxes?

No, financial assistance received for charitable purposes during a natural disaster does not need to be reported to the IRS.

18. Will receiving financial assistance make me a public charge?

No, financial assistance provided through CPA is supported through generous donations from individuals, and not any government grants or programs. 

19. Will receiving financial assistance impact my eligibility for other social benefits (Medi-Cal, SSI, Unemployment Insurance)?

No, a one time financial assistance received for charitable purposes during a natural disaster does not need to be reported to the IRS; therefore, it will not impact your income and your eligibility for government benefits.

20. Are there other funds I can apply to? 

California Restaurant Association Foundation (for food service workers)

UndocuFundSF: Support for undocumented families in San Francisco 

National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus Care Fund (for domestic worker members only)