Mental Health & Social Services Resources
For the most comprehensive information, including NJ’s phased reopening plans, please see the New Jersey COVID-19 Information Hub and look for updates on the Union City Public Library’s Facebook page.
Union City and Weehawken residents are eligible for testing for active infection and/or antibodies, Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the walk-up site at 516 36th St (between Bergenline Avenue and Kennedy Blvd.) For Monday and Friday appointments, please call 201-537-5704, and for Tuesday and Thursday appointments, please call 201-366-8465. You will not be able to get tested without an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
FOOD AND CASH ASSISTANCE
SNAP (food stamps)
If you need food assistance, you may be eligible for NJ SNAP. To learn more go to NJSNAP.gov or to apply go to NJHELPS.org. New Jersey WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is allowing remote access to benefits and additional food items. Additionally, SNAP recipients can use their benefits for online grocery shopping, including but not limited to Walmart and Amazon. Learn more here.
The New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children is commonly known as WIC. WIC is a successful public health nutrition program that provides wholesome food, nutrition education and community support for income eligible women who are pregnant and post-partum, infants and children up to five years old.
Pandemic EBT (P-EBT)
Families with children who had received free or reduced-price meals at school during the school year , and are attending schools with a remote learning schedule of at least 5 consecutive days, are eligible to receive P-EBT funds of $99.62 per eligible child for the month of September. (This benefit is not available for students whose schools are conducting classes in person or a hybrid of in-person and remote.) P-EBT benefits are now available to most families with an existing SNAP Families First EBT card. For non-SNAP recipients and certain SNAP recipients, P-EBT cards will be mailed in October. At this time, this is the only P-EBT benefit that is being issued for the 2020-2021 school year. Any benefits past September 30, 2020, are pending federal approval. Please keep the P-EBT card you receive in October in the event that additional benefits are approved.
2021 Health Insurance Marketplace
Open enrollment for NJ residents in the 2021 Health Insurance Marketplace (under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare) runs from Nov. 1, 2020, to Jan. 31, 2021. If you have a Marketplace plan now, you will enroll in 2021 coverage with GetCoveredNJ instead of HealthCare.gov. Learn about your new GetCoveredNJ account and your 2021 enrollment choices. If you lost employer coverage or income, you may be able to enroll in Marketplace coverage now through a Special Enrollment Period. Free or low-cost coverage is also available through NJ FamilyCare for those who qualify.
Medicaid will cover the full cost of COVID-19 testing for the uninsured, as directed by the CARES Act. And in most cases, commercial insurance will cover these costs with no co-payments or co-insurance.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a test to see if you have COVID-19. Medicare Advantage Plans can’t charge copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance for clinical lab tests to detect or diagnose COVID-19. Medicare also covers COVID-19 antibody tests.
If you need health insurance, you or your family may be eligible for free or low-cost coverage from NJ FamilyCare. For more information on health insurance options, and to see if you qualify for financial help to lower the cost of a plan, visit Get Covered New Jersey.
Prescription Drug Refills
Medicaid and other health insurance must provide coverage of prescription drug refills even when the covered person has not yet reached the scheduled refill date. Learn more here.
Telehealth and Telemedicine
NJ legislation signed on March 19, 2020, expands access to telehealth services in response to COVID-19, and allows professional and occupational licensing boards to expedite licensure of out-of-state professionals during the state of emergency and public health emergency. Telehealth allows you to access care for many conditions without leaving your home and risking COVID-19 exposure. It also protects health care workers by reducing their exposure. Telehealth visits with various types of providers are now covered by most insurance plans.
COVID-19 and Health Insurance FAQs
Provided by the NJ Department of Banking and Insurance.
NJ Housing Assistance
The office administers housing assistance programs such as the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP), the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Program (Section 8) and the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP).
During the public health emergency, individuals cannot be removed as the result of an eviction or foreclosure proceeding. If you are a renter facing hardship, you may be eligible for housing assistance or for housing counseling.
If you are facing economic hardship as a result of COVID-19, you may be able to request mortgage payment forbearance for up to 90 days. Also see advice from specific lenders here.
New Jersey residents experiencing homelessness can get help with food, shelter, and finances.
If you need legal assistance or advice, there are many services available for free to low-income New Jerseyans on a range of issues including debt, domestic violence, eviction, applying for public benefits, immigration, and more. The legal services organization for Hudson County is Northeast New Jersey Legal Services (201-792-6363, NNJLS@lsnj.org). Learn more.
MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
Help is available for individuals feeling stressed, anxious, depressed, or suicidal. Call 1-866-202-HELP (4357). Those who may be having suicidal thoughts should call 1-855-NJ-HOPELINE (855-654-6735). Learn more here.
New Jersey Suicide Prevention Resource Center
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) is the only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the implementation of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. They provide consultation, training, and resources to enhance suicide prevention efforts.
Substance Use/Addiction Treatment
Help is available for individuals seeking assistance for substance use disorders. Call 1-844-ReachNJ (844-732-2465). Those who may be having suicidal thoughts should call 1-855-NJ-HOPELINE (855-654-6735).
New Jersey Mental Health Cares
The Mental Health Association in New Jersey’s NJMentalHealthCares Helpline offers free, anonymous online mental health screenings in cooperation with Mental Health America. Self-assessments are available for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD and bipolar disorder, as well as screens for youth and parents.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders, and their families.
Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline
Provides a statewide 24-hour, seven-day-a-week domestic violence hotline (1-800-572-7233) to serve domestic violence victims and others seeking information about domestic violence. The Hotline provides bilingual service and is accessible to the hearing impaired.
A site with various resources on dealing with bereavement and grief. They also have a search engine where you can find a support group to join. They also have daily emails, how to build a support team, a bookstore and how to start a group.
All water, gas, and electricity utility providers in New Jersey have voluntarily agreed to suspend shut-offs until at least March 15, 2021. Additionally, no cable or telecommunications provider that provides residential internet and voice services to New Jersey residents shall terminate these services due to nonpayment before November 15, 2020. For households with school-age children who need internet connectivity for remote-learning, internet shutoffs will not be permitted through March 15, 2021. The State of NJ COVID-19 Information Hub has further information about assistance programs and payment plans.