What is Polk County CARES?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a law meant to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Polk County CARES Program was created to assist households that have experienced a verifiable loss of income due to the impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), by providing rent, mortgage and/or public utilities payments to prevent eviction and homelessness as a result of the pandemic crisis.

Do I qualify?

You must be a resident of Polk County. Individuals and/or households may apply for financial assistance. Individuals who have lost their job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for $2,000 in assistance (one per household). Below is the criteria:

You must be a resident of Polk County

Must be at least 70 years old, OR disabled 18+ y/o and receiving social security disability benefits

Attest to reduced income or increased expenses

Have not received previous Polk CARES Individual assistance

ONE person per household (Except for dual bed apartment units)

What do I need to apply?

There are a number of items needed to verify your eligibility for the Polk County CARES Program (we reserve the right to request additional supporting documentation if case is questionable), including:

Government issued ID that includes birthdate (Florida ID or Driver's License, passport, etc.)

Social Security Number

Copy of SSA disability statement issued within the past 12 months (if applicable)

Copy of Veteran Abatement Tax Letter showing disabled (if applicable)

Need help?

Not sure exactly what you're looking for or just want clarification? We'd be happy to chat and clear things up for you.

Call center

(863) 298-7500

Call center hours

Mon-Fri: 9am - 12pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Quesions related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Polk County can only provide CARES assistance to its residents.

The maximum per-household award for the CARES program is $2,000, for rent/mortgage and/or public utilities.

Utility services eligible for assistance are electricity, water, wastewater (sewer), solid waste, and natural gas. Telephone service, including landline and cell phone, and internet service are not eligible.

Yes. You can save your progress and return anytime. It is vitally important you gather all required documentation before starting your application. Funds are available on a first qualified, first come, first served basis.

The application period opens on September 15, 2020 at 8am and will close once all funds have been expended, no later than November 15, 2020.

There will be a total of 5,000 individuals/households awarded assistance of $2,000.

No, only adults are eligible to apply.

Valid Florida Driver's License, state-issued ID, or passport.

Yes (United Way can serve more than 1 person per household).

Contact Veteran Services: (863) 534-5200 or (800) 780-5346

We have the right to request additional documents as needed to validate application.

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