Polk County CARES Program for Seniors and Disabled
Apply for economic assistance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Polk County Cares 2020 Senior and Disability Assistance is now closed
Polk County is no longer accepting new applications for the Cares 2020 Senior and Disability Assistance Program.
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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)
Frequently Asked Questions
Quesions related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
I live outside Polk County's limits. Can I receive CARES assistance?
Polk County can only provide CARES assistance to its residents.
If I am eligible, how much assistance can I receive?
The maximum per-household award for the CARES program is $2,000, for rent/mortgage and/or public utilities.
What utilities are eligible for assistance?
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.
I don't have all the documentation required for my application. Can I submit it later?
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.
Is there a deadline to apply for assistance?
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.
How many individuals/households will be awarded?
There will be a total of 5,000 individuals/households awarded assistance of $2,000.
Are disabled youth eligible?
No, only adults are eligible to apply.
What type of documents can be used for identification?
Valid Florida Driver's License, state-issued ID, or passport.
Can someone apply if they received financial assistance through United Way CARES program?
Yes (United Way can serve more than 1 person per household).
What if applicant doesn't have recent copy of disability statement?
Contact local SSA office or their website.
How does a veteran get a copy of their tax abatement statement?
Contact Veteran Services: (863) 534-5200 or (800) 780-5346
Will additional documents be required?
We have the right to request additional documents as needed to validate application.
Are Polk Board of County Commissioners employees eligible?
Yes, if they meet the criteria.