Financial Help In Orlando For Coronavirus Victims

We will not let the Coronavirus win.

Attorney Walter Benenati

It will not financially defeat us. As the deadly outbreak continues across Florida, businesses are having to close their doors and many of our fellow Central Florida residents are facing unemployment.

I am a bankruptcy attorney and I see the writing on the wall. It reminds me of the 2008 Financial Crisis but 1000 times worse. We may not be entering into a recession but possibly, into a depression.

With the Covid-19 pandemic closing different venues, many people are losing their jobs. Businesses will soon be forced to reassess everything and most importantly, whether they can keep their business open. Whether you work as a personal trainer, a restaurant server, or one of the thousands of jobs dedicated to the tourism industry, the lack of income is a serious concern for so many in Central Florida.

We are local like you. We have compiled a list of resources available for residents that live in our area, Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford, and all surrounding areas. Please share this with your family, friends and neighbors. If we all look out for one another WE WON’T LET CORONAVIRUS WIN.

One time rent payment for those that cannot pay.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings revealed Sunday the county will provide one-time rent assistance to county residents unable to make their payments because they’ve been furloughed during the outbreak.

The Orange County coronavirus help hotline will begin taking calls Monday at 8:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. daily. Residents who need assistance making their rent or utility payments can call 407-836-6500.

FREE student meals during school closures.

As of March 15, there are 934 active BreakSpot sites statewide in the following counties: Alachua, Baker, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Miami-Dade, Duval, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Manatee, Marion, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Santa Rosa, and Seminole.

apple on top of school books

FREE online courses for kids.

The educational company, Scholastic, has launched a “Learn at Home” website that has daily courses for students from pre-kindergarten to grades six and higher. With school closures continuing, this is an invaluable resource for parents.

For students who have been ordered home from school and who are in need of a meal, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has activated the Summer Breakspot program. You can find a location near you by visiting

FREE Spectrum Internet for 60 Days.

Charter Communications is giving households with K-12 and college students free Spectrum Wi-Fi for the next 60 days.  Families who do not yet have the service will also receive free installation of the service, and those who qualify as low-income will still be eligible for high-speed broadband. To enroll your household in this Spectrum, offer call 1-844-488-8395.

meal from Orlando food bank

Second Harvest Food Bank

Second Harvest Food Bank has provided an online food finder to locate an emergency food pantry or feeding partner near you. Please be sure to call before heading out to make sure the hours and location has not changed. If you find yourself in need of assistance over the weekend, please call United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline.

Small Business Emergency Loans

These loans can be applied for directly online with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the Disaster Loan Application Portal at These loans are fixed at a 3.75% interest rate for up to 30 years to assist with economic injury in the current declared national emergency.

United Way Worldwide Community Fund

United Way Worldwide announced that it has established the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support those affected by COVID-19. Donations from the fund will help the most vulnerable populations receive critical financial and social service support. They will help with food, rent and bills. You can call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code.

Student Loan Interest Waived Due to Coronavirus.

As of March 13, interest will be waived on federal student loans held by the government.  Contact your student loan service provider to see if your loan qualifies.

Update: You will be able to suspend payments for federal student loans for 60 days. This does not apply for private student loans. You have to call your loan provider to request this. In fact, many creditors are offering to suspend payments (i.e. mortgage, credit cards, car payments). CALL AND ASK THEM.

U.S. Tax Payment Deadline has been extended.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that taxpayers are getting a three-month extension for paying their 2019 taxes. Normally, taxes are due by April 15 every year. Filers who cannot complete their taxes by April 15 can request an extension, which buys them an additional six months to submit their returns without facing a failure-to-file penalty. Tax extensions are granted automatically, and filers do not need a specific reason to do so. But those extensions only buy them extra time to submit their returns; it does not allow them extra time to pay what they owe the IRS. And usually, filers who do not pay their taxes by April 15 face interest and penalties on that debt.

Update: Not only do you have an 3 month extension to pay your tax debt but now they have extended it to actually filing your taxes. So July 15 is our new tax filing deadline day.

Meals on Wheels

The food-delivery service for home-bound seniors regardless of income, is stepping up its efforts in response to the coronavirus. Seniors can simply enter their zip code on the website to get a hot meal delivered to their door.

Free Grab n’ Go meals will be available for pick-up between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm in the car loop of each school site at Edgewater Highschool and Princeton Elementary from March 23 to March 27.

Unemployment Compensation

Many people are unable to work due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While there are state and federal measures coming to help those impacted financially, in the more immediate future people can file for unemployment benefits. WKMG Channel 6 shows you how at the above link.

Special shopping hours for seniors.

The elderly and people with compromised immune systems are most at risk during the ongoing pandemic. The following stores are offering special hours for seniors.

TargetFirst hour of every Wednesday.

Whole Foods Market – Customers 60 and older can shop for one hour before the general public is allowed into stores.

Safeway – 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

Dollar General – “Senior shoppers” (though it doesn’t set a specific age) will be given exclusive access to the store in its first hour.

Albertsons – The company will reserve every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. for vulnerable shoppers.

The Fresh Market – The chain is reserving its first hour every weekday (8 a.m. to 9 a.m.) for seniors and those most at risk.

We will continue to update this page on a regular basis as more resources and recovery relief become available, so please check back with us for more information. You can track the number of coronavirus cases on the Florida Health Website.

Help for Restaurant Workers

Are you an out-of-work restaurant employee looking for assistance during the coronavirus pandemic? Food Network star Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation may be able to help.

Restaurant workers can apply for a one-time, $500 grant from the campaign to use toward housing, transportation, utilities, child care, groceries, medical bills and/or student loans. Applicants must have worked in the industry for 90 days or more during the last year, be able to demonstrate that the industry was their primary income source, and have lost pay or their job on March 10 or later.

You can apply here:

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