Talbot County Opens CARES Individual Assistance Program

The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $6.4 million to Talbot County.  Guidelines state that one-half of these funds are to be spent on health-related expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the other half to be used for non-health related purposes such as expenditures of County departments and municipalities for COVID-19 work including the cost of running the Emergency Operations Center, providing sheltering for children of essential workers, enhanced food distribution, as well as assisting small businesses and individuals impacted by COVID-19. Talbot County is designating $1 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds through the CARES Act to assist individuals.

The County has announced that Talbot County residents can now apply for the County’s CARES Individual Assistance Program, which provides emergency assistance for individuals who are out of work or whose income has been reduced because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. CARES assistance can help with rent, mortgage, or other housing costs, utilities, and other emergency needs, and payments are made directly to the landlord, mortgage company, utility company, or other vendors. Talbot County residents who are unable to meet an expense between March 16, 2020, and December 30, 2020, because of the current COVID-19 public health emergency, may apply for CARES Individual Assistance.

Corey Pack, President of the Talbot County Council, comments, “The CARES Act was passed by Congress to provide economic assistance for workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs. Some of these funds were distributed to the States and then to local governments. We have set up a CARES Individual Assistance Program to address the needs of individuals affected by COVID-19. Information will be forthcoming for how small businesses may get assistance from these funds to preserve jobs.”

Angela Lane, Talbot County Director of Finance, has been working with Linda Webb, Director of the Talbot County Department of Social Services, the agency which will process the applications for Talbot County to develop a streamlined process for individuals to apply for funds through a simple one-page application. Although the Talbot County Department of Social Services is still closed to the public to slow the spread of COVID-19, applications can be obtained by calling 410-820-4347 and leaving a message including a phone number. Phone calls will be returned by the next business day and applications can be mailed, faxed, or emailed to applicants. Applications are also available at the Neighborhood Service Center at 126 Port Street in Easton, (410-822-5015) and St. Vincent de Paul Society at 29533 Canvasback Drive in Easton (410-770-4505).

“By having the Department of Social Services case managers process the applications for the CARES Individual Assistance Program, they can also suggest support programs for which the individual or family may be eligible as additional wraparound services. The requirements for the CARES Act assistance are less stringent than most other Department of Social Services assistance programs. The CARES funds will be important support that will help families impacted by the pandemic meet their obligations,” states Webb.

Once completed, applications can be mailed to, or placed in the drop box at, the Talbot County Department of Social Services, 301 Bay Street, Unit 5, Easton, MD 21601 or faxed to 410-820-7117 or emailed to talbot.customer@maryland.gov.

For more information on the CARES Individual Assistance Program, individuals should call 410-820-4347 and leave a message, including a phone number. Phone calls will be returned by the next business day.