What is the Coronavirus Care Fund?
The Coronavirus Care Fund was established by the National Domestic Workers Alliance to provide emergency assistance for home care workers, nannies and house cleaners to support them in staying safe and staying home to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to care for themselves and their families.
How are domestic workers being impacted by the coronavirus?
Domestic workers are on the frontlines of the outbreak, caring for those most vulnerable to the coronavirus like seniors and people with chronic illnesses. They are also caring for the children of essential workers like health care professionals. As a result, many domestic workers, especially home care workers, are unable to self-isolate or practice social distancing.
Those who do stay home, face another challenge; as low-wage workers without a safety net or paid time off, they are hit the hardest by any national crisis, including this pandemic. Poverty will be a decisive factor in how this virus will spread in the months to come. We all have to do everything we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus and that includes providing assistance to support workers in staying at home.
What will the funds be used for?
100% of funds raised will go directly to support domestic workers. Domestic workers who qualify, and whose applications are approved, can access $400 in emergency assistance that will be mailed to them as a Visa gift card that they can use just like a credit card to buy things in person or online, wherever credit cards are accepted. This emergency assistance is to be used for reasonable and necessary personal, family and living expenses incurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including--but not limited to--preventive health equipment and medical care.
How long will the fund be active?
We will continue to assess the need and disperse emergency assistance for as long as funds allow and for as long as is necessary. Our priority is to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread of the virus. The fund will also be used to benefit future health and related crises that distinctly adversely affect domestic workers.
How much money are you trying to raise? Where did the funding goal come from?
The goal of the fund is to raise $4 million to support 10,000 workers. Our goal is to start releasing funds the week of March 23rd.
With the $4 million goal, 10,000 workers can each receive $400. This amount comes from studies that indicate 40% of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency. While emergency assistance is no substitute for legislation addressing long-standing issues of inequality, it is critical for us to come together in this moment of crisis and care for the people who care for us.
How can people donate?
People can donate at domesticworkers.org/carefund. All donations are tax-deductible.
Can I make a contribution specifically for California workers [or any state or city]?
In general, we are trying to keep the funds as flexible as possible to enable us to most efficiently get funds into the hands of individual workers. However, for gifts over $25,000, we may be able to designate funding to a particular geographic area, especially for areas with a higher population of domestic workers. Please contact a member of our team or email [email protected] if you would like to discuss the possibility of a restricted gift.
Who is eligible for the funds? Can any domestic worker apply?
Funds are for domestic workers who are experiencing financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic and are staying home, to the best of their ability, to protect themselves, their families and their communities. At this time, the Coronavirus Care Fund application is only open to domestic workers who are participants in activities of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), NDWA chapters, affiliate organizations, and circles or who were NDWA dues-paying members or Alia users prior to March 16, 2020. We will open the Fund for applications from other domestic workers as soon as funding allows.
En este momento, el proceso de solicitud al Fondo para Cuidados por el Coronavirus está abierto solamente para las trabajadoras de hogar que han participado en actividades de la Alianza Nacional de Trabajadoras del Hogar (la ANTH), los capítulos, organizaciones afiliadas y círculos, o quienes eran miembras y pagaban cuotas a la Alianza, o eran usuarias de Alia antes del 16 de marzo de 2020. Abriremos el Fondo a solicitudes por parte de otras trabajadoras de hogar tan pronto como la financiación nos lo permita.
Do you have to be documented to take advantage of this fund?
This fund is to support domestic workers in staying at home, including those who are sick, have family care responsibilities, and have lost work. We will not be collecting information on immigration status. Our own health depends on the health of the person next to us, and the person next to them. Everyone deserves to feel safe and healthy during this crisis and at all times.
How will the funds be distributed?
NDWA is managing the application process and distribution of funds through Alia. Alia is our movement’s platform that helps domestic workers get paid time off and other benefits. Domestic workers who qualify, and whose applications are approved, can access $400 in emergency assistance that will be mailed to them as a prepaid debit card.
How are you protecting the fund against fraud?
Our verification process is designed to minimize fraudulent claims. This includes:
- Cross checking phone and email addresses provided with matches in our existing membership database and those of our chapters and affiliate organizations.
- Requiring applicants to sign sworn statements during the application process
- Monitoring for multiple disbursements to a single mailing addresses
What other support is NDWA offering for domestic workers during the coronavirus pandemic?
The Coronavirus Care Fund was established to provide emergency relief to help workers care for themselves and their families, and to slow the spread of the virus. However, we know that for many domestic workers, staying home from work may not be an option either because they are essential personnel or because it is financially impossible to stay home.
NDWA is working to develop a national strategy to ensure that those who need to work can be prioritized for protective supplies, testing and treatment. We are also working to provide emotional support, and up-to-date information about the unfolding nature of the virus, so that risk of exposure can be minimized.