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Social Services

Rent and Utilities Assistance Enrollment Event

The Union County Board of Commissioners will be hosting a Rent and Utility Assistance Enrollment Event.

Click here to view and/or download the informational flyer for the Rent and Utilities Assistance Enrollment Event.

  • Who: Must reside within Union County, be an adult listed on your signed lease agreement, reside in a rental property, and have had your household experience income/financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19.
  • What: Rent and utility assistance enrollment event.
  • Where: Room K517 in the Union College Kellogg Building, which is located at 40 West Jersey Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202.
  • When:
    • March 24, 2023 from 12pm until 6pm.
    • March 25, 2023 from 9am until 2pm.
  • How: Registration required. No walk-ins! Click here to register, or call 888-998-2432. Click here to visit the Union County Emergency Rental Assistance Program website.

SNAP Benefits to Change Starting March 1st, 2023

Important update for SNAP households:

  • Emergency extra SNAP benefits expire February 28, 2023.
  • Due to a recent change in federal law, the extra temporary benefits SNAP recipients have received, known as SNAP Emergency Allotments, is coming to an end.
  • This means the regular SNAP benefit will resume starting March 1, 2023. The minimum monthly SNAP benefit in New Jersey is now $50.
  • For more information, click here.
  • To view and/or download the NJ SNAP benefits infographic, click here.

Certified Home Health Aide 4-Week Class

The Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Central New Jersey invites you to enroll in a four-week class to become a Certified Home Health Aide.

  • What: Four (4) week health training program that will put you on a new career path as a Certified Home Health Aide.
  • Where: JFSCNJ Halpern Building, which is located at 655 Westfield Avenue, Elizabeth, NJ 07208.
  • When: March 6 through March 30, 2023, on Monday through Thursday from 9am until 3pm.
  • How: $75 fee for books and materials. The program is generously funded by the Fred C. Rummel Foundation. For more information, email here or call (908) 352-8375.

Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Open Enrollment Notice January 2023

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Division of Housing and Community Resources (DHCR) is accepting Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program preliminary applications online here for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program waiting list state-wide. 

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program is a federally funded program that provides housing subsidies to New Jersey residents, so that they can obtain decent, safe, and sanitary housing. A total of 20,000 households will be selected state wide through a random lottery system and be placed on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher pre-applications will be available online here beginning Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 9:00 AM EST., until Friday, February 3, 2023, at 5:00 PM EST., for New Jersey residents, who are eighteen (18) years of age or older; or, who are emancipated minors and meet all applicable federal income and eligibility requirements.

DCA has adopted the following preferences for admission to the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher waiting list: Veterans, Homeless, Disabled, Domestic Violence, and Local and Secondary Residents. Applicants who qualify for one or more preferences will have priority for selection for placement on the waiting list. United States Armed Forces Veterans, and their surviving spouses in accordance with New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) 5:40-2.5., have the highest priority. Individuals who claim to have a preference, must meet all eligibility criteria for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program at the time of selection from the waiting list, (on DCA’s webpage, see frequently asked questions #5 for a full definition for preferences). Applicants should select all preferences categories that apply to them.

All Applicants must have an email address to apply.

Only one (1) Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program pre-application per household will be accepted. Paper pre-applications will not be accepted unless a reasonable accommodation is necessary. Please contact DCA-DHCR at 609-292-4080 and select Option 9 from the menu and request a reasonable accommodation, during the hours of 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM, seven days a week, or email us here during the open enrollment period. 

Income limits for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program are referenced on DCA’s website.

Submission of a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program pre-application does not guarantee placement on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list.

Click here to view and/or download the DCA Rental Assistance Fact Sheet.

Additional information, including the Public Notice and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in both Spanish and English can be found here.

A Guide to Your Financial Options for Long-Term Care

An estimated half-million people were homeless in the United States from 2007 through 2020, and many of these individuals were seniors and veterans. Unfortunately, seniors who live on the street have little access to resources that can help them maintain their mental and physical health, and on top of that, many are living without the support of their loved ones.

Homeless seniors face more risks than those who reside at home or in long-term care facilities. In fact, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, the estimated average life expectancy for homeless people is just 50 years, which gives little hope to seniors who don’t have a place to call home.

Thankfully, there are programs available throughout the country to help homeless seniors find stable housing and meet other basic needs. Click here to learn more about your financial options for long-term care, or call (855) 481-6777.

Expand Your Social Security Knowledge

Social Security serves people like you, and has provided an informational newsletter that details ways that you can expand your Social Security knowledge.

Expand your Social Security knowledge with four terms:

  • Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA). To access the glossary of Social Security terms and acronyms, click here.
  • Credits. For more information, click here.
  • Earnings Record. Review your earnings record with a personal my Social Security account here.
  • Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). To access the glossary of Social Security terms and acronyms, click here.

A Guide to Social Security for Seniors

Whether you’re nearing retirement age, have a significant disability or are struggling to meet your basic needs, you may be entitled to Social Security. This federal program includes several different components that can provide valuable financial assistance regardless of your age. Click here to learn what you need to know about eligibility and how to claim your benefits.

Type of Social Security Benefits

For a more personalized look, try the Social Security calculator, or create a My Social Security account to review your work history and estimated benefits.

New Nationwide 988 Phone Number for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

On July 16th 2022, the new 988 phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline went live. 988 is now available for call, text, or chat for those experiencing a mental health-related or suicidal crisis, or those looking to help a loved one through a crisis. The aim of 988 is to improve access to crisis services in a way that meets the country’s growing suicide and mental health related crisis care needs. For more information about this new hotline, please check out this webpage from the NJ Department of Human Services.