COVID RELIEF, EDUCATION, and MORE
MELS UPDATE: New York State Eviction Moratorium through May 2021
On December 28, 2020, a sweeping eviction ban took effect in New York, giving qualifying tenants fearful of losing their homes during the pandemic, relief through May 1, 2021.
To qualify for protection from eviction, tenants must file a “hardship declaration” explaining the source of their hardship. The eviction ban does not protect tenants who are creating safety or health hazards for other tenants or tenants who do not file a declaration. Nor does the law absolve the financial obligations of renters who file declarations, leaving them subject to eviction after May 1, 2021.
Click on https://bit.ly/3nj8O2u to view a sample “hardship declaration” that you can print and submit to your landlord. MELS suggests that you send a copy to the landlord by regular first class mail with a “certificate of mailing” (visit your local post office – a certificate of mailing can be obtained for the price of a first class postage stamp). If possible, a copy should also be hand delivered or emailed to the landlord. If you have pending court case, please contact your MELS attorney to have the form served on the landlord’s lawyer.
To speak with a MELS attorney about the eviction ban or any other housing matter or to access your free legal service benefits, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net.
MELS TAX WORKSHOP JAN. 27, 5:30 PM
The MELS Tax Tips webinar is Wed. Jan. 27. The union’s team of legal experts can help you understand tax preparation for 2020. What’s income, what’s not? Filing status, standard and itemized deductions, tax credits and other tax prep tips. Join the webinar Jan. 27, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Register atwww.dc37mels.com to receive the Meeting ID e-mail before the event. For more information, call the MELS Screening Unit at 212 815-1111 or email MELSscreeningunit@dc37.net
PAID FAMILY LEAVE BENEFIT
The Paid Family Leave benefit increases to 12 weeks in 2021, from 10 weeks. The maximum weekly paid benefit increases to $971.61 or $1,943 bi-weekly. This union negotiated New York State benefit is available to all DC 37 members, including those in the six nonprofit and private sector locals. PFL provides a salary and job security while you bond with your newborn or adopted child, care for a sick parent or close relative, and more. For details and to acess the new 2021 PFL calculator, visit: http://on.ny.gov/2LsklQ8
TUITION REIMBURSEMENT: As DC 37 resumes its Tuition Reimbursement program, we have streamlined the application process. There may be longer than usual processing time required; thank you for your patience. Members should mail in their completed reimbursement applications and supporting documents to: DC 37 Education Fund Attn: Tuition Refund, 75 Broad Street, Suite 2204 New York, NY 10004
CUNY COUNSELING IS HERE FOR YOU! Worker Education at the CUNY School of Labor & Urban Studies (SLU) can help you reach your career and academic goals. Expert advisors offer FREE one-on-one phone sessions on: academic requirements for specific jobs; choosing a CUNY campus and major; applying to and financing a CUNY degree; certificate and non-credit options at CUNY, transferring previous credits, and more at: CUNYDays.eventbrite.com.
YOU CAN GET YOUR HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY DIPLOMA. LET DC 37’s ED FUND HELP
Do you need your High School Equivalency Diploma? You may be eligible for the TASC test waiver in effect through June 30, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The test for the High School Equivalency Diploma is now called the TASC Test. The TASC, Test Assessing Secondary Completion, replaces the GED exam. If you took and passed at least three subtests on the TASC and/or the GED exam you may qualify for the COVID-19 waiver. For more details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS EVENTS thru JAN. 10
NYBG GLOW The New York Botanical Gardens Haupt Conservatory lights up nightly from 5 pm through Jan. 9 for the holidays. Purchase tickets online for contactless entry. All must wear face masks. For more info, visit nybg.org.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS at the BRONX ZOO
An illuminated global safari brightens the Bronx Zoo nightly from 3 p.m. through Jan. 10, and is not part of the WCS Zoo’s Free Wednesdays program. Purchase tickets online for contactless entry. All must wear face masks. Click Bronx Zoo Know Before You Go for details.