Last updated: 6/15/2022
NYAIL is monitoring the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) closely. NYAIL programs are implementing new procedures in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidance, the Governor's Executive Orders, and other direction from partners in government; related to prevention and infection control of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Links to external informational resources can be found throughout this webpage. Your local county health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns.
- NYAIL and ILCs are continuing to adapt programs to evolving guidance from public health officials.
- Please check with your local ILC before going there in person. Your local ILC might be closed to in-person visits. ILCs are making other arrangements to continue their programs and services.
- We're planning to remain engaged in advocacy that addresses ongoing issues and developing concerns, without putting people at risk in physical spaces. Action Alerts are being updated at https://ilny.us/advocacy/action-alerts
Program-specific information is available further down on this webpage.
Health and Wellness
Laura Bingell, RN, Open Doors (MFP) Transition Center Project Nurse, has a recorded webinar entitled "Universal Precautions" that covers COVID-19 and other health concerns. The video is available with ASL here.
A free and confidential Emotional Support Helpline is being made available by New York State at: 1-844-863-9314
A few additional resources:
External Links on Health and Wellness:
State Government Links:
- Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns: Directory of County Health Departments.
- New York State Department of Health coronavirus webpage.
Federal Government Links:
- Centers for Disease Control coronavirus webpage.
- Administration for Community Living coronavirus webpage.
- Resources for people with disabilities on COVID-19 from AAHD.
- COVID-19 Resources from Niagara Univerity's First Responders Disability Awareness Training.
- Center for Disability Rights, "Action Steps for Attendant Service Users in Response to Coronavirus".
- The Consumer Directed Personal Assitance Association's personal assistance preparedness guide.
Civil and Other Rights
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Civil Rights has issued a Bulletin on Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF)
If you experience discrimination in accessing health care, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights at: https://www.hhs.gov/ocr/
A few resources outlining your rights during COVID-19:
New York State's Know Your Rights Guide (Including paid sick leave, unemployment, insurance, mortgages and rent, and other issues)
External Links from the Federal Government on Your Rights:
- "What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19" by the U.S. EEOC.
- Social Security Administration's coronavirus webpage.
- Economic Impact Payment page at the IRS.
Rights of nursing home residents to Economic Impact Payments:
The Federal Trade Commission just issued a blog alerting people in nursing homes and other congregate care facilities and their families that the administrators of these facilities are not allowed to take the COVID-19 stimulus checks residents are receiving. This is because stimulus checks cannot be counted against an individual’s financial eligibility for Medicaid or SSI. See MFJ Fact Sheet (Nursing Home) (Adult home/ALP).
Though the NYS DOH informed local Medicaid agencies about this protection in a directive (GIS 20 MA/05), many nursing home, adult home, Assisted Living Program, and other congregate care operators may wrongly assume that the stimulus checks are owed to the facility.
On April 13, 2020, NYLAG, MFJ, & NYAIL, joined by 14 other organizations, wrote to the NYS Dept. of Health requesting a directive to facility operators to ensure that the stimulus payments are protected for residents. The same advocates have sent DOH follow-up requests three times, emphasizing the urgency because the payments have already started arriving in facilities’ bank accounts. Still, DOH has not issued instructions to facility administrators.
If a resident of a nursing home, adult home, or other congregate care facility believes that their Stimulus check was taken by the facility:
- Show the operator the FTC blog and ask for the funds to be placed in the individual’s personal needs account or otherwise transferred to the consumer.
If the operator does not return the funds to the consumer:
- Call the NYS Dept. of Health Complaint unit: Nursing homes: 888-201-4563 or Adult homes/assisted living: 866-893-6772
- Report it to the NYS Attorney General Fraud unit - https://ag.ny.gov/nursinghomes (online form) or call OAG Help Line at (800) 771-7755.
- Report it to the FTC
For advocacy help, you can call:
Call the NYS Ombudsprogram for Long Term Care – operates statewide - Find your local one at https://aging.ny.gov/locationsearch/ombudsmen
- Adult homes/ assisted living (M-F): 877-417-2427
- Nursing homes (Tues & Thurs): 855-444-6477
- Mobilization for Justice
- NYLAG Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program 212-613-7310 (Mon and Wed 10-2 PM) or e-mail
Long Island - Nassau-Suffolk Law Services – see fact sheet for phone numbers
Western NY - Center for Elder Law & Justice 716-853-3087 (serves eight counties including Erie County)
Resources for ILCs
External Resource Links:
- New York State Department of Health coronavirus webpage for guidance.
- FAQs about Centers for Independent Living and COVID-19 Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 (CARES Act) Funding - Updated 4/24/2020 (DOCX)
- New York Council on Non-profits (NYCON) COVID-19 Resources for Non-profits.
"Please note: Until further notice, All ACCES-VR Orientation Sessions have been canceled. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors are available via email or telephone. Please do not come to the District Office. No in-person meetings are being held at this time. ACCES-VR is accepting applications. Applications for services should be submitted to
Please include an email address and phone number on applications."
Transition specialists will be able to be in contact by phone. Please contact your ILC for specific information.
Olmstead Housing Subsidy (OHS) and Rapid Transition Housing Program (RTHP)
The following guidance is for all program staff working for NYAIL funded housing programs (e.g., Housing Specialists (HS) and Independent Living Specialists (ILS)).
- All program staff should have watched the Universal Precautions webinar or watch the recording prior to entering a nursing home.
- All program staff should follow Universal Precautions.
- Program staff should follow any guidance from their ILC.
- Program staff should follow DOH guidance below regarding meeting with prospective program participants and home visits.
- In circumstances where HSs/ILSs are unable to meet with participants in-person, as much work as possible should be done via phone and email. Initial meetings can be completed via phone when the HS cannot go to the nursing home due to COVID-19 restrictions. The HS should ask for participant consent on the phone, followed by a request to the Social Worker or other NH staff to obtain written consent that can be fax/emailed/mailed to the HS. If the SW/NH staff are unable to do this, the verbal consent will remain in place until the restrictions end. If during a phone intake the participant declines, the HS should ask if the person would like to be contacted again in person when the restrictions are removed. The HS should keep a list of people who want to be contacted again.
- HSs can complete intakes during this time and ILSs will be able to complete service planning discussions via phone.
The Open Doors nurse Laura Bingell (
More information can be found at the following links:
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Administration for Community Living: https://acl.gov/COVID-19
New York State Department of Health webpage: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/
New York Department of Health Housing Provider Guidance
Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN)
- Public policy teleconferences will continue to be held.
Diabetes Prevention Program
- Program providers are holding classes online, by phone, or with additional COVID safety protocols. Please contact your program provider for more information.
other informational resources
New York State Department of Health Guidance and Advisories:
New York State's Department of Health maintains a regularly updated website on guidance for COVID-19 covering healthcare providers at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-guidance-repository
New York State COVID Website:
The latest on New York's response to COVID-19 at: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/latest-news
COVID Alert NY App:
COVID Alert NY is a voluntary, anonymous, exposure-notification smartphone app. You will get an alert if you were in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Knowing about a potential exposure allows you to self-quarantine immediately, get tested and reduce the potential exposure risk to your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others.