(201) 996-9100 Bergen / (201) 533-4407 Hudson
COVID-19 Community Response Program

COVID-19 Community Response Program

COVID-19 Community Response Program

Funding Application


Dear Applicant:

Welcome to the COVID-19 Community Response Program, administered by Heightened Independence and Progress (hip) in Bergen and Hudson Counties. The program will address food insecurities, personal protective equipment, assistive devices (medical and non-medical), transportation, in home support services, emergency rental and utility assistance, because of COVID-19. For us to be more efficient in evaluating your request for funding, we will need your cooperation and diligence. Our program coordinators are available to assist you.

The following items must be enclosed:

  • APPLICATION: Fully complete the 3-part application, all information is required.
  • MEDICAL PRESCRIPTION: It should state your disability (COPD, end stage renal failure, lung cancer, diabetes, heart disease, developmental delay, etc.) and the reason you need the item you are requesting. The doctor, or other health care provider, may fax it directly to us.
  • ONE-TIME EMERGENCY RENTAL OR UTILITY ASSISTANCE: Please include a copy of the lease, utility bill and documentation of past due amount.
  • PROOF OF INCOME is required. Submit most recent income verification (Social Security, pension, wages, etc.). We will require information about income changes due to COVID-19 circumstances.
  • If you are applying for an air conditioner or home modification, a letter from landlord, granting you permission to obtain/install item, must be included. The program does not provide installation, installing air conditioners is the consumers responsibility. You may call the ASK Umbrella Program at 1-973-200-4499 for air conditioner installation assistance.
  • The COVID-19 Community Response Program can also provide a one-time $250 funding towards the purchase of incontinent or wound care supplies, for individuals in need.

INDEPENDENT LIVING PLAN is a tool used to assist consumers to meet their goals. Please complete the section that is moat appropriate.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, it is very important that you complete and email this application promptly. Please note that hip cannot reimburse you for any paid bill(s). hip makes payments directly to the vendor. We will not be able to process your request, until all documents are received.

Each application will be reviewed, and funding will be determined based on needs.

hip has two locations to serve the community If you have any questions or need assistance completing the application, please contact us at the office in your county.

  • hip Bergen County (201) 996-9100 ext. 18 or email at mvalentin@hipcil.org
  • hip Hudson County (201) 533-4407 or email mgonzalez@hipcil.org

Mail application to: Heightened Independence and Progress (hip)

Attn: COVID-19 Community Response Program

  • 131 Main Street, Suite 120 Hackensack, NJ 07601 for Bergen County residents
  • 35 Journal Square Suite 703, Jersey City, NJ 07306 for Hudson County residents

Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

COVID-19 Vaccines & Booster Shots

COVID-19 Vaccines & Booster Shots

Vaccines & Booster Shots

It is incredibly important for everyone to stay safe and healthy. We are encouraging everyone who has not received their COVID-19 vaccine to call hip offices with questions and/or concerns.

We are here to assist in any way – we can schedule appointments and/or transportation so you don’t have to.

Those who are fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson or Moderna, would like to receive their COVID-19 booster shot and need assistance and/or more information, please do not hesitate to contact our hip offices.

The COVID-19 booster shots are recommended for individuals who are 65 and older, individuals who are 18-64 years old who are at high risk of COVID-19 due to an underlying medical condition or have jobs/living situations that put them at a high risk.

The COVID-19 booster shot is only for individuals who received the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson or Moderna vaccine.


Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funeral Assistance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funeral Assistance

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Funeral Assistance 

FEMA Advisory  

FEMA COVID-19 Update  

Today, FEMA begins processing applications for funeral assistance. FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  

Key Messages  

  • FEMA has never delivered funeral assistance on this scale before, so we took time to develop and streamline the processes and tools to make this assistance efficient and effective for everyone.  
  • The call center has received thousands of calls this morning, which is causing some technical issues. Some applicants are reaching operators, while others are receiving a busy signal.  
  • We ask that applicants be patient as we work to correct these issues and have all their important documents ready when they call to apply. Please know there is no deadline to apply and applicants will have the ability to open a case.  
  • We will not rush through calls because we intend to make sure that every applicant gets their questions answered and receives the help they need to apply.  
  • Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available.  
  • To be eligible for funeral assistance, applicants must meet these conditions:  
    • The death must have occurred in the United States. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.  
    • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.  
    • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.  
  • For fastest service after you have called to apply, submit documentation online through Disasterassistance.gov, or by fax 855-261-3452. Documents may also be mailed to: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance P.O. Box 10001 Hyattsville, MD 20782.  
  • Applicants can also visit FEMA.gov/funeral-assistance/faq Information is provided in several languages both by telephone and the website.
FEMA has provided more than billion to 49  states, Washington, D.C. and four territories for those  unemployed due to COVID-19 through Dec. 27, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Funeral Assistance 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. 

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:  

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to or caused by COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.

Which expenses will qualify for reimbursement? Examples of eligible expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation may include, but not limited to: 

  • Transportation for up to two people to identify the deceased individual
  • The transfer of remains, a casket or urn
  • A burial plot or cremation niche
  • A marker orheadstone
  • Clergy or officiant services
  • The arrangement of a funeral ceremony
  • The use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Cremation or interment costs
  • Costs associated with producing multiple deathcertificates


What information do I need to provide to FEMA? 

Please have the following information before contacting FEMA to apply:  

  • Your name, social security number, date of birth, mailing address and contact phone numbers.
  • The name, social security number and date of birth for each deceased individual.
  • The location or address where the deceased individual passed away.
  • Documentation and receipts for any assistance already received from other sources, including burial or funeral insurance, donations, voluntary agencies, other government programs or non-profit organizations.
  • If you and another person both incurred funeral expenses for the same deceased individual(s), you can also provide that person as a co-applicant — include their name, social security number and date of birth on the application.


Call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at
(TTY: 800-462-7585)
from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET,
Monday – Friday and begin the application process. 


For fastest service following your application, you can begin submitting documentation online through 

Disaster Assistance GOV

by fax 855-261-3452.
Documents may also be mailed to:
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance P.O. Box 10001 Hyattsville, MD 20782 



You can also visit us online at Funeral Assistance FAQ Information is provided in several languages both by telephone and the website.

Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons in Non-Healthcare Settings

Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons in Non-Healthcare Settings

Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Persons in Non-Healthcare Settings

March 24, 2021

This interim guidance serves to clarify recently released Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Guidance may change or be updated as the situation evolves. These recommendations only apply to non-healthcare settings.

Currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Evidence also suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) to others.

However, we are not in a position at this time to broadly exempt fully vaccinated individuals from existing COVID-19 mitigation efforts, including requirements for indoor and outdoor gatherings outlined in current Executive Orders. This is because we are still learning how long vaccine protection will last as well as how much protection is provided against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition, since most of New Jersey is not yet fully vaccinated, the chance that someone who is fully vaccinated could inadvertently spread an infection is relatively high. Until more is learned about protection, and vaccination coverage in the state increases, some prevention measures will continue to be necessary for all people, regardless of vaccination status. As with any level of risk, low/minimal risk does not mean no risk exists.

As no vaccine is 100% effective, persons must balance preventive actions to reduce possible transmission and maintain safety. While CDC recommendations indicate that private visits or small gatherings1 likely represent minimal risk to fully vaccinated people, medium or large-sized gatherings and those including unvaccinated people from multiple households increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

Though the risk of disease may be minimal to the fully vaccinated person themselves, they should be mindful of their potential risk of transmitting the virus to others if they become infected, especially if they are visiting with unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or who have unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe disease in their own households.

People are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19:

  • At least 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna); or
  • At least 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen ).†

(1) The CDC guidance does not define a “small gathering.”

Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, any fully vaccinated person who experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, and tested for SARS-CoV-2 if indicated.

Private vs. Public indoor

  • Private spaces are defined as a home or personal residence that is not a healthcare facility or institution.
  • Public spaces include indoor settings where the public gathers and there is mixing of multiple households or cohorts who may or may not know each other, such as weddings, restaurants, concert and performing arts venues, schools, gyms, social/member clubs, etc. Public social gatherings are more likely to be medium- or large-sized gatherings.

Specific recommendations for Fully Vaccinated Persons

Indoor visits between fully vaccinated persons: Indoor visits between fully vaccinated people who do not wear masks or physically distance from one another are likely low risk. CDC recommends that fully vaccinated persons can visit with other fully vaccinated people in private settings indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.

Indoor visits between fully vaccinated persons and unvaccinated persons: If someone fully vaccinated is visiting with someone unvaccinated, public health precautions should be determined based on the risk status of the unvaccinated persons. Because gatherings between multiple households pose risk of COVID-19 transmission among unvaccinated persons, masks and physical distancing should be maintained.

Fully vaccinated persons can visit with unvaccinated persons from a single household that does not have individuals at risk of severe COVID-19 in private settings indoors, without anyone wearing masks, with a low risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Travel recommendations: All travelers, including persons who are fully vaccinated, should follow CDC and New Jersey testing and quarantine recommendations pre- and post-travel. A more conservative approach for travel is indicated to prevent the further spread of variant virus strains and considers an increased transmission risk associated with traveling, particularly related to social mixing at travel hubs.

Close contact quarantine recommendations: If identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, a fully vaccinated person does not need to quarantine as long as they remain asymptomatic. Although the risk that fully vaccinated people could become infected with COVID-19 is low, if symptoms develop, they should isolate and seek medical evaluation for COVID-19, which may include testing. Refer to NJDOH Minimum Quarantine Timeframes for additional information.

Special Circumstances:

• Fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings (e.g., correctional and detention facilities, group homes) should continue to quarantine for 14 days and be tested for COVID-19 following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. This is because residential congregate settings may face high turnover of residents, a higher risk of transmission, and challenges in maintaining recommended physical distancing.

• Fully vaccinated employees of non-healthcare congregate settings and other high-density workplaces (e.g., meat and poultry processing and manufacturing plants) with no COVID-like symptoms do not need to quarantine following an exposure; however, testing following an exposure and through routine workplace screening programs (if present) is still recommended.

Recommendations for Gatherings

CDC continues to recommend that large gatherings be avoided, particularly those in which physical (social) distancing cannot be maintained between people who live in different households. All people, regardless of vaccination status, should adhere to current guidance to avoid medium- or large-sized in-person gatherings and to follow any applicable local guidance restricting the size of gatherings. If they choose to participate, fully vaccinated people should continue to adhere to prevention measures that reduce spread, including wearing a well-fitted mask, maintaining physical distance from others, and washing hands frequently.

All people, regardless of vaccination status, should follow state guidance restricting the size of gatherings (i.e., most current Executive Order limiting capacity). Both indoor and outdoor gatherings must adhere to the most current New Jersey Executive Order regarding gathering capacity limits and requirements for individuals participating in gatherings, which include social distancing and mask wearing.

Persons at increased risk of severe COVID-19/severe disease: Include those who are more likely than others to become severely ill, such as older adults (the risk of severe illness increases with age), pregnant people, people with underlying medical conditions. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death.

†This guidance applies to COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. Considerations for applying this guidance to vaccines that are not FDA-authorized include whether the vaccine product has received emergency approval from the World Health Organization or authorization from a national regulatory agency. 

Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

Seniors age 75 and older are able to access free COVID 19

Seniors age 75 and older are able to access free COVID 19

Seniors age 75 and older are able to access free, dedicated COVID-19 vaccine appointments in New Jersey  

  1. Directly call senior-specific hotline
    Seniors, 75 and older, can call 856 249 7007 (senior-specific NJ COVID Call Center hotline, available 8 am 8 pm) to:  
    • Register, schedule and reschedule appointments as needed This is a phone number just for those 75 and older. 
  2. Receive calls from the NJ COVID Vaccine Call Center
    Seniors who are 75 and older on the New Jersey Vaccine Scheduling System waitlist may receive calls or messages from the NJ COVID Vaccine Call Center to schedule dedicated appointments at the following locations: 
    • Gloucester mega site 
    • Inspira Health (Mullica Hill and Vineland) 
    • Walmart (~60 sites) 
    • Other sites as available
      These sites may have dedicated appointments for those 75 and older 
  3. Schedule directly with hospitals, pharmacies and other sites certain hospitals as well as the following retail pharmacies across the state: 

Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

Seniors Rides  For COVID-19 Vaccinations

Seniors Rides For COVID-19 Vaccinations


Hackensack, N.J. – Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco and the Board of Commissioners have announced that the County has partnered with EZ RIDE to provide seniors age 60 and over with rides for COVID-19 vaccinations.

“We realize that some of our seniors need help getting to our vaccination site at Bergen New Bridge, so we’ve come up with a creative way to provide rides so they can better protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19,” said Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco. “By partnering our community transportation network with EZ Ride, we will help ease the concerns of seniors from our 70 communities while providing access to the vaccine.”

 “This is yet another creative initiative by the County of Bergen to ensure that those most vulnerable to this deadly virus get vaccinated. We will continue to explore additional options to increase vaccine accessibility for all of our seniors,” said Commissioner Chairman Steve Tanelli.

Rides will be provided through companies such as Lyft and Uber under a program known as Ryde4Life, which is part of the EZ Ride network. The program will be coordinated through the Bergen County Division of Community Transportation and the Division of Senior Services that will work together to approve applications submitted by residents for service.

To schedule a ride and seniors can call the Bergen County Division of Community Transportation at 201-368-5955. Seniors interested in accessing the Ryde4Life program must have a working cell phone with them during the transportation service and must apply for the ride 24 hours in advance of their appointment. Some of the information needed to book a ride will include: first and last name; address; cell phone number; pick-up address; pick-up time; and destination address.

When approved for a ride, the senior will be instructed to call EZ RIDE at a designated number to request transportation. Seniors can have a family member or friend accompany them on the ride for additional comfort and safety.

Back to the Homepage

Go back to the Home Page

Call Now Button