What is Polk County CARES?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, is a law meant to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Polk County CARES Program was created to assist households that have experienced a verifiable loss of income due to the impacts of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), by providing rent, mortgage and/or public utilities payments to prevent eviction and homelessness as a result of the pandemic crisis.

Do I qualify?

You must be a resident of Polk County. Individuals and/or households may apply for financial assistance. Individuals who have lost their job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for $2,000 in assistance (one per household). Below is the criteria:

You must be a resident of Polk County

Eligible recipients must submit mortgage, rent and/or public utilities statement

Show a verifiable loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19

Have not received other COVID-19 assistance for rent, mortgage or utility payments

What do I need to apply?

There are a number of items needed to verify your eligibility for the Polk County CARES Program, including:

Valid Florida ID or Florida driver license (just one only)

Social Security Number

Proof of loss of income related to COVID-19 impacts due to health and employment (furlough, lay-off letter from employer, unemployment statement, etc.)

Utility invoice and mortgage/rent bill

Need help?

Not sure exactly what you're looking for or just want clarification? We'd be happy to chat and clear things up for you.

Call center

(863) 298-7500

Call center hours

Mon-Fri: 8am - 6pm

Frequently Asked Questions

Quesions related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

Polk County can only provide CARES assistance to its residents.

The maximum per-household award for the CARES program is $2,000, for rent/mortgage and/or public utilities.

Utility services eligible for assistance are electricity, water, wastewater (sewer), solid waste, and natural gas. Telephone service, including landline and cell phone, and internet service are not eligible.

Yes. You can save your progress and return anytime. It is vitally important you gather all required documentation before starting your application. Funds are available on a first qualified, first come, first served basis.

The application period opens on May 19, 2020 at 8am and will close once all funds have been expended.

There will be a total of 7,500 individuals/households awarded assistance of $2,000.

Polk County plans to start issuing checks within a week. It's important to identify your name and address correctly.

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