ERIF Frequently Asked Questions

Can more than one family with the same address apply?  

Yes. However, the project manager will monitor the number of applicants per household.  

My spouse is COVID-19 positive, can he also apply?  

No. Family payments seek to support the family as a unit which includes a spouse/partner and children under the age of 18.  

Can children under the age of 18 apply to an individual payment?  

No, applicants have to be at least 18 years old to qualify.  

I do not have a recent COVID-19 test result, but my child does. Do I meet the COVID-19 test eligibility requirement? 

Yes. A child’s test result may be used to satisfy the COVID-19 testing eligibility for an adult applicant. However, this will count for a whole household’s application. 

What is the payment method?  

Eligible applicants will receive a debit card ($1,000 for families and $500 for individuals) in the name of the applicant in the mail. Therefore, it is important that clients’ name and address information are collected accurately. The correspondence will include instructions in English and Spanish on how to activate the card to use it as a debit card or exchange it for cash at the nearest ATM machine.  

Clients can access funds the following two ways:  

  • As Debit Cards (No fees)  
  • Activation process via the company’s website https://www.omnicard.com/cards/activate . . .
  • or by calling 877-357-4975 (phone # on back of card). Spanish operators available.  

Please note that cards can take up to 12 business days to reach the applicant from the moment of application.  

Does the card expire?  

Yes, clients have 12 months to use the funds in the debit card. Clients will not be able to access funds in the card beyond 12 months and essentially will lose the money. Therefore, it is imperative that case managers emphasize the card’s expiration date during intake and again during the closeout survey interview.  

Who should I contact if the payment has not been received? 

The program manager can be reached at [email protected] and is available to respond at the following dates and times:  

  • Tuesday 12PM-4PM ET 
  • Wednesday 12PM-4PM ET  
  • Friday 12PM-4PM ET 

The program manager will liaise between the CBO and the card company.   

Is this money taxable? 

The program is classified as “disaster relief” or “gift” and under IRS regulations is not taxable.   

I am worried about my personal information being shared. Is my information protected? 

All information collected by the program manager will be strictly confidential, and MIMA will not have any access. In fact, the program manager is housed in the Baltimore Civic Fund which is protected as a 501(c)(3) and will not be subject to the Public Information Act. Relevant information will only be shared with the debit card company to issue the payment. The credit card company has strict confidentiality policies and information cannot be shared.   

If my family already receives funds from a federal source, does that disqualify us from the ERIF program? 

No. Overall, the CBO will have the discretion in choosing which individuals or families. However, if they are receiving unemployment insurance or a stimulus check benefits then that does disqualify the client. 

What exactly qualifies a client to apply as a family? 

A client can be considered as a family if they are a parent, stepparent, guardian, or adopted parent of at least one child under the age of 18. But, of course, there must be supporting documentation with the names of both the parent and child together to validate this.