Pandemic Grants for Individuals

Last Updated on August 24, 2023 by Hannah Stevens

The world was left almost paralyzed when the COVID-19 outbreak plagued today’s time and disrupted the economic activities in both domestic and global settings. People were told to stay at home and maintain a healthy distance to impede the spread of the virus. As a result, everyone struggled to afford their daily living expenses. Fortunately, the Congress approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and increased the federal grants to meet a wide array of needs, especially housing assistance and coronavirus testing. People were still able to afford programs such as but not limited to education, transportation, social services, and public safety with these grants, which made up more than 30% of the total state revenue. The emergency funds that were released to address the COVID-19 pandemic were generously distributed to these grants that I will discuss in this article.

Did COVID-19 Aid Cause a Sharp Rise in Federal Grants to States in 2020?

Yes! In the fiscal year 2020, the federal government had to shift the focus of the fund allocations to the pandemic-related spendings, which occupied a third of the state revenue. Considering how the government had to address the needs of millions of citizens, it is not surprising to see that the total percentage changes spiked at 93%. Aside from ARRA, this funding came from other laws such as but not limited to Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act; Families First Coronavirus Response Act; and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

What is the OMB Memoranda about Coronavirus (COVID-19) Relief?

To maximize the emergency funds intended to provide financial relief to the citizens amidst the pandemic, The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released multiple memoranda that enable Federal awarding agencies to implement a flexible disaster relief distribution among recipients as they and the law deemed appropriate and permissible. The goal of these memoranda is to alleviate the financial burden while the economy is still disrupted and while the State is slowly crawling back to the resumption of physical operations with the re-opening processes. With their implementation, federal awarding agencies are authorized to provide their recipients with numerous administrative, financial, and audit requirements flexibilities, including the ability to charge salaries and to resume project activities that are supported by the awards. In addition to this, the single audit submission and COVID-19 Emergency Acts Fund reporting will also be extended. 

What is Grant Funding in Response to COVID-19 Made Up a Significant Share of Total Grants to the United States in 2020?

In 2020, more than 90% of the federal resources were distributed among the country’s states. The amount that these areas received significantly varied. However, they were all allocated to six budget sections: Medicaid, COVID-19 aid, income security, transportation, education, other health, and everything else. 

According to the Federal Funds Information for States (FFIS), these are the inclusion of the budget sections:

  • Medicare Part D “clawback” – Compensation provided by the states to the federal government to reimburse certain costs are offered.

  • COVID-19 aid – Increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid

  • Other health – All health budget functions aside from Medicaid 

  • Income security – Budget for social services

  • Everything else – Grant funding for energy, natural resources, environment, community. regional development, employment and training, agriculture, administration of justice, and veterans’ benefits and services.

What are the COVID-19 Dislocated Worker Grants awards?

As workers have to sacrifice their employment to participate in the government’s efforts to impede the spread of the virus, they can only rely on the federal funding grantees’ initiatives to provide them with ample financial assistance to afford their daily living expenses. In line with this, the declaration of nationwide public health emergency last January 27, 2020 commenced the application for Dislocated Worker Grants. These funding requests were allocated for disaster relief cleanup and humanitarian assistance activities to alleviate the financial insecurity of the intended benefactors. The table below is an overview of the list of the approved grantees and the total amount of the fund they received:

Alabama Department of Commerce$1,998,000
California Department of Employment Development$12,502,750
California Department of Employment Development$12,000,000
Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) DOL – Workforce Investment Agency$1,500,000
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment$5,665,000
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment$4,995,000
District of Columbia Department of Employment Services$1,245,969
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity$40,394,746
Technical College System of Georgia$25,293,837
Government of Guam, Department of Administration$3,267,172
Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of Commerce$8,325,000
Indiana Department of Workforce Development$3,628,895
Kentucky Office of Employment and Training$8,883,493
Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development$6,993,000
Maryland Department of Labor$2,881,060
Mississippi Department of Employment Security$11,257,012
North Carolina Department of Commerce-Division of Workforce Solutions$6,000,000
Job Service North Dakota$509,615
New York State Department of Labor$12,000,000
Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission$3,000,000
Republic of Palau dba Ministry of Finance$102,306
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training$2,326,005
South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation$1,137,345
Texas Workforce Commission$39,685,179
Virginia Community College System$3,330,000
State of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services$200,000
Arizona Department of Economic Security$1,332,000
Connecticut Department of Labor$2,331,000
Louisiana Workforce Commission$22,767,303
Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation$4,508,311
Oregon Department of Education$3,000,000
Washington State Department of Employment Security$12,000,000
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development$999,000
Idaho Department of Labor$2,722,281
Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development$1,332,000
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions$3,000,000
Oklahoma Department of Commerce$999,000
South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce$593,540
Virgin Islands Department of Labor$1,500,000
State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations$1,500,000
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity$8,325,000
Upper Shore (Maryland) Workforce Investment Board$496,080
Montana Department of Labor and Industry$582,750
New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development$8,487,304
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development$14,815,295
Maine Department of Labor$1,500,000
Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity$3,330,000
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry$6,993,000
Washington State Department of Employment Security$12,000,000
Iowa Workforce Development$1,665,000
Indiana Department of Workforce Development$6,660,000
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services$8,511,480
Tanana Chiefs Conference (Alaska)$982,905
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development$2,535,795
Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)$4,333,333
Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation$10,975,389
Delaware Department of Labor$1,341,690
New York State Department of Labor$12,000,000
Workforce West Virginia $1,500,000
Cherokee Nation$4,995,000
Lummi Nation $1,160,278
Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development$4,995,000
Adaptive Construction Solutions$1,561,667

Because of the influx of fund request applications from all over the country, the provided initial funding amount has to be reduced to 33% of the grant amount requested to ensure the prioritization of the needs of critical communities found in areas that the COVID-19 public health emergency affected the most. The provided amount may still vary depending on the severity of the rating, which is based on the COVID-19 cases per 10,000 people as reported daily by the CDC, unemployment insurance initial claims data as reported weekly by the Department, and population data as provided in the July 2019 Census estimate. 

Once approved as a grantee of the initial award, an entire budget, and implementation plan should be submitted to the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) within 2 months. Such plans and projects may be subjected to further revisions depending on the duration and evaluation of the COVID-19 impact on the project’s proposed site. 

What is Zellerbach Family Foundation: Community Arts COVID Response Grants?

Another funding source that recipients may apply is the Community Arts COVID Response Grants that are sponsored by the Zellerbach Family Foundation. Grantees of this reward may receive financial assistance worth $5,000 to $15,000. During the application process, potential grantees are expected to articulate the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic to their organization, including the challenges that they encountered and the details of the course of actions they plan to implement during the recovery and reopening operations. Evaluators from the ZFF Board of Directors may also want to know their impact on the community that they serve. If you want to know how to apply for this grant and the details of the application process itself, you may visit the website of the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

What is Amazon Web Services Diagnostic Development Initiative?

A way to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 today and the risk that future outbreaks may bring is to invest in research that is dedicated to compiling comprehensive information regarding public health safety threats. This two-year commitment devotes its $20 million worth of funds to the advancement of scientific and research endeavors to develop better implementations based on the findings of the studies surrounding the four program areas: early disease detection, diagnostics, prognosis, and public health genomics. The utilization of AWS services for the projects of selected institutions and companies is supported through the provision of AWS promotional credits and technical expertise. 

What is Firelight Media: Spark Fund?

Spark Fund provides a $50,000 worth of stipends to filmmakers who captures the true essence of humanity in American society within their projects. It yearns to support the advocacy of multimedia arts professionals in providing a comprehensive understanding of what it truly means to be a citizen of the country through using democracy, constitutional governance, equity, and human rights as a theme. It also supports the resumption of media activities that spread awareness of various communities’ different facets of reality, specifically those of the indigenous tribes and people of color. This award is given to independent documentary filmmakers who are Black and/or a person of color whose works align with NEH’s “A More Perfect Union”.

What is BDC: Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program Guarantee?

This program offers a low-interest loans that range from $5,000 to $1,000,000 to heavily impacted businesses that are located in Canadian Provinces. This fund, which can be used to cover operational cash flow needs, may be requested until the 31st of December 2021.

What is Heritage Fund: COVID-19 Grant Program?

Organization located in Indiana may approach this program for fund requests to sustain their organizational needs. The COVID-19 Grant Program offers financial assistance worth up to $10,000 for adaptive services training, organizational consulting, and adaptive technology and facility expenses. Acceptance and approval of applications are accomplished on a rolling basis through the 31st of December 2021.

What is From the Heart Productions: Documentarian Emergency Relief Fund?

With its area of interest established in Media/Communications sector, the Documentarian Emergency Relief Fund provides a monthly allowance worth $1,000 within 10 months to documentary producers and directors who have terrible financial difficulties amidst the pandemic. Interested applicants who reside in the United States may submit their fund requests before or on the 14th day of the month. 

What is the Brave of Heart Fund?

Family members of healthcare personnel and volunteers who died as a result of COVID-19 are eligible for awards from the Brave Hearts Fund. This grant will help these families cope with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and move on by providing essential and ongoing financial support for common needs, such as funeral costs, medical care, counseling, food, educational expenses for children and other dependents currently in school, mortgage or rent payments, and immediate living expenses. The application for this fund in the United States lasts until the 31st of December 2021.

What is Telus Sponsorships?

Telus Spornships is a recently added fund source that provides financial assistance to health initiatives that strengthens the community in Canadian Provinces. The application for this grant ends at the 31st day of December 2021.

What is Earth Journalism Network: Story Grants on Green Recovery from the COVID-19  Pandemic?

Environmental issues are timeless matters that should be discussed even amidst a pandemic. Whilst today’s financial crisis may create a restricting flow of any endeavor, Journalists should not be discouraged to release in-depth stories that spread awareness of the commitments and efforts from the authorities and crucial players such as huge corporations, towards achieving a more sustainable future. In line with this, Earth Journalism Network through Story Grants on Green Recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic program offers support to multimedia professionals and accepts applications from them until the 3rd day of January 2022. 

What is Volant Charitable Trust: COVID-19 Response Fund?

Despite the scarcity of their livelihood, marginalized citizens and vulnerable groups will not be left behind during the pandemic because of COVID-19 response funds like the one that is offered by the Volant trust. Charities in the United Kingdom may extend their humanitarian services to the poor and alleviate social deprivation through submitting an application to the Volant trust. Applications for medical equipment and the PPE distribution or production are also accepted. Potential grantees may still approach the program until the 31st day of December 2021.

What is Foundation for Choral Music Manitoba: Pandemic Support Grant?

The choral community is not exempted from the financial risks of COVID-19 pandemic; hence, the Foundation for Choral Music Manitoba offered the Pandemic Support Grant, which provides up to $2,000 worth of financial support to approved grantees. The acceptance and approval of applications run until the 1st day of January 2022. 

What is the Colorado Trust: Arts, Cultural, and Youth Athletics Funding Opportunity?

Non-profit organizations in Colorado may apply for a grant at the Colorado Trust and claim a one-time fund which ranges from $10,000 to $50,000. To become an eligible applicant, one must belong to any of the two categories:

  • Organizations engaged in the arts and culture and are led by BIPOCs that have been badly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic 

  • Youth sports leagues whose BIPOC members have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

The application for this grant runs until the 14th of January 2022.

What is New York State Council on the Arts: Capital Funding for the Arts?

The area of interest of this grant revolves around Arts, Culture, and Humanities. Non-profit cultural and arts organizations from New York may seek financial support from the Capital Funding for the Arts Program  to meet their needs and resolve any issues that may arise on their site. The application for this grant concludes on the 14th day of January 2022.

What is Department of State: Continuity of Humanitarian Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The objectives of this program are to investigate and evaluate the premises of the continuously operating humanitarian activities or services. It includes analyzing employed strategies, describing the implication of implemented initiatives to the population, identifying the resumption, discontinuation, and commencement of old or new services, and activities, and determining the working condition and health condition of the staff. The estimated total of the fund of this program ranges from $150,000 to $300,000. Interested applicants may pursue this fund source globally until the 20th day January 2022.

What is Department of Commerce: American Rescue Plan Act Good Jobs Challenge?

With the disruption of economic activities and the labor sector, it is imperative to create and improve regional mechanisms that will establish and implement sectoral collaborations, which is vital to the achievement of job security in the country. Strengthening the human capital development is critical to the alleviation of the financial crisis; thus, the American Rescue Plan Act Good Jobs Challenge pursued the development and administration of successful employer-driven training programs that link the current and developing skill needs of businesses with employees, helping the latter find and maintain good employment and progress along with their professional growth. Its target population includes People with Disabilities, Veterans/Military Affairs, and children and the youth. Applications for this program are accepted until the 26th of January 2022.

What is the National Dislocated Worker Grant Program Guidance?

Under Section 170 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), dislocated workers are provided with an opportunity to recover from the economic consequences of the pandemic as the Secretary of Labor awards grantees with National Dislocated Worker Grants which amount ranges from $150,000 to $100,000,000. This fund has two types:

  • Disaster Recovery – Areas that are recognized as an emergency state by the Federal Emergency Management Agency may apply for this grant to support the gradual recovery process and to maintain the availability of job opportunities.

  • Employment Recovery – This is dedicated to the sustainability of human capital development as dislocated workers in severely affected areas access training services to meet the increasing demand for employment. 

What is Canada United Small Business Relief Fund?

This program is dedicated to supporting the paradigm shift of small businesses from traditional physical operations to the adaptation of digital platforms and technologies as they enter the world of E-commerce. Potential grantees located in Canadian provinces may receive up to $5,000 worth of financial support. The application for this grant has no deadline at all. 

What is Brown County United Way: Emergency Response Fund?

Aside from the public health threat, the world is currently facing, the risk of natural calamities is something that people still worry about. The Emergency Response Fund from the Brown County United Way allocates fund assistance for any disaster that may arise in the community in Wisconsin. As of July 2020, the foundation has granted $313,000 to 37 different non-profit organizations. This program doesn’t have an application deadline.


The announcement of the pandemic back in 2020 brought devastating consequences on earth. Many lives and jobs were lost worldwide, leaving people desperate to find another job as means for their survival. Fortunately, the government and nonprofit organizations created pandemic grants that offer temporary financial assistance to those people in need trying to get back their lives. The pandemic grants may be temporary assistance, but it’s enough for people who lost so many to the pandemic to start again.

Are you looking for the grants per state? You can start by checking out the Lost Wages Grants for Alabama.