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Front Page » Top Stories » 9,000 applicants force United Way to hit pause on pandemic fund

9,000 applicants force United Way to hit pause on pandemic fund

Written by on August 11, 2020
9,000 applicants force United Way to hit pause on pandemic fund

A flood of 9,000 applications in five days quickly caused the United Way of Miami-Dade to stop accepting more as it distributes $20 million in federal funds for those hammered by the pandemic. Applications are to reopen in several weeks once the initial flood is dealt with in first-come, first-served funding.

The county days before had chosen the United Way for the distribution job due to its experience in providing immediate emergency assistance and relief for families and individuals during the pandemic.

Developed by the county, the Miami-Dade Pandemic Assistance Program is to address short-term economic hardship through financial assistance for basic living expenses such as food, utilities, childcare, medical expenses and rental assistance.

“Our county’s collaboration with United Way of Miami-Dade will ensure that residents receive the assistance they need to make it through this pandemic,” said Mayor Carlos Giménez when the program opened to rapidly approve the distribution of the federal funds.

The pandemic assistance program, funded by the federal CARES Act, aims to continue helping asset-limited, income-constrained employed individuals and families impacted by the economic fallout and who have had a significant loss of income due to unemployed or underemployed.

Since mid-March, United Way has been providing emergency assistance through its Miami Pandemic Response Fund, allocating more than $3.6 million raised for individuals, families and small businesses impacted by Covid-19, said Maria Alonso, United Way’s president and CEO. “We are committed to getting this money out as quickly as possible because we know our community is hurting,” she said. 

Depending on household size and income, individuals are eligible for up to $1,000 and families with three or more members can receive up to $2,000, Ms. Alonso said. “54 % of families are living paycheck-to-paycheck in Miami-Dade County who are an emergency away from poverty and now with the pandemic, it has exacerbated an already difficult situation.”

After the launch Aug. 5, United Way had to put a pause on accepting submissions after receiving over 9,000 applications in less than 100 hours, Ms. Alonso said. “It speaks volumes on the terms of need that we have in our community.” 

Each application is to be reviewed one-on-one, which might take a couple of weeks, she said. Once all submissions are reviewed and approved, she said, the application process will re-open until the $20 million is exhausted in the first-come, first-serve style fund distributing. 

“When you look at the sector of small businesses, tourism and hospitality, the county has realized that we are all struggling together,” Ms. Alonso said. “They see the abundant need in our community to help fill that gap and see us through this difficult time.”

83 Responses to 9,000 applicants force United Way to hit pause on pandemic fund

  1. Rosemary Arias

    August 23, 2020 at 2:12 pm my email How do I log back in to see if I’ve been approved I applied before you shut it down

  2. Natasha Jessie

    August 24, 2020 at 8:59 am

    Why is it taking so long to find out if I’m eligible or not. My household is in desperate need. My application says received 18 days ago

  3. Takia

    August 27, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Has anyone been approved? I applied on the 6th of August

    • Tasha

      August 27, 2020 at 11:07 pm

      Me to. They told me today they did 14/1500 last week. They’re moving really slow‍♀️I noticed when I called my status changed from received to in progress so

      • Tamara

        August 28, 2020 at 6:55 pm

        We might not get it until the end of the year it looks like what number did you call?

        • Evelin Llanes

          August 29, 2020 at 11:34 am

          I log in online through submittable

    • Deborah N Trim

      September 2, 2020 at 9:02 pm

      I applied the same day my application says in progress finally after all this time

  4. Evelin Llanes

    August 29, 2020 at 11:31 am

    I applied the instance they opened which was August 5. I checked last night and it says in progress. Hoping I get approved ! And everyone who applied also. Good luck. We all need it!!

  5. Tinesha Alexis

    August 29, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    This system is crazy… they are not sending any updates at all. I applied for the artist grant on submittable which is the same website for the 1000 grant and it at least says In progress but they received my other grant weeks ago. How could they this long to help people along with unemployment? Miami doesnt care about there people, it’s all a scam

  6. Keisha

    August 30, 2020 at 10:29 am

    I apply it’s says approved and I got a email

    • Evelin Llanes

      August 30, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Keisha when did you apply?

    • Tinesha Alexis

      August 31, 2020 at 2:02 am

      I’m still in progress and I applied on the 8th. What day did you apply?

      • Evelin Llanes

        August 31, 2020 at 11:11 am

        August 5. When did yours change to “in progress”?

    • Lock

      October 29, 2020 at 8:04 pm

      After u was approved how long do it take to receive money

  7. Tasha

    September 1, 2020 at 7:20 pm

    I applied on the 6 and still in progress call (305)646-7600 they only tell you bs like please be patient and how many applications they got!

    • Takia

      September 2, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      Are you sure that’s the right number? I called and a random man answered the phone

      • Tee

        September 3, 2020 at 2:27 pm

        Sorry (305)646-7000

  8. Deborah N Trim

    September 2, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    What does in progress means after a whole month it just update to in progress and I applied since the 6th of last month

    • Tee

      September 3, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Yeah same here. I think it’s bs. We are just in a bad time and NOONE is helping just like THE GOVERNMENT NOTHING. It shouldn’t take more than a month to process. Saw someone say they were approved but didn’t here them say they got actual deposit.

  9. Mandi

    September 2, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    I just got my approval email today. Didnt give any amounts though

    • TJ

      September 3, 2020 at 2:33 pm

      Sounds good now another month for deposit. Jesus take the wheel.

    • Takia

      September 3, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      When did you apply?

  10. Deborah Trim

    September 3, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    I got my approval right after I posted this comment

    • Takia

      September 4, 2020 at 3:50 pm

      Does it say approved now on yours? I applied on the 6 too 🙁

      • Deborah Trim

        September 5, 2020 at 2:35 pm

        I already got my deposit on the 4th it was approved on the 2nd

  11. Deborah Trim

    September 3, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    From what I saw in the newspaper households with 2 or less people gets $1000 3 0r more gets $2000

  12. Carrie Wilborn

    September 4, 2020 at 2:00 am

    I applied on August 7th, and for 3 weeks it said received.A friend of mine applied August 8th and has already got an approval. So, I know they are not doing them in order, I just hope I get approved. Unemployment is a joke, and living paycheck to paycheck is not working. What is $400 every two weeks? $800 a month my rent is $1300. I hope I’m approved soon, it will definitely help

  13. Deborah Trim

    September 4, 2020 at 11:57 am

    I got my deposit in my account last night

    • Nikki

      September 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm

      How were you notified?

  14. Ashley

    September 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    I applied on the 6th, it’s been in the in process state for about 3 weeks now.

  15. Kris

    September 4, 2020 at 4:15 pm

    I applied on August 8th at midnight and it’s been in progress since last week, 3 of my friends applied a day after me and they all got accepted and received their payment within 48 hours, one got $2k and the other 2 received $1k as per household qualifications.

  16. Patricia

    September 5, 2020 at 8:57 am

    I applied the first day August 5th and my application status shows revceived. I’m not sure what order are they going by but I really need the assistance. It makes no sense why it’s taking so long.

  17. Gerda Rouzard Phanor

    September 6, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    I applied with United Way and have yet received nothing. What are these people doing with the money? Let us know if we’re approved or not, this is disappointing shame on United Way for making us wait so long in a time like this. It’s a Pandemic, help the people already, sheesh.

  18. Ledys Morera

    September 7, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    I applied August 7 and my application status shows received .

    • Carrie Wilborn

      September 11, 2020 at 11:32 am

      I guess everyone who applied on the 7th is just being skipped over. Everyone who is being approved applied on the 5,6,8th and 9.

  19. Lauren

    September 8, 2020 at 9:20 am

    I applied on August 6th. My status shows in progress for over 2 weeks know. Hopefully I get a response soon.

  20. Ledys Morera

    September 8, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Today my status changed from received to processing .

  21. Jess

    September 8, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    I’m in Desperate need of this Assistance like of you guys, it’s been well over a Month and it’s been in progress for a week now. I hope we all get good news soon!

  22. Ash

    September 8, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    I’m also in the “in-progress” stage for about 5 weeks now. I’ve called and left voicemails plus have emailed the help desk email but no response. Good luck to everyone.

  23. Ledys Morera

    September 9, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I applied August 7 and my application status shows In-progress. I don’t know why takes so long .

  24. Tee

    September 9, 2020 at 8:01 pm


  25. Nikki

    September 10, 2020 at 9:51 am

    I applied the first day. September 4th, they sent an email that my bank information was incorrect. I sent in corrections yesterday. Hopefully, they process it soon and I am approved.

  26. Tinesha

    September 10, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    I finally got approved yall this morning. They sent me an email saying I was approved. I put in on August 8. I already put my account info so they said it should drop within two weeks. I will update yall when it happens

    • Talia

      September 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm

      How long was urs in progress for?

  27. Jess

    September 11, 2020 at 11:14 am

    Finally! Applied 8/6, Accepted 9/9, Received 9/11

  28. Gerda

    September 11, 2020 at 11:52 am

    I applied 08/05/2020 I got accepted 9/10, and received my payment 9/11 In my bank account this morning. I’m praying everyone in this comment section, and others in need get the assistance they need. Thank You United Way!

  29. Ledys Morera

    September 12, 2020 at 7:48 am

    I waiting a month for help . My daughter has a kidney transplant. My son lost his job. I am single women. I need the money as soon. I’m in-process for a wk.

  30. Daniele Quigley

    September 13, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    do u guys know if is a on time thing or mostly assistance? I apply a month ago and just got the 1000k

    • Deborah Trim

      September 14, 2020 at 10:17 am

      It is only one time

  31. Ash

    September 14, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Still in the “in-progress” . Week 6 now.

  32. Gerda

    September 14, 2020 at 10:12 am

    It’s a one time assistant from United Way! You can’t apply twice, and be mindful of the other people who really need the help as well. I received $2000 last week, and wish everyone the best of luck.

  33. Nikki

    September 14, 2020 at 11:44 am

    Still waiting…

  34. Carlos Machado

    September 14, 2020 at 8:23 pm

    I want to apply but I don’t know how to do it or where is the link

  35. nikiki

    September 15, 2020 at 9:41 am

    I called to check the status of my application and was told that all the funds were used. Even though it says in progress.

    • Natashalee Dunn

      September 16, 2020 at 11:56 am

      What number you dialed?

      • Nikki

        September 18, 2020 at 5:00 pm


  36. Shannel

    September 15, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I applied August 7th, finally last week I noticed it said in process. I received a call from United Way thinking it was to inform me about my application and it was a lady to let me know they have a high volume of applications which is why it is taking long. She indicated someone will call by the end of last week, if it states in process but no one has called. I just recently called and a gentleman just informed me that the funds ran out… I don’t understand how the funds already ended when there’s families who applied that same week applications opened and still no response if we are accepted or not. This is ridiculous… We are a family of three stressing every week to see how we can make it through the month..

    • Nikki

      September 17, 2020 at 3:21 am

      I was told the same thing. The funds ran out! I applied the first day it opened. This is some bs. No one ever called me and informed me of anything. In fact they ask for my bank information to be updated sept 5. I did and nothing. Its me and three boys all under age
      8. Hopefully the we are included in the next round.

      • Sally

        September 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm

        Yes a bunch of bullshit. I understand it may have ran out BUT it’s NO WAY IN HELL you process apps from 7,8,9 and the people that applied on the 5th and 6th just shit outta luck. THIS NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED ASAP‼️‼️‼️

    • TJ

      September 21, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      They’re a lie. They gave it all to their families first. They claimed it was 20mil in funds. I did 9000 ppl x $2000 don’t come to 20mil AND half of the 9000 only getting $1000 now how is the money used up. Somebody in the office trying to figure out how to put the money in their OWN POCKETS I BET

  37. Ashley

    September 16, 2020 at 11:42 am

    I applied on the 6th and have been in the in progress stage for 6 weeks now. Pretty scummy that they skipped over application dates and continued to process without following the first come first serve basis but yet again this is Miami Dade. What more can one expect that to be short handed and left to dry.

  38. Nikki

    September 18, 2020 at 5:31 pm


  39. Nikki

    September 22, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Did anyone receive payment? I called and spoke to someone and they are still working on applications.

    • Shannel

      September 22, 2020 at 10:03 am

      I have not received anything … did this person indicated anything about the funds running out? I have called multiple times but no one answers anymore Smfh

    • Ashley

      September 22, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Nothing yet, I got two calls from United way this past Thursday and they told me to allow more time. Week 7 now “in-progress”.

  40. Patricia

    September 22, 2020 at 10:40 am

    The United Way of Miami has caller ID Guys and if you call 3 or more times they will Block your phone number and you will receive a message that says
    ‼️I’m sorry the number you call is not in our area‼️ The minute you call private or from another number it will go through fine. It only leads to frustration and questions unanswered.. I prayed that these calls, emails and voicemails are being monitored and recorded!!!! Just Ridiculous!

  41. Ledys Morera

    September 22, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Applied 08/07, In-process 09/07. . Today I received approval email .

  42. Takia

    September 24, 2020 at 12:27 am

    I applied 8/7 in progress over a month got an email today to update tax information

    • Tasha

      September 27, 2020 at 3:19 am

      I got this same message today. I didn’t file so I wonder will I be denied I thought this was emergency money to help with bills. Why all this processing. We are on a state of emergency!

      • Takia

        September 27, 2020 at 4:57 pm

        They asked for 2018 or 2019. You can send either one

        • TJ

          September 28, 2020 at 9:01 pm

          Filed under non filers I don’t have either‍♀️

  43. Al

    September 24, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Applied 08/07,In-progress 09-23.
    Today I received approval email.

  44. Shannel

    September 24, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Finally got approved this morning! the excitement I got and still feel when I woke up this morning to an email stating I’m approved! Super blessed day! I believe those people who indicated that the funds ran out just got tired of dealing with all the calls and it was the most simple thing to say.. But then again is really F UP to say those things when families are in desperate needs! smh I HOPE EVERYONE HERE GETS BLESSED SOON WITH THE EXACT EMAIL I RECEIVED TODAY. Have a blessed day!

  45. Shonda

    September 26, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Has anyone had to wait the full two weeks for the deposit to hit there account???

  46. Gerda

    September 27, 2020 at 10:48 am

    This respond is to, Shonda. The answer is NO you get the money deposited into your account within 48hrs. Good Luck

  47. Deborah Trim

    September 27, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Not me I only hgv ad to wait 2 days what day did you receive your accepted email

  48. Shonda

    September 28, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    I received my acceptance letter on the 17th and still nothing

  49. takia

    October 1, 2020 at 10:02 am

    i finally got my approval email today. almost 2 long months of waiting. im happy i finally got approved tho. i just hope its not a long wait to get deposited. but it doesnt say how much ill get

  50. TJ

    October 1, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Finally approved today just 5 days shy of 2 months waiting now how long for the actual deposit?

  51. Marie miles

    October 2, 2020 at 8:21 am

    I need help with everything

  52. Marie miles

    October 2, 2020 at 8:25 am

    I need help with everything my family live off on social security and ssi once a months its very hard to live out of that income once a month

  53. Ginger

    October 15, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    I received my acceptance letter September 9th still nothing!

    • Kaseyia Howard

      October 29, 2020 at 6:46 am

      Did you get your money