Online programs & info from South Plainfield Library

Featured

>>>>> We have CURBSIDE SERVICE! <<<<<
>>>>> We have LIMITED IN-PERSON SERVICE! <<<<<
>>>>> Check out our growing collection of READING LISTS! <<<<<

Visit our website for a regularly updated schedule of all our online programs!
NOTE: If you’ll be joining us on Zoom, check out these Zoom security tips first! Click here for Zoom support.


For your convenience, we’ve compiled links to essential COVID-19 resources on one page of our website. Just go to our homepage at http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/ and click on “COVID-19 INFO & RESOURCES”! http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/covid.htm

Updated 11/2/20

Marijuana Decriminalization/Administrative Expungements

The NJ Marijuana Decriminalization Law, which took effect July 1, 2021, required the expungement of certain marijuana and hashish cases. As a result, the Supreme Court has ordered that thousands of cases be expunged.
==> New Jersey Judiciary Expunges More than 360,000 Marijuana Offenses (njcourts.gov)
https://www.njcourts.gov/pressrel/2021/pr091621a.pdf?c=hHp
==> Expungement of Certain Marijuana or Hashish Cases (njcourts.gov)
https://www.njcourts.gov/marihashexpunge.html
eCourts Expungement System (njcourts.gov)
==> You can apply for an expungement using the free eCourts Expungement System:
https://www.njcourts.gov/selfhelp/expungement.html

Avoid marketing scams during 2022 Medicare Open Enrollment

During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which began on October 15 and ends December 7, Medicare beneficiaries can choose the plans that are best for them for 2022. It’s important to understand your rights and some of the limits on marketing. That way you’ll be prepared if an insurance broker or agent tries to enroll you in a Medicare plan that isn’t right for you. Find out more at: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2021/10/avoid-marketing-scams-during-2022-medicare-open-enrollment
==> More Medicare resources: http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/seniors/seniors.htm#medicare

Webfinder : Charitable Giving

Information icon

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (Give.org) – Evaluates the management practices of hundreds of national charities. Also offers Advice for Donors, including basic advice, and advice on specific topics such as Disaster Relief, Police & Firefighter Appeals, Car & Used Goods Donations, Charity Sweepstakes, Child Sponsorship and more. (Council of Better Business Bureau, Inc.)

Charity Navigator – Rates the financial health of thousands of charities. If you register (free) you can also receive an occasional e-newsletter, suggest groups you would like to see evaluated, and keep track of charities that interest you. The site also offers special reports on topics of current interest to donors, as well as Tips for Donors, advice on Evaluating Charities Not Currently Rated by Charity Navigator, and a report on charities’ CEO Compensation, most recently done in 2016. (Non-profit organization; site includes advertisements)

Charity Scams – “If you’re thinking about giving to a charity, do your research to avoid fraudsters who try to take advantage of your generosity. Here are tips to help make sure …CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THIS WEBFINDER!

COVID Unemployment Benefits, Financial Resources & Support

man with baby at computer
Federal laws that expanded Unemployment Insurance benefits to more workers expired September 4, 2021. Learn about extended benefits at https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov/apply/extensions/. If you have exhausted your unemployment benefits or are not eligible, or you need additional support, additional resources may be available to you related to work, family, food, child care, health, rent/housing, utilities,and more.
https://www.myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/help/resources-support/

==> ADDITIONAL COVID-19 JOB RESOURCES: http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/useful/jobs.htm

==> JUNE 2020: Millions of workers have filed for unemployment insurance benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve lost your job or a portion of your income, you can apply for benefits through your state unemployment program, and if you qualify, you have options for how you can receive this money…
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/receive-your-unemployment-benefits-options/

Six-Month Utility Shutoff Grace Period ending

==> October 2021 update: Residents who are behind in their utility and gas bills have until December 1 to enter an assistance program or pay their outstanding bills: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/south-plainfield/sections/other-nj-news/articles/350-000-nj-households-notified-of-overdue-electric-bills-apply-for-assistance-or-pay-up-says-government-19
Check your eligibility at: https://njdca-housing.dynamics365portals.us/en-US/

==> Additional home heating resources: https://southplainfieldlibrary.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/webfinder-home-energy-conservation-heating/

No one will face a gas, water, or electric utility disconnection in NJ before December 31st, 2021. The formal moratorium on gas, electric, and water utility shutoffs will end on July 1st, 2021 with a grace period that will run through December 31st, 2021. This period is for customers to enroll in payment assistance plans.
For more information on programs that help you pay your utility bills or arrears, see https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/assistance-and-benefits/what-if-i-cant-pay-my-water-gas-electricity-phone-or-internet-bill-due-to-the-outbreak-is-the-state-doing-anything-to-prevent-utility-shutoffs

Mortgage relief deadlines ended, options to avoid foreclosure


==>OCTOBER 2021 UPDATE: Deadline to request initial forbearance for HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA backed loans is extended until National Emergency ends: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/deadline-request-initial-forbearance-hud-fha-usda-va-backed-loans-extended-until-national-emergency-ends/

==> AUGUST 2021 UPDATE: A new rule goes into effect on August 31, 2021, that helps ensure your mortgage servicer is providing meaningful opportunities for you to avoid foreclosure and stay in your home. If you’re not in forbearance, mortgage relief options may still be available through your mortgage servicer. Details at: https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/new-mortgage-servicing-rule-aims-to-prevent-avoidable-foreclosures-as-protections-expire/

==> July 2021 UPDATE: The federal foreclosure moratoria are set to expire July 31st, and lenders and mortgage servicers can start foreclosing on homes as soon as August 1st. Homeowners who are behind on their mortgages must act now to save their homes. https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/we-have-resources-help-avoid-foreclosure/
In the coming weeks and months, many protections that were set up to protect consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic will expire. Start working with your mortgage servicer now to prevent foreclosure – the longer you wait, or the further you fall behind on your payments, the harder it will be to find a solution. For help and info, see
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/as-foreclosure-protections-end-time-to-work-with-your-mortgage-servicer/

==> December 2020: Many homeowners now have more time to seek forbearance and avoid foreclosure as deadlines have been extended. These protections are available to homeowners with mortgages backed by federal government agencies or the government sponsored agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/mortgage-relief-deadlines-extended/

COVID-19 Mental Health resources

Toll-free hotlines & helplines:
https://www.nj211.org/covid-19-and-mental-health
==> APA Coronavirus Mental Health Resources:
https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/covid-19-coronavirus
https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/covid-19-coronavirus#family
==> Mental Health and Wellness Resources for Young Adults [NEW!]:
https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/youthhelp
==> For additional mental health resources, see:
Webfinder: Meditation & Stress Reduction
https://southplainfieldlibrary.wordpress.com/tag/mental-health/
http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/useful/health.htm#Mental
http://www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us/useful/health.htm#substance