ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – On Saturday, Orange County reopened its CARES Act Individual and Family Assistance Program. The county said $60 million has been put aside for the program, which provides recipients with a one-time $1,000 payment.
The online portal at ocfl.net/OrangeCares for CARES Act for individuals and families opened at 8 a.m. and was expected to stay open for 15,000 users.
The portal was still open as of noon, according to the county.
Diana Lenis said she first applied back in June. After several back and forths with the county, she said she recently received an email stating she has been tentatively approved.
“We went from a two-income household to a one-income household and the bills continue to come,” said Lenis. “There is a really big need. When I did call 3-1-1, I was told that you know there were thousands of applications and they were trying to get through them fairly quickly.”
Orange County provided data to News 6 that showed more than 6,000 people applied for the relief on Oct. 12. Of those applicants, 46% were denied due to a lack of documentation or failure to show how the COVID-19 pandemic finically impacted them.
CARES Act for Individual & Families reopens tomorrow, 10/24, at 8 a.m., for 15,000 users.— Orange County FL (@OrangeCoFL) October 23, 2020
✅ Visit the application portal early.
✅ TAKE YOUR TIME. You will not be logged off once the portal reaches capacity.
Direct link: https://t.co/OpSJjGWZMZ pic.twitter.com/gIzUa6O6zk
Lenis said that she had to close her smoothie business because of the pandemic. She said that she’s thankful the county plans to reopen the portal for others in need.
“I’m glad they are opening it for new people because I know I’m not alone. I know that there are so many people out there that are in worse situations than me, much worse.”
Orange County was awarded $243.2 million from the federal CARES Act.