Who is the coronavirus disproportionately affecting?

A message from Beth Goldman, NYLAG’s President & Attorney-in-Charge:

We are all affected by the coronavirus epidemic. We also know that public health issues, like the coronavirus, can disproportionately affect communities that have been historically marginalized due to lower-income, race, ethnicity, immigration status, and disability. 

Many NYLAG clients belong to the aforementioned communities and are being profoundly impacted by the coronavirus.  For example:

  • Older adults and people with disabilities may not have access to adequate healthcare to protect themselves from an illness;
  • Immigrants may be afraid to report symptoms for fear of retaliation, or may be afraid to work or travel due to rising xenophobia;
  • Workers in low-wage jobs with symptoms of illness may be docked pay or fired for staying home in violation of NYC paid sick leave laws. 

NYLAG has a culture and history of rapidly responding to emerging needs, adapting to meet those needs with innovative programs and partnerships. We were the first legal organization to respond after 9/11 assisting more than 2,300 victims. We introduced the Storm Response Unit after the devastating Superstorm Sandy, becoming the largest provider of storm response legal services in New York.

As we stand together in this time of flux and change, we will continue to ensure that our clients have fair and equal access to justice, while taking necessary precautions to protect our staff and those we serve.

We will continue to monitor new developments, consult with health officials, share information with you, and react swiftly if changes in our protocols become necessary.  We will get through this, together. 

Wishing you good health,



Founded in 1990, the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) is a leading not-for-profit legal services organization advocating for adults, children, and families that are experiencing poverty or have low-income. We address emerging and urgent needs with comprehensive, free civil legal services, direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, financial counseling, a medical-legal partnership model, and community education and partnerships.


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In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are still working hard and our intake lines are open, but please note that our physical office is closed.

During these unprecedented times, we’ve launched a free NY COVID-19 Legal Resources Hotline and compiled the latest legal and financial counseling updates.