ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County is preparing to offer more relief to residents struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting next week, multi-adult households can get an additional $1,000 to help with expenses as the county expands applications to a second member of a household in which one person in the home has already been eligible for assistance.

What You Need To Know

  • Orange County expanding household members who can seek funds

  • A second adult in a household thst already received aid can apply for $1,000

  • The applicstion portal will open Monday at 8 a.m. EST

  • The county must spend the CARES Act funds by December 30

The portal opens Monday at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. So, even if one member of a household already received a $1,000 CARES Act check, another eligible adult can log on and apply for a second one. The second member of the household will have to provide proof that COVID-19 has negatively impacted the household economically between March 2020 and now.

“December 30 is the deadline that we have to expend these dollars," Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, referencing the federal CARES Act funding. "Given where we are, we need to make certain that we pick the pace up a bit, to ensure that we don’t return any dollars back to the federal government.”

That $1,000 was the magic then-furloughed, 25-year Disney employee Jennifer O’Leary desperately needed.

“I put it in in July, and when I got the notification that it went through, I was just thrilled and I was like ‘Oh thank God,’ " O’Leary said.

It wasn’t long before her relief turned to disappointment when her furlough, like many others, became a layoff.

Now, she’s searching for a new job.

Along the way, she found many others who have fallen on hard times.

“For one household, $1,000 is wonderful, but if you have other members in the household that can claim, that’s huge for families," O’Leary said.

O’Leary is the only member of her household, so as of now, she can’t apply for a second check through the CARES Act expansion.

However, the former cast member remains hopeful.

“I’m hoping that there will be other programs out there to help others, including myself, make our way through this storm that’s happening right now,"  O’Leary said.