Connecticut has millions of dollars of rental assistance available for tenants who earn up to or less than 80% of the area median income and were financially impacted by the pandemic. The U.S. Department of the Treasury allocated money to every state, as well as certain qualifying municipalities, in January. Connecticut received about $235.9 million in this round of emergency rental assistance. The state named its program UniteCT, and it began in March.\u00a0 Up to $15,000 in rent and $1,500 in electricity assistance is available per household. That money can cover up to 12 months of back rent and up to three months of future rent. The assistance can be applied only to rental and electricity payments -- not pet, parking, late or other fees.\u00a0 This program is addressing a heightened need following an order by the U.S. Supreme Court late last month that allowed evictions to resume again after a monthslong federal ban on evictions for nonpayment of rent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention instituted the ban for qualifying evictions in September 2020. Hearst Connecticut Media Group talked to housing experts and state officials and reviewed program guidelines to compile a list of 10 things you need to know when applying for rental assistance. 1. Applications are only available online. To complete the application, you'll need to use a link on the UniteCT website. You also need an email address. If you don't have access to the internet or technology that allows you to log onto the portal, you can go to one of 16 resource centers around the state for help. UniteCT also has a bus that travels around Connecticut every weekday and every other Saturday to host events during which residents can apply for rental assistance. A schedule is available online, UniteCT director Dawn Parker said. 2. You'll need documentation for many parts of the application. Many portions of the application require documentation. Most tenants will have to submit a copy of their lease, proof of income, identification documents and proof of financial hardship, among other documents. Connecticut does allow tenants to self-attest to many portions of the application and uses qualified census tracts to prove income in many instances. Landlords will also have to upload their identity, W9, lease, rent arrearage documentation and proof of ownership, Parker said. 3. Housing counselors are available to help. In addition to the UniteCT Mobile Bus Resources and resource centers across the state, UniteCT has staff members available to help residents fill out their applications and answer questions. Staff members can be reached at 1-844-864-8328. For technical assistance, you can email a screenshot of the problem to DOH-UniteCT@ct.gov, according to the UniteCT website. 4. Landlords don't have to reduce the amount owed. Early in the program, landlords were required to reduce the amount of rent owed by 15% in order to participate. After receiving feedback from landlords, state officials removed this requirement. The money now covers up to 12 months of back rent and up to three months of future rent. Late fees are not included, Parker said. 5. If a landlord doesn't want to participate, tenants have options. The application process requires input from both tenants and landlords. Some tenants have reported that landlords don't want to participate, said Pamela Heller, a staff attorney with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center. UniteCT tries to work with landlords who are unwilling to participate in the program. Staffers call the landlord and try to resolve the issue. If that doesn't work, UniteCT tries to help through eviction prevention programs and connecting residents to services. If tenants find a new place to live, UniteCT will cover the deposit and up to three months of rent, Parker said. 6. Immigrants can apply without having to submit their paperwork online. For immigrants who may not want to submit their paperwork online, UniteCT has partnered with the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants. Tenants can contact the institute to fill out an application, according to the institute's website. 7. You should check in on your application status. Heller works often with people who are trying to access rental assistance. Heller advises that tenants applying for rental assistance check in on their applications' statuses often. "You have to stay on top of it," Heller said. "You can't just submit your documents and wait. Read all your emails, communicate with them as much as you can." 8. Income eligibility is determined by household size. Tenants who earn up to 80% of their area median income are eligible for assistance. The number varies by city and household size. 9. More money is set to arrive in the state. The state has received about $235.9 million in rental assistance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The department is set to dole out a second round of funding in the coming months, following the passage of Congressional acts that aimed in part to help U.S. residents recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. 10. Landlords can't file evictions without a UniteCT case number. An order from Gov. Ned Lamont under his public health emergency powers says that landlords can't file nonpayment evictions without a UniteCT case number. This means that landlords and tenants need to participate in the assistance system before an eviction for nonpayment of rent can be filed. The governor's emergency powers are set to expire this month.