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Authors

  1. Dean, Caress PhD, MPH

Abstract

Black and Hispanic Americans are disproportionately affected by COVID-19, which impacts their social needs. The objective of this study was to examine differences in white, Black, and Hispanic adults' application and receipt of services to address their social needs during COVID-19. Utilizing weeks 1, 2, and 3 from the COVID Impact Survey, descriptive statistics analyzed covariates and the 12 social services by participants' race/ethnicity. Unweighted frequencies and weighted percentages were computed for the services score by race/ethnicity. Forward stepwise binary logistic regression analyses examined the relationship between services needed and race/ethnicity. All analyses were conducted using STATA MP 14. Among 20 533 participants, unemployment insurance was a common service participants reported applying for or trying to apply for. Compared with white participants, Hispanic participants had higher adjusted odds of needing unemployment insurance services (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-2.11). Black (AOR = 3.25; 95% CI, 2.49-4.25) and Hispanic (AOR = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.14-2.10) participants had higher adjusted odds of needing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program services than white participants. It is important for Black and Hispanic Americans to have access to these social services. Research and evaluation studies are warranted to inform policies that sustain/modify social services for future use. These studies must include a representative sample of Black and Hispanic Americans.