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High demand causes errors as Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund starts taking applications

The $30 million fund was set up to help those struggling due to the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

HOUSTON — The Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund is now accepting applications from eligible residents as the program enters its second phase of development.

Many people trying to apply early Tuesday were met with various error messages, however.

The $30 million fund was set up to help those struggling due to the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic. You can find out if you qualify here.

Applications went online at HarrisCountyRelief.org at 6 a.m. Tuesday and will stay open until 10 p.m. Wednesday, county officials say.

Shortly after 7 a.m., the county posted the following message about the errors many people are receiving:

Due to high volume of traffic, we are experiencing some slow downs on the Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund online application.

We are currently receiving application submissions. If you are submitting your application and receiving a 502 and 504 error message, your application was likely submitted. We will confirm your submission via text or e-mail by tomorrow morning.

We apologize for the inconvenience. Our team is working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that the application is open until 10 PM tomorrow, and that you can also apply over the phone at (832) 848-0214.

Today, the phone application is open between 6:00 am and 2:00 pm CT.

Note: It is not first come, first serve

On Monday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said this isn't a "first-come, first-served," program. She said recipients will be chosen in a random drawing with more entries for the most vulnerable people.

RELATED: Do you qualify? | Guidelines for $30 million Harris County COVID-19 Relief Fund

The fund is open to all eligible Harris County residents, including immigrant households, those who may receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance but cannot afford to wait for months, and those ineligible for CARES Act payments or unemployment insurance.

There's also financial help available for Fort Bend County residents. The county has approved a $19 million relief fund. More information here.

RELATED: Do you qualify? How to apply for COVID-19 relief in Fort Bend County

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