Has the coronavirus pandemic cost you your job this month? Read on for a list of COVID-19 financial relief resources.
COVID-19 Financial Relief Resources
Coronavirus has had a major impact on the economy in the past month. The shut-down of businesses in order to follow CDC directives for containing the outbreak of the virus has cost many their jobs. Many others are working for reduced pay.
If you are in financial need, you are not alone. Each day public and private entities are working to create direct people to financial relief. Here are some resources to help you get financial relief during COVID-19.
Many mortgage lenders have communicated their willingness to work with people who have been laid off. This could include suspending payments. If you might need some relief here, contact your lender immediately and let them know your status. But as coronavirus has impacted so many at once, often it is difficult to get through.
If you are unable to reach your lender, due to call-centers being overwhelmed, use their websites. Often lenders provide forms to file on the account sign-in pages. Website traffic has been high as well, so consider waiting until late at night to use the site.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Provide COVID-19 Financial Relief
If your mortgage is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and you have financial losses due to COVID-19, there is good news. The mortgage buyers have suspended all foreclosures and evictions for homes owned by these companies.
They have also extended their forbearance program, resulting in possibly suspending mortgage payments for up to a year. Find out from your lender, if your loan is held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
If you have a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, evictions and foreclosures have been suspended.
COVID-19 Financial Relief for Renters
Resources for renters affected by the coronavirus will vary depending on your home city and your landlord. Some cities, such as San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, will not issue evictions during this COVID-19 public health emergency.
Other landlords, like this one in Brooklyn, are deciding, to waive rent and withhold evictions in order to aid those affected by the coronavirus.
Paying Utilities During COVID-19
Several cities and counties have chosen to halt shutting off utilities out of concern for those unable to pay due to the impact of the coronavirus. Additionally, often there are nonprofit agencies in communities able to provide help to those vulnerable in an economic emergency.
Call 2-1-1 for information on how to receive assistance with utilities
Health Insurance Relief
COBRA allows laid-off workers access to their health plans but is often expensive. Some states have opened up enrollment periods in response to the economic emergency. This means that those who may not have qualified previously have a chance to enroll under different requirements and often, on their spouse’s plan.
Student Loans during the Coronavirus Crisis
If you hold federal student loans and you can pursue an emergency deferment, for up to 60 days. You must contact your loan servicer to file for this relief.
(Some good news if you are in a position to keep making payments on your loans: the federal government has lowered the interest rate, meaning your full payment will apply to the interest. )
The federal government has temporarily stopped collections and wage garnishment for those who have gotten behind on student loans. They have instructed private lenders to do the same. If you hold a private loan contact your service provider.
Government Coronavirus Relief
President Trump developed an emergency economic stimulus plan for Americans due to the spread of the coronavirus. The Federal government’s congressional legislation to mail one-time payment checks in response to the impact of the virus.
They estimate that some will receive these “Economic Impact Payments” by the end of the month. But for others, it could be a much longer timeline.
If you have lost your job, apply for unemployment as soon as you are able. Many people are filing for relief funds right now so be patient with the system’s slower-than-usual response.
IRS Emergency Response
The small business and non-profit sectors have been especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. The IRS has delayed tax deadlines until July 15, 2020.
The IRS website offers updates and information to individual taxpayers and small business owners. Also, this site will provide information on when and how you can receive your Economic Impact Payment.
Companies Hiring Remotely during COVID-19
There are companies currently hiring remote employees. Healthcare, E-Commerce and Customer Service industries are in the position to hire the work-at-home worker. Check out Flex Jobs for a list of companies hiring during the coronavirus emergency.
Finding COVID-19 Financial Relief Together
Many Americans find themselves in an unprecedented time of need. Many of us who have never had to ask for help, find ourselves without revenue due to coronavirus-related circumstances.
Churches and nonprofits in local neighborhoods and communities offer aid. Reach out. Now is the time to be honest about our needs and generous with our resources.
Be creative in thinking through both what you have to ask for and what you have to offer. Relief can come from surprising places. And now more than ever, we need to take care of each other, together.