Financial Help During COVID-19 Pandemic
With recent unemployment figures hitting record highs, the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial hardships for many people. With that in mind, we’re sharing some of the financial help, resources and programs that may provide relief during the coronavirus crisis.
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act provides significant economic assistance. More than 800 pages long, here are some of the provisions that may be relevant for you
Cash Payment – Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Married couples would each receive a check and families would get $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150,000 could expect $3400. The payment decreases above those figures until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people with no children earning $198,000. Those who are eligible are expected to get payments within a few weeks.
Federal Unemployment Assistance – States will continue to pay unemployment to people who qualify. This bill adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount a worker receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months.
Small business owners – The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs. There is $350 billion allocated for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books, or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June.
Freelancers or Independent Contractors – Typically self-employed people can’t apply for unemployment. This bill creates a new temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program representing $600 per week through the end of the year helping people who lose work as a direct result of the pandemic.
Property Owners – Borrowers of federally backed mortgages can request a loan forbearance on their payments (without penalties, fees or interest) for at least 180 days (with a potential 180 day extension). Borrowers of multi-family properties may request a similar forbearance for up to 30 days with two additional 30 day extensions possible. In addition, foreclosures on federally backed mortgage loans are prohibited for at least 60 days (beginning as of March 18, 2020) and evictions from properties related to several federal programs are also prohibited
Student Loans – The federal government had already waived two months of payments and interest for many federal student loan borrowers. With the new bill, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government through September 30.
Retirement Accounts – For the calendar year 2020, no one will have to take a required minimum distribution from any individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plan. That way, you aren’t forced to sell investments that have fallen in value, locking in losses.
Renters – The bill puts a temporary nationwide eviction moratorium in place for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other federal entities for 120 days and prohibits landlords from charging any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
Other Financial Help Measures
Tax Deadline – The deadline for filing both federal and state taxes has been extended to July 15th.
Mortgage Relief – Even prior to the passage of CARES, a number of banks had agreed to let homeowners skip mortgage payments for up to 90 days if they have lost their jobs or are struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Contact your mortgage servicer for more information.
For more details, see this New York Times article.
Source: New York Times
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