The coronavirus pandemic touched almost every aspect of life. One of the biggest concerns many Americans are experiencing is finances. For the families that live paycheck to paycheck, even a small financial obstacle could mean no food, a place to call home or bad credit.
Financial security, like having COVID-19 financial assistance for food, housing, and bills, makes a huge difference. Even as the coronavirus impact continues to upend the life of many Americans, most COVID-19 relief measures have been stopped.
However, all is not lost. Certain financial aid and debt relief programs are available, including rental assistance, healthcare, and food assistance for low-income earners.
Here are some of the financial assistance options available:
The COVID-19 eviction moratorium provided by the government has ended. That means landlords can now evict renters who cannot pay during the pandemic. However, federal rental assistance is still accessible to individuals struggling to pay rent. If you are worried about being evicted, you should apply for financial aid as soon as possible.
You can use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau tool to help you apply. Applying for rental assistance can help you stay in your home much longer as the economy recovers. If approved, you could have up to 18 months of rent covered.
The federal government approved a huge boost to food assistance benefits in 2021. This was the most considerable boost in the history of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The benefits increased by 25%, increasing the average benefit of $121 before the pandemic to $157.
You should check your eligibility for SNAP before you apply for food assistance. Many food programs changed their rules to offer extra help to families during the pandemic. Food stamp beneficiaries may also get additional funding.
Apart from federal food assistance programs, other organizations and programs that provide food relief include:
• The Feeding America organization, which has more than 200 food banks across the US
• United Way Worldwide 2-1-1 program
• Various chain restaurants and fast-food restaurants
• Meals on Wheels feeding program
During the COVID-19 lockdown, millions of families were left without a source of income to cater for their needs and bills. Congress passed an emergency aid package called stimulus checks to offer relief. The three payments issued by the IRS to the eligible people are:
• $1,200 given in April 2020
• $600 in December 2020 and January 2021
• $1400 in March 2021
During the pandemic, the federal government passed three significant pieces of legislation to support relief efforts, including the CARES Act passed in March 2020. The federal government had issued three economic impact payments to eligible individuals by January 2022.
While the stimulus checks helped many Americans pay their bills, some argue that the money fueled the inflation rate. But with many debts and bills to pay, many Americans are wondering if government debt relief programs still exist.
Several programs are available for people struggling financially. You can learn more about government debt relief programs and take advantage of them if you are eligible.
Student Loan Forbearance
President Joe Biden’s administration extended the payment pause for federal student loans until May 1 2022. The borrowers didn’t have to pay their monthly loan bills, and there was no accrued interest on their debt.
Borrowers repaying US Department of Education student loans also receive a loan forbearance that helps them avoid bad credit. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the principal and interest payments have been suspended until August 31, 2022.
However, the loan forbearance does not apply to private student loans.
If you lost your income during the pandemic, COVID-19 financial assistance for food, housing, and bills can help you get back on your feet. You can get protection against eviction and receive payments for rent and other utilities.
Food stamps will help you buy foods you are eligible to get. If you are having a problem paying your bills and are afraid of bad credit, there are other pandemic-specific reliefs and benefits you can take advantage of.