Your Income & COVID-19

Have your finances been impacted by COVID-19? Here’s where to get financial help. As the number of businesses impacted by COVID-19 continues to rise, so does the number of potentially unemployed workers. Depending on the industry and the type of work you perform, you or someone in your household may have been asked to work […]
By Chris Cardoso

Have your finances been impacted by COVID-19? Here’s where to get financial help.

As the number of businesses impacted by COVID-19 continues to rise, so does the number of potentially unemployed workers. Depending on the industry and the type of work you perform, you or someone in your household may have been asked to work remotely, have reduced work hours, or may be at risk of being laid off. Because schools nationwide have also been impacted, you may also be scrambling to find childcare in order to work or may not be able to work at all right now in order to care for them. Fortunately, there are ways that you may be able to get financial help.

If you’re facing unemployment…
Workers impacted by COVID-19 may qualify for unemployment benefits through their state agency. Federal law allows states to pay workers in the following situations, but you will need to apply through your state agency:

  • If employees are prevented from coming to work due to COVID-19 related issues like having to close a business to comply with local requirements,
  • Any individual who is quarantined but expects to return to work after the quarantine has been completed, or
  • If an individual leaves work to care for a family member or has to leave work due to a risk of infection.

It’s important to note that the Federal law does not require an employee to quit their job in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19. For more information, visit https://www.careeronestop.org/EmploymentRecovery/UnemploymentandOtherBenefits/unemployment-and-other-benefits.aspx. For more on how to file for benefits, visit https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/unemployment-insurance. Also talk with your employer about options to use leave-time and any other options available to continue your income.

IRS
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. See the Coronavirus Tax Relief webpage for more details. Individual states may also provide relief. Check with your state for details.

Creditors
From mortgages and car loans to student loan providers, lenders have responded to this crisis by offering programs to their customers. Many financial institutions are reaching out to customers to communicate their willingness to workout alternate plans like skipping payments or waiving certain fees. If you are not able to work, and not able to pay bills, call your creditors to ask for help. For additional tips, visit consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protect-yourself-financially-from-impact-of-coronavirus/.

Keep in mind that while many institutions have good intentions, there are also fraudsters out there who want to take advantage of current events. If a creditor or financial institution calls you, consider hanging up and calling the phone number you have for that creditor or institution on your applicable credit card or billing statement, and ask them if they are reaching out via telephone to confirm that it’s really them.

Relief for Student Loan Interest
The office of Federal Student Aid recommends contacting your loan servicer as soon as possible if you’re struggling to make payments. For more up to date information and current repayment options, see https://studentaid.gov/articles/5-repayment-flexibilities. Contact your loan servicer to see if you qualify for any assistance. Your servicer is the entity to which you make your monthly payment(s). If you don’t know who your servicer is or how to contact them, you can get assistance by visiting StudentAid.gov/login or calling 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hearing-impaired is 1-800-730-8913).

If you’re concerned about your studies or loan repayment during the outbreak, you can find helpful information on the Federal Student Aid’s website where they answer important questions for students, borrowers and parents. The site adds information for students, borrowers, and parents, on a regular basis. For updates regarding student loans and coronavirus assistance programs, visit StudentAid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus.

Government Relief
In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, legislation was passed to include several economic stimulus measures. Some are related to individuals, including stimulus payments to taxpayers, while others are for businesses, including incentives to retain employees. For updates and new developments, see https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus or to see if you might qualify for assistance, https://www.usa.gov/benefits.

How My Secure Advantage (MSA) Helps
A Money Coach can help you or a member of your household do the following:

  • Understand the latest assistance programs
  • Get tips to ask for help from your creditors
  • Create a plan that accounts for adjusted income
  • Know what you can do during tough times

Whether it’s you or someone in your household who is dealing with limited work hours or a lay-off, you can seek help from a Money Coach. Together, you can talk about ways to get through this financial crisis. Call 888-724-2326 today.

My Secure Advantage, Inc. or any of its representatives do not endorse any of the websites or company names listed here.

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