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Have you been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic? There are programs in place to support you during this time. It is important to stay resilient and diligent through this process as there are a high volume of individuals who face similar problems. Right now, your job is to get access to the funds that can help you through the months of unemployment.
What does this act mean to you? Get the basic facts on how the CARES Act works here.
Unemployment amount is increased under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, including those who were ineligible like contractors or business owners. To qualify, you must be ineligible for any other state or federal unemployment benefits; unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency; and cannot telework or receive paid leave.
How long will you receive benefits and how much should you expect?
• Unemployment benefits are expanded and increased to $600 per week for up to four months. If your benefits run out, you can file for a 13-week extension until the end of the year.
• To file a claim, click here and search from your state.
The purpose of the rebate is to bolster the economy. This refundable tax credit is automatic via direct deposit or paper check. The rebate decreases a taxpayer’s tax liability dollar-for-dollar, and the credit can be refunded to a taxpayer if they have no tax liability to offset. This is applicable to taxpayers who submitted their tax return in 2019 or 2018. Not everyone will get a rebate and Credit Karma has an easy-to-read table on the cap. There’s also a handy tool from Tax Foundation available below to view your rebate.
There are options for your health insurance. qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
• COBRA – The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time.
• Affordable Healthcare Act – You may qualify under three different plans: Marketplace Insurance Plan, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
During this time, it’s important to talk to your utility providers, credit card companies, car notes and insurance, and student loans. Utility providers are offering deferments ensuring not to turn off the power, water, and gas. The government and charitable programs are available and you can find programs by calling 211. In addition, the new law also suspends payments for six months.
The government is calling for all states, counties, and states a ban on evictions and offer forbearance. Different local state governments are taking action on property owners disobeying this call to action. As this is an ongoing issue, across the country, there’s a common fight to understand housing as a human right especially during this time.
There are programs to leverage so you can save money.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.
• SNAP state directory. Under this program, school cafeterias are still offering meal plans and you can pick different meals and snacks for your children.
Emergency Food Assistance Program – The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.
Employment will turn around, and some companies are still hiring. If you’re unemployed, it’s vital to prepare to land your next job. If you’re a veteran or a military spouse, Hire Heroes USA is here for you. Be sure to register for our free services and sign up for our webinar, Achieving Success During COVID-19.
• Get ready – Prepare your resume, learn what’s out there, and check out freelance work. Upwork has a constant listing of opportunities to help you create your schedule and offer flexibility. Hire Heroes USA is offering additional education through virtual career events.
• LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn! Re-engage with your profile and your contacts. Find out what’s going on and keep a tab on their opportunities. Let recruiters find you.
• Virtual Events – Companies that are still hiring are relying on virtual outreach. Find webinars and virtual career fairs for open positions. Hire Heroes USA has three more this year: May 14, August 13, and October 22. If this is a new experience, we’re here to help. Check out our blog on how to make the most out of your experience.