COVID-19 Resources for You
We know this is a trying and scary time for us all. We’re working with our partners to ensure they are fully prepared as COVID continues to unfold. And we’re here for you, our community, too. Here’s a list of resources that might help in your time of need.
This is what we know to be included in the recently passed bill:
- Unemployment Insurance Increases: An extra $600 per week for up to four months, on top of state unemployment benefits to make up for 100 percent of lost wages. Self-employed people would be newly eligible for unemployment benefits.
- Refundable Tax Credits: Single adults with Social Security numbers who are United States residents and have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get $1,200. The checks that will be sent now are actually just advanced payments of a new refundable tax credit for the 2020 tax year. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. And taxpayers filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less. Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married people who have no children and earn $198,000. According to the Senate Finance Committee, a family with two children would no longer be eligible for any payments if its income surpassed $218,000.
- Student Loans: Until Sept. 30, there will be automatic payment suspensions for any student loan held by the federal government directly (not third parties). If you are in a loan forgiveness program, your payment count will still go up by one payment each month during the six-month suspension, even though you will not actually be making any payments. This is true for all forgiveness or loan-rehabilitation programs. Wage garnishment that resulted from being behind on my loan payments is suspended during this six-month period, as is the seizure of tax refunds, the reduction of any other federal benefit payments and other involuntary collection efforts. Some employers repay student loans as an employee benefit. Between the date the bill is signed and the end of 2020, they can offer up to $5,250 of assistance without that money counting as part of the employee’s income. If the employer pays tuition for classes an employee is taking, that money will also count toward the $5,250.
- Retirement: For the calendar year 2020, no one would have to take a required minimum distribution from any individual retirement accounts or workplace retirement savings plans, like a 401(k). This does not apply to pensions. You could withdraw up to $100,000 this year without the usual 10 percent penalty, as long as it’s because of the outbreak.
- Charitable Giving: A new deduction is available going forward for up to $300 in annual charitable contributions. It’s available only to people who don’t itemize their deductions, and you calculate this new one by subtracting the amount you give from your gross income. To qualify, you would have to give cash to a qualified charity and not to a donor-advised fund.
- Large Donations: Donors can deduct 100 percent of their gift against their 2020 adjusted gross income. The new deduction is only for cash gifts that go to a public charity. You do not get the higher deduction for donating cash to your donor-advised fund.
- Credit Reports: Lenders and others should mark your credit file as current, even if you avail yourself of payment modifications.
- Rent Relief: A temporary, nationwide eviction moratorium is in place for any renters whose landlords have mortgages backed or owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other federal entities. This will last for 120 days after the bill passes, and landlords also can’t charge any fees or penalties for nonpayment of rent.
- Health Spending: Menstrual products are now eligible to be counted in Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts.