Food, housing, and education assistance
Many homes are covered by a national moratorium on mortgage foreclosures, and several different relief programs are available for people who are struggling to make their mortgage payments.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has resources and information on mortgage relief options.
Your landlord may be agreeable to temporary changes in your payments including rent reductions and delayed payments. In addition, your city, county or state may have programs to help you with these expenses.
If your home or apartment building has a mortgage backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae you may now get three months of rental relief without fear of eviction. If your building qualifies, the owner can seek temporary mortgage relief. In turn, they must pass the relief on to renters. They can’t evict you for failing to pay your rent during that period. Check with your property manager or building owner for more information.
The latest information on nutrition assistance is available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website, including a state-by-state breakdown of flexibilities available in each nutrition assistance program.
The SNAP online pilot is currently operational in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The authorized retailers working with all states are Amazon and Walmart. TheFreshGrocer is working with New Jersey and Pennsylvania; ShopRite is working with Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania; and Wrights Market is working with Alabama. USDA previously announced Delaware, New Hampshire and South Dakota would also be implementing online purchasing in the near future. With these states, more than 90% of all households receiving SNAP will have access to online purchasing.
The CARES Act gives some flexibility to federal student loan borrowers. In some cases, the Act allows borrowers to temporarily stop making payments on their loans. This does not apply to all loan types.
Research your options and talk to your loan servicer. Understanding these options can help you make more informed decisions about paying your bills and prioritizing your debts. The program ends September 30, 2020.
Yes. Based on the recently passed legislation, if your school converts from an approved residence training course to online training for that course (distance learning) due to COVID-19, your benefits will not change. The new law applies to both current and new students enrolled in courses affected by COVID-19. If you’re currently receiving GI Bill benefits, payments will continue automatically. You do not have to do anything. You’ll continue to receive the same monthly housing allowance payments you received for resident training until Dec. 21, 2020, or until your school resumes normal operations, for programs converted solely to online training. Note: Other types of changes to your enrollment status (for example, dropping a class results in a reduced rate of pursuit) may affect payments.
From the beginning of this crisis, VA has been working with Congress to preserve GI Bill benefits for those impacted by COVID-19 during this difficult time. On March 21 the President signed into law S.3503, giving VA temporary authority to continue GI Bill payments uninterrupted during an emergency. The new law allows VA to pay education benefits regardless of the fact that a program has been converted from resident training to online training, even if an online training hasn’t been approved or is not approvable.
VA is working closely with schools to ensure enrollments are accurately certified and processed. If your school is closed secondary to COVID-19, VA will continue paying your benefits through the end of the term or 28 days from the date of closure, whichever is sooner. If your school is in session, but you cannot attend due to COVID-19, we can pay you through your last date of attendance, but not through the end of the term. This may result in a debt and overpayment. If this happens, you can submit a waiver request.
Please be sure we have your current email address on file. We can send certain information only electronically, and some schools have shifted to only electronic communication during this time. You can sign in to update your email online through our “Ask a question” tool or call the Education Call Center toll-free at 888-442-4551, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
FEMA suspended rent for disaster survivors living in FEMA housing in California, Florida, North Carolina, and Texas through September 1. FEMA contacted eligible occupants to inform them of the rent suspension.
Other sources of financial relief for renters may be available through state and local governments. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also provides information on housing-related COVID-19 assistance.
No, the IRS is not going to call or email you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an Economic Impact Payment. You should also watch for text messages, websites, and social media attempts to get your money or personal information.
Be on the lookout! Scammers may:
- Emphasize the words “stimulus check” or “stimulus payment.” The official term is economic impact payment.
- Ask you to sign over your economic impact payment check to them.
- Ask by phone, email, text or social media for verification of personal and/or banking information saying that the information is needed to receive or speed up your economic impact payment.
- Suggest that you can get a tax refund or economic impact payment faster by working on your behalf. This scam could be conducted by social media or even in person.
- Mail you a bogus check, perhaps in an odd amount, then tell you to call a number or verify information online in order to cash it.
If you receive unsolicited emails, text messages or social media attempts to gather information that appear to be from either the IRS or an organization closely linked to the IRS, such as the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS), forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Taxpayers are encouraged not to engage potential scammers online or on the phone. Learn more about reporting suspected scams by going to the Report Phishing and Online Scams page on IRS.gov.
Official IRS information about the COVID-19 pandemic and economic impact payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page on IRS.gov. The page is updated quickly when new information is available.
If you receive calls, emails, or other communications claiming to be from the Treasury Department and offering COVID-19 related grants or stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, or an advance fee, or charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, please do not respond. These are scams. Please contact the FBI so that the scammers can be tracked and stopped.
Fraud involving payment of Federal taxes should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.