Here are the benefits of the CARES law which end this year
Tenants in New York’s Harlem neighborhood stage protest to draw attention to their rent strike during Covid-19 pandemic
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In January, life will get a little more difficult for those already struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Unless more help comes from the government, several relief measures are expected to expire at the end of the year. They include a ban on home evictions, the suspension of student loan payments and unemployment benefits for more than 13 million Americans.
“Americans who have seen their lives and livelihoods disrupted during the pandemic will see their impossible situation worsen even more if Congress fails them and cannot extend critical relief measures,” said Erika L. Moritsugu, vice-president of congressional relations / economic justice. to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
The federal CARES law, passed in March, aimed to provide temporary relief to those suffering from the crisis. The extra $ 600 in unemployment benefits has already expired, as has the Trump administration $ 300 weekly bonus, which lasted six weeks from August. the prohibition of seizures on federally guaranteed mortgages, which was originally scheduled to end in August, has been extended until at least December 31.
Meanwhile, the deadlock on other relief provisions continues. Lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a bipartisan $ 900 billion stimulus package, which was quickly rejected by the Senate majority leader. Mitch mcconnell. Democratic leaders have urged McConnell to use the plan as a basis for negotiations.
“The need is great, it is immediate, it is urgent and I think we certainly have the capacity to act,” said the leader of the Democratic majority in the House. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Said Wednesday.
Here are the main relief measures Americans could lose in the ‘cliff of Covid’.
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In addition to the $ 600 increase in unemployment, the CARES Act provided for two other advantages for those who do not have a job.
The first program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, is aimed at those who are not generally eligible for unemployment insurance, such as concert workers, freelancers and the self-employed. Nearly 8.87 million people were receiving the allowance in mid-November, according to data released Thursday by the Ministry of Labour.
Those who have gone through the traditional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits received up to 13 additional weeks under the Emergency Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. About 4.57 million workers receive the aid, according to the Ministry of Labor.
If you’re on the verge of losing your unemployment benefits, the best thing to do is to be proactive, said Chris Browning, financial analyst and creator and host of the podcast. Funding for popcorn.
Don’t wait until the last minute to try to figure out what your financial situation will be like, what questions you may have and what help you may need.
“You have to know where you are and not just put your head in the sand,” he said.
You may also need to choose which bills to pay.
“You want to prioritize debt that you can pay off and really focus on prioritizing debt secured by your home, car, and necessities like utilities, student loans, and unpaid federal taxes,” said Leo Tucker, based in Washington, DC, managing partner of Northwestern. Mutual.
After that, focus on credit cards and other debt, he added.
If you need the money, you still have time to take the emergency withdrawal your pension plan. The CARES Act allows people affected by the pandemic to withdraw up to $ 100,000 from their 401 (k), 403 (b) or individual retirement accounts. Like the other provisions, it expires at the end of December.
Another option is to borrow from a permanent life insurance policy who’s racked up money, if you have one, Tucker noted. Unlike term insurance, a permanent policy covers you for life. You can also use the policy as possible collateral for a bank loan, he suggested.
A banner on a controlled rental building in Washington, DC on August 9, 2020.
ÉRIC BARADAT | AFP | Getty Images
The CARES law moratorium on evictions expired in July. In September, the Centers for Disease Control intervened and made it illegal for landlords to evict most tenants who could not afford rent. These protections end on December 31.
Despite the ban, deportations still took place across the country. Homeowners have requested 151,165 evictions during the pandemic, according to Princeton University Expulsion Laboratory.
Yet on January 1, around 6.7 million tenant households are at risk of eviction, according to the Low Income Housing Coalition.
Then there is the question of repayment of your rent. the CDC Moratorium only covers evictions, so tenants still have to pay the rent they didn’t pay, plus any penalties or interest that may be added.
If you can’t pay, talk to your landlord about a possible grace period or a temporary reduction in your payment.
“There might have been people who maybe weren’t willing to negotiate rent at first, but it’s been going on for so long, it’s become a reality you can’t ignore,” Browning said, who has heard stories of homeowners more willing to strike deals now.
The key is to do it early, so that you can start thinking about alternative plans if an arrangement cannot be found.
ROBYN BECK | AFP | Getty Images
Those who had student loans were given a break in their payments until the end of the year. This means that in January, 42 million borrowers will have to start paying again.
If you can’t afford to make your payments, there are several options available to you, according to Betsy Mayotte, president and founder of the Institute of Student Loan Advisors.
First of all, take a look income-based repayment plans. As the name suggests, what you pay is determined by the amount of money you earn. Unemployment insurance is part of this income. The balance is returned after a specified period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. If your income is very low, you could end up with a payment of $ 0.
If you do not qualify, another option is to apply for deferral of unemployment. You don’t even have to be completely out of work, just work less than 30 hours a week and actively seek full-time employment, Mayotte said.
If your income is very low and you receive some form of government assistance, such as food stamps, you can request a deferment in the event of economic hardship.
A last resort is tolerance, Mayotte said. Interest occurs on loans, and if you can’t pay that interest, it ends up being added to the principal.
Whatever you decide, you will have to be patient as millions of people will go into the refund at the same time, she said.
“Borrowers should plan ahead,” she said. “If they think they need this kind of relief, they should fill out their paperwork now.”