COVID-19 Financial Assistance Resources

IMPORTANT NOTICE (Updated 4/22/20):

States have updated their websites with eligibility guidelines and information on applying for PUA (Pandemic Assistance Insurance). To learn more, find your state under the "Federal Cares ACT" section of this article.

As a substitute teacher with Swing Education, please be reminded that you are an independent contractor, thus you are self-employed and not an employee of Swing Education. We can point you in the direction of your state’s Unemployment Insurance office, but we cannot provide instructions or advice on how to file. Please contact your state’s UI office for help on how to file.

 

Federal CARES Act 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The $2 trillion stimulus bill passed on March 27, 2020 provides multiple financial assistance programs. Key benefits are listed below. An overview of all programs can be found here.  

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Under the CARES Act, states are able to extend unemployment benefits to independent contractors and gig workers.  Look up your state’s unemployment insurance website for specific information about how to file. Additional state-level information on PUA can be found below.
    • California residents: PUA is effective April 28, 2020. See details.
    • New Jersey residents click here and here.
    • Illinois residents click here.
    • Washington, D.C. residents: PUA is effective retroactive to January 27, 2020. See details.
    • Texas residents click here.
    • Arizona residents: PUA is effective May 12, 2020. See details.
    • New York residents click here.

 

  • Direct payments to individuals and families, based on income.
  • Eviction moratoriums for qualifying renters.
  • Mortgage forbearance for certain types of loans. (Contact your lender directly.)
  • Energy assistance for low-income families. Learn more.
  • Student loan relief options for borrowers. Learn more.

 

Additional Federal Resources

  • FEMA disaster unemployment assistance. Contact the Department of Labor to find out if your situation qualifies for assistance. Find information here.
  • Unemployment insurance. The federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits related to COVID-19. Find information here.
  • Your local Member of Congress. Find out what type of assistance is available in your area by visiting your Congressional Representative’s web page. Use this zip code lookup tool, then click the link under the photo.
  • Tax Day extension. The IRS has extended the deadline for filing and tax payments to July 15, 2020.

 

State Resources

California 

  • Health care expansion. Effective immediately, anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage through Covered California can sign up through the end of June, 2020. In addition, consumers who sign up through CoveredCA.com may find out that they are eligible for no-cost or low-cost coverage through Medi-Cal.
  • New tenant protections. Governor Gavin Newsome declared a moratorium on all evictions through May 31, 2020.
  • Paid Family Leave and other programs. Find out what else is available to Californians.

New Jersey

  • Housing protections: Governor Murphy enacted a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
  • Utility bill relief: The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) today announced that the state’s public electric and gas utilities have universally agreed to suspend service shutoffs.
  • Alternative employment options. Visit the State of New Jersey’s job portal to find out which companies are hiring now.

 

Local Resources

  • Your local county and city government websites may offer resources for dealing with COVID-19 related closures. Find your local government web site using this lookup tool.
  • Evictions: many local governments have declared moratoriums on evictions. Use the lookup tool above to find more information on what’s happening in your local area.
  • Foreclosures: several banks have agreed to defer mortgage payments. Contact your lender to find out what programs they are offering.
  • Utility payments: if you are having trouble paying your utility bills, contact your local provider to see what programs they are offering.

 

Private Resources

Free WiFi

  • Xfinity from Comcast is offering free hotspots to low-income families.
  • Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to students and to educator households that don’t currently have internet or WiFi service.
  • Sonic.net is offering 90 days of free internet access to students and seniors.  They're also offering deferred billing for up to 60 days for customers experiencing financial hardship. Contact them at billing@sonic.net.

 

Health Care

Alternative Employment Resources

  • The U.S. Postal Service is hiring workers to help with the surge in online delivery demands. 
  • The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is hiring seasonal workers for multiple positions.

 

Other Resources

  • Silicon Valley Strong (Santa Clara County, CA residents) is an $11M fund providing assistance to low-income families at risk of homelessness related to COVID-19. View eligibility requirements here
  • Kiva, the crowdsourced small business lender, is offering interest-free small business loans up to $15,000 with up to 6 months deferred payment.
  • Expensify.org will reimburse families using SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) up to $50.
  • Molson Coors Beverage Co. is pledging $1M to the USBG National Charity Foundation, assisting out-of-work bar industry professionals affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Do you have a valuable resource to share with other subs? Email us and we will share it here.