We know this is an unprecedented time of uncertainty and anxiety for our residents. We also know that many of our residents are suffering from job losses, furloughs and reduced hours. Fortunately, there is help available.
Organize copies of pay stubs
Know your Social Security number
Know your bank name, address, account number and routing number for direct deposit
Know your current and former (prior 2 year history) Employer’s name, address and phone number
DOCUMENT every discussion with your manager or employer related to your employment status or reasoning for reduced hours
E-mail history is acceptable so long as you can access it in the event you are no longer employed or have access to employer computer networks/systems
CHOOSE to withhold federal + state taxes from benefits to avoid potential tax issues in the future
The following companies are currently hiring (subject to change):
The federal government will be making one-time cash payments directly to our citizens. These payments should be issued during the month of April (as early as 4/15/20) either by check (could take up to 20 weeks) or direct deposit.
How much will you receive?
Government will use last tax return on file to determine eligibility (2018 or 2019)
Individuals earning less than $75,000 will receive $1,200.
Married couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $2,400.
If you have children, you will receive $500 per child if the parent’s income qualifies for these payments and if the child is under the age of 17.
Individuals earning more than $75,000 and less than $99,000 – and couples earning more than $150,000 and less than $198,000 – are eligible for a lesser amount and eligible for $500/child.
If you were not required to file taxes in 2018 or 2019 because your income as an individual was under $12,200 ($24,400 for a married couple), go to this website to find out how you can get your stimulus check.
If you have lost your job, you can apply for state unemployment benefits. Instructions can be found here for individual claims.
IF LAID OFF, FURLOUGHED, or LET GO: EMPLOYER must file for your unemployment benefit
Individuals whose hours have been reduced are eligible to receive benefits.
IF individual’s gross earnings (amount of pay before deductions) plus the earnings allowance ($50) does not exceed your weekly benefit amount, individual is eligible.
Congress is enhancing state unemployment to provide more income and to cover more people.
IF Business is shut down because of COVID, Individuals can file
IF employee(s) are quarantined but expected to return to work, Individuals can file
IF an INDIVIDUAL CAN ANSWER THE QUESTIONS BELOW, then FILE!
Did you lose your job through no fault of your own? Are you able and available for work?
Adds $600 per week for four months on top of state unemployment (called Pandemic Unemployment Compensation)
Benefit can be retroactive back to January 27, 2020.
Adds up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits to those already enrolled but who are nearing the end of benefits (up to 20 weeks maximum for Georgia coverage)
Expands the program to include workers not normally eligible to receive unemployment benefits. This includes:
Independent contractors/gig workers
Those with limited work history
Employees who are still employed, but whose hours have been reduced
State of Georgia
Individual can make up to $300/week and still receive FULL unemployment benefits
The federal government is automatically suspending direct government student loan payments from mid-March until September 30, 2020, which will impact the vast majority of student loan borrowers.
Loans that are eligible for suspension include direct loans from the federal government received anytime in the past 10 years. Interest payments on these loans will also be suspended automatically. Students don’t need to take any action for this to go into effect, but they should check their individual loan provider for more information.
Loans that are not eligible to be suspended include those from private lenders like Sallie Mae or Wells Fargo, Federal Family Educational Loans (FFEL) not owned by the US Department of Education, Perkins loans, or loans from states. If you’re not sure what type of loan you have, you should contact your loan servicer.
Wage garnishing for those who were previously behind on their federal student loan payments will also be suspended for six months.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank has provided a map of available resources based on location - https://www.acfb.org/covid-19-help-map
Recent bills have added more funding to the SNAP program (also known as food stamps) as well as WIC, a nutrition program focused on providing food for women and children. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture has relaxed requirements for some of the aid it oversees, including coverage of school lunches for children who are now staying at home because of the coronavirus.
The CARES Act contains $15 billion for food stamps, $450 million for food banks, and $8.8 billion for childhood nutrition programs. These funds are in addition to money passed in the Families First Act — the second coronavirus relief bill Congress took up. That contained $500 million for WIC and $400 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program, which helps local food banks procure supplies.
Applications for both SNAP and WIC are handled individually by different states; links to each state’s website can be found here for SNAP and here for WIC. At this time, due to Covid-19, all application paperwork has been moved online. Recipients for both programs need to meet eligibility criteria based on income and resources limits (like household assets, etc.). Importantly, you can receive SNAP if you are don’t have a fixed address or a place to stay.
SNAP applications are typically processed within 30 days, though applications can be expedited so benefits start coming in as quickly as within seven days.
Additionally, existing SNAP recipients could see more money directly deposited into their EBT accounts if they aren’t already receiving the maximum amount that each state allocates for their family size. The additional funding in recent stimulus bills is being used to make sure that states could distribute the maximum amount of money every family can receive in both March and April.
Families that have students who were previously receiving reduced or free lunches in school will also receive additional funds to cover these costs. Those that are already on SNAP will see this money added automatically, while those who are not on SNAP will have to fill out an application. This program is being implemented state by state, so applications will be handled directly on state websites; more information is expected as it’s implemented this month.
Normally, if you take a distribution from a qualified retirement plan prior to age 59 ½, you pay the tax on the distribution plus a 10% penalty.
Under the CARES Act, however, an individual who is diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, whose spouse or dependent is so diagnosed, or who experiences adverse financial consequences as a result of being quarantined, furloughed, or lack of childcare due to such viruses can take up to $100,000 of distributions from qualified retirement plans during 2020, not incur the 10% penalty, have up to 3 years to put the money back in the qualified retirement plan, or, alternatively, include the distribution in income ratably over three tax years.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has relief programs available.
Here are a few highlights of the two most popular COVID-19 relief programs:
(Disclaimer- the SBA has recently updated rules and related guidance on these new relief programs on more than one occasion. Please visit the SBA websites and related links on this page to see the most updated details of these programs.)
SBA Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution (Bank), federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender (Bank) as to whether it is participating in the program.
Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan/Emergency Advance (EIDL Loan)
This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties. ($10 billion is set aside for the advance, and the advances are to be given out on a first come, first served basis)
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19.
Terms: 3.75% interest, up to 30-year repayment, 12 months no payments.
Credit score of applicants is the primary factor in approval.
The SBA will determine the amount of an EIDL Loan, and the loan is available to pay
for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including
payroll and other operating expenses.
For any loan made under this program, no personal guarantee will be required on
loans up to $200,000.
If you have additional questions contact Patrick Fulbright at [email protected].
We understand there may be a delay in your ability to access these benefits. If that’s the case, please talk to us. We are offering a number of rent flexibility options – payment plans, waived late fees and other options.
We’re all in this together and all deserve safe and clean housing. We are thankful for the hard work of our employees in keeping our community operational and all they continue to do to prepare for and mitigate the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we rely on rental payments to pay those workers and to cover our mortgage, utilities, maintenance and more.
If rental payments stop flowing, community stability and safety will be disrupted, just when peace of mind is most needed. We remain heartened by the stories of neighbors helping one another. Communities working together to stay safe is what will get us through this crisis, and we are here for you.