Benefits for Displaced Individuals – Texas
- State unemployment – you can collect unemployment per state qualification of loss of job due to COVID related layoff; the first week waiting period is waived retroactive to January 27, 2020.
- State unemployment has been extended for those eligible another 13 weeks – some states currently allow 13 weeks so this would be 13 more for a total of 26 weeks, other states allow up to 26 weeks already so this would extend those benefits to 39 weeks.
- State unemployment has been added for 13 weeks for those who previously could not apply (such as ran out of unemployment benefit already, not enough work history, etc.).
- Federal unemployment (this is new) is $600/ week through end of July for the unemployed
- This includes anyone who would not previously qualified in the past – independent contractors, self-employed, already ran out of unemployment, not enough work history, etc.
- To apply for unemployment, please go to your state unemployment site (your state will handle the Federal as well).
- Also here is a link to find your state unemployment online: https://www.careeronestop.org/LocalHelp/UnemploymentBenefits/Find-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx?newsearch=true
Direct Financial Assistance to Individuals:
- Under the plan as it was negotiated, single individuals would receive $1,200, married couples would get $2,400 and parents would see $500 for each child under age 17.
- However, the payments would start to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and those making more than $99,000 would not qualify at all.
- Check will be deposited or sent via how your last US tax return was completed.
- Go to www.irs.gov for more information.
- You can take up to $100,000 out as a distribution by the end of 2020 without penalty, if it is due to the outbreak.
- You may take a loan up to $100,000 with a five-year payback window; the first year requires no payment.
- Contact your retirement plan provider for more information.
Federal Student Loans:
- You can stop payment through the end of September 2020 with no penalty or interest.
- Go to your lender’s website for more information.
- Protections against foreclosures and evictions.
- The bill includes housing protections against foreclosures on mortgages and evictions for renters.
- People with a Federally backed mortgage loan can seek a forbearance for up to one year; this means no payment is due however interest might accrue. Contact your bank.
- Landlords of a multi family residence/ apartment with a federally backed loan may also seek forbearance up to 90 days and cannot evict during that time period. Contact your landlord.
- Landlords of a single-family residence with a federally backed loan cannot evict for 120 days after the act was in effect (March 28).
- Contact your landlord for more information.
- If you lost your health insurance, you can extend this through COBRA.
- You can also get on your spouse’s plan as a qualifying life event.
- You may be able to enroll in a new plan through the health insurance marketplace https://www.healthcare.gov/ as a qualifying life event.
- You can also try to get Medicaid and/or CHIP.
- You may be eligible to apply for this now for your children.
- The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (the $600 per week) will not count as income for purposes of determining eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
SNAP (Food Stamps):
- Eligibility has not changed however you may now be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Child Nutrition Program due to a reduced income.
WIC (Women Infant Children):
- Additional nutritional assistance for pregnant women and children under 5.
TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families):
- The TANF program, which is time limited, assists families with children when the parents or other responsible relatives cannot provide for the family’s basic needs.
Additional assistance/ relief may be offered from the following companies below. When you speak with a representative, please mention COVID-19 when discussing some type of relief:
- Utility companies
- Credit card companies
- Phone service
- Internet providers
- Vehicle loans
- Other loans
Some additional resources (retrieved from Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram):
- Mission Central (a nonprofit serving Hurst, Euless and Bedford) https://missioncentraltx.org/
- The Dallas Morning News has provided a list of other organizations that will provide assistance: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/public-health/2020/03/18/here-are-north-texas-organizations-and-causes-that-need-helpduring-the-coronavirus-pandemic