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Benefits for Displaced Individuals - Georgia

Unemployment Insurance:

  • 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.

Retirement Plan:

  • 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.

Rent/Mortgage:

  • 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.

Health Insurance:

  • 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.

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).
  • https://www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/childrens-health-insurance-program/.

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.
  • https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program.

WIC (Women Infant Children):

  • Additional nutritional assistance for pregnant women and children under 5.
  • https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic.

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.
  • https://www.hhs.gov/answers/programs-for-families-and-children/what-is-tanf/index.html.

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
Additional resources for financial assistance (retrieved from www.ajc.com):
  • Georgia Legal Aid - https://www.georgialegalaid.org/
  • Rent Assistance - https://www.rentassistance.us/ci/ga-atlanta
  • Need Help Paying Bills - https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/georgia_charities_organization.html
  • The Salvation Army - https://salvationarmygeorgia.org/ways-we-help/emergency-financial-assistance/
  • Free Financial Help Paying Bills - https://freefinancialhelp.net/atlanta-rent-assistance-programs/