COVID-19 Financial Support Guide
Many companies and government entities are offering financial support for people affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As this situation continues to evolve, we will be updating this page with information and resources you can use to get the help you need.
Updated April 23, 2020
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) bill will send money directly to Americans, greatly expand unemployment coverage, and make a number of changes to student loans, retirement accounts, and more.
The IRS is sending checks — or direct deposits — to most Americans to help people survive financially during the COVID-19 crisis. For the most up-to-date information, visit IRS: What You Need to Know About Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks).
Will I get a check?
You will get a check if you:
Have a Social Security number.
Have filed taxes in 2018 or 2019, or don’t earn enough to file but receive Social Security payments.
Earned less than $99,000 for single filers, $136,500 for heads of household, or $198,000 for married filers according to the most recent tax return filed.
Are not claimed by someone else as a dependent.
People who don’t file taxes or get Social Security payments will need to send the IRS their information through a “simple web portal” (more details to come). They may also use TurboTax’s free web portal to submit direct-deposit information to the IRS.
How much will I get?
Most adults will get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment will be an additional $500. See how much you will be getting with this Stimulus Check Calculator.
How will I get the money?
The IRS says payments will go out automatically to those who authorized a direct deposit for their refunds on either their 2019 or 2018 tax return. The money will be deposited directly into the same banking account and the taxpayer doesn’t have to take any action to receive it. Those payments are expected to begin by April 15 and should be received within two weeks.
People who don’t file taxes but do get Social Security payments will get a payment the same way they get their Social Security payments. People who do not set up direct deposits with the federal government will be mailed a paper check. Unfortunately, mailed checks could take several months for some people to receive.
I got a phone call, email, or Facebook message about my check. Should I answer?
No. The US government isn’t calling, emailing, Facebook-messaging, or otherwise contacting you about your stimulus check — and if someone does, it’s probably a scam.
The IRS generally gets in contact with taxpayers through snail mail, and in the case of stimulus checks, it doesn’t need to contact you for any type of additional information. The process is automatic for any American who qualifies. If someone is calling or emailing you to confirm personal details or asking for bank information or money, it’s a scam.
Learn More: 6 Things to Know About Your Stimulus Payment
If you can’t work, have lost your job, or have had your hours cut because of COVID-19, here’s what you need to know about expanded unemployment benefits for COVID-19.
Additional Resources to Explore:
- Unemployment Insurance provides unemployment benefits to those who lose their job through no fault of their own.
- You may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance if you do not qualify for other types of unemployment benefits.
- Browse the Unemployment Assistance category and filter by state for unemployment benefits near you.
- Visit the Department of Labor’s Coronavirus Resources page for information to help employers and employees.
- Visit Coronavirus.gov for more information on the coronavirus.
With passage of the stimulus package, federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period for six months. Additionally, borrowers do not have to make payments during that six-month period.
The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid has answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from students, borrowers, and parents. View FAQs >
The CARES Act includes significant help for small business affected by COVID-19. This also includes help for the self-employed, sole proprietors, and freelance and gig economy workers.
To stay up to date on the implementation of these programs, visit the following websites:
Small Business Administration (SBA) — Find information on all COVID-19 related programs the SBA is offering, including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Grants, and Small Business Debt Relief.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce — Everything you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Loan and the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs.
Managing Your Money
Both the federal tax filing and payments deadlines have been extended to July 15, 2020. Many state departments of revenue have also announced updated tax deadlines and guidance for taxpayers affected by coronavirus.
For more information, visit irs.gov/coronavirus.
In addition, TurboTax has launched a Coronavirus Tax Center, with up-to-date news, facts, and resources about understanding the changes to tax deadlines and related laws.
Paying Your Mortgage
If you are worried about being able to pay your mortgage during this crisis, you should contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. The telephone number and mailing address of your mortgage servicer should be listed on your monthly mortgage statement.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as Freddie Mac, and the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, have already announced the following mortgage relief options available for those affected by COVID-19:
Providing mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months,
Waiving assessments of penalties and late fees,
Halting all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers living in Freddie Mac-owned homes until at least May 17, 2020,
Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of delinquency related to forbearance,
Offering loan modification options that lower payments or keep payments the same after the forbearance period.
IMPORTANT: You can’t just stop paying. You need to contact your servicer — the company you make mortgage payments to — and work out a realistic plan going forward.
If you can’t afford to pay your rent, the first thing you should do is contact your landlord. Many cities are imposing moratoriums on evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and payment relief is available for landlords through the federal government, states, municipalities, and private lenders.
Utilities, Phone, Auto
Many utilities, telecommunications companies, and automakers are easing shutoffs and waiving late fees to accommodate consumers who might be struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, more than 550 companies have signed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Keep Americans Connected Initiative, which promises for the next 60 days to:
- not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
- waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
- open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Banking and Credit Cards
Banks across the country are taking steps to help consumers impacted by the deadly coronavirus. Here’s a running list of decisions some larger banks have made to support customers with CDs, checking accounts, and other types of savings products who are struggling to make ends meet.
Many credit card companies are offering assistance programs for cardholders who may be financially affected by the outbreak.
Health & Safety
Health Insurance Coverage
Many people who have lost jobs can get subsidized health insurance. Eleven states, including some hit hard by the coronavirus — like California, New York and Washington — have opened enrollment under the Affordable Care Act to allow laid-off workers to get subsidized health insurance. And here is a more general guide to getting or keeping insurance, with updates on very recent rule changes.
If you need healthcare support, check out the following resources:
- COBRA Continuation Coverage may be the right choice if you are experiencing a lapse of employment.
- Medicare and Medicaid benefits may help people attain healthcare. Read the key differences between Medicare and Medicaid to find the best option for you and your family.
- Browse the Healthcare and Medical Assistance category to explore healthcare programs.
- Visit Coronavirus.gov for more information on the coronavirus.
COVID-19 Screening Tool
Apple has released a new screening tool and set of resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of COVID-19.
The new COVID-19 website and COVID-19 app were created in partnership with the CDC and allow you to answer a series of questions around risk factors, recent exposure, and symptoms for themselves or a loved one. In turn, you receive CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, whether or not a test is recommended at this time, and when to contact a medical provider.
Protection from Scams and Fraud
Sadly, during difficult times like this, incidents of scam and fraud increase. To learn more about what types of scams are being used and how you can protect yourself, check out these two articles from the Federal Trade Commission: