The temporary closing of non-essential businesses, shelter-in-place orders, and other changes that have come with efforts to keep COVID-19 from overwhelming hospital and healthcare facilities are creating economic challenges for many families. Here are four support and stimulus measures that may help.
1. Financial support from banks and financial companies. Americans who find themselves without work or working fewer hours may want to contact their banks. CNBC reported some banks and financial companies are willing to provide support during this difficult time, including:
- Deferring payments on mortgage, auto, and other personal loans
- Deferring payments on small business loans
- Waiving customer overdraft, expedited check, and debit card fees
- Waiving customer fees on excessive savings account withdrawals
- Waiving penalties for early withdrawals from certificates of deposit
- Refunding overdraft, insufficient funds, and monthly maintenance fees for bank and small business customers
- Pausing foreclosures, evictions, and repossessions
- Offering economic disaster loans
Customers must contact their banks to request support.
2. Tax Day postponement to July 15. The Internal Revenue Service pushed the 2019 tax filing deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. The three-month delay is intended to help Americans cope with the financial effects of COVID-19, reported CNBC. If you expect a refund, you may want to file sooner.
It is unclear whether 2019 contributions to IRAs must be made by April 15, 2020. Also, the deadline for filing taxes in your state may remain unchanged. Check with your state’s treasury office.
3. Stimulus checks from the government. The details are not yet available, but it appears the bill currently being debated in Congress may include stimulus checks for Americans. The proposals vary so it is impossible to provide specifics right now, according to Kiplinger.
4. Paid and family sick leave. On March 18, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed. The new law requires employers with fewer than 500 workers to provide up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees affected by COVID-19. You qualify to receive your full wages (up to $511 per day) while on paid leave if you are sick or quarantined.
If you are caring for someone who is ill with coronavirus, or you are home caring for children, then you qualify to receive two-thirds of wages (up to $200 a day).
Go to Kiplinger.com to see if any other assistance may apply to you.