September 12, 2021
While some aspects of American life have returned, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact this country, and it may be hard to figure out what help you can get now. There’s still aid available through the federal government, as well as your state, local, or tribal government. Some are automatic benefits and others require an application.
- Child Tax Credit. If you have kids, you may have already gotten money from the IRS because of the Child Tax Credit. The IRS has more information about whether you qualify and what to do if you want to unenroll from advanced payments.
- Student Loans. Eligible federal student loan payments are on pause until January 31, 2022. You can still make payments on your principal balance or any interest you accrued before March 13, 2020, but until the pause is over, eligible loans are set to a 0% interest rate.
- Free Credit Reports. Weekly credit reports are free for everyone until April 2022. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get yours.
Benefits to apply for:
- Housing. If you’re having a hard time paying rent, or you’re a landlord who’s lost rental income, help may be available through your local legal aid provider. Mortgage relief is also available for homeowners who need help with mortgage payments.
- Jobs. If you’re looking for a job, you might be able to get unemployment insurance benefits through your state unemployment benefits agency.
- Food. If you need food assistance, help may be available through your state’s SNAP office or WIC office. If you need help finding additional resources, call 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (in Spanish).
- Funerals. If a loved one passed away due to COVID-19 and you paid for funeral expenses, you may be eligible for funeral assistance by calling 844-684-6333.
- Internet. If you need help paying for internet access during the pandemic, some households are eligible for a discount on broadband service.
- Small Business or Non-Profit. If your small businesses or non-profit has been affected by the pandemic, you can apply for loans to help you through: for example, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Small Business Administration Debt Relief Program.
If someone contacts you out of the blue offering help and asks for your financial or personal information, that’s a sure sign of a scam. And know that the government won’t ask you to pay anything to get COVID-related financial help. If you spot a scam, report it to your state attorney general’s office and the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.