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Disaster Financial Assistance with Food, Housing, and Bills

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for additional help with food and bills. Learn about mortgage and rental relief.

COVID-19 Stimulus Checks for Individuals

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $1,400 Economic Impact Payments for people who are eligible. You do not need to do anything to receive your payment. It will arrive by direct deposit to your bank account, or by mail in the form of a paper check or debit card.

Find out if you’re eligible for a stimulus check.

Check On Your Stimulus Payment

Check the Get My Payment page from the IRS to find out if you qualify and when you'll get your payment. 

What to Do If You Didn’t Receive Earlier Stimulus Checks

If you were eligible for the two previous stimulus payments but didn’t receive one or both, or didn’t receive the entire amount, there is still time for you to claim the money. It will come in the form of a tax rebate.

 You will need to file a 2020 federal tax return and claim the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Even if you’re normally not required to file a federal tax return, to get the stimulus money you’re owed, you must file this year. 

The IRS issued two previous Economic Impact Payments: $1,200 in April 2020 and $600 in December 2020/January 2021. They would have been sent by direct deposit to your bank account or by mail as a paper check or a debit card.

COVID-19 Rent Assistance and Eviction Moratorium

If you're out of work or lost income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may qualify for rental assistance through your state HUD program. And a federal eviction moratorium from the CDC, extended through June 30, 2021 may help you stay in your home if you can't pay your rent.

Get Rental Assistance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is helping renters during the pandemic by providing rental assistance through state HUD offices. To find out if you qualify:

Learn About the Moratorium on Evictions During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you can't pay your rent because of job loss or financial problems related to the pandemic, the ban on evictions from rental housing may help. The ban was ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It began on September 4, 2020, and has been extended through June 30, 2021. 

If you’re facing eviction, use this CDC declaration form to explain your situation to your landlord.

The CDC form lists several conditions that you must agree are true:

  • You've tried to get government rent or housing assistance

  • You either:

    • Expect to earn no more than $99,000 in the calendar year 2020-2021  ($198,000 if you’re a couple filing jointly)

    • Didn't have to report any income to the Internal Revenue Service in 2019, or

    • Received a COVID-19 stimulus payment

  • You can't pay your full rent due to significantly reduced income or large medical bills

  • You're paying as much toward your rent as you can

  • If evicted you'd become homeless or have to move in with other people in close quarters

  • You understand that at the end of the ban, the landlord can evict you if you don't pay all rent owed

Keep in mind, this is not rental forgiveness. You will still owe rent to your landlord. And you can be evicted during this time for reasons other than not paying your rent.

Food Stamps and Meal Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be easier for you and your family to get food stamps and take part in meal programs. Contact your state's social services agency to see if you're eligible.

During the pandemic:

  • Food stamp (SNAP) recipients may receive additional funding.

  • Parents can pick up school meals for their kids to eat at home.

  • People can enroll in food programs remotely rather than in person. This applies to programs for pregnant women, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Read about these and other government meal program changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 Mortgage Relief

If you’ve been affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and you own a single-family home with a federally backed or FHA-insured mortgage, you can request mortgage forbearance, a pause in making mortgage payments. 

Learn the steps to take and questions to ask if you need mortgage forbearance from your lender. 

Deadlines for Federally Backed Mortgage Foreclosures

  • For loans backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, or VA, you can request an initial forbearance through June 30, 2021.

  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not currently have a deadline for requesting an initial forbearance.

  • Lenders cannot foreclose on loans backed by HUD/FHA, USDA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac until after June 30, 2021.

What Your Loan Servicer Must Do If You Request Forbearance

If you're having trouble making payments on your federally backed mortgage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, contact your loan servicer before June 30, 2021. Your loan servicer must:

  • Defer or reduce your payments for 180 days if you contact them to make arrangements

  • Give you another 180 days of mortgage relief at your request

  • Offer options for how you can make up the deferred or reduced payments. They will discuss these options with you at the end of your forbearance period.

Find Your Loan Servicer

If you don't know whether your mortgage is federally backed, see a list of federal agencies that provide or insure mortgages. You can also check the Fannie Mae loan lookup and the Freddie Mac loan lookup to see if either one owns or backs your mortgage. Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac own nearly half of all mortgages in the U.S.

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Last Updated: April 15, 2021

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