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Disaster Financial Assistance with Food, Housing, and Bills

During the coronavirus pandemic, you may qualify for additional help with food and bills. Learn about mortgage and rental relief. And find out how the CARES Act can help your family

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stimulus Checks for Individuals

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is issuing one-time stimulus checks for many individuals. These payments are authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed into law on March 27, 2020.

The IRS has been sending out payments by direct deposit and paper check. In late May, it started issuing payments on prepaid debit cards.

Non-Filers Must Provide Stimulus Payment Information to the IRS by October 15

Some people who aren’t required to file a tax return must provide basic information to the IRS to get their check. These include very low-income workers and some veterans. If you think you’re in this category, go to the IRS page Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here. If you submit your information by October 15, 2020, you should receive your payment by the end of the year.

Learn About Stimulus Payments Sent Via Prepaid Card

The Treasury Department announced May 18 that almost four million stimulus payments will go out as prepaid Visa debit cards. Watch this Economic Impact Payment Prepaid Cards video to learn about activating and using the card.

Payments Made to People Who Have Died Must Be Returned

If a stimulus check arrives for someone who has died, you must return it to the IRS.

Nursing Homes and Care Facilities Cannot Claim Residents’ Stimulus Payments

 According to the IRS, your stimulus check belongs to you, even if:

  • You are in a nursing home or assisted living facility

  • Your facility receives the payment

  • You are on Medicaid

Check Payment Status or Provide Direct Deposit Information to the IRS

Go to the IRS page Get My Payment to check your payment’s status. For more information on what the payment status codes mean, see the IRS stimulus payment information center.

In some cases, you can also enter your direct deposit information in the Get My Payment tool. For help, see the questions and answers about entering banking information into the tool. You can also check the "Update your bank account or mailing address" section on the Economic Impact Payments page.

Most People Don’t Need to Do Anything to Get Their Stimulus Check

You will not have to do anything to receive your payment by direct deposit or check if:

Income Eligibility for Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

  • Individuals, including Social Security recipients, earning $75,000 or less will receive a $1,200 payment.

  • Married couples filing joint returns with incomes of $150,000 or less will receive a $2,400 payment.

  • People with incomes higher than those levels will receive partial payments. Individuals earning more than $99,000 and couples earning more than $198,000 will not receive any payment, unless they have children.

  • Parents of qualifying children will get a one-time payment of $500 per child.

Food Programs Ease Rules for Coronavirus Pandemic

You may now have an easier time getting food through government meal programs. During the coronavirus emergency:

  • Food stamp (SNAP) recipients may receive supplemental 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 adjustments during the coronavirus pandemic. To enroll or get other information:

For more information on school meals, check your child's school or school district website.

Temporary Mortgage Relief Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, under the CARES Act, the owners of single-family homes with federally-backed mortgages can get two types of financial help.

Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium

An eviction and foreclosure moratorium that went into effect on March 18, 2020, has been extended again. It now continues until August 31, 2020. During that time, homeowners:

  • Will not be charged late fees

  • Will not be evicted from their homes

Lenders:

  • Will not initiate foreclosure proceedings

  • Will suspend foreclosure proceedings already in process

Mortgage Forbearance

Federally-backed home loans can get six months of mortgage help. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reverse mortgages are eligible too.

If you're having trouble making payments because of the coronavirus pandemic, your loan servicer must:

  • Defer or reduce your payments for six months if you contact your loan servicer to make arrangements

  • Give you another six months 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.

Make sure you know your rights before you contact your loan servicer. Read this consumer relief guide to mortgage payment forbearance and foreclosure protection under the Federal CARES Act

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. 

Temporary Rental Relief for Many Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic

An eviction moratorium on most federally-backed rental housing ended on July 24. If you live in one of these units and get an eviction notice: 

  • You must be given a 30-day notice to move out.

  • Although you still owe your landlord rent payments, you cannot be charged late fees or penalties for rent owed from March 27 - July 24. 

  • You may be able to avoid eviction if you enter into a repayment agreement with your landlord.

Landlords Receiving Mortgage Relief May Pause Rent

Your landlord may be receiving forbearance, or relief, on their federally-backed mortgage. If so, they could not evict you for rent nonpayment during the forbearance period. 

  • You can find out if the property is federally-backed, making it eligible for forbearance. See the section "Find Out If You're Protected" on this renter protections fact sheet.

  • You'll have to ask your landlord to find out if they’re in forbearance.

Renters in Public Housing or a Housing Voucher Program May Get Relief

If you live in public housing or you receive housing vouchers, you can report any loss of income to your public housing agency or landlord.

  • You may get your rent reduced or housing vouchers increased temporarily.

  • You may be able to sign a repayment agreement for overdue rent and avoid eviction.

Disaster Response Network May Be Able to Help

Renters can speak to housing counselors at the government's Disaster Response Network. Call them at 877-542-9723 for:

  • Non-legal support in communicating with landlords

  • Federal and state housing assistance

  • Unemployment, nutritional assistance, and any other available benefits

Check this renter protections fact sheet for more sources of help.

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Last Updated: August 7, 2020

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