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Disaster Financial Assistance for Workers and Small Business Owners

If you’ve been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, learn how you could qualify for unemployment benefits, paid leave, and more. Get financial help from the government if you own a small business. Find out about the CARES Act and how it can help you.

Unemployment Benefits and the Coronavirus

The federal government has allowed states to change their unemployment benefits laws. It lets them provide unemployment benefits for situations related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 authorizes:

  • An automatic, additional payment of $300 per week until March 14, 2021 to everyone qualified for unemployment benefits

  • An additional $100 per week for some self-employed or gig workers

  • Unemployed workers to get an extra 11 weeks of benefits beyond the number a state currently provides. This is in addition to the 13 additional weeks that were authorized by the CARES Act.

Contact your state’s unemployment insurance program for more information and to apply for benefits.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stimulus Checks for Individuals

NEW: The IRS is distributing $600 Economic Impact stimulus payments for qualifying individuals, as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021. You do not need to do anything to receive your payment.

Check the status of your Economic Impact payment from the IRS using the Get My Payment application.

Read frequently asked questions about who qualifies, how and where you’ll receive your payment, and more.

  • The IRS began issuing direct deposits and mailing paper stimulus checks on December 30, 2020 and will continue through January 2021.
  • You may instead receive your payment on a prepaid debit card. Watch your mail for an Economic Impact Payment Card (EIP Card).

Information on the Previous CARES Act Stimulus Checks, April 2020

This information applies only to CARES Act payments, distributed during the spring of 2020.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued one-time stimulus checks for most individuals who qualified for them. These payments were authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27, 2020.

Learn About Stimulus Payments Sent Via Prepaid Card

The Treasury Department announced on 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.

Previous CARES Act Non Tax-Filers Who Didn't Provide Stimulus Payment Information to the IRS by October 15 May Be Able to Receive Payment in 2021

Some people who weren’t required to file a tax return had to provide basic information to the IRS to get their CARES Act check. These included very low-income workers and some veterans. If you were in this category and you submitted your information by October 15, 2020, you should receive your payment by the end of the year.

If You Missed the October 15 Deadline, You May Be Eligible For the Payment in 2021

If you didn't get a payment in 2020, or if you received less than the full amount you were entitled to, such as $500 for each qualifying child, you may be able to get the difference in 2021. See the IRS information for filing for the CARES Act stimulus payment in 2021.

Coronavirus Financial Help for Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers programs that can help your business if it’s been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers loans to help small businesses and non-profits keep their workers employed. If you follow the guidelines, your loan may be forgiven. And if your business has gotten its first PPP loan (draw), it may be eligible for a second draw. 

Get the latest information from the SBA about the Paycheck Protection Program, including program details, who can apply, loan forgiveness, and frequently asked questions.

You can apply for a PPP Loan until March 31, 2021. 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

An Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) helps small businesses and nonprofits that are losing money during the coronavirus pandemic and that need funds for financial obligations and operating expenses.

SBA is accepting applications for EIDLs until December 31, 2021. 

Apply online for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan. 

SBA Express Bridge Loans

If your business has a relationship with an SBA Express lender, you may be able to borrow up to $25,000 quickly under the SBA Express Bridge Loan program.

SBA Debt Relief

SBA’s Debt Relief Program pays the principal, interest, and fees for six months for 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed before September 27, 2020. Beginning in February 2021, that relief will be extended for certain businesses.

For details, see the “Small Business Debt Relief Program” section, page 9 of the Small Business Owner’s Guide to COVID-19 Relief Legislation.

CARES Act Provides Relief for Individuals and Businesses

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or stimulus package, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It offers help in many forms for individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Help for Individuals: Stimulus Checks

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be issuing one-time payments for many individuals starting in late April 2020. Most people won’t have to do anything to get their stimulus check. Find out if you qualify for a stimulus payment, if you’ll have to do anything to get it, and when you might receive it. 

Help for Individuals: Expansion of Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act expands eligibility, amount, and duration of benefits for people impacted by the coronavirus. Read about those and other coronavirus-related changes to unemployment benefits.

Home Loan Relief: Federally-Backed Mortgages

Single family homeowners with federally-backed mortgages get two types of financial help:

  1. Protection from eviction and foreclosure through mid-May

  2. Reduced or postponed mortgage payments for up to a year

Renter Relief: Multi-Family Homes With Federally-Backed Mortgages

If you live in an apartment building with a federally-backed mortgage, you're safe from eviction through December 31, 2020. Read more about that and about renter relief from some states.

Credit Report Protection

If you're affected by the coronavirus pandemic, you can ask a creditor to make an accommodation to defer or modify your payments. If you follow that agreement, your creditor cannot change your credit report status; if you were up-to-date in your payments before the accommodation, your creditor must still report you as current. If you were delinquent in your payments before the accommodation, your creditor will continue to report you as delinquent until you bring the account current.  

Federal Student Loan Relief

Federal student loan payments are suspended from March 13, 2020, to January 31, 2021. Your payments will automatically stop during this period.

Help for Businesses: Small Business Administration Loans

The CARES Act creates or boosts programs designed to keep small businesses afloat. 

Help for Businesses: Payroll Tax Credit for Businesses of All Sizes

The Employee Retention Credit allows businesses of all sizes to receive a tax credit for keeping employees on their payroll. It will refund 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses that take small business loans are not eligible.  

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Last Updated: January 12, 2021