Q: When will I receive my stimulus check? 

A: The money will appear automatically in your bank account if the IRS has your account information on file from previous years’ tax returns. If the IRS doesn’t already have your account information, or if you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you can submit your information on this website.

Q: How do I apply for unemployment?

A: You should contact your state's unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. Have necessary documents on hand to apply such as your Social Security Number, bank information for direct deposit, first and last day with your last employer, the reason for leaving, and any severance package information if applicable.UI has been expanded and will include benefits for self-employed individuals and members of the gig economy. Verify with your state what the process is for applying. State websites for applying for unemployment have been overwhelmed by the demand, so if the website fails to load or crashes, be persistent and try again. 

Q: I cannot pay my rent. How do I receive assistance? 

A: CARES Act Tenant-Based Rental Assistance

In terms of help with paying your rent, the CARES Act provides the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Q: My income has reduced. How do I prioritize my monthly household expenses?

A: Prioritize monthly household expenses according to the order of necessity. For example, start with Food; then Housing; then Transportation; then Utilities; then Credit and Debt. Where possible, reduce or eliminate expenses that are not necessary. Do not avoid contact with creditors. Creditors are aware of the situation. They can only help you if you continue to communicate with them.    

Resource: Which Bills Should I Pay First

Q: What legal and/or financial resources are available to assist me through this crisis?

A: Various nonprofit organizations, government resources, and financial technologies are available to assist you with challenges ranging from income and food supports, to eviction and shelter assistance. Some examples are 211.org, JustShelter.org, and DoNotPay

Q: Who has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis the most?

A: While we are all affected by the outbreak, low-income households have been hit the hardest both by the virus itself and the resulting financial crisis. The Financial Clinic created the following survey to better understand how COVID-19 is affecting people’s lives and finances. We need your help to support our community of practitioners to better understand how to address financial insecurity during these challenging times, and to build a more equitable American economy. We ask that you send the following 3 minute survey to your customers, and ask them to fill it out. After we collect these responses, we hope to share the insights with the larger Change Machine community. If you have any questions regarding the survey, including the questions themselves, how to administer it, or how the responses will be analyzed, please reach out to either Haidee Cabusora at [email protected] or Valliappan Lakshmanan at [email protected].

 

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