If you’re struggling financially, there may be programs in place to help you. It’s important to stay informed about help available in the following areas:
Cash payments. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes direct cash transfers of up to $1,200 (plus an extra $500 per child) for qualifying adults based on income. Relief payments phase out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000 in income. Be strategic about how you plan to use the cash, whether that means using it for paying bills, shopping for groceries and essentials, or saving the money in an emergency fund.
Mortgage relief. If you’ve lost income due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for emergency mortgage assistance or a forbearance plan to suspend mortgage payments. Federally-backed mortgages are protected from foreclosures for as long as 180 days if you’ve lost income due to COVID-19. Contact your mortgage loan servicer to request forbearance or loan modification.
Unemployment benefits. If you’re out of work, look into unemployment benefits or paid leave policies through your employer. The federal relief package expanded unemployment benefits for laid-off workers and those with reduced hours due to COVID-19. Unemployment benefits were also extended to self-employed and gig workers, who were previously ineligible. You can start the process by filing a claim with Minnesota’s unemployment insurance program. Ebenezer is also hiring during this time, you can find different career opportunities on our website that can help you through this time of financial distress.
Debt payment relief. Payments for auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and other debt can be a financial burden if you’re living on a reduced income. If you’re struggling to keep up with your debt payments, contact your loan servicers right away, they may be willing to work with you or have special programs in place for COVID-19 related relief.
Financial assistance programs. If you need help paying for rent, food, or childcare, apply online for emergency and cash assistance, food benefits (SNAP), and childcare assistance.
Assistance for paying rent. If you’re unable to pay your rent, it’s important to communicate with your landlord about what’s going on before you fall too far behind. Programs are available to prevent eviction and provide help for those affected by COVID-19 through the federal government, states and local social services agencies.
A break from utility bills. Most large electric and gas utility companies have taken steps to suspend late fee accruals and disconnection of services during the COVID-19 crisis. Communications companies have also stepped up to help residential and small business customers who are unable to pay their phone and internet bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Some companies are waiving late fees and not terminating service to customers for at least 60 days.
Are you financially well? If you happen to be on the other end of the spectrum and have found that you are financially blessed during this time and want to give back, please consider giving to the Pandemic Response Fund that has been set up by Ebenezer Foundation. The Ebenezer Foundation will match your gift, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000. Our goal is $500,000 to help our residents and staff. The Ebenezer Foundation serves as the liaison between Ebenezer and our generous family of donors. We raise funds to support Ebenezer programs such as lifelong learning through MacPhail as well as many arts programs. Our strong partnerships with donors allow us to improve and expand our services for residences, update and add new sites, provide vital community resources and invest in cutting edge innovation and state-of-the-art technology. Click here to learn more and support our mission!
As always, we’re here to support all of you whom we serve with whatever resources and support that are available to us. Stay strong, Ebenezer Strong.