- New pandemic relief programs that help individuals and families
- Eviction ban extension
- Emergency Rental Assistance for unemployed or low-earning renters
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan extension
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding
- Funding for K-12 public schools and higher education
- Child care assistance
The signing of the latest pandemic relief bill on December 27, 2020, brought important aid to many who were waiting on a new round of stimulus checks and renewed funding for unemployment programs. The bill also contains other benefits for individuals and families.
New pandemic relief programs that help individuals and families
While aspects of the new pandemic relief package, like a direct check to individuals and renewed unemployment, are certainly important there are other programs included that directly benefit many Americans.
Eviction ban extension
A ban on evictions that expires on December 31st, 2021 has been extended. The ban prohibits landlords from ejecting tenants for an inability to pay or contracting coronavirus until January 31st, 2021. Originally instituted by the CDC, this measure not only benefits individual health and wellness but it also protects public health by keeping people in their homes through the pandemic which could stem the tide of #coronavirus infections. Either way, tenants who may be facing eviction can still be protected from housing instability or homelessness for another month.
Emergency Rental Assistance for unemployed or low-earning renters
Another measure to keep renters safely in their homes is the Emergency Rental Assistance program. Renters needing assistance to meet their housing payments during this financially unstable time can also benefit from a new program which would supplement their payment with funds provided in this relief package. The program will be available to those who:
- have a household income less than or equal to 80% of their local area median income (AMI)
- have one or more household members who can prove they are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- have one or more household members who qualify for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic.
Program funds will be dispersed to state and local organizations through which qualified applicants can have their rent expenses covered for a limited period. Funds received through this program are non-taxable and do not have to be repaid in any way by recipients.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan extension
The Paycheck Protection Program, which closed its first round of funding in August, will begin accepting a second round of applications from small businesses in need of funding.
While these loans go to businesses, not workers, they are crucial in keeping some small businesses afloat as they struggle with reduced profits. This benefit for businesses also requires that a larger portion of funds received by a qualified business are allocated to worker paychecks, ensuring that the main priority of the loan is to ensure job security for workers.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding
Families and individuals who are having trouble putting food on the table will be relieved to know that SNAP (known informally as food stamps) has been allocated $100 million toward increasing benefits levels.
Unemployed workers claiming SNAP benefits will also be relieved to hear that claimed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) funds will no longer be counted as income by SNAP, which could increase the amount of benefits they are eligible to receive. Certain college students may also now be eligible to receive SNAP benefits if they are eligible to work for for federal or work-study position and/or have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of zero.
Funding for K-12 public schools and higher education
Public schools and universities are getting a cash injection of $82 billion to help them run operations more safely for students, teachers and administrators. A large chunk of funding, $43 billion, has been specifically earmarked for schools and universities for repairs, improvements to heating and ventilation systems for better air quality and addressing any students who may have fallen behind in their studies due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This should ensure that all students can learn safely and effectively going forward.
Child care assistance
Child care facilities across the nation are receiving a combined $10 billion dollars in funding so they can continue operations during the pandemic. For working parents with young children in need of child care, the continued operation of local child care facilities will be a crucial lifeline to ensure their children are properly looked after while they work.
Which programs do you think are the most helpful right now?
Let us know in the comments below.
Needs.food,housing utilities.,2 nd needs to get .the needs,people need phones and access to data.to .be able to communicate..
People need money,to live on daily , weekly monthly. Expenses, lots of families have turned to leaving their children with relatives.for safety measures.like grand parents.,there should be a plan for,help for the caretaker,such as internet, educational actiivity s,a voucher raise snap if the children eat all their meals ,spend more than 8 hrs a day .and more than 5 days a week.some kind of help for low income people.who can't afford cable tv or data plans.just something to think about these days. .
Food and rent
Eviction assistance for renters sounds good, but how about forclosures? My mortgage payment is less than what rentals cost in this area, yet I face being homeless.
All the money being sent to foreign countries, America and Americans should be at the top of the list to receive monetary assistance. A $600 check want even pay rent and food for many families; to me the $600 stimulus was insulting!!!!!!!!!!!!
Food. The EBT/SNAP monthly benefit that had been increased at start of virus will no longer be in effect as of 1/1/21. This reduces my monthly amount to nearly half of what it had been in 1/1/20I qualified for $137/mo plus the increase equaled $204.00 (maximum allowed). Now, the benefit won't even be $137/mo as we received a COLA increase of 1.3% reducing amount to $127/mo. I don't know how to live with this amount. Rent. I've had to borrow money just to live in an already low income bldg. My next move will be a cardboard box out in the street. Please help. I am a senior with many chronic underlying issues that keep me a high risk for becoming infected with virus, so I can't look for work, yet.
Please tell me why we have to send money to foreign countries when the USA has a monumental crisis in our own country? You are giving away all my hard earned taxes to Congress and other countries when you are going to put me on the streets in less than a month - please tell me how you can sleep at night knowing this? My country appears to be failing us but when you needed my husband to fight in a war that wasn’t ours (Vietnam) you certainly sent him to this war - now you turn your back on him. I just don’t understand...
Is there any programs that help with PG&E?
Kindly help me with food. I have 12 helpless children. Please help me
Why again are the tax payers bailing out the schools?