We’ve compiled the following list to help you navigate these uncertain times:
Individuals struggling to obtain unemployment benefits can reach out to the Workers Defense League by calling (212) 627-1931.
Walk-in unemployment sites were ordered closed. So how do you apply?
In New Jersey, you can apply for unemployment between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. by phone or online, and your time slot goes by the last four digits of your social security number.
In New York, the first letter of your last name dictates which day you can file for unemployment.
Who is covered? Full or part-time workers who were laid off, furloughed or fired, or whose businesses were ordered to close. But you have to be healthy and able to work to qualify.
Who’s not covered? If you’re sick or quarantined you can use your company sick time or apply for short-term disability. Other people who are not covered at this time are freelancers or so-called ‘gig’ employees.
The jobs portal has thousands of openings and more are being added every day. These openings are in industries such as grocery stores, shipping and logistics, healthcare, janitorial services and warehousing. The state is asking for employers to submit information about any openings so they can be added.
Federal Unemployment Assistance: The Department of Labor gave states leeway to amend their laws so people impacted by COVID-19 could get unemployment insurance: “Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide UI benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where: (1) An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work; (2) An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and (3) An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member. In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.” More details on the Department of Labor’s website.
Want to see U.S. unemployment numbers in a larger window? Click here
GIG WORKERS RELIEF
Uber: The company is offering 14 days of financial assistance to any driver who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is quarantined: “Any driver or delivery person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account is on hold. We’ve already helped drivers in some affected areas, and we’re working to quickly implement this worldwide.”
Lyft: The company also said it would provide financial help for drivers impacted by the virus: “We will provide funds to drivers should they be diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under individual quarantine by a public health agency. This helps support drivers financially when they can’t drive, while also protecting our riders’ health.” The company said it would also temporarily suspend drivers and riders who are diagnosed with COVID-19 from using Lyft until they are medically cleared.
Postmates: For delivery workers, Postmates created a fund that will credit Postmates for the costs of doctors appointments and medical expenses related to COVID-19’s impact in over 22 states. They are also waiving restaurant commission fees for new merchants that want to use the service to make up for people not coming into their restaurants.
Doordash: The delivery company is offering up to “two weeks of assistance to Dashers and Caviar couriers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are subject to quarantine at the direction of public health officials.”
Instacart: The company announced an expanded sick-time policy in light of COVID-19: “In addition to sick pay for all in-store shoppers nationally, we’re also offering additional support for all part-time employees and full-service shoppers affected by COVID-19. We will offer up to 14 days of pay for any part-time employee or full-service shopper who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory isolation or quarantine, as directed by a local, state, or public health authority. This assistance will be available for 30 days to ensure our community is supported during this rapidly evolving situation, and we’ll be sending more information to shoppers in the coming days.”
MORTGAGE AND RENT
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order that postpones rent and mortgage payments. State Sen. Michael Gianaris is proposing a bill that would forgive rent and mortgage payments for 90 days for tenants, landlords, and small businesses out of work.
For mortgages, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has suspended foreclosures for at least two months.
The key is you usually have to make the first step, because if you’re falling behind on your home loan or any other debt, call your lender and ask about your options. Read these tips for renters, homeowners worried about making payments
BANK AND CREDIT CARD RELIEF
No late fees: List of companies, services addressing economic burden of coronavirus crisis
American Express: American Express customers can apply for their Financial Hardship program for relief, which can potentially take the form of lowered monthly payments, waived fees, and lower interest rates.
Bank of America
Will refund overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds fees and monthly maintenance fees upon request for banking and small business customers. Will defer payments and issue refunds on late fees upon request for banking and small business customers .Will defer payments and issue refunds on late fees for small business loans upon request. Will defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan, for auto loans upon request. Will defer payments, with payments added to the end of the loan, for mortgages and home equity lines of credit upon request. Will pause foreclosure sales, evictions and repossession.
Link to BOA: https://about.bankofamerica.com/promo/assistance/latest-updates-from-bank-of-america-coronavirus
Will offer financial relief options upon request, including limiting fees, providing minimum payment assistance and offering deferred loan payments.
Link to Capitol One: https://www.capitalone.com/coronavirus/
The bank has said it will offer additional assistance to those affected by coronavirus.
Link to Chase: https://www.chase.com/digital/resources/coronavirus
Effective Monday, March 9, Citi will do the following for an initial 30 days: Will waive fees on monthly services and penalties for early CD withdrawal for banking customers. Will waive monthly service fees, remote deposit capture charges and penalties for early CD withdrawal for small business customers. Offer credit line increases and collection forbearance programs for credit card customers. Offer a range of hardship programs through their service provider, Cenlar FSB, for eligible mortgage customers.
Link to Citi: https://online.citi.com/US/JRS/pands/detail.do?ID=covid19
Will temporarily suspend payments, as well as refund late payment and overdraft fees for bank customers, stop collection calls, suspend mortgage and home equity line of credit foreclosures. It will also waive early withdrawal penalties on CDs and waive outgoing wire fees for customers. Will offer extensions and payment deferral accommodations for smalls business clients. And will over credit card limit increases. It will also expand payment deferrals, waive late charges and issue lease extensions.
Link for Santander: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/santander-us-announces-covid-19-relief-efforts-301028271.html
Will offer financial relief options upon request, including fee refunds, early penalty-free access to CDs and payment extensions.
Link for TD Bank: https://www.td.com/us/en/personal-banking/COVID-19/
Will offer fee waivers, payment deferrals and other expanded assistance for credit card, auto, mortgage, small business and personal lending customers who contact Wells Fargo directly. Will suspend residential property foreclosure sales, evictions and involuntary auto repossessions.
Link to Wells Fargo: https://www.wellsfargo.com/jump/enterprise/coronavirus-response
U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank is waiving many fees and working on its payment-skipping program.
PNC Bank: They released the following statement: “We stand ready to work with those experiencing financial difficulty as a result, and we are taking the necessary steps to avoid potential disruptions of service to our customers. PNC is prepared to offer assistance, as needed, to impacted customers through a range of measures.” They are urging customers to call them at 1-888-762-2265 (7 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET Saturday & Sunday).
In New Jersey, dealers can conduct online or remote sales. The car may be delivered to the purchaser or the buyer can pick up the car curbside in the dealership service lane.
In New York, dealers can sell or lease vehicles online and with strict protocols, but it’s still unclear how customers will react down the road.
You can also temporarily suspend auto loan payments. Ally is offering 120-day extensions without late payments. Effective Wednesday, March 18, Ally is offering the following financial support initiatives: Will defer payment for existing auto customers for up to 120 days without incurring late fees or finance charges. Will give new auto customers the option to delay first payment for 90 days. Will defer payment for existing mortgage customers for up to 120 days without incurring late fees or finance charges. Will waive overdraft, expedited checks and debit card fees for existing bank customers for the next 120 days.
Link to Ally: https://www.ally.com/coronavirus-response/?CP=EML400001705
Hyundai is offering to help car buyers with payment coverage who lost jobs because of the coronavirus. Offering up to six months of payment coverage if you bought a Hyundai between March 14 and April 30, 2020 and lost your job this year. It’s also offering up to three months of deferred payments through April 30, as well as other coverage for customers who recently lost their job.
Wells Fargo is suspending auto repossessions.
Auto insurer Geico also stated it won’t cancel your coverage if you’re late.
On March 27, President Donald Trump signed the CARES Act into law, which, among other things, provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers.
Your payments will automatically stop from March 13, 2020, through Sept. 30, 2020.
To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. This suspension of payments will last until Sept. 30, 2020, but you can still make payments if you choose. Read the borrower Q&As to learn more.
The deadline for filing federal income taxes and for paying those taxes has been moved back three months, to July 15. If you’re expecting to get a refund, experts recommend you file as soon as possible.
AARP’s free tax prep program, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, has been suspended until further notice.
You can still file for free with options like the IRS’s Free File Program.
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