Pandemic Relief Programs Are Ending — Here’s How You Can Still Get Assistance

Cropped shot of an attractive young businesswoman standing alone and feeling stressed while going through her finances in her home.
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The passage of the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill in March offered billions of dollars in relief for millions of Americans. With three stimulus check direct payments sent out and billions more in small business relief and unemployment insurance, the government aid that has helped millions of citizens survive through the pandemic will soon be coming to an end as thousands of jobs are added to the economy each month.

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What can you do if you’re one of the millions receiving government assistance? Take a look at these categories below to learn how you may still be eligible to keep the help coming:

Eviction Moratorium

Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium that has been extended to July 31. Landlords have long been awaiting the moratorium’s end, but there are several things renters can do to help with rent until they are on their feet. The Treasury Department has created a searchable list of Emergency Rental Assistance programs that you can find based on where you live, found here. Every state might have their own specifics, but in New York for example, household gross income must be at or below 80% of the Area Median Income in order to qualify. Additionally, a member of the household must have received unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in income, incurred significant costs or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19. Applicants must also be obligated to pay rent at their primary residence and have rent overdue as well as be at risk of experiencing homelessness demonstrated by rental arrears. Other states follow similar requirements, adjusted for income thresholds of their particular areas.

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More: Many States Have Given Out Less Than 5% in Rental Assistance as Eviction Ban Expiration Draws Near

Student Loan Moratorium

A moratorium was placed on student loan obligations from March 2020, but that is scheduled to end September 30, meaning payments will have to resume on that date. While there has been a push by several legislators to extend the deadline, as of yet there has been no official change of course for an extension. The Department of Education has several repayment options based on your income and whether or not you are employed that you can apply for here if you are worried about being unable to afford your payment.

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Health Insurance

Many people who experienced unemployment during the pandemic may be eligible for government-sponsored premiums to their health insurance The government also has programs to provide COBRA payments through September for eligible citizens, as well as a special enrollment period through August 15 for the federal marketplace to purchase their own coverage. Details can be found here.

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Unemployment Insurance

Many states chose to voluntarily opt out of federal unemployment insurance early on, as they were having difficulty filling open positions and blamed the vacancy on gratuitous unemployment benefits. Regardless of where your state stands, all pandemic-era unemployment perks will expire September 6. If you still need assistance, you will have to check with your state’s Department of Labor for what they specifically offer.

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Last updated: July 19, 2021

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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