To help the Harvest Bible Chapel family through the Coronavirus pandemic, here are some helpful resources.
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act was signed by President Trump to help provide financial stability and relief for individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19. While the bill is very broad and addresses a number of areas and industries, the following are important to highlight for individuals and their families.
Cash Payments and Unemployment Assistance
- 2020 Recovery Payment: All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 joint filers) are eligible for a $1,200 ($2,400) payment, as well as an additional $500 per child (under age 17).
- There are no minimum income requirements for the payment. Individuals with little or no income are eligible provided they are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security number.
- This amount is reduced by $5 for every $100 over the income limit above, so it would be fully phased out for those with incomes over $99,000 (single) and $198,000 (joint filers) with no children.
- Increased Unemployment Assistance: For those who meet the qualifications, it provides an additional $600/week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance for up to four months.
- Provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, 2020, for those who remain unemployed after state unemployment benefits are no longer available.
- Delay in Tax-filing Requirements: Individuals now have until July 15, 2020, to file their 2019 tax returns instead of April 15.
- The Treasury Department has also postponed the deadline for making IRA contributions until the date taxpayers file their 2019 tax return during the extended filing period.
Lease and Mortgages
- Mortgage Relief for Homeowners: Requires the servicers of federally backed mortgages to postpone mortgage payments at the request of the borrower, provided the borrower affirms financial hardship due to COVID-19. The postponement must be granted for up to 180 days and extended for an additional period of up to 180 days at the request of the borrower.
- Foreclosure Moratorium: Prevents the servicer of a federally backed mortgage loan to initiate any foreclosure process for at least 60 days beginning on March 18, 2020.
- Eviction Relief for Renters: For 120 days after the CARES Act date of enactment, landlords with mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and other federal entities cannot pursue eviction for their tenants. Landlords also can’t charge any fees or penalties related to nonpayment of rent.
- Loan Payment Suspension: Suspends payments automatically for federal student loans through Sept. 30, 2020, with no interest accruing or penalties during the period of suspension.
- Small-Business Loans: Many small businesses are now eligible for disaster relief loans from the Small Business Administration. Additionally, the CARES Act provides conditions for when loan payments may be deferred, and loan amounts forgiven.
- Other Provisions: There are additional tax and accounting provisions such as:
- An employee retention tax credit for employers subject to full or partial suspension of business due to COVID-19
- The ability to delay payment of employer payroll taxes
- Modifications for rules around net operating losses
- Modifications for rules around corporate AMT (alternative minimum tax) credits
- A temporary increase in the limitation on interest deductions imposed by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
COVID 19 and the Family Medical Leave Act
Utilities and other essentials
Comcast: The cable giant is offering free access to its Xfinity WiFi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers. It’s also providing unlimited data to its customers for no extra charge and is not disconnecting internet service or charging late fees for customers who say they can’t pay their bills. The company is also providing 60 days of free basic internet service to new customers.
AT&T: The cable, phone, and media giant is suspending the termination of wireless, home phone or broadband service when customers can’t pay their bills because of coronavirus disruptions. The company is also waiving related late fees. Like Comcast, AT&T is also providing free access to its public WiFi hot spots. The company also said its consumer home internet wireline customers and fixed wireless internet customers would receive unlimited data.
Verizon: Verizon said it is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers “negatively impacted by the global crisis.”
T-Mobile: The mobile phone service provider is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.
UTILITY RELIEF: Gov. Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul have urged the Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately institute a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies across Illinois—including energy, telecommunications, and water – until the state disaster proclamation has been lifted. The administration is also requesting changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt as a result of COVID-19. Several have announced plans to maintain services and waive late payment fees.
ComEd and Nicor each will suspend service disconnections and forgive late payment fees for non-payment through May 1.
- ComEd customers who are experiencing financial hardship can visit com/CARE or call 800-334-7661.
- For information about Nicor energy assistance programs, visit com/residential/billingandpaymentoptions/energy-assistance-programs.html.
MEDICAID WAIVER: The administration is in the process of filing a federal waiver to expand Medicaid coverage, beginning work on the waiver application as soon as the federal government declared a national emergency and activated the Stafford Act. If the federal waiver is approved, the state will be able to expand Medicaid services through the addition of new medical providers, increased access across the state and ramped up services to many of the state’s most vulnerable populations.
Harvest Bible Chapel, Financial Coaches