Millions of people have had some of the financial help they need through previous stimulus packages. This money enabled them to pay some of their bills after being laid off or when their business closed down – some for good. Although many of these people have been able to get new jobs, many people still depend on that money and hope that Congress will pass a new stimulus package to get them through the coming winter.
Stimulus Package Stalled in Congress
At present, disagreements between the two parties in Congress have almost hopelessly paused the stimulus package. President Trump has encouraged Congress to pass a new package. Biden is also urging them to do so. However, it has not been forthcoming. The Democrats want a much larger package than what the Republicans can agree with, so the stall continues – possibly indefinitely.
The current benefits that the CARES Act has previously passed will continue to operate until the end of the year. At that time, all the free money stops. People will have to fend for themselves.
The Benefits That Will Soon End
- Unemployment Benefits
Payments given to the unemployed as a result of the pandemic were put in the initial CARES Act. This amount was $600 and it was to be given above the amount that each state normally provides. That part of the CARES Act ended on July 31st. President Trump used executive orders to give another $300 per month for six weeks. But that will end on December 27th of this year.
- Unemployment Coverage for Others
The CARES Act also created the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA). It extended unemployment benefits to people not normally entitled to regular unemployment benefits. This included the self-employed, gig workers, and more. However, they had to be in business before January 31, 2020.
- Eviction Protection to End
One of the biggest fears that the unemployed had as a result of coronavirus was the strong possibility of losing their home – whether mortgaged or rented. The CARES Act provided protection only for those that received some kind of federal funds. It was the CDC, not Congress, that extended the no-eviction period until the end of the year. It also brought protection for a much larger group of people.
- Student Loan Deferment
Another benefit that will end unless action is taken is the deferment of having to pay on federal student loans. As long as the deferment remains in place, no interest is being charged. If deferment is not renewed, students and graduates that have student loans will have to start making payments again after the start of the new year.
Other Help Is Available
Although the above benefits may end at the start of the new year, other state and local government benefits can help people in need of them. People can obtain unemployment benefits through various state programs. Other programs are available that can meet other needs. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program can help many families with needs for help with housing costs, utilities, expenses for child care, and job training. The SNAP food benefits program – food stamps – can help with food needs. Many other programs are also available.
If you owe money on a loan, whether a mortgage, car loan, or even a personal loan, many lenders are willing to work with you to help. You will need to approach them to learn what they are willing to do.