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What happens once COVID 19 unemployment benefits run out?

Those additional $600 unemployment checks expire this week! Do you know what your options are after today? What about eviction and mortgage protections. Do those expire today, too? Will there be another legislation that provides extra financial relief during this pandemic? These are great questions that all require urgent answers. In fact, there are so many questions around the coming weeks, so while the information continues to update, we do have some answers for you. 

Hello everyone and welcome to a Friday Special episode of Ask Abby, my name is Abby, and It’s my goal to do the digging to provide you answers to your most pressing financial questions. And boy do we have a big one for today. Those $600 unemployment checks that Americans were receiving to aid during this pandemic are expiring today, while the country is still nowhere close to recovering from the first wave of this COVID-19 pandemic. So, if you were depending on those checks to make your bill payments and put food on the table, I’m here to provide some advice to get you through these next few weeks. 

First things first, let’s talk about exactly what the CARES Act is and what exactly is expiring today. The CARES Act was signed on March 17th, and it provided a number of things to stimulate the economy within it’s $2.2 trillion write-up. One of which was that initial $1200 stimulus check many Americans received in April. Another was providing mortgage and eviction protections for many people and the last major section, which is the one we are talking about today, is the unemployment benefit that provided furloughed and laid off employees with an extra $600s weekly on top of their state’s existing unemployment benefits. 

So, this is a big topic this week and there are a ton of questions about it so let’s get those questions rolling in the comment bar and I’ll let you know what I know. 

The first question is, will I receive any unemployment benefits? The answer to that, in short, is yes. There is still some good news here. The CARES Act not only added additional funds to your state’s existing unemployment benefits, it also added some time. The bill adds 13 weeks of coverage so if you’re about to run out, you’ll get an extra 13 weeks. Most states offer 26 weeks of unemployment, so that means you’ll have 39 weeks total of unemployment in those states. So, depending on when you started receiving benefits, you might have some additional time left. 

I know there are so many of us out there saying, well, that’s not enough. Some states weekly payouts might not be enough to cover all of your expenses, that’s true. In fact, the average state payout is about $370 per week. The CARES Act addition raised that average to $970 per week and more 25 million people were depending on that. And while there isn’t an extension on that $600 check – yet, at least. We still have to talk about potential extensions that are in the works, we will get there – no extension yet though, so what should you do if your state’s benefits alone are not enough? 

We did a show back in May to talk about some great ways to increase your cash flow and some not-so-great ways to find cash fast. So, if you’re short on funds because of this expiration in extra unemployment benefits, watch this video that I’ll put in the comment bar for you now. 

Just to summarize a few things that you should try your best to avoid right now, those are cash advances and payday loans. The fees and terms on those are not in your best interest and in that video we talk about some things that can truly help you get some cash, so check that out, start at the 11-minute mark and that’s when I dive into those things. 

You might also be eligible for food and cash assistance both at a federal and state level. So check that out sooner than later. 

If you’re trying to plan for the next week or so and you’re not exactly sure when your last $600 check will come, I will put in an image in the comment bar that shows when the last check will arrive. 

So, when it comes down to paying your bills to keep a roof over your head, we need to talk about one thing and that’s your mortgage and rent payment. The first thing to note is that there is a federal eviction moratorium that protects people in housing with a federally backed mortgage. That expires tomorrow. After that, landlords can issue a notice to evict but can’t remove tenants for another 30 days. 

A month ago, we did a show that answers the question: Can I be evicted during the pandemic? We talk a lot about who has eviction protection, what to do if you can’t make your rent or mortgage payment. Plus, we discussed how the eviction process works and some of the rights you have as a tenant. Check out that video in the comment section.

Now, let’s talk about whether there is more relief coming. Is the government going to renew some of the financial relief programs from the CARES Act that are expiring? The answer to that is, well, probably. There is a new bill proposal that was release on Monday called the HEALs act. H.E.A.L.S. it stands for Health, Economic Assistance, Liability, and Schools.

The Associated Press said that in this proposal, there is talk of a $200 per week supplemental unemployment check to replace that $600 check. So, you’d recieve an additional $200 per week through September and then after december you could recieve up to $500 additional but no more than 70% of your income. 

There’s also talk of some other extensive national aid including:

  • Aid for schools
  • An extension to the payroll protection programs and additional tax credits for companies who continue to hire new employees right now
  • COVID testing and tracing funds
  • Student Loan Relief for those without an income
  • And finally, a second round of stimulus checks for Americans to help drive the economy 

Those check will mirror the CARES Act in that they’ll be $1,200 for Americans who earn less than $75,000, and an extra $500 for each independent, this time with no age restriction on those independents. Just like the last round, the amount of your check with decrease by 5% of your income above that amount. 

And finally, the biggest question is, what is the timeline for this new bill? Congress has until Aug 7th to reach a deal and then from there, the president has to sign it. And if the deal is finalized, a second round of checks could be sent as early as the end of august. Here’s something to note, if congress doesn’t finalize anything by then, there could be delays in all of this until September, so, these next couple of weeks are big ones. I’m going to make sure I stay as up-to-date as possible on all of these topics, so make sure to like and follow our page because I’ll be giving updates on all this stuff as soon as I get enough information for you. 

But as of now, that’s all the updates I have on this topic. If you have any questions about this you’d like me to answer, please feel free to throw them in the comment bar, send me a FB message, or email me directly at Askabby@creditanddebt.org. If you’re facing trouble with your debt right now, please remember that our coaches are you for you now more than ever. Our coaching sessions are free, there’s no obligation, and they can give you direction that’s completely customized for your circumstances. 

If you would, please share this post. There are 25 million Americans looking for answers to these questions and it’s not always so easy to navigate the multitude of headlines that are coming our way in this COVID-19 world. Also, make sure to like and follow our page because like I said, I’ll be giving you updates on these topics as soon as I get them. Thank you again for watching the show and don’t forget to tune in next week for more tips, tricks, and updates on all things credit and debt. See you soon.

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