Your ultimate list of federal aid program expansions for 2021


There is no doubt about that: there was a dumpster fire in 2020. To throw some water on the flames, the federal government has passed numerous programs to provide financial support to people who are in difficult times due to the pandemic. The help is far from comprehensive, but it will at least help to clog the leaking holes a little.

The problem, however, is that there are so many Programs each with their own expiration dates and qualification requirements. Most of these program names sound redundant. Many of them are optional for states, so it’s difficult to know if you even qualify depending on where you live.

We’ll help you resolve some of these issues with this comprehensive list of federal programs passed. There you will also find information on further details. This is especially important as these programs change daily.

Federal Student Loan Forbearance

What is it: Payments are temporarily paused and there is no interest on federal student loans.

Who is Eligible?: People with Federal Student Loans.

Dates available: March 20, 2020 – September 30, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Ministry of Education

Many people rejoiced when the Department of Education announced that payments on federal student loans would be suspended. At the moment, all loans held by the federal government are “administrative forbearance” at 0% interest, so there is no penalty for a break.

Even better, if you choose to use Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), those months of non-payment will continue to count towards PSLF requirements as long as you are still working for an eligible employer.

The unfortunate part is that this only applies to Federal Loans, however. When you have private student loans – and that’s roughly 8% of all debt – it is up to your lender whether or not to give you a break.

Federal Mortgage Forbearance and Foreclosure Moratorium

What is it: You can apply for federal grant forbearance mortgages, and you can’t be left out if you don’t pay.

Who is eligible: Individuals with FHA, USDA, or VA mortgages, or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages.

Dates available: A moratorium on foreclosures until March 31, 2021 (for FHA or USDA loans) or February 28, 2021 (for VA loans and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans).

Where to get the latest information: Consumer Financial Protection Office

The federal government is not involved in all mortgages. However, if you have a federal mortgage then you get some protection here. Specifically, due to the coronavirus, you can request forbearance (i.e. a temporary break in payments) for up to two 180-day periods. This means you can postpone your mortgage payments for up to a year if you qualify (although it is best to start repaying as soon as possible).

On the other hand, there is usually a risk of foreclosure if you are not lenient or if you are already behind on your payments. However, there is currently a moratorium on foreclosures on these types of mortgages. Once this data has passed, you can still be excluded. So it is best to contact your lender in advance to see what options are available to you.

Rent eviction moratorium

What is it: A moratorium on evictions for not paying your rent.

Who is Eligible?: People who cannot pay rent due to financial difficulties.

Dates available: September 4, 2020 – March 31, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

There are many moratoriums on eviction from tenants across the country. However, the CDC is currently banned at the federal level all Evictions for non-payment at the moment. However, it is not automatic. To ensure that you are insured, you must sign a declaration from the CDC and deliver it to your landlord.

Even then it is still not a free ticket: You can also be evicted for other reasons, e.g. B. because you disobey the rules or engage in criminal activities. Make sure you behave well so you don’t give your landlord another reason to evict you.

Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program

What is it: A new $ 25 billion fund to pay overdue rents and utilities.

Who is Eligible?: Renters who meet income requirements and / or risk homelessness.

Dates available: January 20, 2021 – December 31, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Department of the Ministry of Finance

On December 27, the Consolidated Funds Act was passed, creating a $ 25 billion pot for state, local, and tribal governments that people can use to recover their overdue rental and utility bills.

In general, tenants must demonstrate that they have either 1) been unemployed or have suffered a sharp drop in income or significant costs due to COVID-19, 2) are at risk of becoming homeless, or 3) have a household income of 80% or less of the Average income in the region.

Program recipients will receive funds paid directly to their landlord or utility (unless your landlord declines to participate in the program – that is, they are paid directly to you for you to repay).

Coronavirus Tax Filing Extension

What is it: An extension of the tax return for people who need more time to process their taxes.

Who is Eligible?: Anyone who has not yet filed their 2019 taxes.

Dates available: The tax deadline is moved from April 15th to July 15th (or October 15th if you requested an extension).

Where to get the latest information: IRS

It can take some time to clear your taxes. Last year, the pandemic started right at the start of the tax season and threw a wrench into everyone’s (and Life Plans). It is possible that we will see a similar extension in 2021 for people filing their taxes for 2020, but that remains to be seen. Check the IRS website for the latest details.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)

What is it: Adds up to $ 600 per week on top of your unemployment benefit.

Who is Eligible?: People applying for unemployment benefits through their government programs.

Dates available: March 27, 2020 – July 31, 2020 and December 27, 2020 – March 13, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Your state’s unemployment insurance office

When you need to claim unemployment benefits, you can typically get a maximum of $ 240 to $ 823 per week, depending on which state you live in. However, the FPUC program has expanded that amount to allow states to offer up to $ 240 in additional weekly unemployment benefits of $ 600.

This program ended on July 31, 2020 but has been reintroduced with a new payment amount ($ 300 instead of $ 600) for people claiming unemployment benefit from December 27, 2020 through March 13, 2021.

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

What is it: Adds an additional 24 weeks of unemployment benefit entitlement.

Who is Eligible?: People applying for unemployment benefits through their government programs.

Dates available: March 27, 2020 – March 14, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Your state’s unemployment insurance office

Typically, you can apply for unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks in most states if you need help. However, what we saw early on in the pandemic was that many people exceeded this limit through no fault of their own. It is A pandemic, after all.

This program allows states to extend their unemployment programs so people can be eligible for even longer – 24 weeks longer than normal, to be precise. And when you reach the end of that safety net, you can still apply for PUAs below.

Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA)

What is it: Extends unemployment benefits to those who are normally unskilled, including the self-employed who run out of other unemployment benefits or who work part-time.

Who is Eligible?: People who live in certain states.

Dates available: For up to 50 weeks of unemployment from January 27, 2020 to March 14, 2020.

Where to get the latest information: Your state’s unemployment insurance office

If you do not work for an employer, e.g. As a self-employed person, freelancer, gig worker, independent contractor, etc., you are usually not eligible for unemployment benefit. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be affected by the pandemic. To help people like you, the PUA program was set up.

This program gives people who are normally not eligible for unemployment insurance – including those who run out of other unemployment benefits – access to this pot of money.

Mixed unemployment benefit (MEUC)

What is it: Adds an additional $ 100 per week to people claiming unemployment benefits who have outside jobs.

Who is Eligible?: People with day jobs who have earned at least $ 5,000 in self-employment in the past year.

Dates available: December 27, 2020 – March 14, 2021

Where to get the latest information: Your state’s unemployment insurance office

Nowadays, many people work on the side to generate additional income. So far, however, you have had to decide: to apply for unemployment benefit for the income that you have lost through your work or for the income that you have lost through self-employment (via the PUA program). You couldn’t choose both.

The MEUC program (if your state participates) changes this so that if you’ve earned at least $ 5,000 in self-employment income in the previous year, you’ll be eligible for an additional $ 100 weekly payment. The only catch is that you must have applied for unemployment benefit for a program other than PUA.

In other words, if you’ve lost an extra income but the real success was your daily income, this program can help fill that void.


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