Many Americans are unaware of the coronavirus-related financial assistance that’s available to them

Personal finance

You may qualify for paid leave

Justin Paget

Qualified workers, including those telecommuting, can get two weeks of paid leave at full pay courtesy of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Valid reasons include being unable to work because you are under quarantine order, have coronavirus symptoms and are seeking diagnosis, or must care for a child whose school or daycare provider is shut.

If you’re caring for a sick family member, you might still qualify for a portion of your pay. 

Help with utility bills

Andrew Aitchison

Many utility companies — including PG&E, Con Edison, American Electric Power Company and Duke Energy, among others — have suspended service disconnections.

You may be able to set up a payment plan for your utility bill or have some fees waived, such as for late payments. Check the website of your provider for assistance tapping into other support programs, such as Housing and Urban Development’s Covid-19 resources. Your state’s website may help. Some are stopping utility companies from shutting off services.

Sign up for insurance

If you lost your job and need health insurance, some states are holding special ACA open enrollments. AARP keeps an updated list of extensions on state health exchanges. 

Rent relief 

The CARES Act has aid for homeowners who are struggling with their federally backed mortgage payments but renters also have some help.

Many states and cities have put a stop order on evictions. New York, for instance, has a 90-day eviction ban. A Columbia Law School professor frequently updates this list of state actions.

Tax postponement

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