What do the new executive orders mean for me?
President Trump signed four executive orders on August 8th. Here’s what they include:
Unemployment. $400/wk, while a third less than what people were previously collecting, seems much better than nothing. However, it requires states to fund 25%, up to $100, of aid, something most states, desperate for additional funding themselves, may not be able to do. Since this hasn’t been approved by Congress, states will also have to create a new program to administer unemployment, which could take months to implement.
Evictions. This is not an extension of the eviction moratorium, which only covered roughly 12 million renters. This order mandates that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Director of the CDC will consider if it is necessary to halt an eviction if necessary to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” It also includes no money for rental assistance or assistance for homeowners.
Payroll Tax Cuts. This doesn’t actually reduce payroll tax cuts, it merely defers them through December 31st, and many companies may simply choose not to do so. While Trump has talked about making a permanent payroll tax cut, this will severely impact social security and medicare. In addition, this measure does nothing for the unemployed.
Student Loans. This order extends the student loan relief from the CARES Act until the end of the year, suspending interest and monthly payments on federal student loans.
We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.
Why haven’t I received my first stimulus check?
This could be for a few reasons.
- You didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019. You may need to enter additional information here for non-filers.
- You don’t have direct deposit and the check is coming through the mail.
- The system is overwhelmed and processing the payments is taking a long time.
Check this article for more information.
How do I check on the status of my stimulus check?
Fill out a Get My Payment application through the IRS here.
What exactly is the “Get My Payment” tool?
The Get My Payment tool is available on the IRS website for free and allows you to check your stimulus check payment status and update your personal information, including your direct deposit information if you want to receive your stimulus check in your bank account. You must update your banking info before a payment is sent out or you will not be able to use the Get My Payment tool to do so. While some haven’t faced any issues updating their direct deposit information, others have received the Payment Status Not Available message, been locked out, had their web browser crash, and experienced a host of other frustrating technical glitches.
I was supposed to get a direct deposit, but I didn’t. What do I do?
Your best bet is to provide your direct deposit information through the Get My Payment tool. If you don’t receive a direct deposit, it doesn’t mean you won’t receive a stimulus check. Assuming you qualify, you will receive a paper stimulus check.
How do I know that the IRS sent me a stimulus check?
The IRS will mail you a written notice 15 days after sending your stimulus payment. The letter describes the amount of your stimulus payment, how you were paid, and most importantly, how to contact the IRS regarding any issues with your stimulus check.
What do you mean that the IRS is still updating my information? Don’t they already have my information?
The IRS may be updating your information so that it can process your stimulus tax payment. For example, if you recently filed your 2018 or 2019 federal tax return, the IRS still may be processing your tax return. When you submit your tax return, the IRS doesn’t automatically input your direct deposit information into the Get My Payment tool. Your tax return is processed first.
I receive Social Security benefits or disability benefits each month. The government already has my information. Why can’t I access my stimulus check information on the Get My Payment tool?
If you receive Social Security, disability or veteran’s benefits, for example, you will automatically receive a stimulus check. Currently, your information is not included on the Get My Payment tool. The federal government may have your information, but it’s currently with a different part of the federal government such as the Social Security Administration, which is separate from the Treasury Department (which includes the IRS).
I have tried to enter my direct deposit information on the Get My Payment tool, but the system locked me out.
Unfortunately, this has happened to others too. There could be several reasons. Most likely, it’s a security precaution. The IRS wasn’t able to verify your identity, Social Security number, address or other personal information. Your best move is to try to access the Get My Payment tool the following day once the IRS updates its website.
My stimulus check was deposited to an old bank account, deposited in an incorrect bank account, or mailed to my old address. What do I do?
If this happened to you, you’re not alone. The IRS will send you a letter within 15 days of sending your stimulus payment. The letter will include instructions on how to contact the IRS regarding this issue.
How do I contact the IRS to help with my stimulus check? I can’t seem to reach anyone. Is there a special phone number?
Unfortunately, there is no special phone number at this time to contact the IRS about your stimulus check. The IRS has asked people not to call. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS says that services are limited as they process tax returns, issue tax refunds and send stimulus payments.
Why does it say “Payment Status Not Available” when I complete the Get My Payment application?
This link will explain what “Payment Status Not Available” may indicate.
Why haven’t I received any unemployment benefits?
Due to the overwhelming influx of claims, it is taking longer than usual to process applications. Expect significant delays. If you filed for unemployment and were initially rejected, try filing again. It takes a while for states to update and expand the new guidelines for PUA, so your claim that was rejected may be eligible once the new prerequisites are in place. PA has recently updated their PUA filing system. Click here to file in the updated system.
It could also be that there was a mistake on your initial application. You will be notified if there is a mistake but it will cause even more of a delay in the filing process, so make sure you are filling out your application carefully. Click here for a guide on filing your PUA.
Click here for a guide on filing regular unemployment.
How do I check on the status of my benefits?
To check on your benefits status, you will need your social security number and the pin assigned to you when you applied. Log in here.
Will the additional $600 be renewed?
Congress has been unable to come to an agreement to extend the unemployment benefits. Currently there are two proposals. The HEROES act, proposed by the Democrats extends the $600 until January 31,2021. The Republican proposed HEALS act would lower the weekly payment to $200 a week through September, and then be replaced with a system that pays out 70% of your typical wages. Follow us on Facebook for the most recent updates on the second stimulus package. https://www.facebook.com/CovidResourcePA
How do I get the day to day supplies I need? (food, diapers, etc)
Check out our Food Bank database under our resources tab!
How do I check on the status of my PPP application?
The link is a comprehensive article on a few different ways to check on your loan, both through your bank and the SBA directly. It also includes what you’ll need to check your status and some FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program.
How do I check on the status of my SBA Emergency Disaster Relief Loan?
Many people are reporting that even when directly contacting the Small Business Administration (SBA), they are unable to get an answer. However, this article goes through three ways you can try to get an update on your application–through the SBA website, by phone and by email–as well as what you will need to check on your status and scams to watch out for.
I missed the open enrollment period but still need health insurance. What do I do?
You may qualify for a 2020 Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Click here to learn more.
Are there any additional financial aid for families outside of the Cares Act?
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced that they are starting an Emergency Assistance Program for low income families impacted by COVID-19. Click here to see if you qualify.
Where can I purchase disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies?
Disinfectant wipes and cleaning supplies can be hard to find, we suggest checking stores like Home Depot, Lowes or Staples. As far as ordering supplies online, Target has bleach and clorox wipes available.
If you can’t find them online or in stores near you, try making your own at home. Here is a link to an article that explains how to make your own disinfectant wipes and spray.