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Individuals

Here is some information, guidance, and resources for individuals during this time.

Stimulus Checks
 (Economic Impact Payments)

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on March 30, 2020 that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people.  Those who receive Social Security benefits, and do not file tax returns, will still receive an Economic Impact Payment.  Recipients will receive the payment in the same format they receive their Social Security benefits.         
          
           One-time tax rebate check:

  • $1,200 per individual
  • $2,400 per couple
  • $500 per eligible child

                     The amounts are reduced for higher income earners, starting at:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for head of household
  • $150,000 for married couples

                     This Phases out completely at $99,000 for individuals and $198,000 for married couples

                      Beware of scammers.  During uncertain times like these, we are especially vulnerable.  For information on 
                      how to identify scams and fraud, please visit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) guidance.

                      For more information on economic impact payments, visit: IRS Economic Impact Payments.

             
         Taxes

  • The filing and payment deadline for taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020, as announced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and IRS
  • Mandatory minimum distributions on retirement accounts are suspended for 2020
  • The 10% penalty will be waived on early withdrawals from 401(k)s and IRAs, due to COVID-19   
  • For more information on COVID-19 tax relief, visit: IRS COVID-19 Resources


         Unemployment   

  • Expanded unemployment insurance to cover gig workers, self-employed individuals, and non-profit employees
  • Makes benefits more generous by adding a $600/week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July
  • In addition, for those who need it, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow
  • Information on unemployment benefits, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC): TWC Unemployment Resources


          Housing

  • For 120 days, landlords are prohibited from take action for nonpayment, such as attempting to take possession or charge penalties, if the property is assisted by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994
  • Foreclosures on any federally backed mortgages are prohibited for 60-days
  • For 180 days, borrowers who have been impacted by COVID-19 may shift any missed payments to the end of their mortgage, without penalties or interest
  • Tenant Based Rental Assistance programs - $1.25 billion
  • Project Based Rental Assistance - $1 billion
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) COVID-19 resources: HUD COVID-19 Resources

         Food Security

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – $15.8 billion
  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - $500 million
  • Meals on Wheels - $250 million
  • Child nutrition – $8.8 billionUSDA food security information and resources: USDA Food Nutrition Services
  • Find a Meals on Wheels provider in Texas: Meals on Wheels Texas


         Education

  • Federal student loans will suspend monthly repayment requirements and will have 0% interest for 6 months
  • College students participating in Federal Work Study Programs may still receive payments, even if they cannot work due to COVID-19
  • U.S. Department of Education (ED) COVID-19 resources: ED Information and Resources

        
          Health

  • Health Savings Accounts (HSA) can now pay for certain medications
  • High-deductible health plans (HDHP) with a health savings accounts (HSA) will be allowed to cover telehealth services before reaching the deductible
  • Medicare:
    • Part D plans will provide up to a 90-day supply of a prescription medication if requested by a beneficiary during this emergency period
    • Will cover additional telehealth services, including mental health and substance abuse services
  • Stay up-to-date on COVID-19 by visiting: Coronavirus.gov
  • Apple has partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create a screening tool to help individuals understand what to do about COVID-19: Apple/CDC Screening Tool
  • The Red Cross is working alongside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to collect plasma donations from those who have recently recovered from the virus to help treat other serious cases: Red Cross Plasma Donation Form


             Guidance for Traveling Abroad   

  • The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid international travel as many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions, mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice
  • In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period
  • If a you are in need of assistance returning to the U.S., you should contact the Department of State’s Consular Affairs 24/7 emergency hotline at:
    • +1-888-407-4747 (If calling from within the U.S. or Canada)
    • +1-202-501-4444 (If calling from overseas)
  • Then, immediately enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at: https://step.state.gov/
  • Additional information about travel and advisories can be found at: https://travel.state.gov