In May, the federal government passed legislation that provides a stimulus payment to most U.S. citizens and resident aliens. Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child. If you did not receive a payment (direct deposit, check or debit card), you should check the status of your potential stimulus payment and provide the necessary information to receive this money.
Immigrant Families Fund
For those that were not eligible for relief funds under the CARES Act due to immigration status and have financial losses due to COVID-19, you can apply for $500 to help with urgent needs.
Claims have been fast-tracked and many of the prior requirements for assistance have been suspended. Employment Security offices are closed but the Unemployment Hotline is staffed during normal business hours to answer your questions. The hotline number is 603-271-7700.
While the state’s unemployment program is capped at $427 per week for approved recipients, the federal stimulus package added an additional $600 per week for up to the first four months for those who qualify (ended at the end of July 2020). An additional $300 was made available to those receiving unemployment from August 1st-September 5th because of the president’s executive order. Gig workers, such as Uber drivers or certain delivery drivers, as well as artists and other workers considered self-employed are covered under the package. If you are unemployed and have not filed, you should do so; benefits are usually retroactive from the date of unemployment.
N.H. Housing Relief Program
The New Hampshire Housing Relief Program is designed to keep people from losing their housing and to secure or maintain permanent housing. The program has two components: one-time assistance grants up to $2,500, and a short-term rental assistance program to maintain and secure permanent housing. Both will be coupled with regional case management services to connect households to appropriate services as defined by the household and the agency. Program payments will be made directly to the landlord or provider, and this program will end by Dec. 30, 2020.
CDC Eviction Ban
As of September 4th, the Federal government has put in place protections from eviction through December 31, 2020 to try to help those that are housing insecure. Tenants should apply for rental assistance through their local Community Action Program and/or their town welfare office, and pay as much of their rent as possible. When the moratorium ends, tenants will be required to pay all overdue rent and possibly associated penalties, fees, or interest as well. The new moratorium does not require that tenants’ financial challenges be directly caused by COVID-19. The certification form tenants must sign and give to their landlords is available here.
Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions until August 31, 2020, because of COVID-19 national emergency. This applies to single-family homes.
Looking for health insurance for you or your family? You may be eligible for free or reduced-cost health insurance. NH Navigator is a free non-profit program that can help you sign-up for coverage and answer questions about insurance options. Open enrollment is November 1st-December 15th.
Xfinity Internet is offering free public Xfinity wifi hotspots through 2020. Internet Essentials from Comcast is $10/month and is for those that meet certain income eligibility guidelines. The Lifeline Program allows eligible customers to lower their home/mobile phone or high-speed broadband costs. HUD, in partnership with EveryoneOn is able to offer free or reduced-cost internet to qualified households.
UNH Cooperative Extension
This interactive map identifies locations for free meals, food pick-up locations, free food delivery services, and locations that accept and/or double benefits for SNAP/EBT, WIC, seniors, and veterans. The information can be searched by community or the type of assistance needed.
The SNAP Program is about good nutrition and health. It provides eligible people with benefits to buy food items at grocery stores, farmers markets and other approved food retailers.
If you are pregnant or have young children up to the age of 5, you may be eligible for the WIC Nutrition Program. WIC provides nutrition education and nutritious foods to help keep pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and preschool children healthy and strong.
N.H. Bureau of Family Assistance
The Bureau of Family Assistance administers programs and services for eligible N.H. residents by providing financial, medical, food and nutritional assistance, and help with child care costs and emergency help to obtain and keep safe housing.
211 N.H. is the connection for New Hampshire residents to the most up to date resources they need from specially trained Information and Referral Specialists. 211 NH is available 24 hours, 365 days a year. Multilingual assistance and TDD access is also available. For those outside of New Hampshire, call 1-866-444-4211.
Local Welfare Departments
Contact your city/municipal welfare department to find out what services you may be eligible for where you live. Many have their own local food pantries, as well as financial assistance available to their residents. They may also be aware of other local organizations (churches, non-profit organizations, women’s clubs, etc.) providing assistance that they can refer you to. All contact information is available on your city/municipal web site.