The safety net in the event of a coronavirus pandemic is collapsing. Now what?


Distressed homeowners with loans held by private banks or investors should contact their mortgage agent to see what options they offer. Some of them have followed a framework similar to federally guaranteed loans, but the terms of others may be more obscure.

Regardless of what type of loan you have, the most important action you can take now is to contact your mortgage agent to find out when your payments will resume and how much they will be. If you cannot afford it, the repairer can outline your options. For more advice, you can also consult a housing advisor.

Changes to food stamps – now widely known as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program – during the pandemic have been complicated.

But one important change, a 15% increase in benefits for all beneficiaries, only applies until September 30. So if you are currently receiving SNAP benefits, then they may go down. (Congress is considering an extension, SNAP policy experts said, and other changes unrelated to the pandemic – including a steady adjustment in inflation, as well as a potential change in the food basket upon which the benefits – could also help offset any potential reduction.)

A number of other temporary changes will remain in many states for several months.

These changes have increased the benefits for the program, which is funded by the federal government but managed by the states. Beneficiaries received urgent attributions, who increased their monthly benefits to the maximum allowable amounts or more. All told, the average daily benefit per person fell from $ 4 to $ 7 in April of this year, according to Ellen Vollinger, legal director of the Food Research & Action Center.

Access to the program has also become a little easier: Some college students became eligible, unemployed people under 50 without children were not subject to time limits and there were fewer administrative barriers to staying registered, experts said.

Additional allowances can continue to be paid as long as the federal government has declared a public health emergency, which is expected to last at least the rest of the year. But the state administering the benefits must also have a declaration of emergency in place, and at least six states – Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and South Carolina – have ended or will begin soon. withdraw this additional amount, depending on the Center on budgetary and political priorities.

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