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 can’t afford it, the repairman can show you 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. Recipients received emergency allowances, which increased their monthly benefits to 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 also became a little easier: some students became eligible, unemployed people under 50 without children were not subject to time limits, and there were fewer administrative barriers to staying enrolled. , according to experts.

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 that additional amount, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.


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