Financially Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic
Expanded Sick Leave and Family Medical Leave
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), recently passed by Congress, employers of companies that under 500-employees in size, are required to give their workers two weeks of paid sick leave if the absence is due to the employee or employee's family being ill with COVID-19.
Workers in such companies with children who no longer have access to school or daycare due to COVID-19 related closures may take up to 10-weeks of leave at 2/3 of their salary. Taken in combination with the two-week sick leave, this gives parents a potential of 12-weeks of leave.
For more information on what benefits you might qualify for, see https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf.
The expanded sick leave and family medical leave provisions of FFCRA expire December 31, 2020.
The expanded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance has expired. If you feel you have wrongly been denied unemployment benefits in Virginia, or you are unable to access the benefits you were awarded due to VEC system errors, you may apply for Legal Aid services here.
Access to Free Food
School systems around eastern Virginia are continuing to offer free lunches through bagged breakfast and lunch programs. https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/hampton-roads-school-divisions-offer-meals-to-students-during-covid-19-closures/291-6879f1a4-ce9e-4179-ab40-c62cadb73831
The Food Bank of South Eastern Virginia has new distribution points and times: https://foodbankonline.org/covid-19/
As does the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank, http://hrfoodbank.org/
United Way Coronavirus Recovery Fund
United Way of Hampton Roads has established a Coronavirus Recovery Fund to help those who have lost jobs and income due to the workplace and social distancing restrictions now in place throughout Virginia.
Hotline number: 757-858-7777
Or apply on-line at: https://unitedwayshr.org/coronavirus-help/
Virginia Rent Relief Program
Funds are available to pay back rent for tenants who experienced a COVID-19 related loss of income. Tenants and their landlords can apply here.
If you have a problem paying your rent that is due to COVID, you may be eligible for a stay in eviction proceedings under the CDC Order of September 4, 2020. This order, which can provide a temporary stay to an eviction, expires March 31, 2021.
Rent strikes are not permissible under Virginia law and may lead to a tenant's eviction once the courts reopen.
Your landlord cannot lock you out.
If you need legal assistance with an eviction, a CDC affidavit or an illegal lockout, you may apply for Legal Aid help here.
The following site may assist you in determining if bankruptcy is a good alternative: www.isbankruptcyformeva.org/