Financially Surviving the COVID-19 Pandemic
Your Economic Impact Payment
Most eligible U.S. taxpayers will receive their economic impact payment automatically. This includes the following:
- Individuals who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019
- Individuals who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits
- Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits
You will NOT automatically receive your economic impact payment if you:
- Had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019
- Were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn't plan to
Please click HERE to enter your payment info to receive your economic impact payment.
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.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits
If you are laid off of your job, furloughed, or are an independent contractor who has lost business, you are eligible for expanded unemployment benefits.
Benefits have been extended for an additional thirteen week period.
An added $600 benefit will be paid to eligible unemployed workers.
The work search requirement is suspended, but unemployed workers must continue to file weekly claims.
You can apply for benefits immediately at: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/
For more facts about the expanded benefits, go to: https://www.nelp.org/publication/unemployment-insurance-provisions-coronavirus-aid-relief-economic-security-cares-act/
If you feel you have wrongly been denied unemployment benefits in Virginia, you may apply for Legal Aid services here.
Expanded SNAP (Food Stamps)
Under FFCRA every household currently enrolled will be given the maximum available benefit for their family size for the months of April and May.
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/
The state courts of Virginia are closed through April 26, 2020. During this time, Unlawful Detainer cases may be filed where clerk's offices are open, but they will not be heard. http://www.courts.state.va.us/news/items/2020_0327_scv_order_extending_declaration_of_judicial_emergency.pdf Additionally, sheriffs' offices will not be executing Writs of Eviction during this time.
Rent strikes are not permissible under Virginia law and may lead to a tenant's eviction once the courts reopen. If you need assistance in dealing with your landlord, you may apply for Legal Aid services here.
Your landlord cannot lock you out. If you have been locked out of your home by your landlord, you may apply for Legal Aid help here.
All cut-offs are suspended for 60 days, as of March 16, 2020: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/newsrel/r_noshutoff_20.pdf
Domestic Violence and Protective Orders
Emergency protective orders may still be obtained through the local magistrate and are being heard. Legal Aid is available for victims of domestic violence in this difficult time and will represent eligible persons in court where appropriate. To apply for services, click here.