The COVID-19 pandemic has everyone worldwide at their wits’ end.
Governments around the world have mandated national lockdowns to protect their citizens. However, it has caused untold economic suffering for millions of people.
As businesses are shut down, employees have been fired or furloughed until now. In response, they had to subsist on their savings, but even those funds are running out.
Thankfully, the government launched coronavirus relief programs to help Americans during these dire times. It contained several relief packages designed for various sectors, such as health care and employment.
However, they are set to expire by the end of the year.
Here are more details about the COVID-19 programs and the ways you could cope once they end.
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What is the Federal Government Doing in Response to COVID-19?
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in response to COVID-19.
A sizeable $376 billion was allocated for the coronavirus aid relief fund. Also, it involved the following coronavirus relief programs to help people in various ways:
Paycheck Protection Program
This was designed to persuade small businesses to keep their employees on the payroll. In turn, this will provide financial help for millions impacted by COVID-19.
The PPP offered loans to small businesses so that they could cover employee salaries and other related costs. If an establishment retained its employees and spent the funds appropriately, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive their loan.
However, the Paycheck Protection Program was scheduled to end on August 8, 2020.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Many small businesses, agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations lost significant revenue losses due to the pandemic.
This coronavirus relief program provides loans intended to cover their recent loss of revenue. The funds must be used for operating expenses, and borrowed funds over $25,000 will require collateral.
For small businesses with relationships with SBA Express Lenders, they could borrow SBA Express Bridge Loans.
This provides $25,000 for those waiting for their Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). It could cover some expenses while processing goes on.
You may check these out in place of the Paycheck Protection Program.
Contact the SBA servicing centers to verify if you qualify for automatic debt deferment.
Other Financial Assistance Programs
Besides assistance for small businesses, there are other coronavirus relief programs for daily necessities.
First, there’s the Public Health Eviction Ban that helps renters continue their stay during the pandemic. Meanwhile, some homeowners who were struggling to pay their mortgages received help or forbearance.
Second, qualified Americans received one-time stimulus checks issued by the IRS. There are also food programs to help feed those in need.
How to Adapt Once Coronavirus Relief Programs End
Unfortunately, these programs will end on December 31, 2020, and Congress has not agreed on a new stimulus deal.
Understandably, millions are dreading the impending expiration of the relief programs. Without them, many Americans will have no funds to secure their survival against the COVID-19 outbreak.
Still, there are other ways you could cope once the relief packages stop.
Tap Into Emergency Savings
If you have money set aside, it’s time to use those funds. People will have to rely on their savings soon once the coronavirus relief programs end.
Perhaps you’re one of the few who keep cash hidden somewhere at home. As for most people, they would have to access their money at the bank.
Comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines while you’re outside withdrawing cash. Alternatively, you may stick to online purchases, so you could use your bank fund while staying indoors.
More importantly, spend little money as possible by only buying necessities. Your savings will have to sustain you and your family while you can’t earn income.
Keep Filing Unemployment Claims
Once the coronavirus relief programs stop, continue to file for unemployment claims.
This will allow you to keep receiving funds from your state, and you’ll remain eligible for federal level amendments.
Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on federal government websites. This will make sure your data is transmitted securely to legitimate authorities.
Check the Department of Labor website for more information.
Alternative Financial Assistance
Sadly, people are starting to lack funds for necessities like food.
If you’re one of them, you could check the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It has been helping low-income Americans even before the coronavirus relief programs.
Contact your local SNAP office to get your SNAP debit card. It can be used at an authorized retailer strictly for food items. It receives funds every month so that you may budget for food accordingly.
Additionally, nonprofit agencies in your state could be hosting feeding programs for folks in need. Your local government may have their food banks to help their constituents further.
Find A Side Hustle
Having extra income is a great way to manage money after coronavirus relief programs end.
While it’s increasingly difficult to find work during the pandemic, it’s still possible. There are even companies that are looking for applicants, and some could be in your neighborhood.
If you can, find a work-from-home job online so that you can avoid the coronavirus. Unlike office work, you won’t pay for the commute and related expenses. This might help you divert additional funds for more important expenditures.
Furthermore, this could be your time to earn from your hobbies!
If you like arts and crafts, you may go on Etsy to sell them online. If you have a particular skill, you may charge for online classes on a variety of platforms.
You could earn from posting online videos like many YouTubers nowadays. Alternatively, you could stream yourself playing video games for extra income.
With persistence and determination, you may find ways to cope without the coronavirus relief programs!
Consider a Retirement Withdrawal
If you’re struggling now, you might just have to borrow from your future.
The US coronavirus relief program also retirement withdrawals so that it could be a source of emergency funds. It allows you to withdraw up to $100,000 from your Roth IRA or other retirement plans without the early withdrawal penalty.
However, this means borrowing funds that you’ll have to return eventually.
More importantly, you’ll reduce your money for retirement, making your later years more difficult. Worse, you might have to keep working despite your old age to meet living expenses.
Make sure you’ve exhausted all options before taking this route. Explore every possible alternative that doesn’t jeopardize your future.
Proper money management is still the #1 protection for personal finances.
Spend less than your means to give your finances some wiggle room. It allows you to continue accessing necessities no matter what happens.
Most importantly, the extra money could be allocated into a contingency fund for events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those who set some money aside could be breathing a sigh of relief right now. As for those who didn’t save, this should be the wake-up call to start now.
While there are coronavirus relief programs, you should find ways to have money at all times. In the end, it is the responsibility of each person to secure their finances.
No matter the situation, you should always be wise with money.