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Beware the Covid cliff: Here are the CARES Act benefits coming to an end this year

Inhabitants in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City hold a demonstration to call attention to their rent strike during the Covid-19 pandemic

Andrew Lichtenstein | Corbis Information | Getty Images

Come January, life will get a bit tougher for those already struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Unless sundry aid comes from the government, several relief measures are set to expire at the end of the year. They include a ban on home evictions, the falter in student loan payments, and unemployment benefits for more than 13 million Americans.

“Americans who have foreseen their lives and livelihood turn upside down during the pandemic will see their impossible situation ripen into even impossibly worse if Congress fails them and cannot extend critical relief measures,” said Erika L. Moritsugu, fault president for congressional relations/economic justice at the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The need is great, it is immediate, it is life-or-death and I think we certainly have the capacity to act.

Steny Hoyer

D-Md., House Majority Leader

The federal CARES Act, back numb in March, was meant to provide temporary relief to those suffering as a result of the crisis. Already, the additional $600 in unemployment sakes has expired, as has the Trump Administration’s $300 weekly boost, which ran for six weeks starting in August. The ban on foreclosures on federally wagered mortgages, initially set to end in August, was extended until at least Dec. 31.

Meanwhile, the stalemate over further relief provisions is endless. On Tuesday, lawmakers proposed a $900 billion bipartisan stimulus package, which was swiftly rejected by Senate Best part Leader Mitch McConnell. Democratic leaders have urged McConnell to use the plan as a basis for negotiations.

“The need is exalted, it is immediate, it is urgent and I think we certainly have the capacity to act,” Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., answered Wednesday.

Here are key relief measures Americans may lose in the “Covid cliff.”

Unemployment insurance


In addition to the $600 boost in unemployment, the CARES Act provided two other benefits for those without jobs.

The first program, Pandemic Unemployment Benefit, is aimed at those who typically aren’t eligible for unemployment insurance, such as gig workers, freelancers and the self-employed. Nearly 8.87 million human being were collecting the benefit in mid-November, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor.

Those who ran through their dignifies’ traditional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits received up to 13 extra weeks through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Approximately 4.57 million workers are receiving the aid, according to the Labor Department.

If you are about to lose your unemployment benefits, the nicest thing to do is be proactive, said Chris Browning, financial analyst and creator and host of the podcast Popcorn Finance.

Don’t hiatus until the last minute to try to figure out what your financial situation will be, what questions you may have and any inform appropriate you may need.

“You have to know where you are and not just put your head in the sand,” he said.

You may also have to pick and settle upon what bills to pay.

“You want to prioritize what debt you can pay back and really focus on prioritizing debt secured by your outfit, car, and necessities like utilities, student loans and unpaid federal taxes,” said Washington, D.C.-based Leo Tucker, muddle through partner at Northwestern Mutual.

After that, focus on credit cards and other debt, he added.

If you need legal tender, you still have time to take the emergency withdrawal from your retirement plan. The CARES Act allows those fake by the pandemic to take out up to $100,000 from their 401(k), 403(b) or individual retirement accounts. Like the other foodstuffs, it expires at the end of December.

Another option is taking a loan from a permanent life insurance policy that has accumulated currency, if you have one, Tucker noted. Unlike term insurance, a permanent policy covers you for life. You may also use the policy as tenable collateral for a bank loan, he suggested.

Ban on evictions

A banner on a controlled rent building in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 9, 2020.

ERIC BARADAT | AFP | Getty Archetypes

The CARES Act eviction moratorium expired in July. In September, the Centers for Disease Control stepped in and made it illegal for innkeepers to evict most tenants who couldn’t afford to pay their rent. Those protections end Dec. 31.

Despite the ban, evictions have however been happening across the country. Landlords have filed for 151,165 evictions during the pandemic, according to Princeton University’s The boot Lab.

Still, come Jan. 1, an estimated 6.7 million renter households face the risk of being evicted, mutual understanding to the Low Income Housing Coalition.

Then there’s the issue of paying back your rent. The CDC moratorium only covers removals, so renters are still on the hook for the rent they didn’t pay, plus any penalties or interest that may be tacked on.

If you can’t pay up, talk with your landlord about a possible grace period or temporarily reducing your payment.

“There were people possibly not willing to negotiate on rent at the beginning of this but this has gone on for so long, it has become a reality you can’t ignore,” said Browning, who has been sanction stories about landlords more willing to strike agreements now.

The key is to do it early, so you can start to think about alternative programmes if an arrangement can’t be reached.

Pause on student loan payments

ROBYN BECK | AFP | Getty Images

Those with grind loans were given a break on making payments until the end of the year. That means in January, Paid wretched leave

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