COVID-19 rocked economies across the world. In the initial months of the pandemic, the number of active small businesses dropped by 22%. Millions were left unemployed.
While many businesses relied on loan programs, some people were able to take advantage of the Lost Wages Assistance Program.
The economy is seeing strong gains, but it might not remain that way with emerging variants. There’s a sudden increase in cases in the U.S. and beyond.
You should know what your options are to help you manage the pandemic now and in the near future. Read on to learn more about the FEMA Lost Wages program and other pandemic-related assistance programs.
What Is the Lost Wages Assistance Program?
The Lost Wages Assistance program was a federal and state program that was a supplement to unemployment insurance. The program provided $300 to $400 a week with their regular unemployment payments.
FEMA ran the $44 billion program from the Disaster Relief Fund and states needed to apply for the funding. The program proved so popular, the program lasted a short while due to funding constraints.
Lost Wages Assistance was created by executive order in August 2020. States had to apply by early September. The states that applied received funding. The program ended at the end of December of 2020.
Other Financial Assistance Programs
Congress is reluctant to take any more action since the American Rescue Plan got passed in early 2021. The bill created more funding for loans and other financial assistance.
PPP loans were a popular program for small businesses to get funds and potentially get the loans forgiven. The program closed on May 31, 2021. It’s unclear if the program gets renewed, but at this point, it’s unlikely.
The Small Business Administration still has the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which is available until the end of 2021. This is a low-interest loan that has to be used to help you recover from economic injury. Be sure to read the terms of the loan to fully understand what you’re signing up for before you agree to the loan.
If you have children, you might be eligible to receive an Advance Child Tax Credit. If you need food assistance or rental assistance, there are programs that are still running.
The CDC extended the eviction moratorium until October 3, 2021. This only applies if you live in an area with high COVID-19 transmission rates.
Counties and states have grant programs to help you fill in the gaps in your income so you can pay rent. There are HR companies that have the latest guidance as well. Look for web pages that say “visit website for more details” about these programs.
Lost Wages Assistance and COVID-19 Programs
COVID-19 continues to impact businesses and families across the country. Many are recovering as the economy grows stronger, but there are many that got left behind.
You just learned more about the Lost Wages Assistance program and other financial assistance programs that are available. These programs change on a daily basis. You need to stay in touch with your local economic offices and keep an eye on the news.
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