As the coronavirus pandemic continues to slow down local, state and national economies, some states, such as Missouri, have responded by creating coronavirus state-level relief programs. With more than 12,600 coronavirus cases, the state has implemented multiple measures to relieve those affected by COVID-19. But individuals and small businesses may also be eligible for benefits under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The federal program offers coronavirus crisis government help in addition to programs provided at the state and local levels. And many coronavirus-affected Americans are also looking at alternative options, such as hiring a financial advisor, to protect their assets against economic downturn. Below, we explore the relief programs available to individuals and small businesses in Missouri.
Missouri Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
To ease the unemployment compensation (UC) process for those impacted by coronavirus, Missouri no longer requires claimants to wait one week before receiving benefits. In addition, the state doesn’t ask you to actively search for work while receiving benefits.
You’ll therefore be able to take advantage of these benefits along with the additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits under the coronavirus stimulus package. Before the CARES Act passed, claimants could receive benefits for maximum of 20 weeks. This means you’ll now receive 33 weeks in unemployment benefits.
Broadband Internet Access
Many broadband providers are offering access to Wifi hotspots and waving disconnect and late fees for Missourians. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services offers a complete list of those providers here.
Coronavirus Income Relief Program
Ameren Missouri partnered with United Way of Greater St. Louis to create the Coronavirus Income Relief Program. Though applications are temporarily closed, the program offered $500,000 in energy assistance funds to customers who’d been hardest hit by COVID-19.
The company says it will provide new information when it becomes available. Learn more here.
Missouri Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
Missouri doesn’t currently offer state-level relief for small businesses. However, any coronavirus-impacted small businesses can still access coverage from the federal governments stimulus package.
See how Missouri stacks up by viewing Coronavirus Relief Programs by State
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
Besides the tax deadline extension, one of the most significant and perhaps most impactful provisions within the CARES Act are the coronavirus stimulus checks. These direct cash payments go out to individuals, married couples and heads of household as long as their adjusted gross incomes (AGIs) don’t exceed certain levels. For individuals and heads of household, the maximum check amount is $1,200. However, married couples will receive a maximum of $2,400 with an additional $500 per dependent.
To make the maximum $1,200, individuals will need an AGI of $75,000 or less. Married couples qualify for the full $2,400 if their AGI is $150,000 or less, and heads of household qualify for the full $1,200 if they make $112,500 or less. But the stimulus checks are subject to phaseouts. Specifically, the checks phase out by $5 for every $100 made above the income threshold. So the maximum income cut-off for individuals is $99,000. For couples and heads of household, it’s $198,000 and $136,500, respectively.
The coronavirus stimulus package also provides enhanced coronavirus unemployment benefits and paid coronavirus sick leave benefits. If you lose your job due to coronavirus-related reasons, you now receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, plus a federal boost of $600 per week until July 31, 2020. For sick leave, you can receive up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave if you or someone close to you has either been affected by a COVID-19 diagnosis or coronavirus-related quarantine. But you’ll also want to consider other forms of relief if you’ve been impacted by coronavirus. This includes coronavirus relief for rent and mortgage payments, coronavirus student loan relief programs and family leave benefits.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
As a response to the national crisis, the CARES Act put forth several programs to help small businesses recover from financial loss. In fact, the act contributed $349 billion to fund the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the program’s first round. Congress recently approved a second round of funding for $310 billion. The PPP program offers eligible small businesses 2.5 times the business’ average monthly payroll costs, with a maximum loan amount of $10 million (excluding salaries of $100,000 or more). You can apply through a local PPP loan lender.
Another heavily funded program is the economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) program. The EIDL program offers small businesses an emergency cash advance of $10,000, with loans of up to $2 million. However, these loans only apply to small businesses in state’s with an economic disaster declaration. The EIDL program ran out of its first round of funding, but it recently reopened to certain agribusinesses.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a small business owner in Missouri, you currently won’t have much access to state-level or local coronavirus relief for businesses. Since the state hasn’t enacted any programs to sustain coronavirus-impacted small business, you’ll need to take advantage of federal aid. However, Missouri does offer some benefits for individuals affected by medical diagnosis or quarantine. And these individuals, too, can access federal support if needed. Whether you’re an employee or employer, it’s wise to regularly scan both federal and state-level COVID-19 updates so that you can be proactive in protecting your finances.
Tips for Managing Your Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis
- You should consider consulting a financial advisor if you’d like to protect your finances both during and after economically challenging times. If you’re not sure how to find the best one, our free financial advisor matching tool can help you.
- Many companies are offering aid to individuals and businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook’s small business grants program is one. See what other companies are helping coronavirus-impacted people here.
- Not sure how much you’ll receive for your stimulus check. Our coronavirus stimulus check calculator can help.
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