Though Oregon’s first case of coronavirus was even before epicenter New York’s, the western state has kept its caseload relatively low. Its population is not as dense, of course. But state-issued social distancing measures have also played a key role in slowing the spread. Schools have been closed since March 16 and the entire state has been under stay-at-home orders since March 23.
But what has been great on the health front has been harmful to the state’s economy. As is the case in most of America, Oregonians are coping with the financial hit of non-essential businesses closing and employees losing their jobs. To help individuals, families and businesses get through these challenging times, SmartAsset has compiled this list of state and federal relief programs that have been created or enhanced in response to the coronavirus pandemic. But for hands-on help with your finances and investments, it may be a good time to hire a financial advisor.
Oregon Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
The state has actually not issued many orders related to financial relief for individuals. Here are the three sources of help that we found:
Eviction Moratorium for Oregon Coronavirus Relief
The state has placed a temporary hold on law enforcement actions related to evictions for not paying rent. People who can’t pay their rent should tell their landlords as soon as possible. They should also pay what they can, since they will still have to pay their rent eventually. When they do, landlords cannot tack on late fees for nonpayments during the moratorium, which expires in late June.
For more information, go here.
Unemployment Insurance for Oregon Coronavirus Relief
The Oregon Employment Department has changed some rules to help people impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, you are eligible for unemployment insurance if your employer closes for a short period of time (say, to disinfect after a coronavirus exposure) or because of a government-mandated quarantine. Also, you do not have to seek work if you have been furloughed (normally, you have to look for work with other employers while receiving unemployment). The federal government has also changed some unemployment insurance rules (we describe them in the federal section, below.)
To file for unemployment insurance in Oregon, go here.
Medicaid for Oregon Coronavirus Relief
The state has not changed its eligibility requirements. But if you recently lost your job, you may be eligible for Medicaid, since Oregon is an Affordable Care Act expansion state.
To learn more and apply, go here.
Oregon Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
With the support of other state agencies, Business Oregon has created an online resource for small businesses, called Small Business Navigator – COVID-19. It also has a hotline: (833) 604-0880. Here are a number of programs (mostly found on the site) offering financial assistance to small businesses specifically related to the coronavirus crisis.
Commercial Eviction Moratorium
By executive order, commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent cannot be evicted before June 30. Like residential tenants (see above), business owners should notify their landlord as soon as they can. They should also pay what they can, since the moratorium does not forgive the rent that’s due.
Community LendingWorks Emergency Business Loans Due to COVID-19
Community LendingWorks is offering emergency loans to cover business expenses. These loans are currently available to businesses in the City of Albany and Lane County. The maximum loan amount depends on city or county, the interest rate is 2% and the term is up to 48 months.
CCD COVID-19 Loan Program
CCD is certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer SBA 504 loans. With this program, the business development corporation seeks to provide immediate assistant to businesses that are applying to other programs for additional assistance. The maximum loan amount is $15,000; the loan fee is 1%, interest is 4%, payment is deferred for three months and the loan term is 5 years.
To learn more and apply, go here.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
The most well-known federal relief program for individuals provides cash to most Americans. To be eligible for a stimulus check, also called Economic Impact Payment, an individual’s adjusted gross income (AGI) must be less than $99,000 and a married couple’s AGI must be less than $198,000. To receive the full amount of $1,200 as an individual, though, your AGI must be $75,000 or lower. Similarly, to receive the full amount of $2,400 an a married couple, your AGI must be $150,000 or lower. Plus, parents receive $500 per dependent child. To find out how much you’ll get or should have gotten (since the IRS has already started sending payments), use our calculator.
The federal government has also mandated the country’s first national paid sick leave policy. If your company has 500 or fewer employees and you can’t work (or telework) because of the coronavirus, you are eligible for up to two weeks of sick leave paid at your regular rate (capped at $511 per day). If you can’t work (or telework) because you have to care for a family member who has COVID-19 or for your child whose school is closed, you are eligible for two weeks of sick leave paid at two-thirds your pay rate (capped at $200 per day). Additionally, if your child’s school remains closed or you have no care provider, you are entitled to 10 additional weeks. These provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act expires at the end of the year. Learn more about paid sick leave and enhanced family and medical leave.
Furthermore, the government has extended unemployment insurance to workers who don’t usually qualify: self-employed people, independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers and part-time workers. It also provides a boost of $600 per week.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
If you own a small business, you’ve probably heard about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Perhaps you’ve applied for a PPP loan or are waiting for the program to reopen so you can apply. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has already approved loans for the $349 billion allocated to the program; Congress is working on another round of funding. Until then, you may want to get your loan application ready and connect with a lender if you haven’t found one already.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program is another SBA program offering help to businesses impacted by COVID-19. It has also stopped accepting applications because it ran out of money. Under the program, which actually existed before the pandemic, small business owners in areas that have been declared economic disaster zones can get loans for up to $2 million (though given the funding shortfall, initial disbursements are being capped at $15,000 for two months). One notable change due to COVID-19, though, is that businesses can get $10,000 advances that are forgivable if certain requirements are met. Also, the interest rate has been set at 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. The loan term can be for up to 30 years. To apply for an EIDL (once the program reopens), go to SBA’s site.
For business owners with existing SBA loans, there is a debt relief program that is automatic. For six months, the SBA will cover principal, interest and fees. Check with your bank to make sure your loan is covered.
If you are waiting on an EIDL, the SBA has express bridge loans for up to $25,000 to tide you over until the larger loan arrives. The EIDL money will then be used to pay back this express loan. You can apply for this loan with a local lender.
Finally, existing programs like the 7(a) loan program, the express bridge loan program, 504 loans, Community Advantage Loans and microloans are all still available.
Tips for Managing Your Finances During the COVID-19 Crisis
- Don’t go it alone during this unprecedented time. Use SmartAsset’s free matching tool to find the right financial advisor for you. After you answer a handful of questions, we’ll connect you with up to three advisors who fit your needs.
- Sock away your stimulus payment if you still have your job. As tempting as it may be to spend the free money, you should add it to your emergency savings. With so much uncertainty ahead, experts are recommending increasing emergency funds from being able to cover three months of expenses to six.
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