Texas –like every other state in the U.S. — has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state currently has more than 25,200 cases with 600 fatalities, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. And both individuals and small businesses are seeking aid to recoup coronavirus-related financial loss. While the state doesn’t offer many COVID-19 relief programs, Texans still have access to coronavirus crisis government help. And numerous organizations and food banks are providing local resources to any residents impacted by the pandemic. If you’d like help with protecting your finances against an ongoing economic crisis, a financial advisor could be right for you.
Texas Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
Texas Governor Greg Abbot recently announced more than $1 billion in food relief for families impacted by the pandemic. A family who has lost access to free or discounted school meals because of the crisis will get a one-time benefit of $285 per child, to be used in the same way as normal SNAP benefits.
There are a number of local organizations providing support to those in need. Among those are Feeding Texas, an organization that helps Texans find food banks close to them. Another local organization offering support is the Coastal Bend Food Bank. The food bank delivers food and sanitation boxes to low-income elderly residents to protect them against any lasting economic or health risks associated with the coronavirus.
If needed, Texans can apply for unemployment benefits services by contacting the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). TWC’s website lists information and resources regarding unemployment claims. While there aren’t major changes in state law, TWC has applied a few modifications to comply with federal law. Specifically, TWC says it’s waiving all work search requirements for claimants and the waiting week for those claimants affected by coronavirus.
Texas Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
Small businesses will also need to take advantage of federal relief programs provided through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Though Texas doesn’t provide statewide small business relief, several small business non-profits offer local assistance to small business owners across Texas. The SBA offers a search tool for these small business groups here.
Our guide on coronavirus relief for businesses lists federal and state-level provisions available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Individuals
The U.S. government offers several programs to aid both individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. For individuals, the recently passed coronavirus stimulus package, formally known at the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides direct cash payments to individuals within certain income thresholds. You’ll be eligible to receive these payments whether or not you or someone you care for has been impacted by COVID-19. For instance, individuals can receive a maximum of $1,200, but only if their adjusted gross income (AGI) is $75,000 or less. Married couples can earn a full $2,400 if their AGI is $150,000 or less, and heads of household earn a full $1,200 if they make $112,500 or less. These check amounts are subject to “phase-outs” of $5 for every $100 they make over the thresholds up to the maximum cut-off amounts. Individuals won’t receive anything if they make above $99,000. The income cutoff for married couples and heads of households is $198,000 and $136,500, respectively.
You may also qualify for coronavirus sick leave and family leave benefits if you, a household member or a dependent are affected by COVID-19. In addition, the CARES Act has provisions offering enhanced coronavirus unemployment benefits, coronavirus relief for rent and mortgage payments, student loan relief and a tax deadline extension. For unemployment assistance, if you lose your job because of coronavirus, you may be eligible for one of the following three unemployment relief programs: Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).The unemployment benefit expansion also allows employees to claim up to an additional 13 weeks in unemployment — a total of 39 weeks for most states. As for taxes, you can now postpone filing taxes until July 15, 2020.
Though these provisions are provided at the federal level, Americans can also take advantage of other forms of relief. Specifically, several banks are helping customers affected by coronavirus. Numerous companies, such as Google, are also offering assistance to coronavirus impacted people.
Federal Coronavirus Relief for Small Businesses
Certain small businesses also qualify for federal financial support during the COVID-19 outbreak. The $2 trillion stimulus package initially gave $349 billion to small businesses through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). But Congress has approved an additional $310 billion for the program since businesses exhausted its first round of funding. The PPP offers loans up to $10 million or 2.5 times a business’ average monthly payroll costs (excluding salaries of $100,000 or more). Though the money for this program was used up quickly, the federal government recently appropriated $310 billion more for loans.
Another option for small businesses is to apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. These are SBA-administered loans that provide up to $2 million to businesses and non-profits suffering from coronavirus-related revenue loss. The program also provides an emergency cash advance of $10,000 for eligible applicants. However, these loans are only available in states where authorities have declared an economic disaster.
The Bottom Line
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in both Texas and throughout the U.S., Texans can take various measures to protect themselves if they’ve been impacted by the virus. While there currently aren’t many statewide relief programs for individuals and small businesses, Texans can still take advantage of federal and local resources. The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing, so it’s wise to keep up to date on both national and local news. It may also be useful to follow the TWC for updates, so that you’ll be in the know in case state officials establish any new relief programs.
Tips for Managing your Finances During the Coronavirus Crisis
- A financial advisor can help you protect your wealth against turbulent times. As the economy braces for a recession, you may be wondering how to find the most suitable one. We’ve made your search easier for you with our free financial advisor matching tool. After you complete a short questionnaire about your finances, the tool connects you with up to three advisors in your area.
- If you’re wondering whether you qualify to receive a stimulus cash payment, our coronavirus stimulus check calculator can help. The guide provides all of the eligibility details for the stimulus checks.
- A budget can also help you cut down expenses and deduct more of your money toward savings. Our budget calculator can help you establish a plan to protect your assets during the coronavirus crisis.
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