Author: Judge Geoffrey
America Introduced the CARES Act to lessen the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on its citizens. But many people are still wondering if the CARES act really works and if they can receive financial assistance.
Keep reading to find out.
What is the CARES Act?
On March 27, 2020, former President Donald Trump signed the bill that introduced the CARES Act. The CARES Act supports families, gig workers, industries, and businesses that were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The CARES Act stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and it provided $150 billion to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
December 31, 2021, marked the expiration of the CARES Act, but you may still qualify for some financial assistance in 2022.
How can the CARES Act help you in 2022?
Below are some programs funded by the CARES Act that were extended for 2022:
ERA, or Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA), is another program that is funded by the CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) and the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136).
The Department of the U.S Treasury implements the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA).
The ERA funds provide rent and utility assistance (including payment of some arrearages) for people who need it. The remaining funds can be used for housing stability and some administrative expenses.
A few changes were introduced to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program during the second round of funding. The changes to the ERA include an increase in the amount that can be used for administrative expenses. Also, grantees are permitted to use the remaining unobligated funds (as of October 1, 2022) for housing and eviction prevention activities.
You have to meet the requirements below to be eligible for the ERA:
- Have low income
- Going through financial hardship
- Facing the risk of homelessness or housing insecurity
The state government has its rental assistance programs designed to fit specific needs. Rental assistance programs usually vary geographically.
The U.S Department of Education paused the student loan payments as of April 6, 2022. The student loan payments will now be extended to August 2022.
The features of the student loan payment pause relief will include:
- Suspension of loan payments
- Pause on the collection of defaulted loans
- A 0% interest rate
The government warns to beware of scammers that send unexpected offers or financial aid that are not registered with schools. So if you were sent an offer, you should always check with your school to see if they are valid.
The telehealth relief under the CARES act had already expired. But now, Telehealth will be temporarily extended under the 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA).
The new telehealth extension allows HDHPs to offer Telehealth and remote services for little to no deductible without jeopardizing the participant’s HSA (Health Saving Account) eligibility. This telehealth extension will last from April 2022 to December 2022.
Many programs funded by the CARES Act were closed following the Act’s expiry at the end of 2021. But some programs were extended till 2022.
Reread this guide to know the active benefits and how you can apply.