Recovery Resources for Vermonters

Stimulus Payment  

Many Americans will be eligible for a stimulus payment under the new legislation. There is no qualified income threshold or requirement to receive the rebate. However, the rebate phases out at a 5 percent rate above adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for joint filers.

Payments will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. 

To learn more about eligability, when and how the payments will be made, and whether you need to take any action, please visit:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Taxpayers

The tax filing due date has been extended to July 15. Tax returns and any income taxes owed will not be due until July 15.

The latest and most reliable information about this and other tax filing changes can be found here:

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

State tax filing changes and other policy changes in response to the coronavirus can be found here.

https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus

Social Security Recipients

Social Security Offices will be closed to the public for the duration of the pandemic but are still accessible by phone. Social Security will not start or complete any current medical continuing disability reviews.

Information on these and other changes that the Social Security Administration offices have made in light of the coronavirus can be found here.

https://www.ssa.gov/coronavirus/

Health Insurance

Uninsured Vermonters may be eligible for a special enrollment period for the duration of the coronavirus crisis to get Health Insurance.

Learn more about your eligibility here.

https://portal.healthconnect.vermont.gov/VTHBELand/welcome.action

Sick Leave

Betweenn April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020, a new paid sick leave benefit will go into effect that will apply to many workers across the United States.

Learn more about the new sick leave benefit and whether it applies to you here:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Students

Some student loan borrowers will not need to make payments on student loans held by the federal government (Direct Loans and FFEL Loans held by the U.S. Department of Education) through September 30, 2020. Some students will be also be eligible for emergency financial aid grants from their institutions to meet unexpected and urgent needs related to the coronavirus, such as expenses related to food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.

Questions and answers on student loan relief can be found here:

https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus

Public Benefits:

Information on how Vermont's Human Services system has been affected by the coronavirus can be found here.

https://dcf.vermont.gov/COVID-19

If you want to apply for 3SquaresVT, Essential Person, Fuel Assistance or Reach up online or learn more about your eligibility, fill out an application here:

https://dcf.vermont.gov/mybenefits

Vermont Legal Aid has a good public benefits legal resource page on topics related to the coronavirus.

https://vtlawhelp.org/coronavirus-updates

Unemployment Insurance

The CARES act created new categories of eligibility for unemployment insurance. Some workers who were not previously eligible for unemployment insurance will now be eligible.

Learn more about how to file an unemployment claim and changes to Vermont's unemployment

insurance system here.

https://labor.vermont.gov/

Utilities and Telecommunications

Many utilities have agreed to suspend shutoffs during the crisis.

The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) has posted a rundown of Vermont's utility response to the coronavirus. Contact DPS with any questions or concerns about your utilities.

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/covid-19-vermont-utility-response

An internet connection has never been as important as it is now for telework, telemedicine, keeping in touch with friends and family and keeping abreast of public health measures. You can learn more about new initiatives to keep low-income Vermonters connected here:

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/new-connectivity-resources-support-you-during-covid-19-state-emergency-vermont

Utilities and Telecommunications

Many utilities have agreed to suspend shutoffs during the crisis.

The Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) has posted a rundown of Vermont's utility response to the coronavirus. Contact DPS with any questions or concerns about your utilities.

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/covid-19-vermont-utility-response

An internet connection has never been as important as it is now for telework, telemedicine, keeping in touch with friends and family and keeping abreast of public health measures. You can learn more about new initiatives to keep low-income Vermonters connected here:

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/new-connectivity-resources-support-you-during-covid-19-state-emergency-vermont

Resources for Homeowners

The CARES Act provides relief for homeowners with FHA, USDA, VA, or Section 184 or 184A mortgages and those with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac from falling behind on payments.

The Vermont COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program was established using coronavirus relief funds allocated to the State of Vermont to provide financial assistance to stabilize low- and moderate-income homeowners in Vermont.  VHFA is the administrator of funds dedicated to mortgage assistance.

Learn more about relief for homeowners here:

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) CARES Act Mortgage forbearance: What you need to know

Federal Housing Finance Agency information about assistance for Homeowners Affected by COVID-19

Fannie Mae resources for homeowners with Fannie Mae-backed mortgages

Freddie Mac resources for homeowners with Freddie Mac-backed mortgages

USDA Rural Development resources for homeowners with USDA Rural Development mortgages

If you are at risk of foreclosure, you may benefit from free foreclosure prevention counseling. Find a HUD-certified housing counseling agency in Vermont

Vermont Legal Aid has more information on foreclosures here:

https://vtlawhelp.org/foreclosures-coronavirus

Resources for Renters

The CARES Act offers prevents a property owner that receives a federal subsidy or has a federally backed mortgage loan from filing for eviction against or charging penalties or fees to a tenant who cannot pay rent for a period of 120 days after enactment of this Act. The State of Vermont and some counties may also offer some protections for renters affected by loss of income due to the Coronavirus.

Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA) Rental Housing Stabilization Program (RHSP) is funded through Vermont’s allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. It provides funding to landlords on behalf of tenants in need of rental arrearage assistance. 

Learn more about your rights as a tenant here:

https://vtlawhelp.org/coronavirus-updates

Vermont Tenants, Inc.