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Covid Resources for Low-Income Consumers in California

CARES Act

  • Economic Impact Payments - On March 27th, 2020 Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, authorizing $1,200 Economic Impact Payments for qualifying individuals affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Eligibility for this stimulus payment is based on tax-filing status for either 2018 or 2019, but if you haven’t filed taxes for either year you still may be eligible. Visit the IRS’ website to learn more about applying for the payment or check the status of your payment. (April 29, 2020)
  • Major Consumer Protections Announced in Response to COVID-19 - The National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) has put together a handy guide to the consumer protections initiated by the CARES act. The NCLC has also made available their Surviving Debt manual, which is free to download during the pandemic. This manual offers tools and strategies for managing personal debt and navigating the complexities of bankruptcy and foreclosures. (April 28, 2020)

California Governor’s Orders

  • Evictions - On March 27th, 2020, CA Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order delaying evictions stemming from the non-payment of rents by tenants affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Tenants are required to declare in writing, no more than one week past the rent due date, that they are unable to pay all or part of the month’s rent due to COVID-19. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles has adopted special renter protections to help tenants during the pandemic.
  • Unemployment Benefits - On April 9th, 2020, CA Governor Gavin Newsom announced that California will begin to implement the Federal Government’s expansion of unemployment benefits by offering $600 in addition to the weekly benefits that eligible Californians already receive. For more information on these expanded benefits or on how to apply for unemployment insurance benefits, please visit the Employment Development Department’s website.
  • Economic Impact Payments & Private Student Loans - On April 23rd, 2020, CA Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order, stating that the Economic Impact Payments distributed through the CARES Act cannot be garnished by banks or debt collectors. In this executive order, Governor Newsom also announced that most private student loan servicers have agreed to provide relief to borrowers with commercially owned Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) or privately held student loans, who are struggling to make payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Borrowers should immediately contact their student loan servicer to identify options that are appropriate to their circumstances. Relief options include: providing a minimum of 90 days forbearance; waiving late payment fees; ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting; ceasing debt collection lawsuits for 90 days; helping eligible borrowers enroll in other assistance programs. This assistance is limited to California residents.
    • The student loan servicers that have agreed to provide relief options include: Aspire Resources, Inc., Rhode Island Student Loan Authority, College Ave Student Loan Servicing, LLC, Scratch Services, Earnest Operations, SoFi Lending Group, Edfinancial, TFC Credit Corporation, Figure Lending, Tuition Options, Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation, United Guaranty Services, Lendkey Technologies, Upstart Network, Inc., MOHELA, Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority, Navient, and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation.
    • Borrowers experiencing difficulties with a student loan servicer are encouraged to contact the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) at 1-866-275-2677 or, to file a complaint, at https://dbo.ca.gov/file-a-complaint/.

Grants and Loans

  • Mission Asset Funds - The Mission Asset Fund has established two funds for Angelenos affected by COVID-19: LA County residents who work in the creative field may be eligible to receive a $500 grant from the LA Young Creatives Fund; the Immigrant Families Fund offers $500 grants to immigrant families who have been left out of the federal government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts. (April 30, 2020)
  • Interest Free Emergency Loans & Additional Resources - The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering interest-free loans for up to $3,000. These emergency loans are not able to be used to pay rent when there is a State-ordered delay of rents in place, and a guarantor is required to co-sign for any loan application. The JFLA has also produced a useful list of additional resources for individuals affected by COVID-19. (April 29, 2020)

Food Security

  • Karsh Center Food Pantry - The Karsh Center at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple holds a food pantry every Sunday, and offers diapers and food for pickup, Wednesday and Thursday by appointment only. Visit their website for more information or call (213) 401-4651. (April 27, 2020)
  • Food Pantry Locator - Use the LA Foodbank’s tool to search for food pantries in your community. The LA Foodbank recommends that anyone who has recently lost their job or is in need of food security or assistance should apply for CalFresh/LA County DPSS. Apply here. (April 29, 2020)