COVID-19 has impacted Central Florida households. The situation has especially affected people in hospitality, retail, service, and gig economies who are experiencing lay-offs or reduced hours due to cancellations, supply chain disruptions, self-quarantining, and closures of businesses. Central Florida is developing a robust safety net to assist and buoy all households; please use this page for more on how to access available resources.
Financial Wellbeing Resources
Discover the many resources in your area by calling your local United Way at 211 or go online to findhelp.org (by Aunt Bertha).
Central Florida United team volunteers update this page regularly with the most accurate information possible. Check back for updates. And remember, however tough life is today, together we can keep moving forward to a brighter tomorrow. #UnitedTeam
Get Help Looking for Work: CareerSource Central Florida
Be Career Ready: Interested in a career boost with new skills and a directed path to your future work?
You can create a step by step career builder plan. You can start redesigning your future right now with good planning and motivation. Be patient and strategic in planning for your career future.
We will update this section as more openings are identified.
If you have lost your job or your employer has reduced your hours because of COVID-19, you may be eligible for Reemployment Assisstance through the State of Florida.
Start your application here.
You will need to have your paperwork in good order.
- Proof of ID
- Proof of loss of employment
- Paystubs showing prior income
If you don’t have paystubs or proof of loss of employment, contact your employer to ensure they provide you access to documents you need. Your paystubs for example might be accessible online.
Question: What if I’m a gig worker or super part time?
Answer: The guidelines are changing rapidly to address the loss of hours by gig economy workers. Keep checking back with the State of Fl Eligibility checker site.
Stimulus Payments to Households: Direct payments to American households were approved by the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government.
Is it true?: You can see the approved Bill here. Here’s our summary of the 880 pages = yes it’s true, individual eligible households will receive one time payments from the Federal Government.
To make sure you are ready and eligible for payments you can take two immediate actions.
1. Get Banked: If you do not currently have a bank account, you should open one immediately. People who get a check in the mail can expect to wait up to four months. People who get an automatic deposit in a bank account can expect to receive a payment within four weeks. Get banked.
2. File your 2019 or 2018 taxes: Only people who have completed the filing for 2018 or 2019 taxes will automatically receive federal help. You will not receive a federal check if you did not file your taxes. You can file for last year if you haven’t already. Or you can file (early) for 2019. Either way, you must file your tax forms to receive federal help.
The IRS has a full list of free filing options that don’t cost you any money.
*Note that some tax software providers redirect people to their paid software. Pay close attention to ensure you’re using the federally approved FREE site these agencies must provide.
Vita Tax Service info will be updated as their new policies are identified.
What you need to file:
- Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification number documents for you, your spouse and dependents
- Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
- All forms W-2, 1098 and 1099**
- Form 1095-A (Marketplace Health Insurance)
- Information for other income
- Information for all deductions/credits, For ex. total paid to day care provider and their tax ID number (If applicable)
STUDENT LOAN HELP
For Federal Student Loan holders: “To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. Read the borrower Q&As below to learn more, and contact your loan servicer to find out your specific options.” See more here.
If you hold student loans through a private lender, call your lender to determine what their COVID=19 response policy is. Many private lenders are reducing interest or deferring payments.
RENT/ MORTGAGE HELP
Call 211 for direct connection to area specific offers for assistance with mortgage and rent assistance.
Call your loan servicer immediately if you are a mortgage holder. Each lender is creating guidelines for households hit by COVID19.
Find out what your landlord’s policy is for renters. Call them and ask good questions to make sure you get clear direct answers.
Sharing Circles are an easy way for you and a group of friends or family to help each other in hard times.
How it works: Every person in a sharing circle agrees to put in the same amount of money each week. Small amounts are good. If ten people in a sharing group put in $10 each week, then every ten weeks one person gets $100 dollars.
Why it Helps: Cash flow – getting your hands on a little sum at one time, can be really tough when money is tight. Saving is hard to stick to. Sharing circles keep you motivated to save. And it makes sure that on a set schedule you get a sum of money to use as you need.
Get Started: 1) Ask people you trust to join the sharing group. 2) Decide together how much to put in each week. 3) Write down the rules. 4) Make sure everybody agrees in writing to follow the rules. 5) Choose how to share money – venmo, chasapp, or online banking quick pays are all good options.
A. Every person puts in the same amount each week.
B. Each person gets a chance to have all the money put in on a specified week. For example if there are five people in your sharing circle, you get the whole sum saved every five weeks.
When you have money struggles it can be very tempting to stop opening bills and stick our heads in the sand. Who wants to look at what feels unmanageable?
Well here’s the thing; You can manage. You will manage. You need good information, disicpline, and inspiration to keep yourself and your household running.
If you turn your back on bills you can’t pay, it creates an even bigger problem later. Don’t do that. Be brave. Look the challenge head on. Make a plan. Stick to the plan. And know it will get better little by little.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling is a nonprofit with a BIG toolkit to help you make all the right decisions around financial responsibility, debt management, and emergency budgeting. Get the Resource here.