Resources for Individuals & Students Impacted by COVID-19
Child Tax Credit
For those with children, the American Rescue Plan increased the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 per child to $3,000 per child for children over the age of six and from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under the age of six, and raised the age limit from 16 to 17.
If you didn't file tax returns for 2019 or 2020 or didn't sign up to receive a stimulus check from the Internal Revenue Service, you can still sign up to get the Child Tax Credit. You won’t lose your benefits if you do. These payments do not count as income for any family. So, signing up won’t affect your eligibility for other federal benefits like SNAP and WIC. You can use the IRS Non-filer Sign-up Tool to get the Child Tax Credit and receive missing stimulus payments.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, multiple pieces of legislation have been passed by both the federal and state governments to expand eligibility to unemployment insurance, increase the dollar amount provided and reduce waiting times. A comprehensive list of questions and answers on unemployment insurance in relation to COVID-19 is available online. You can also learn about and apply for Unemployment Insurance benefits through the Arizona Department of Economic Security's website.
On May 13, Arizona Governor Ducey announced that Arizona will stop taking the federal government's pandemic unemployment benefits effective Saturday, July 10, meaning that individuals receiving unemployment insurance would no longer receive the $300 plus up as part of their weekly benefit after that date. If an individual leaves the unemployment insurance program, completes at least 10 weeks of work with an employer and makes $25 per hour or less, they are eligible for a $2,000 bonus. Individuals interested in the bonus must begin employment by Monday, September 6 and the bonus is available on a first come first serve basis.
Economic Impact Payments for Individuals
As part of the federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, all U.S. residents with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 married), who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number, are eligible for a $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per child. This is also true for those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable means-tested benefit programs, such as SSI benefits. Most eligible taxpayers have received their first Economic Impact Payment. If you didn't get the full amount of that Payment, you may be eligible to claim a Recovery Rebate Credit when you file your 2020 federal tax return.
On December 27, 2020, the FY2021 Omnibus Spending and COVID relief bill was signed into law. This legislation provides for a second Economic Impact Payment of $600 payment for eligible individuals and a $600 payment for each qualifying child. If you have questions about the second round of Economic Impact Payments or have not yet received your second payment, please visit the IRS website.
On Thursday 11 March, the $1.9trillion American Rescue Plan was signed into law. This third payment provided eligible individual taxpayers for a check of up to $1,400, while couples filing jointly could receive a maximum of $2,800. In addition, families with dependents were eligible for an extra payment of $1,400 per dependent, regardless of the dependent's age.
Forbearance Programs & Suspension of Foreclosures
If you are a homeowner and the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted your ability to make your mortgage payments, please call your lender to see what assistance programs might be available to you.
Suspension of Evictions
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control have issued a temporary moratorium on residential evictions through January 31, 2021. More information can be found here.
Utility & Internet Assistance
A cooperative agreement has been announced between Arizona's largest electric utilities (including the Arizona Public Service), to ensure that no customer will have their power turned off due to inability to pay for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A large number of internet service providers have committed to not terminating service for any residence or small business because of inability to pay due to COVID-19, as well as waiving late fees for those with COVID-19 economic circumstances.
Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family & Medical Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. View more information on Employee Rights (PDF) from the U.S. Department of Labor.
For unemployment benefits, rental assistance, utility assistance, move-in assistance, financial coaching, mortgage assistance and meals for seniors, please call the Coconino County Health and Human Services Community Service Program at 928-679-7453 or access the County's employee resources page.
Job-seeker services are also offered by the Coconino County ARIZONA@WORK (PDF) program.
- Individuals can find more information on applying for AHCCS health insurance, childcare assistance, resources for seniors, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and finding a food back on the Arizona Together website.
- The Arizona Commerce Authority is offering a Return Stronger Upskilling website to provide workers who are no longer employed due to the COVID-19 pandemic with a central place to learn about and leverage the many no-cost training opportunities available.
Northern Arizona University (NAU) offers the Lumberjack Emergency Assistance Fund (LEAF) Application, to which students experiencing financial hardships can apply for a one-time grant of up to $250.
NAU Student Affairs also offers a variety of resources for students to stay engaged and access health, academic success and career development tools remotely.