Help for Chicago area furloughed workers Update. The links below mostly go to the Covid-19 page for each company if I could find one. I hope this helps. I’ll keep updating as I find more info. Please share this post. New info indicated in red. Good luck!
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You must file for unemployment on a computer. Even though the website says “mobile-enabled” it does not work. If you don’t have access to a computer you have to call.
Amazon, Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s, Sam’s Club, Walmart, 7-11 and many delivery services are looking for help. Call your local store and see if they’re hiring.
Call before you go. Program hours sometimes change. We recommend calling the program before you go to confirm hours and requirements. i.e. A friend volunteers at a food bank on the Northside and they are only taking volunteers under age 60 so they’re short handed.
Link to search page to find area food banks Filter by Agency Type then Click on the green boxes for information.
Outside of Cook County, please visit Feeding America’s directory of food banks. Feeding America Establishes COVID-19 Response Fund to Help Food Banks During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Meals on Wheels program for homebound seniors is continuing to operate.
Help for Chicago area furloughed workers – Banks
Fannie Mae Assistance Options for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 Most people’s mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae. Read the options available that your bank has to offer.
Freddie Mac COVID–19 ResponseRead the options available that your bank has to offer if your mortgage is backed by Freddie Mac
Forbes has a list of all banks and a description of the assistance they are offering. Below are links to all the banks coronavirus pages, if I could find one.
Call your mortgage lender. Some banks have hardship departments or are offering some type of assistance on a case-by-case basis. Also call your bank about waiving monthly fees, late fees, returned-check and overdraft fees. Ask about waiving future interest charges. Call about your credit cards and auto loans and see if they will waive payments or reduce your interest rate. Ask your lender for a forbearance for all types of loans you have. Ask about reduced rates for taking cash advances on your credit cards.
- Many branches of many banks have closed. Now’s the time to learn to use your bank’s app. Many banks allow you make deposits, transfer money etc.
The Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents, to prevent homelessness, to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit.
Cell phone companies offering billing assistance
Drug companies GoodRx has an excellent article How to Make Sure You Have Enough Medication During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Pharmaceutical assistance programs Some pharmaceutical companies offer assistance programs for the drugs they manufacture.
- RxAssist A comprehensive directory of Patient Assistance Programs. Search by drug name or manufacturer name for assistance.
- Illinois Department of Insurance Frequently Asked Questions about Insurance Coverage and the Coronavirus COVID 19 (pdf)
Insurance companies offering billing assistance. Even if your company isn’t listed still call.
Request a special payment plan.
An emergency order issued March 18, 2020 by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) mandates all public utilities to suspend disconnections from service until at least May 1, or until the state of emergency is lifted. Additionally, the order dictates that utilities must suspend late fees, and adopt flexible credit and collections practices.
Don’t pay anything that will not be shut off i.e. ComEd, People’s Gas, Water bill.
Turn off autopay on everything.
Turn off everything off that isn’t critical i.e. subscriptions, gym membership, Netflix, any streaming service, cable (unless that’s how you get internet) Check here to see if you can get free wifi, Amazon subscriptions, etc.
File your taxes if you are expecting a refund.
Apply your Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership rewards points to pay your bills.