Help for Chicago area furloughed workers.
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Cash relief programs
Rental And Mortgage Assistance Programs
DFSS Rental Assistance Program
The Chicago Department of Family Support Services has launched a second open application period for the Rental Assistance Program (RAP). RAP helps Chicagoans who have housing right now, but who may become homeless soon because they lost income or had another eligible emergency which prevents them from paying rent. The deadline to apply is Sunday, November 15 at 11:59 pm.
NHS Mortgage And Rental Assistance Grants
The City of Chicago has allocated CARES Act funds to make housing assistance grants available to assist those experiencing ongoing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS) is administering the allocation of 600 rental assistance grants and 600 mortgage assistance grants, with a goal of distributing all funds by December 1, 2020.
Applications for the Emergency Heating Repair (EHR) program will be open from Monday, November 16, 2020 to Thursday, April 1, 2021. EHR provides one-time grants for emergency furnace or boiler repairs to income-eligible homeowners. Limited funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
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.
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
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.
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. Allstate, American Family, Geico, Progressive and State Farm are all offering premium reductions. I would call and confirm.
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.
Across the country, people are organizing online mutual aid groups to stay connected, share ideas, and help those in need. Whether you want to start a group, find a group, or even request a friendly call from one of our volunteers, we can help you connect with people in your community.
Call you landlord. Negotiate with your landlord to defer rent or apply your security deposit towards the next month. Ask your mortgage company to grant a payment deferment or interest-only accommodation.
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 (just keep internet) Check here to see if you can get free wifi, Amazon subscriptions, etc.
Apply your Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership rewards points and any other rewards points to pay your bills.
Sell anything of value in your home.