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December 28, 2020

New Stimulus Bill Provides More Help

On December 27, 2020, a new law passed by Congress went into effect to provide more help to people struggling with money problems because of COVID-19. 

Here is some general information about parts of the new law that may help many West Virginians: 

Stimulus Payments: A new $600 stimulus payment for an adult who makes up to $75,000 a year, or $1,200 for a couple earning up to $150,000 a year (plus $600 per child),

Ban on Evictions Extended: Extends the CDC eviction ban for non-payment of rent due to the impact of COVID-19 for one month, from Dec. 31, 2020 to Jan. 30, 2021, 

Help with Rent and Utilities: Provides funding for states to provide rental and utility help for people who meet certain rules,

Food Stamps: Increases the amount of money people receive for food stamps temporarily,

Unemployment Benefits: There are a few changes to unemployment benefits:

(1) Extended Time: All types of unemployment benefits can now continue through March 14, 2021. This covers: 

-People receiving the inital basic benefit (maximum 26 weeks total); and 

-People receiving "extended" benefits (paid only after the inital basic benefits run out); and     

-People receiving "PUA" benefits for the Self-Employed and/or "Gig workers."      

After March 14, people who are already recieving "extended" or "PUA" (Self-Employed or Gig workers) benefits, but who have not used up all their possible weeks of payments, can continue receiving benefits for four more weeks. If you are not already receiving either of these benefits by March 14, you cannot submit a new application for "extended" or "PUA" benefits after March 14. 

(2) Increased Amount: An extra $300 per week will be added to whatever benefit amount a person is now receiving, through March 14, 2021. 

(3) Timing: People who have been receiving either "extended" or "PUA" (for Self-Employed or Gig Workers) benefits will probably go one to three weeks without any payment before new payments start up again.   On December 28, Governor Justice said that people receiving these benefits would not have to file a new application to keep getting them. But we believe that it will take one to three weeks for the computers to be re-programmed to start paying these benefits again. We believe you will eventually get retroactive payments for at least some of the weeks when you may not get a payment. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------We are working to update our COVID-19 articles with more information about how this new law will work in West Virginia. Please check back soon. 

If you have specific questions or need more help, you can apply for help from Legal Aid of West Virginia by calling 1-866-255-4370 Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or on our website by going to https://www.lawv.net/Get-Help/Apply-for-Help/Apply-Online.


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