Recent events have some federal programs ending and others beginning. And California is has some support to fill the gaps.
On Saturday, September 4, 2021 most federal unemployment benefits will expire, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Unemployment Emergency Compensation (PEUC), the $300 Federal Additional Compensation (PAC) (also known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)) supplement, and Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC). And September 11, 2021, is the end of the Federal-State Extended Duration (FED-ED) extension. Over three million workers, including self-employed, are effected.
Several vital programs are still available.
- Cash aid for families with children (CalWORKs) through county human services agencies, where people can also apply for food assistance [CalFresh], and free health coverage [Medi-Cal].
- Over $234 per person per month for food via CalFresh or by phone at 1-877-847-3663, whether a person is working or not.
- Free or low-cost health insurance through Covered California or Medi-Cal or by phone at 1-800-300-1506. Californians who received unemployment insurance in 2021 may be eligible for Covered California’s best coverage for $1 per month.
- Golden State Stimulus payments for millions of qualified residents who file taxes, even if not required. (By phone at 1-800-845-6500).
Also, last week, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision ending the CDC eviction moratorium, thus removing protections for millions of Americans who have not been able to make rent payments throughout this pandemic.
Luckily California’s eviction moratorium is through September 30, 2021 and the state offers
cash assistance to low-income tenants and small landlords under the state’s $5.2 billion rent relief program, making it the largest and most comprehensive COVID rental protection and rent relief program of any state in the nation. For help, contact Housing is Key or by phone at 1-833-430-2122.
While federal rental assistance is being rolled out to communities across the country, scammers are actively using this opportunity to prey on consumers in need, by pretending to be someone they’re not. It is time be vigilant and look for these warning signs:
- If you receive an email, text, call, or social media message from someone claiming to be the federal government, chances are it’s a scam.
- If you’re asked for cash, gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrency, or similar forms of payment to help you get rental assistance, it’s probably a scam.
- For trustworthy information, it’s best to visit government or official websites directly.