Resources During this Difficult Time

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About This Page 

We are working together as a community to support one another through this difficult time. Let’s all look out for those we know are struggling financially, and share our resources as we are able. Our church leadership is reassigning some of our existing funds for the same purpose. We have also established a designated fund to provide financial support to Cedar Ridge community members facing particular hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can give to this fund at the button above.

Below are some resources assembled to provide a starting point for individuals in our community struggling with financial pressures at this time. There are many other resources for small businesses and individuals so please consult your congressional representative for a more exhaustive list of resources in your jurisdiction. The situation is very fluid, and representatives are still working out details of the programs and how to determine eligibility. If you have additional information to contribute to this page, please let us know.

The CARES Act

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a Federal bill that responds to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. Congressman John Sarbanes’ website has assembled lots of helpful health and economic related information, as well as  providing direct links to the various government agencies that are helping individuals at this time of great need. Below is a summary of current provisions that are explained in more detail on the website.

Resources for Businesses

Information for businesses can be found at this Maryland government site. Businesses based in Montgomery County can access additional information at the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation. Montgomery County Council recently approved an emergency assistance package for businesses, including a $20 million Public Health Emergency Grant Program.

One-Off Cash Payments

As of April 3, it seems most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a one-time cash payment of $1,200. Married couples would each receive a check and families would get $500 per child. That means a family of four earning less than $150,000 can expect $3,400.

  • The checks start to phase down after that and disappear completely for people making more than$99,000 and couples making more than $198,000.
  • The cash payments are based on either  your 2018 or 2019 tax filings. People who receive Social Security benefits but don’t file tax return are still eligible, too. They don’t need to file taxes; their checks will be based on information provided by the Social Security Administration.

If the IRS has your direct deposit information, it is expected that you will receive your cash payment starting mid-April by direct deposit to your bank account.  All others with social security numbers will receive checks via postal mail.  The checks are to be sent starting in early May 2020 at the rate of five million checks per week.  Checks will be sent prioritizing individuals with the lowest incomes.

Expanded Unemployment Benefits

The CARES Act bill provides additional federal funds to temporarily expand unemployment benefits in a variety of ways. Click on links to the official program details for full eligibility rules and instructions for applying for benefits which are now to be paid at a higher rate and for up to 13 weeks longer.  Also, pandemic unemployment assistance has been modified to include self-employed, independent contractors and “gig” workers.  However, as of April 3, the unemployment system is not accepting applications from these individuals.  Once documentation requirements are announced, these individuals will be able to apply for benefits as well.  You are strongly encouraged to visit the website and register your email so you receive electronic notifications once these issues are resolved.

Maryland Residents may apply for unemployment benefits by phone or online.  Due to the high volume of benefit applications, the suggestion is to complete your application online. For Frequently Asked Questions, click here  

Food and Housing Assistance 

Help Hotline 

Maryland provides a link to community health and human service resources statewide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 150 languages. Just dial 211 to get started. 

Housing

For additional information regarding rent and mortgage assistance, visit the housing section of the Congressional website.

Food Assistance in Maryland

Maryland Hunger Solutions  provides information on various food support programs and services in Maryland. Additional information about the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (formerly known as Food Stamps) can be found here. 

For residents of Montgomery County, Manna Food Center is also an excellent resource. Check out their website, or call (301) 424-1130 to speak to a representative. Office hours are 8AM – 4PM, Monday to Friday. Food is also available to all Montgomery County students (up to 18 years old).

 

 

We are unable to gather together, but we remain a loving community, committed to one another — and together we will get through this. No one is alone.

Matthew Dyer, Lead Pastor