One coronavirus benefit ends today. Make sure you’re prepared

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Enhanced unemployment benefits technically end before July 31.


Sarah Tew/CNET

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Before July 31, three key benefits that were developed to help ease the financial strains on Americans during the coronavirus pandemic are set to end, potentially harming the vast majority of unemployed workers, according to the Ways & Means Committee. The CARES Act, which was signed into law on March 27 by President Donald Trump, provided enhanced unemployment payments to supplement lost income from layoffs and a clause to delay evictions for 120 days

But now this assistance is dissolving, with the $600 unemployment benefit stopping days sooner than was commonly thought. Although that might not make a material impact, it’s a jolt for those who thought they would be supported a few days longer. The Senate plans to unveil a new rescue package in July — here’s when we think that could happen — but it isn’t determined whether the bill will include more enhanced unemployment support or eviction stays. There are signs it could include a second stimulus check. Here’s what’s being said today about who might qualify for another check

Today is Tax Day 2020, the deadline to file your 2019 taxes, so that’s one benefit that’s gone. However, you can file for an extension to October if you need to. Otherwise, it might be that you get a tax refund, which we show you how to estimate.

Here are all the other benefits that go away when the CARES Act expires and what — if anything — you can do.

Enhanced unemployment benefits are drying up

When cities across the country went on lockdown in March, businesses temporarily closed their doors, leaving millions unemployed. Now, nearly 33 million people are claiming unemployment benefits, as well as 13 million self-employed workers receiving assistance. In the week ending July 4, over 1.3 million people filed for unemployment for the first time, the Department of Labor reported.

By July 26, the enhanced unemployment benefits of an extra $600 per week on top of the usual allowance will end — a week sooner than originally expected, according to USA Today, which was first to report the news. 

The US Department of Labor said this in a statement to USA Today, which was first to report the news:

The (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) $600 can be paid for weeks ending no later than the week ending prior to Friday, July 31, 2020,” according to the statement. “For all states except (New York), that is Saturday, July 25th. New York’s end date is Sunday, July 26th.

The expiration of these benefits could also mean gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors and small business owners — those who usually aren’t eligible for unemployment — will also lose this source of income. If you’re still eligible for the usual unemployment benefits, you’ll still continue to receive them. 

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Unemployment benefits, like the extra $600 per week, will end in July.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Federal eviction protections

Included under the CARES Act is a temporary moratorium on evictions for most residents with subsidized apartments and renters of homes covered by Fannie Mae, FHA and Freddie Mac. This protected Americans who were unable to pay their rent from being evicted from their homes for 120 days. 

These protections will end July 25 — and on that date, landlords can begin sending eviction notices. At that time, landlords are required to give the residents a 30-day notice to vacate before eviction. There’s concern that people who won’t be able to pay their rent and are evicted could contribute to a rise in the number of homeless families across the country.

Here’s more information about evictions and resources you can use.

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The tax filing deadline is July 15.


Angela Lang/CNET

Extra time to file your taxes

The original deadline to file your taxes was April 15, but due to coronavirus, it was extended to July 15. That’s still in effect. There was talk of a possible second extension, but an extension was never passed. If you haven’t filed yet, you need to do so before the end of the day to avoid any future issues with the IRS.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to file in time, you can ask for an extension, although you’ll have to pay the interest that accumulates. You must file an extension by the end of today (July 15). If you don’t file your taxes on time, you’ll be charged a $300 penalty.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans trying to figure out what the next steps are, we’ve got more tips to help you. Here’s what the ending of enhanced unemployment means for you, what to do when the eviction protections end and how to file your taxes online. Also, here’s the latest on whether you’ll get another $1,200 stimulus check from the IRS.

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