With Washington under a stay-at-home order, many are facing uncertainty with work, bills, childcare, medical care, and more. This is a time for us, as champions of the family unit and family values, to practice what we preach, and to keep our eyes open for ways we can help the families around us.
Several things have happened within the last couple weeks that will carry an impact on families and their abilities to weather this storm, financially and otherwise.
Congress passed and the president signed a bill (called the CARES Act) that infuses the economy with trillions of dollars – with hundreds of billions of those dollars being sent to individuals and families who need cash to pay expenses in the coming weeks.
The Secretary of the Treasury said last week that he expects all payments to be made within a few weeks. Most payments will be near $1,200 per adult, unless you made over $99,000; you can calculate the estimated payment you will receive here.
If you filed your taxes within the last two years, you do not need to apply for this money. If the IRS has your direct deposit information on hand from a previous tax return, funds will be automatically deposited into your account or a check will be sent to the address on your tax return. Payments will be calculated from your 2019 tax return, unless you haven’t yet filed it; in that case, it will be calculated by your 2018 tax return.
For those who want to help in their communities but do not have financial resources available to donate, you can donate time, too!
Whether volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter, delivering groceries to at-risk individuals, or providing childcare for families whose parents are still required to work, there are so many things that can be done to serve our communities in this time of need. I encourage you to reach out to your local church or favorite non-profit to see what needs they are aware of. So many of these tasks can be accomplished without violating any social distancing guidelines or endangering your own health.
You can continue to monitor COVID-19 and the risks it poses across the state here. Aside from the health risks, the stay-at home order is endangering the wellbeing of many small businesses as well. If you own a small business that is affected by forced closures, you may be eligible for small business assistance, including tax-deferment through the State of Washington, too.
Even in this time of challenge, we have so much to be thankful for. By broadcasting grace, peace, and compassion, this is an excellent opportunity to be a positive reflection of our beliefs.
This, too, shall pass. We’ll get through it together.