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Financial Assistance for Food, Housing, and Bills

Updated: Feb 24, 2022

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Get temporary COVID-19 help from government programs to pay rent, funeral expenses, and student loans. Food stamps and federal meal programs also changed their rules to provide extra help during the coronavirus pandemic.

On This Page

  • COVID-19 Rental Assistance

  • Advance Child Tax Credit

  • Food Stamps and Meal Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Homeless Services and Resources

  • COVID-19 Help Paying Broadband Internet Bills

  • COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

  • COVID-19 Student Loan Forbearance

  • Find COVID-19 Vaccine Locations With

COVID-19 Rental Assistance

The government COVID-19 eviction moratorium has ended. Landlords now have the ability to evict renters who are not able to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a renter or as a landlord, government programs can help you with rent money and advice for your situation.

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  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program for Renters and Landlords

  • Get Advice for Renters from a Housing Counselor

  • Learn How to Avoid Eviction as a Renter

  • Find Emergency Housing

  • Recover Back Rent as a Landlord

Advance Child Tax Credit

By claiming the Child Tax Credit (CTC), you can reduce the amount of money you owe on your federal taxes. The amount of credit you receive is based on your income and the number of qualifying children you are claiming.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CTC was expanded under the American Rescue Plan of 2021. The IRS pre-paid half the total credit amount in monthly payments from July to December 2021. When you file your 2021 tax return, you can claim the other half of the total CTC.

Learn more about the Advance Child Tax Credit.

Food Stamps and Meal Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be easier for you and your family to get food stamps and take part in meal programs. Contact your state's social services agency to see if you're eligible.

During the pandemic:

  • Food stamp (SNAP) recipients may receive additional funding. More people may be eligible to receive SNAP during the pandemic than normally.

  • Parents whose kids' schools are closed can pick up school meals for their kids to eat at home.

  • People can enroll in food programs remotely rather than in person. This applies to programs for pregnant women, families, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Read about these and other government meal program changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homeless Services and Resources

If you’re facing homelessness, these tips can help you get ready for and work through the situation.

Prepare Yourself and Your Family

  • Make sure your state ID or driver’s license is current and available. Shelters and assistance programs may have strict ID requirements.

  • If possible, store your belongings. Shelters have limits on how much you may bring.

  • Arrange for your mail to be delivered somewhere or talk to your local post office. Many have special services for people who are homeless. You may be able to get a free P.O. box or receive general delivery service.

  • Pack a bag for yourself and each member of your family.

  • Keep important documents and needed medications with you.

Find Housing

  1. Dial 211. In most areas of the U.S., this will connect you with local social services and referrals for emergency housing.

  2. Check for shelter and housing through your state. You can also check your local government or state's human or social services programs for housing assistance. Or, use the map on the Homeless Shelter Directory to find a shelter near you. The types of facilities vary. Research the best options for:

  • Cost - Most shelters are free, but some may charge a small fee. Most facilities that provide residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation programs charge a fee. Many, however, are low-cost, accept Medicaid, or operate on a sliding scale based on your income.

  • Length of stay - This can vary from a couple of days to weeks or months.

  • Types of services - Some facilities just provide safe shelter for the night, while others are transitional. They provide both housing and support services. They may help you with substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, or job training.

  1. Apply for more permanent public or subsidized housing. Typically, there are long waiting lists for public and subsidized housing. Apply as soon as possible.

Homeless Resources for Special Groups

These resources are geared toward specific audiences:



  • Call the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).

  • Housing programs and street outreach - Find stable, safe housing. You can also get education help, survival aid, counseling, crisis intervention, and follow-up support.

People with Mental Illness

Other Types of Help if You’re Homeless

Visit to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for other types of help. This may include financial assistance, transportation, food, counseling, and more.

If you don’t have medical insurance, you can use HRSA health centers. They give checkups, treatment when you’re sick, pregnancy care, and immunizations for your children.

COVID-19 Help Paying Broadband Internet Bills

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission's Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband internet bills for qualifying households with a low income.

For eligible households, the Emergency Broadband Benefit provides:

  • A discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service

  • A discount of up to $75 per month for broadband for households on qualifying tribal lands

  • A one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers

Find out if you qualify and how to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

To help ease the financial burden during the coronavirus pandemic, FEMA is providing up to $9,000 reimbursement for funeral expenses related to COVID-19. The death must have occurred after January 20, 2020.

  • Find out who qualifies for reimbursement for COVID-19 related funeral expenses.

  • Begin the application process.

  • Read frequently asked questions about the FEMA Funeral Assistance Program.

  • Learn how to protect yourself from scams related to FEMA funeral assistance.

COVID-19 Student Loan Forbearance

If you're repaying a U.S. Department of Education-backed student loan, you're receiving forbearance. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, your principal and interest payments have been automatically suspended through May 1, 2022.

  • Learn about COVID-19 emergency relief for federal student loans.

  • This special forbearance does not apply to private student loans. But private lenders may have their own plans for helping borrowers during the coronavirus pandemic. Contact your lender for details.

  • If you're participating in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), learn how you're affected during the COVID-19 emergency.

  • Beware of people who get in touch asking you to pay a fee to suspend your federal student loan payments. They're scammers. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

Find COVID-19 Vaccine Locations With makes it easy to find COVID-19 vaccination sites. Select which vaccine you want and search by zip code. Depending on your location, you may be able to choose from pharmacies, health department clinics, and other health care providers.

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Do you have a question? Call USAGov at 1-844-USA-GOV1 (1-844-872-4681) to ask us any question about the U.S. government for free. We'll get you the answer or tell you where to find it. We are open between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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