Financial Assistance - For Businesses
Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Connecticut businesses with less than 100 employees impacted by COVID-19 may apply for a one-year, no-interest loan of up to $75,000 through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). For more information and to apply, click here.
Federal Disaster Assistance Loans: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that canâ€™t be paid because of the disasterâ€™s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis. To apply, visit www.sba.gov/disaster or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.
CARES Act & Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Part of the CARES Act, the PPP can provide direct cash flow, through federally guaranteed loans, to employers who maintain their payroll during the pandemic. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. The program can be retroactive to February 15, 2020 in order to bring workers back onto payroll who may have already been laid off. Smalls businesses, non-profits, and other veteran and Tribal organizations are eligible. Borrowers may apply for PPP loans as well as other SBA assistance, as long as they do not use the PPP loan for the same purpose as the other SBA loans. Businesses can apply for a PPP loan through any existing SBA lender. For more information about PPP and other SBA assistance, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options. Small businesses can also access a comprehensive guide to the CARES Act here.
Additional Help: DECD has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. The Business Emergency Response Unit can be reached at 860-500-2333.
Learn More: For additional assistance available to businesses, including tax information and other measures, visit https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Business-Resources.
Financial Assistance â€“ For Individuals & Families
Unemployment Insurance: Individuals unemployed due to COVID-19 are encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits, even if they would not normally be eligible. Eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis. To file a claim, visit www.filectui.com, and click the link that says â€˜For quicker payment of unemployment benefit, please follow these instructions.â€™ That link will provide information on filing a claim as a â€˜Temporary Shutdownâ€™ option and provide guidance on entering a return to work date. For residents that have already filed a claim, it is very important they check their email (including junk and spam folders) daily for updated messages from CTDOL. Messages may include next steps or a request that claimants log back onto their claim since following these instructions will help speed up processing. For a comprehensive guide to unemployment benefits, visit http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/DOLCOVIDFAQ.PDF. Donâ€™t have access to file a claim online? Can a family member, friend, or neighbor help? If not, the social services department at your city or town may be able to assist
Temporary Family Assistance (TFA): Low-income families residing in Connecticut with children under age 18 may be eligible for Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) through the Department of Social Services (DSS). TFA is a time-limited cash assistance program that provides monthly cash for basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and employment assistance. The DSS field offices are currently closed to the public, but individuals can apply for TFA online at connect.ct.gov or by calling the DSS Benefits Center at 1-855-6-CONNECT.
Tax Assistance: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline for filing until July 15, 2020. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/coronavirus. Individuals who have not yet filed and may be eligible for a refund, should consider filing now. Households with earnings less than $56,000 can also look to have their taxes filed for free by a trained volunteer through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Most VITA sites are currently closed, but some are still offering the service â€˜virtually.â€™ For more information, visit https://uwc.211ct.org/taxhelp/.
Property Tax Relief: All Connecticut cities and towns will be participating in either/both a â€˜Deferment Programâ€™ or â€˜Low Interest Rate Programâ€™ to offer support to eligible taxpayers, businesses, nonprofits, and residents who have been economically affected by COVID-19. Programs should be established by the end of April. Individuals can contact their city or town tax assessorâ€™s office for more details.
Other State and Federal Benefit Programs: Individuals struggling financially are encouraged to check to see if they might be eligible for other state and federal benefits, which can help reduce a householdâ€™s monthly expenses. A quick way to get a sense of what benefits an individual may be eligible for is to complete the 2-1-1 Benefits Navigator at www.211navigator.com.
Insurance Grace Period: As of March 24th, the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) is requesting all insurance companies that offer insurance coverage in Connecticut (health, life, auto, property, etc) to immediately provide customers with a 60-day grace period without interest or penalty to pay their insurance premiums. The Department is also encouraging all auto insurers to consider lowering auto premiums for drivers. Individuals experiencing financial difficulty should be encouraged to contact their auto insurance company and inquire about a lower rate. Callers with additional questions can call the CID Consumer Helpline at 800-203-3447.
Student Loans: As part of the March 27th CARES Act, federal student loans have been suspended for three months. Federal student loan servicers will suspend payments without any action required from borrowers. More information can be found here.
Having Trouble Paying the Bills? The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has helpful tips for households on how they can protect themselves financially from the impact of COVID-19, including suggestions about contacting lenders and service providers proactively. Click here to review the tips.
Legal Assistance: Individuals seeking legal information can visit https://ctlawhelp.org/en/coronavirus. If legal assistance is required, call Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320.
Healthcare & Insurance
Coverage for COVID-19 Testing & Treatment: There is no cost to be tested for COVID-19. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act guarantees all Americans can receive free coronavirus testing. This includes those with private insurance, government insurance (Medicare, Medicare Advantage, HUSKY (Medicaid & CHIP), VA, FEHBP, and TRICARE), and even those with no insurance. Connecticut residents on Medicaid can also receive free treatment for COVID-19. Immigration Concerns? Undocumented individuals can seek medical care and testing for COVID-19 without fear of public charge â€“ these services will not be considered when making public charge determinations.
Health Insurance â€“ HUSKY : HUSKY is Connecticutâ€™s Medicaid program for low-income children, parents, pregnant women, and single adults. There is also a part of the program that covers children at higher incomes. HUSKY provides access to a comprehensive set of medical services. The DSS field offices are currently closed to the public, but individuals can apply for HUSKY online at connect.ct.gov or by calling the DSS Benefits Center at 1-855-6-CONNECT.
Health Insurance â€“ Access Health CT (Special Enrollment Period): Access Health CT is Connecticutâ€™s health insurance marketplace to connect uninsured individuals who are not eligible for HUSKY to other health insurance plans, which may be subsidized based on the household income. Individuals can apply online at www.accesshealthct.com or by dialing 855-805-4325. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to threaten public health, Access Health CT announced a NEW Special Enrollment Period for these exceptional circumstances available from March 19 through April 17, 2020 for qualified uninsured Connecticut residents. To see if you quality, contact Access Health between 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday or visit https://learn.accesshealthct.com/.