DUE TO PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERNS RELATED TO COVID-19, THERE WILL BE NO ON-SITE SERVICES UNTIL FUTURE NOTICE.

FOR THE ONE

How to help or get help in Coffee County

To be FOR our community during a time that is full of uncertainty as the spread of COVID-19 continues, we have compiled a list of resources in one place to assist you in this time of financial hardship. Financial steps to take now in anticipation of any potential hardships:
 FORM A BUDGET 
  • There are tools at your fingertips to put a budget together even if you’ve not done so previously. (For example, https://www.everydollar.com is a free app to get you started) 
  • Speak with your employer to gain some clarity on what the upcoming weeks/months may look like realistically for the company as well as individually.  
  • Sit down and take a close look at your bills, cut spending to necessities only during this time. If you foresee difficulty in paying your bills, https://www.daveramsey.com recommends putting these items first on your list in this order: 
    • Food 
    • Utilities (electricity and water) 
    • Shelter (rent or mortgage payment) 
    • Transportation (car payment and fuel)
DEFER PAYMENTS 
  • If, after forming your budget and re-evaluating your necessities, you still cannot formulate a plan to cover all of the most important bills, then move forward as a secondary plan to identify which of these may be deferred for payment later: 
    • Call those companies to explain your situation. Although you’re requesting temporary relief of payments that are due, you may find that if you offer to continue to pay even in small amounts, the company may be more willing to work with you on deferments. 
    • If you currently have federal student loans, you have the option to “defer” your payments (in this situation, the loan would not accrue interest), or “forbear” your loan (in these situations, the loan does accrue interest). This option is available through September 30 with no accrual of interest. You may reach out to your loan servicer or your school’s financial aid department to inquire about your options on deferral. 
  • Also, keep in mind that if you have been paying extra on any of your payments and currently have less than 2 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund, it is recommended that you temporarily suspend paying extra on those payments, you can always resume paying extra when you are more financially stable. 

GOOD TO KNOW INFORMATION ON NATIONAL AND STATE OF GEORGIA FINANCIAL RELIEF EFFORTS:

Free COVID-19 testing to any person meeting testing eligibility requirements (call 1-855-473-4374 for phone screening in the Southeast Georgia Health District or your primary health provider)
•The deadline for filing tax returns has been postponed to July 15 for federal and state of Georgia returns
•Stimulus checks have been sent directly to households country-wide. Go to https://smartasset.com/financial-advisor/coronavirus-stimulus-checks-how-much-will-you-get to estimate how much you will receive.
•Most lenders recognize that some customers are having difficulty making payments (for example https://colony.bank, https://www.amerisbank.com,  https://www.fnbcc.com, https://www.wellsfargo.com, https://www.suntrust.com) If you are having difficulty making your debt payments, give your lender a call to find out what your options are.
•According to FHA, Fannie Mae, & Freddie Mac Foundation, concerning all HUD-owned properties and mortgages: foreclosures and evictions will be suspended for 60 days. Homeowners are eligible for a forbearance plan which can suspend or greatly reduce mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Contact your mortgage loan servicer for more information.
•Persons who are qualified for unemployment are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance at https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus/unemployment-insurance to receive an additional $600/week for up to 4 months in addition to primary unemployment benefits.
•Emergency paid leave is available for up to 3 months if you are sick, quarantined, or taking care of a sick family member. You would receive 2/3 of your typical salary with this benefit if you qualify (as long as you are not currently receiving unemployment compensation)- (employers with fewer than 500 employees)
•Paid sick leave for two consecutive weeks (employers with fewer than 500 employees)
•$350 billion in small business loans to provide financial assistance to companies with 500 or fewer employees to continue paying these employees
•For funds taken from retirement accounts (401K, IRA, etc.) the 10% tax penalty is waived for financial hardships

GOOD TO KNOW INFORMATION ON LOCAL EMERGENCY FINANCIAL RELIEF EFFORTS: 

Rent: 
•You are encouraged to contact your landlord to explain your situation to ask if he/she would consider deferring your obligation to them with or without penalty

Utilities: 
•The City of Douglas Utilities Department has waived all late penalties and cutoffs for April 2020 for qualifying customers. If you have questions about this, you are encouraged to contact the Utility Department at 912-384-3302 or visit the website at https://www.cityofdouglas.com
•City of Broxton utility and water customers should contact the City Clerk’s office at   912-359-2060 or their website at http://www.cityofbroxton.com/home.html  for assistance concerning any financial difficulty in paying those bills.
•City of Nicholls customers should contact the City Clerk’s office at 912-345-2421 or visit the website at https://nichollsga.governmentwindow.com/start.html for information on their existing customer accounts.
•Satilla REMC has waived all late penalties and cutoffs through May 4, 2020, for existing customers. If you have questions or concerns regarding your account please contact 912-384-1964 or by visiting their website at http://www.satillaemc.com
•GA Power has also suspended service disconnections and collections for 30 days. For more information, you are encouraged to contact GA Power directly at 1-888-660-5890 or on their website https://www.georgiapower.com Internet/ Home phone service: •Windstream (internet/phone) customers are encouraged to contact local customer service representatives at 912-384-1072 or via their website  https://www.windstream.com/siteselector for information concerning late payments/penalties/avoiding service disruptions
•Vyve customers should contact local customer service representatives at 855-367-8983 or through their website at https://www.vyvebroadband.com
•Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint will waive all late fees and service disruptions for 60 days

Small Business Resources: 
•Small business owners are encouraged to go to https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/ga/atlanta for information regarding guidance and resources and financial options for business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic

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