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King County Councilmember Joe McDermott

Important Financial Info in Wake of COVID-19 Outbreak

Dear Friends & Neighbors:

I am committed to doing my best to help you and your family get through this crisis. This includes providing information on how to get through this financially.

My staff and I have compiled information on how to file for unemployment or workers’ comp; help with paying utilities, rent, and mortgages; issues with insurance; food assistance; and much more. All of this information is below.

Remember that the most important thing we can continue to do is socially distance. Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday elaborated on the most recent restrictions that include closure of restaurants, bars, gyms and more, as well as prohibition of gatherings of 50 people or more. Public officials stress we must avoid congregating in any circumstances, including in parks, to help stem the spread of the virus.

You will literally save lives by following these guidelines.

Yours,

-Joe

Joe McDermott
King County Councilmember

Unemployment and Workers’ Comp

Anyone who has lost their job due to coronavirus or has had to take time off to self-quarantine or care for a sick relative (and does not get paid sick time from work) should apply for UNEMPLOYMENT insurance. Info on that here.

Anyone whose job has brought them into direct contact with someone with coronavirus (for instance, a first responder or a health care worker) and has become ill or are required to quarantine can file for WORKERS’ COMP. File for that here.

If you or a friend or family member are out of work, Washington State's Employment Security Department provides support services as well.

OTHER ISSUES

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus. We will add to this list as more resources become available.

Trouble Paying Rent or Mortgage

If you don’t have enough money to pay, contact your lender or landlord immediately. Help includes:

• Washington Homeownership Hotline (877-894-HOME)
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggestions
• Rental assistance & counseling (800-569-4287)
• List of Housing Counseling Agencies
• For Seattle renters, the Mayor has issued a 30-day moratorium on evictions – through mid-April

Student Loans Deferment

Student Loans. If you need help with your student loans, you may be able to temporarily suspend your payments by applying for a deferment or forbearance from the US Department of Education.

Paying Utilities

If you need help paying your utility bills, contact your service provider immediately.

Puget Sound Energy will not disconnect customers, will waive late fees, and offers payments plans.
• For Seattle residents, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities will not shut off service during the emergency. They also offer deferred payment plans and discount programs.
• The Utilities and Transportation Commission offers energy assistance programs.
• The federal government also has assistance programs to help with telephone and heating bills.
Comcast is offering free WiFi hot spots, unlimited data, and no disconnects or late fees.

Food Assistance

If you’re looking for help feeding yourself or your family, visit the Food Lifeline website to find a partner food bank, food pantry, or hot meal program in your neighborhood. This food is free and available to you, even if you don’t qualify for SNAP or EBT.

Insurance Issues

The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions.

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner - COVID-19 Resources Information from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

FOR BUSINESSES

• The federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help with operating expenses.

• The Washington State Department of Revenue can provide extensions on taxes or waive penalties.

• For businesses in Seattle, the City of Seattle has delayed B&O taxes for small business and established a small business stabilization fund to provide grants of up to $10,000.

Additional Resources

COVID-19 resource list for impacted Washington businesses and workers
Information from the Governor’s office.
Protect Yourself Financially from the Coronavirus
Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Job Interrupted —A To-Do List for Tough Times
Information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Financial Peace of Mind in the Age of Coronavirus
Information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Avoiding Coronavirus Scams
Information from the Federal Trade Commission.

 

Email: joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov
Phone: 206-477-1008
Website: https://www.kingcounty.gov/mcdermott

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