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COVID-19: Information, Resources, and Cancellations
 
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Housing, Utilities & Bills

BGE, Delmarva Power, and Pepco Have Extended Moratorium

BGE, Delmarva Power, and Pepco have extended their moratorium on shut-offs and late fees through July 1, 2020.
 
The Office of People's Counsel encourages all utility customers to continue to make payments on their account. If a utility customer is having trouble paying their utility bill there is information on our website about resources that are available.

 

The Legal Landscape of COVID-19 and Housing 

This information, presented by Zafar Shah with Public Justice Center during County Executive Pittman's discussion on housing, provides you with a review of what decisions at the federal, state, and county level are in place regards to housing during this time, and what your rights are. 

The information in this presentation was updated May 12, 2020.

View Presentation

Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works

 

Water Service & Billing

During the current State of Emergency, the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works will not turn off public water service for non-payment and no late fees will be assessed. During the current closure of County buildings to the public, customers are encouraged to pay their utility bills by mail, online or at one of the yellow lock boxes located outside any of the three cashier locations.

Utility Scams Are On The Rise

Anne Arundel County Office of Finance

 

Payment Options

The health, safety, and security of our residents, visitors and staff are of utmost importance. During this time, please be reminded that you can use the following payment options.

Department of Social Services

Maryland State Government

 

Utility Services in Maryland

As of May 29, 2020, Governor Hogan reissued the Executive Order that now extends the prohibition of utility turn-offs and late fees through July 1, 2020. 

Governor of the State of Maryland Executive Order Number 20-04-29-02

For more information, visit Fact Sheet

 

Emergency Assistance to Families with Children

Provides emergency assistance to families who need help paying rent or utilities or for other emergencies. These funds are available through the local department once every two years when funds are available.

http://dhs.maryland.gov/weathering-tough-times/emergency-assistance/

 

Energy Assistance

Provides bill assistance to low-income households in the State of Maryland to make their energy costs more affordable and to help with the prevention of loss and the restoration of home energy service.

http://dhs.maryland.gov/office-of-home-energy-programs/

 

Prohibition on Evictions

Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits Maryland courts from ordering the eviction of any tenant who can show that their failure to pay rent was the result of COVID-19. Examples might include lost or reduced unemployment, caring for a school-aged child, or because they are diagnosed with, or under investigation for, COVID-19.

 

Prohibition on Utility Shutoffs

Governor Hogan has issued an emergency order that prohibits electric, gas, water, sewage, phone, cable TV, and internet service provider companies from shutting off any residential customer's service, or charging any residential late fees.

Tips on how to best negotiate with utility providers

How to file a complaint against a utility during the State of Emergency

 

Special Enrollment Period for Health Insurance

Maryland Health Connection opened a new special enrollment period for uninsured Marylanders. The coronavirus emergency special enrollment period will began Monday, March 16 and will end April 15.

https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/coronavirus-sep/  

 

State Unemployment

New One-Stop Unemployment Insurance Application Launching
Tomorrow on Friday April 24
Marylanders Can File Claims for Regular Benefits and CARES Act Benefits Entirely Online

View Press Release

 

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own and meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
  • If residents are temporarily or permanently laid off as a result of COVID-19 they can apply for unemployment insurance
  • Individuals who have had their hours reduced as a result of the pandemic they might qualify for partial benefits
  • Individuals can apply for unemployment through the Maryland Department of Labor
  • Call centers are open from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm, with a large volume of claims the call centers are very busy – individuals are strongly encouraged to use the NetClaims online application

http://labor.maryland.gov/employment/unemployment.shtml

 

Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA)

Maryland’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, provides cash assistance to families with dependent children when available resources do not fully address the family’s needs and while preparing program participants for independence through work.

http://dhs.maryland.gov/weathering-tough-times/temporary-cash-assistance/

 

Temporary Disability Assistance Program (TDAP)

Available to help low-income, disabled Marylanders through a period of short-term disability or while they are awaiting approval of federal disability support. The program is funded through the State of Maryland to provide help to individuals without dependent children.

http://dhs.maryland.gov/weathering-tough-times/temporary-disability-assistance/

Federal Government 

 

Eviction/Foreclosure Suspension

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days. The foreclosure and eviction suspension applies to homeowners with an Enterprise-backed single-family mortgage. More information can be found here. The FHFA also announced that hardship forbearance is an option for borrowers unable to make their mortgage payment. Borrowers are encouraged to reach out to their servicer for more information. 

https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf  

Student Loan Relief

The Office of Federal Student Aid is providing student loan relief to borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency.  All borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency. 

https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus  

Arundel Community Development Services, Inc
  

Free Financial Counseling

Does COVID-19 have your financial life upside down?  Our Financial Empowerment counselors are standing by to help with advice on protecting your credit, budgeting, and referrals to resources such as unemployment benefits and eviction prevention and utility turn-off assistance.  Call us at 410-222-7600 for a free, remote counseling session. 

Economic Stimulus payments will soon be sent out automatically.  Most people will not need to do anything; however, some seniors and households that do not usually file a tax return will be required to file a simple tax return. If you did not file a 2018 or 2019 tax return, be sure to do so! Check IRS.gov/coronavirus for updates.

For Homeowners and Homebuyers

If you are a homeowner and need help navigating mortgage foreclosure prevention resources, ACDS is here to help.  Not sure who to call to work out a payment plan or learn if your mortgage is federally backed? Our experienced Foreclosure Prevention counselors will provide free, confidential assistance.  Please call us at 410-222-7600 and we will connect you with our remote staff. 

ACDS also continues to provide a range of services from a distance through phone and video chats, including our Property Rehabilitation and Homeownership Counseling services.

Eviction Prevention Program

Are you a renter financially impacted by COVID-19 and need help paying your rent or utilities? ACDS and our partners can help. Beginning April 20th, tenants in crisis can call ACDS at 410-222-7600 or one of our partners to access emergency grants to pay past due rent and utility payments.

To see if you're eligible and for more information visit: https://acdsinc.org/new-eviction-prevention-program/

Emergency Shelter

The emergency shelter screening process is temporarily changed in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. If you are living in a place not meant for human habitation (outside, in a car, etc.) or will need emergency shelter, please call (410) 417-7260 Monday-Friday during normal business hours to be screened for emergency shelter. If you are in a crisis, reach out to the Crisis Response Community Warmline, which receives calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 410-768-5522.

For Nonprofit Human Service Partners

Nonprofit organizations serving low income communities through programs that promote health and well-being, serve underserved communities and promote equity, the County Executive’s Community Support Grant application process remains open for applications.  Applications are still due to ACDS by 4:00 p.m. on April 15.  Please be sure to visit the website for important updates on the grant application.

Wounded Warrior COVID-19 Relief Program
 

Financial Support During COVID-19 

Accepting applications for one-time-only COVID-19 relief grant payments in the amount of $1,000, to be paid directly to 10,000 eligible warriors who find themselves in urgent and significant need.

Only Warriors who meet all of the following criteria will qualify for consideration:

  • Confirmed registration with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) on or before April 8, 2020.
  • Have themselves suffered a loss of personal employment/work income or are dependent on someone in their household who has suffered a loss of employment/work income due to COVID-19.
  • Are currently unable to pay for their rent/mortgage, utilities, or food due to the loss of income resulting from COVID-19.

The application process opens on Thursday, April 9, 2020. Grants will be paid to those who meet the criteria, as they come in, until funds are gone.

HOW TO APPLY:

You will receive a separate email from [email protected]
with a link to a grant application (sent to the same email address as this email). If you do not see the email, please look to your spam, junk or Promotions (Gmail) folder(s). Follow the directions in that email to apply.

Registered warriors are being asked to only apply for assistance if they absolutely need it due to financial hardships from COVID-19. This will enable us to help as many of those with urgent and significant needs as possible.

In times like these, we are reminded of how much we all depend on each other. We are honored and humbled to stand alongside you on your journey and thank you for all that you have sacrificed for our great nation.