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

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (EIP)

The payments are also known as stimulus checks. The CARES Act authorized the Internal Revenue Service to send one time payments of $1200 for each adult and $500 for each child under 18 to individuals with less than $75,000 in income or to families with less than $150,000 in income. (Households with higher income can receive less than the full $1200/$500 payments.)

The IRS has been unable to distribute these payments to an estimated 9 million SNAP households because: the households did not file federal income returns for 2018 or for the 2019 tax year.

The IRS website refers to these families as “non-filers”. It is estimated that up to 47 percent of American families are not required to file income tax returns because of low income or their income is excluded from taxation. The IRS is asking for the help of state agencies and community organizations to get the word out. Households have until November 21, 2020 to access the IRS website and provide their contact information.

More Information


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.


Maryland State Government

Department of Social Services


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/


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 December 15.

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


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

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


Stimulus Payments

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.


Arundel Community Development Services, Inc

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.


UPDATE

On October 16, 2020, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order extending the protections of the CARES Act to non-federally backed mortgages and extending the moratorium on the initiation of foreclosures in Maryland until January 4, 2021. Mortgage servicers are not permitted to file new Notices of Intent to Foreclose, which is the mandatory first step to initiating a foreclosure, until January 4, 2021. The Executive Order also sets forth several required notices which must be provided to mortgage holders prior to initiation of the foreclosure process. To review the entire Executive Order, click here.

Governor Hogan’s Executive Order of October 16, 2020, continues the moratorium on evictions for failure to pay rent and breach of lease if tenants can demonstrate to the court that the tenants suffered a substantial loss of income. The Governor’s moratorium remains in place until the state of emergency is terminated and the catastrophic health emergency is rescinded. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a federal moratorium on evictions of certain covered individuals for failure to pay rent. The CDC moratorium is in effect from September 4, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Information on the CDC moratorium and a CDC declaration that can be used by tenants can be found by clicking: here. Neither of these moratoriums are applied automatically. Landlords are still allowed to sue tenants for failure to pay rent or breach of lease. It is up to the tenant to attend the court hearing to ask the court to delay eviction. If the tenant does not raise the moratorium, the landlord may be permitted to evict the tenant before the moratoria expire. Legal Resources for Renters in Anne Arundel County may be found by clicking: here..


Maryland State Government

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.


Federal Government 

Eviction/Foreclosure Suspension

On August 27, 2020, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) would extend the moratoriums on single-family foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) evictions until at least December 31, 2020. The foreclosure moratorium applies to Enterprise-backed, single-family mortgages only. Forbearance options remain available for borrowers who are unable to make their mortgage payments. Borrowers are encouraged to reach out to their mortgage servicers for more information about their specific situation. Additional information about mortgage relief options and protections can be found on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website by clicking: here.


Water Bill Relief Program (UPDATE: 10/22/20)

The Water Bill Relief Program will provide temporary financial assistance to Anne Arundel County homeowners who are unable to pay their water & wastewater services due to financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn more and submit your application for assistance here.

For more information, please call (410) 222-1144 or email Customer Service


Energy Assistance Relief

Anne Arundel County has launched a new energy bill relief program that will allow qualified families and individuals impacted by COVID to apply for special assistance through Anne Arundel’s Community Action Agency. This program is targeted to customers who do not qualify for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program and other electric and utility programs.

Qualifying energy assistance includes past due bills incurred after March 1, 2020 from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and heating oil and fuel vendors. Please call the Community Action Agency's 24/7 hotline at 833-888-0401 (TTY users should call via Maryland Relay 7-1-1) for more information, and for emergency assistance to avoid shut-off.


Energy Payment Plans

Anne Arundel County has partnered with BGE to offer assistance to families and individuals struggling with past-due balances through a Deferred Payment Arrangement Plan. This plan allows customers to pay the balance off over time in installments with no required down payment. Customers who have the ability to enter into a payment plan can visit BGE.com/assistance or call 1-800-685-0123 to take action to avoid a crisis now.


Utility Moratorium

The Public Service Commission's utility moratorium will expire November 15, 2020. We strongly encourage anyone who may be eligible for the Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP) to apply now and not wait for a turn-off notice.


Fuel Fund of Maryland

The Fuel Fund of Maryland assists income eligible BGE customers with paying their utility bills after they complete OHEP. They have recently instituted some new rules that impact process and eligibility to effectively respond to the end of the utility moratorium.

  • Waived the need for a turn off notice through 12/31/2020.
  • Waived the need for seniors (age 60+) to complete OHEP before getting assistance from the Fuel Fund of Maryland. They will mail the consumer an OHEP application as needed.

Money Power Day Financial Fitness Fair

On October 17, 2020 CASH Campaign of Maryland is holding their 15th annual Money Power Day®, the region’s largest free financial fitness fair. The day is designed to inspire and inform people of all ages on how to boost their financial education and power. This one-day online event will include workshops, exhibitors, and an opportunity to meet one-on-one with financial experts. Learn more and RSVP.


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 their website about resources that are available.

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.


Maryland State Government

Utility Services in Maryland

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

Governor of the State of Maryland Executive Order Number 20-05-29-02


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

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


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/

You may be eligible to apply for utility bill assistance through the State Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP). See current income guidelines.

Verizon Copper to Fiber Transition

In 2016 the FCC authorized Verizon to migrate telephone customers from the traditional copper network to a fiber network. In many cases when a migration takes place, this means that a Verizon technician may need to enter the customer's home. Verizon has implemented safeguards for customers with concerns about entry of technicians into their homes due to the pandemic. These rules are in effect at least through December 31, 2020. See PDF for more information.