The coronavirus is causing massive layoffs and widespread furloughs around San Antonio, and it feels like it's only the beginning. Fortunately, a number of local, state, and national agencies are offering some financial relief.
Here are some options to get through these tough times. And remember in San Antonio, 2-1-1 is a free hotline for social services and 3-1-1 can help with general questions.
Jobs and meals
Workforce Solutions Alamo Board connects job providers and contractors with people seeking work in and around the San Antonio area. Call 210-272-3260 or start searching for jobs now.
The San Antonio Public Library has a list of temporary opportunities on its site, primarily in the food service and retail sectors, in addition to job-hunting links.
San Antonio Food Bank is disbursing food through a mobile unit and via home delivery for certain groups. See if you qualify here. It also has Farm Fresh Saturdays, where you can register to get a free case of local fruits and veggies.
SNAP benefits offer healthy foods and are available for qualifying residents. A single person can receive as much as $194 in food monthly, and a family of four can get up to $646.
State car fees have been put on hold. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is allowing extensions on registration, renewals, and vehicle titling. There's no end date on this temporary waiver; the DMV says it'll be in effect for at least 60 days.
Auto insurance companies are pausing payments or extending payment deadlines including Geico, which is offering flexible payment plans, and Allstate, which is allowing deferred payment plans that let you go two billing cycles of nonpayment with no penalty.
San Antonio has implemented a grace period for evictions. Most evictions across the state have been halted until April 20, thanks to an order by the Texas Supreme Court, and the order may be renewed by the courts to extend the period further.
The City of San Antonio's Fair Housing Program is accepting online and telephone requests for emergency assistance with rent or mortgage. Due to the influx of inquiries, a representative will call or email you within two to three days of completing your request.
The Salvation Army of San Antonio has help for people who are low on funds to meet their rent. To learn more and set a time to speak with someone, call 210-352-2046.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has suspended evictions and foreclosures on any mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Some private lenders are also offering grace periods, including Chase Bank which has a payment assistance program here or call 1-800-848-9136; and Wells Fargo, which is offering a three-month payment suspension with an option to extend for an additional three months, with no late fees.
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has a hotline for residents to call regarding medical questions about COVID-19. You can call 210-207-5779 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free tests are available for first responders, healthcare workers, VIA bus drivers, and individuals displaying coronavirus symptoms. If you aren't sure, this self screening tool may help. You must make an appointment to receive a test.
Aunt Bertha matches qualified individuals with food, housing, transit, health/medical, education, and legal help.
The newly enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has a variety of programs for small businesses including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which has grants of up to $10,000. It is supposed to begin on April 3, although lenders are anticipating delays since they're still awaiting guidelines.
The Small Business Administration has a page dedicated to coronavirus relief options that include low-interest loans and disaster relief.
The Thryv Foundation is a Texas-based nonprofit that has created a COVID-19 grant program with up to $15,000 to small businesses who qualify. You can apply here.
The IRS has extended tax day, which means you don't have to file until July 15, free of interest and penalties.
Some workers qualify for state unemployment benefits through the Texas Workforce Commission. The site has been slow due to a surge in applications, but the organization is waiving the normal waiting period; once you apply, you get your first check in about a month.
Taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 are due to receive a check of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, and up to $500 for each qualifying child. The payments decrease if you make more than $75,000, or more than $150,000 as a household, so check the site to see how much you qualify for.
Federal student loan payments have been placed on hold until September 30. U.S. Department of Education Select loans will carry zero percent interest rate.