Whether you’re a worker whose hours have been cut or a small business person/independent contractor whose business has been curtailed, we have solid information for YOU.

If you feel that you have been discriminated against during this emergency, either through your employment, your housing situation, or by a government agency, please let us know by emailing us at Secretary@SouthDadeNAACP.org.

APPLYING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

You can apply for unemployment compensation online – click here for a link.  News reports indicate that the Florida CONNECT system has been overwhelmed by the number of applicants, but more capacity is being employed daily.  This link (click here) connects to the State of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity, where you can apply for reemployment assistance (unemployment compensation) online or by downloading a form to apply by mail. APPLYING BY MAIL WILL CAUSE A DELAY IN RECEIVING YOUR BENEFITS. Starting on Monday, April 13, 2020, you can apply at nearby CareerSource offices, so it’s a good idea to complete the form ahead of time so you can be sure you have all of the necessary information or documentation when you apply.

HOW TO PRIORITIZE DEBTS, THE TL:DR VERSION

Not paying certain debts can have sudden, extremely serious consequences for your or your family, so deal with them immediately.

Make sure you secure your bank accounts and your freedom.  If you have either criminal justice debt or court judgments against you, the document linked below can help you determine how to take actions to preserve your freedom and avoid garnishment of any bank accounts.

— Prioritize payments of your child support, a place to live and food to eat, your utilities (especially phone), and transportation.  The rest can wait.

— Talk to your lenders, and maybe even your landlord or management company, to ask to stretch out or reduce your payments.

— Don’t be too proud to accept donations of food and household items.  Those funds can be used to pay other necessary bills.

— Carefully review your subscriptions (are you really still paying for ESPN?  Netflix?  Your gym?) and cancel all of the unnecessary ones — although keep your internet access, and look for special lower prices on internet access.

— Safeguarding your credit rating should be secondary in an emergency, unless your job or your future employment depends on it.

It’s important to be PROACTIVE in an emergency.  Don’t wait until the last moment to take action.

“Surviving Debt,” from the National Consumer Law Center, is an invaluable resource in handling debt.  It’s FREE online during this COVID-19 emergency.  Download or read it here.

ARE YOU A SMALL BUSINESS OR NON-PROFIT?  

CONSIDER A FLORIDA or U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION LOAN  

Florida’s small business loan program deadline is MAY 8, 2020.  It provides loans of up to $50,000 (or up to $100,000 in special cases) payable in one year, to eligible small businesses formed before March 9, 2020.  These loans are interest free for a year, and 12% annually thereafter.  Learn more  

The U.S. Small Business Administration also has instituted special programs in response to the pandemic.  The paycheck protection program is a loan program that “provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees,” and the EIDL Loan Advance Program provides up to $10,000 in ecomomic relief to businesses experiencing temporary difficulties.  The SBA may have other options to assist.  Learn more