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How COVID-19 Has Impacted the Economy (What You Can Do If You’ve Been Affected)

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Individuals and businesses alike are scrambling to find financial stability as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to take its toll on the global economy. And while clear answers to the crisis and its associated impact on the economy have yet to come to light, financial experts suggest there will be a long road to recovery in the next few months as the pandemic wanes.

Many people have lost their jobs or have been furloughed because of the social distancing rules in place. Nonessential jobs have been placed on hold or done away with altogether. This, in addition to the near exhaustion of healthcare resources, has placed an unprecedented strain on the economy at large. While some industries have not been impacted, other industries have taken quite the hit.

Tips for Navigating the COVID-19 Economy

For people whose finances have been affected by the global COVID-19 health crisis, there are several things that can be done to ensure greater financial security until the world returns to normal.

Here are just a few tips:

  1. File for unemployment benefits: In this pandemic, thousands of people in the U.S. alone have lost their job, or their jobs have been placed on temporary holds without pay. If you have lost your job, then apply for unemployment benefits immediately. This may not be easy, however, especially now. Many people are trying to get through to receive benefits. But be persistent – if you are a tax-paying citizen, this your livelihood that you are entitled to during this time of emergency.
  2. Do your taxes early if you’re due for a refund: In the U.S., the government has pushed back the April 15 tax filing deadline to July 15. But if you’re regularly due for a refund, don’t wait for the new deadline. Do your taxes now to receive an extra source of income while you wait out the virus.
  3. Look out for fraud: People in the US have received stimulus checks to assist them in their financial recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. While this has temporarily helped some people, not everyone has experienced immense benefits.Plus, now that some people have come into the additional government-funded money, fraud has become much more prevalent. Scammers know the money is out there, and they will do anything to get it. Make sure you’re on high alert of any scams that may come your way, especially now.
  4. Cut out the non-essentials: Just as companies are cutting out non-essential activities from their day-to-day operations, you should look toward cutting nonessential items from your monthly bills. If it costs more money to cover the cable bill than it does to cover groceries for a week, ditch the cable bill and switch to a low-cost streaming service instead. Look at all your bills as an itemized list and find out where you can cut and where you can save. At least until everything gets back on track.
  5. Call the United Way: If you or someone you know is in dire need of financial assistance to pay rent or the mortgage or to put food on the table, the United Way, a global nonprofit organization, may be able to help. They offer financial assistance, education, healthcare assistance, and food for people in need every single day, particularly during pandemics and economic crises. Your local United Way will be the best place to start, as they will typically be providing assistance to the community. Just dial 2-1-1 to speak to someone at the organization. They can guide you to the best resources for your needs.
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