An estimated 314,097 Massachusetts workers will lose all of their unemployment benefits as of the week ending September 4, due to the end of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). If your unemployment benefits are ending, you may be able to get other benefits such as SNAP and TAFDC.
The Federal Government is giving people more financial help through COVID Stimulus Payments and tax credits. This money is not just for people who need to complete tax returns – you can have low or no income to get this money.
The federal eviction moratorium, put in place as the pandemic took hold in 2020 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, expired on July 31, 2021. On August 3rd, the Biden Administration extended the moratorium. You can find more information about the moratorium at bit.ly/COVIDEvictionMoratorium.
The Center for Disease Control’s original eviction moratorium ended on July 31, 2021, leaving more tenants across Massachusetts at risk for eviction during an ongoing public health crisis.
As we face new spikes in COVID cases, organizations and municipalities are working overtime to get people rental and mortgage assistance and to fend off evictions and foreclosures before they get to court.
On June 15, 2021 – the very day that tenant protections in Chapter 257 were set to end – the state legislature voted to extend them. The following day, Governor Baker signed the legislation into law. The new law, Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021, continues the Chapter 257 requirement that courts pause non-payment eviction cases when tenants have pending applications for rental assistance. This protection, extended until April 2022, will ensure that courts do not issue eviction orders while tenants are seeking rental assistance.
Last week, President Biden signed a Presidential Memorandum to expand access to legal representation and the courts.
“Timely and affordable access to the legal system can make all the difference in a person’s life—including by keeping an individual out of poverty, keeping an individual in his or her home, helping an unaccompanied child seek asylum, helping someone fight a consumer scam, or ensuring that an individual charged with a crime can mount a strong defense and receive a fair trial,” the White House said in a statement.
Due to the move to Zoom court proceedings during the pandemic, lack of internet access or internet-connected devices has prevented access to justice for countless low-income people across the Commonwealth. Many people are unable to log into court hearings, struggle to present evidence to support their case, or are unable to participate at all in the legal process.