The resources on this page are intended to provide general information on the relief efforts various private and public entities are taking to assist individuals and small businesses in Illinois as the COVID-19 crisis continues. Special thanks to the following attorneys who helped compile this information: Olta Andoni, Collins Belton, Darren Sandler and Jenny Vatrenko.

Last updated March 31, 2020

Disclaimer: The information presented below is provided for educational and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness, or fitness for any particular purpose. It is not intended to be, and does not, constitute legal, financial, or any other advice. All of the information presented is general in nature and does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you or anyone else. Do not make any decision—legal, financial, or otherwise—based on any of the information presented below without first consulting a licensed attorney or professional financial advisor, as appropriate. You understand that you use or rely on any and all information below at your own risk.

Auto Insurance Premium Payment Assistance

Below are summaries of options available from some of the major providers of auto insurance in the U.S. Please contact your auto insurance company directly to find out the latest assistance being offered.

  • Allstate – Customers facing financial challenges can now request a special payment plan that allows auto and property insurance premium payment to be delayed for 60-days without penalty.
  • Geico – In addition to working on a case by case basis with customers, Geico has announced a temporary pause on cancellation of coverage due to non-payment and policy expiration, currently effective through April 30, 2020.
  • Metlife – Metlife provides important information on how they are handling and evaluating COVID -19 claims, federal leave legislation and newly enacted state leave legislation in response to COVID-19.
  • Progressive – As of March 22, 2020, Progressive does not appear to have established dedicated relief programs, but does implore customers to reach out for case-by-case assistance.
  • USAA – USAA encourages its members who may be impacted by COVID-19 to reach out to discuss how they might be of assistance, including (a) special payment arrangements on auto and property insurance premiums and waived late fees; (b) special payment arrangements on life and health insurance policies; (c) waived and/or reimbursed deductibles or co-payments for Coronavirus-related testing for members who have USAA Medicare supplement plans; and (d) special programs for consumer loans and credit cards.

Banking + Credit Card Payment Assistance

The assistance being offered by each of the financial institutions listed below varies significantly so please contact them directly for the most current options available to you.

Mobile Plan Assistance

  • AT&T – AT&T states on its website that, for the next 60 days (as of March 13, 2020), AT&T won’t terminate service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer due to an inability to pay their bill as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – and AT&T is waiving late payment fees for those customers.
  • Sprint – Sprint is supporting customers by providing Unlimited data for 60 days to customers with metered data plans (effective 3/18), giving 20 GB of free mobile hotspot to customers with hotspot-capable devices (effective 3/18) and waiving per-minute toll charges for international long-distance calls from the U.S. to CDC- defined Level 3 countries (effective 3/17).
  • T-Mobile – T-Mobile is continuing to work with customers on a case-by-case basis to manage account issues. They do NOT have an offer available for 60 days of free service and encourage consumers to be cautious of social media posts that may include fraudulent numbers.
  • U.S. Cellular – To support customers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Cellular has signed on to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.As part of this pledge, for the next 60 days, U.S. Cellular will: Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic
  • VerizonAccording to its website, when a Verizon customer is experiencing hardships because of COVID-19, Verizon will waive late fees for 60 days from March 16, 2020 to May 13, 2020, and will not terminate service to a customer who’s been impacted by the events involving the Coronavirus. If Verizon customers are experiencing a hardship, they should call Verizon’s customer service team to discuss their situation and available options.

Mortgage Assistance

If your mortgage lender isn’t listed in the Banking + Credit Card Payment Assistance section above, contact your lender directly and use the following resources to get additional information on other possible assistance:

Small Business Assistance

With the just-passed $2.2 trillion CARES Act, about $350 billion will be available for small-business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. The program is intended to help small businesses retain employees and will be administered primarily through existing Small Business Administration-approved lenders. Note that although the application period is scheduled to begin as early as Friday, April 3, 2020, there are likely to be significant delays which take several additional weeks. Regardless, getting your documentation ready now is highly recommended so you’re ready to go when the application period starts.

Student Loans

The U.S. Department of Education will provide student loan relief in response to widespread economic hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Federal student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. Additionally, borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months, without interest, during the coronavirus crisis.

All federally-held student loans qualify. Borrowers whose loans are current need to request the forbearance by contacting their loan servicer online or by phone. Here are each of the federal student loan servicers’ numbers and websites:

Borrowers with Perkins Loans (a federal lending program that ended in September 2017) should contact their school directly to request forbearance.

According to guidance from the Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA), payments not made during the 60-day forbearance period won’t count toward PSLF. FSA notes that qualifying payments for PSLF don’t need to be consecutive, though, so borrowers won’t lose credits for payments already made toward loan forgiveness.

Taxes

The filing deadline for federal tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. For those who can’t file by the July 15, 2020 deadline, the IRS reminds individual taxpayers that everyone is eligible to request an extension to file their return.

This relief only applies to federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

More information is available at State Tax Agencies.

Unemployment Benefits

Utility Bill Assistance

Ameren Illinois – In response to the economic hardships that residential and business customers may experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ameren Illinois is suspending non-pay disconnections and forgiving late payment fees through May 1, 2020.

General Resources

Below is a list of general resources that may prove helpful or informative that may be updated over time.

  • U.S. Government Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | coronavirus.gov
  • Reddit’s Personal Finance subreddit has compiled several primary resources pertaining to everything from student loan relief, tax and mortgage assistance, unemployment aid, or general personal finance topics that may prove helpful. While the resource should not be used in isolation, it may prove helpful in identifying aid or providing anecdotal advice from others who are similarly situated.
  • Reddit’s Legal Advice subreddit has a FAQ pertaining to several legal inquiries you may have. The subreddit is curated by practicing attorneys, but please do NOT rely on such threads or information in isolation as legal advice. The information contained in this thread is intended to provide general guidance and feedback with respect to many questions that continue to arise.