Residents reminded about COVID-19 relief application deadline
BY STEVE HERRING | NewsArgus.com
Oct 1, 2020
Legislative leaders are reminding residents that the deadline looms for cononavirus relief.
State House Majority Leader John Bell of Goldsboro and Sen. Jim Perry of Kinston say Oct. 15 is the deadline to apply for a one-time $335 payment through the state’s Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0. Eligible recipients need to have resided in the state for the entire 2019 calendar year and report at least one child who is younger than 16 on their state tax form.
Taxpayers who reported at least one qualifying child on their 2019 state individual income tax return will receive the payment automatically.
However, some North Carolinians who were not required to file a return are still eligible, but must apply through the N.C. Department of Revenue at ncdor.gov/extracredit.
The grant is $335 per eligible family even if the family has two or more qualifying children, Perry said.
“I would hate for somebody to forget and let it pass them by,” Perry said. “It will certainly help ease a little bit of the pain that they have felt going through all of these changes during the pandemic.
“The last four or five months have been hard on so many people, and anything that we can do to help offset some of the burden that they have had, I think is a good thing,” Perry said.
“I have heard from some people in our community, and they certainly have been appreciative of us recognizing they have taken on additional expenses during the pandemic.”
There’s no rule limiting how the payment can be spent.
The N.C. Department of Revenue will issue the direct payments by no later than Dec. 15. Payment details will be posted on the department’s website as soon as they are available.
“This has been a difficult time for many, especially families with young children,” Bell said. “However, I continue to be impressed with the strength and resiliency of North Carolina families.
“While I wish we could do more, I am proud of our work to create the Extra Credit Grant Program, which will provide some relief for struggling families to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Full information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions are posted on the NCDOR website, ncdor.gov/extracredit.
The program is part of a $1 billion relief package the General Assembly passed last month that also includes:
A $200 per month increase in unemployment benefits.
$35 million for child care centers.
$8 million to help working parents offset child care costs.
$20 million for community-based organizations to provide virtual learning.
$75 million for personal protective equipment.
$10 million for internet connectivity for students.
$30 million for the GREAT program to improve rural broadband.
$6.5 million to eliminate the waitlist for children with disabilities to access educational opportunities.
$34 million for testing and tracing.
A hold-harmless provision for school districts that see declining enrollment.
$20 million for COVID treatment for the uninsured.
$45 million for a small business grant program.
$44.5 million for hurricane recovery from four major storms.
$5 million to promote safe access to in-person voting.
A $115 million total increase for education.
$17 million in grants for exceptional children’s services.
$50 million for the Lost Wages Assistance Program.
$38 million for behavioral health.
Expanded eligibility for Opportunity Scholarships.
Bipartisan priorities like the PPE+NC program.
Higher enrollment in virtual education options for families.