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Our community is facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We offer zero-interest Coronavirus Impact loans to Jewish residents of Northern California and employees of Northern California Jewish organizations whatever their religious background. Yet for many, the need outstrips the help that Hebrew Free Loan can provide. This Resource Guide aims to help you explore additional sources of financial support.

DISCLAIMER: This information may not be 100% up to date and does not constitute legal advice. Be sure to ask your finance professionals about your options. We will update this guide as often as possible, but new information is coming out every day. Please contact Terry Lowe at terry@hflasf.org or (415) 546-9902 x108 with any additional resources.

PLEASE NOTE: Click on any green text below for links to articles and websites with in-depth information on each topic.


CARES Act: For individuals and families, the $2 trillion relief bill will provide direct cash payments, expand unemployment coverage, suspend federal student loan payments, and more.

Stimulus Payments: Up to $1,200 per person, depending on income and tax status. The IRS will send payments via direct deposit or check.

Unemployment Benefits: Unemployment benefits depend on your earnings and the state you live in. If you’re out of work because of the pandemic, you may be eligible for unemployment now, even if you wouldn’t have been under normal circumstances. This includes self-employed individuals and people who were about to start a new job, but couldn’t because of Covid-19.

California EDD: Find out who is eligible and how to apply for unemployment benefits in California. Many will be eligible for an additional $600 per week from the federal government, in addition to their state benefits.

Unemployment for Self-employed Individuals: Freelancers, gig workers, and independent contractors are newly eligible for unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. This includes basic state benefits, plus the federal add-on of up to $600/week.

Tax Extensions: The standard tax filing deadline for 2019 taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. For those who are self-employed, the deadline to pay estimated taxes for the first quarter of 2020 has also been extended from April 15 to July 15.

Retirement Funds: The IRS is waiving the 10% early withdrawal penalty on distributions of up to $100K in 2020, if you need the funds because of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’re normally required to take mandatory minimum distributions from your IRA or other retirement plan, this requirement is also waived during 2020, so you won’t have to sell at a loss if you don’t need the funds.


CARES Act: The federal relief bill includes $376 billion for loans to small businesses and nonprofits through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in partnership with participating SBA lenders. Programs include:

Paycheck Protection Program: Loans designed to help businesses and nonprofits pay their employees during the pandemic. Some portion may be used for rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Loans may be forgiven under certain circumstances.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Application process includes a $10K advance as soon as your application is approved.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: Access to advances of up to $25K on the Economic Disaster Loan program.

Payroll Tax ExtensionRapid Response Program: The California EDD is offering payroll tax deferral and other Covid-19 tax benefits to businesses.

Covid-19 Resources for Employers & Workers: The California Labor & Workforce Development Agency is a centralized source of information to help keep workers and employers safe.

Additional Resources: Some city and county governments, as well as local economic development organizations, offer direct financial assistance, loans, or payment deferments. Check your local area for additional resources.


California Covid-19 Policies: Some protections are in effect across the state, others vary by city or county. Includes statewide eviction moratorium for renters, mortgage forbearance from certain lenders, relief from some bank fees. Check with your local government to find out more.

Food Banks: If you’re struggling to feed yourself or your family, food banks offer free groceries or help with access to free meals. You may also be eligible for CalFresh, commonly known as food stamps. New policies make it much easier to apply, and food banks can guide you through the process. Below are links to a few Bay Area food banks. Check your local community for others.

Alameda County Community Food Bank
Redwood Empire Food Bank
SF-Marin Food Bank
Second Harvest Food Bank
JFCS Food Banks

Jewish Family and Children’s Services: Jewish residents of Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, or Northern Santa Clara counties may be eligible for emergency financial assistance or a wide range of other services: counseling, home care, meal delivery, and more.

Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay: Refugees, immigrants, and low-income families may be eligible for emergency financial assistance to help with housing and food costs. Additional services include meal delivery, counseling, and immigration legal services.

Hebrew Free Loan Coronavirus Impact Loans: If you need immediate assistance to cover your basic living expenses or any other urgent matters, APPLY TODAY for an interest-free loan from Hebrew Free Loan. Amounts up to $20,000; repayment rates vary. Please spread the word!


‘Shelter in place’ FAQ

Coronavirus Live Updates from the San Francisco Chronicle

Coronavirus coverage from j. The Jewish News of Northern California