Financial Help Available for VI Residents Struggling to Survive

The Coronavirus Pandemic is causing thousands of people in the US territory to struggle, in paying their bills and buying everyday necessities.

Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said on Monday, 7,000 people have applied for unemployment assistance. Although he cautioned that number may be inflated to include people who have applied both online and on paper.

Federal assistance is on the way to both help parents feed their children, and the much-anticipated stimulus checks are scheduled to come to residents of the territory earlier than expected.

Pandemic EBT cards

•              Funds from the federal CARES Act have been made available to children who participate in the school lunch program for extra food benefits, called Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, and will be about $300 per child.
•              Families will receive a P-EBT card for each eligible child to be used on food and groceries, and the program is administered through the Virgin Islands Department of Human Services.
•              All children attending public schools are eligible to receive P-EBT cards.

Stimulus checks

•              On Monday, the IRS has approved the Territory’s Economic Impact Payment Plan, which clears the way for funds to be transferred to the Territory’s treasury.
•              The first round of checks are expected to be issued beginning next week.
•              The Territory still is awaiting approval from the Social Security Administration regarding the issuance directly to Social Security recipients. All Social Security recipients are being urged to file a 1040 form and more information is available from the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue at 340-773-1040.

Unemployment benefits

Applications continue to be processed, and, to date, the Labor Department has processed 2,430 checks totaling $1.7 million.