Stimulus: How to Find All the Federal Benefits You're Eligible For

With the coronavirus pandemic still raging on and stimulus check legislation increasingly split into smaller parts, it can be difficult to keep track of all the benefits you might be entitled to. Fortunately, The U.S. government has created two online tools to help with this process. By searching usa.gov's benefits, grants and loans page, and using benefits.gov's "Benefit Finder" tool, you should have a nearly complete idea of what you could claim.

The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic recession caused new emergency programs to be piled on top of existing social security infrastructure and deployed as quickly as possible. If you weren't paying attention to the blow-by-blow developments, it would have been easy to miss something important. For anyone from individuals to employers, these websites can help. On top of that, it's important to get a solid understanding of the programs included in the CARES Act.

Usa.gov's benefits, grants, and loans search engine provides a relatively self-explanatory way to find the different benefits you might qualify for. This includes rental or housing assistance, student loan aid, military programs, retirement, unemployment and food assistance. There are also sections on various types of grants and loans, and even programs to help with everyday bills that have become overwhelming during this time. The site has some information on similar programs run by state governments, and at the very least it can direct you to the place with more information.

Meanwhile, benefits.gov offers a simplified "Benefit Finder" tool, with similar results. It can point you to resources for disaster relief aid, healthcare and medical assistance, and loans for various needs. Both of these sites can help you sort through the programs that have been included in the coronavirus relief bills, in case you missed anything applicable to yourself.

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The CARES Act was the biggest of these relief bills, and is best known for including the stimulus check, worth up to $1,200 based on income for each American. However, that made up only a small fraction of the bill's historic $2.2 trillion budget. Other facets provided aid and protections to struggling businesses throughout the pandemic, or to individuals who meet certain eligibility requirements.

To do an exhaustive list of these benefits would be impractical since the CARES Act is hundreds of pages long. Thankfully, the Internet has provided comprehensive tools to make these programs accessible to anyone who qualifies.