There's a lot of uncertainty for people trying to apply for some kind of unemployment relief. However, that may not be your only source of help. Several utility companies and services are already helping amid the financial downturn of the coronavirus.
The average person in Central Ohio pays $985 a month on bills, according to analytics from bill-pay service Doxo. Here's a few things you can do to help bridge that gap.
Companies are hiring
Amazon, CVS, Dollar General, Domino's, Kroger, Save A Lot, Whole Foods, Aldi, Walmart and more of these major stores are looking to hire people. These companies alone are looking to hire more than 360,000 people nationwide, and some people are getting hired on the spot or starting just a few days after their interviews.
Where to find food
You don't have to go without food either. Kids across the state can get meals from locations set up by their schools. Here is a state map showing locations and contact information for where to get these free meals for kids under 18 years of age.
The Ohio Association of Food Banks is also working with food pantries and the national guard to get food where it's needed. Here is contact information for pantries and connections to food in every county.
Credit card companies pushing due dates, waiving late fees, and more
Chase, American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Discover are all offering some kind of relief, whether it's pushing back due dates to give you more time to pay, waiving late fees, or even increasing credit limits.
You're going to have to call your credit card issuer or bank on your own and explain your situation. Your results will vary based on that. It's a good idea to have some kind of proof that you need help, like a notification of your lay off.
All four major cell phone providers, and most likely your cable/TV provider, have signed a pledge with the FCC, promising to not cut off service for non-payment, waive late fees, and open Wi-Fi hot spots to everyone.
Columbus city water and electric will not be shut off if you can't pay, until April 15th. AEP is not shutting off service until further notice; Columbia Gas is doing the same, and also waiving late fees until May 1st.
No rent freeze just yet
There is an online petition with more than 100,000 signatures asking Governor DeWine to put a state-wide freeze in place on rent and bills. So far he has not said if he will do so. However, during his press conference on Thursday, DeWine announced he is giving courts leeway to not act on eviction cases, when the situation allows for it. DeWine explained he did this to allow for evictions in situations like domestic violence to still happen.
Within the City of Columbus, Mayor Ginther has not announced any kind of rent freeze either.