Coronavirus Stimulus Package FAQ Education/Children, Families; Mortgage payment relief, etc.

April 1, 2020

Last week, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, and it was signed into law by President Trump on Friday.

To help Connecticut residents understand the details of the bill and how it can potentially provide assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, Senator Chris Murphy's office has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. Addressed below are questions relating to education and resources for children and families (such as childcare).

For further information on the state's response to the coronavirus, visit

What funding is provided to K-12 schools?

  • The law provides $13.5 billion for local school districts to continue providing educational services to their students, including planning for and coordinating during long-term school closures and purchasing educational technology to support online learning.
  • Another $3 billion is available in flexible formula funding to allow Governors to address the needs of elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

Do I get relief from my student loans?

  • The CARES Act requires the Secretary of Education to defer loan payments, principal and interest, for 6 months through September 30, 2020 without penalty for the borrower for all federally held loans.
  • The law also suspends any involuntary collection for defaulted loans, such as wage garnishment, reduction of tax refunds, or Social Security benefits.
  • The law also includes a tax break for up to $5,250 for borrowers who are receiving assistance on student loan payments from their employers.

Is there additional funding for college students?

  • The law provides $14.25 billion for higher education emergency relief for colleges and universities to respond to coronavirus, including providing grants to students to cover their basic needs.
  • Public colleges are also eligible for flexible formula funding from the Governor.
  • Students who are currently participating in the Federal Work Study program can continue to receive work-study payments from their institution if they are unable to work due to workplace closures.
  • Relief also exists for students who must drop out of school due to COVID-19. Students will have the portion of their student loan taken out for the semester canceled. Students who received a Pell Grant or subsidized student loan will not have those types of financial aid counted toward their lifetime limits.

Children and Families

Is there additional assistance for childcare and who is eligible?

  • The law provides an additional $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to provide child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential during the response to the coronavirus. States can use funding to provide subsidies to essential workers, reimburse providers directly, open emergency child care centers, or keep providers from going out of business.
  • The law also includes $750 million for Head Start to meet emergency staffing needs.
  • CCDGB and Head Start funds will be distributed to the states, who will then pass them along through their own programs.

Is there assistance for social service organizations and who is eligible?

  • The law provides an additional $1 billion to the Community Services Block Grant to support a wide range of social services and emergency assistance for those who need it most. Funding goes directly to local community-based organizations (usually the area Community Action Programs), upon application.

The law provides an additional $5 billion for the Community Services Block Grant, which will be determined by formula.

Relief is on the way for Connecticut mortgage holders economically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The Lamont administration has come to an agreement with over 50 banks and credit unions to offer mortgage relief to state residents and businesses who continue to face hardship due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

We recognize many of you may be renting apartments and homes. We will have relief information as it becomes available. In the meantime, our FAQ for renters regarding protections and more can be found on the Connecticut Fair Housing Center website here.

The relief policies being offered by participating financial institutions include:

  • 90-day grace period for all mortgage payments: Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days, which will allow homeowners to reduce or delay monthly mortgage payments. In addition, the institutions will:
    • Provide a streamlined process for requesting forbearance for COVID-19-related reasons, supported with available documentation;
    • Confirm approval and terms of forbearance program; and
    • Provide the opportunity to extend forbearance agreements if faced with continued hardship resulting from COVID-19.
  • Relief from fees and charges for 90 days: For at least 90 days, participating financial institutions will waive or refund mortgage-related late fees and other fees including early CD withdrawals.
  • No new foreclosures for 60 days: Financial institutions will not start any foreclosure sales or evictions.
  • No credit score changes for accessing relief: For those taking advantage of this COVID-19-related relief, late or missed payments will not be shared with credit reporting agencies.
  • The list of financial institutions participating can be found on the Department of Banking website which will maintain an updated list here.

Answers to many questions about the relief agreement can be found by clicking the button below.

Questions and Answers on Connecticut's COVID-19 Mortgage Relief Agreement

I'm pleased to share this update from Governor Lamont on our relief efforts for those most in need who are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

4-CT Will Raise New Funds to Support the State’s Nonprofit Providers Serving Those with the Greatest Need

(HARTFORD, CT) – Recognizing the considerable demand on resources the COVID-19 public health emergency is having on nearly every aspect of life across the state, a group of Connecticut-based philanthropists today announced that they have established a charitable organization to raise new support for the state’s nonprofit organizations that are serving those impacted by the pandemic.

The Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection – also known as 4-CT – is an independent, 501(c)3 organization with the mission of bolstering the resources available to support the state’s frontline providers who are serving all areas impacted by the crisis. 4-CT will provide financial support to ensure their services can meet increased demand and have a positive impact. In announcing its launch, the charity has already raised $10 million from generous donors and is seeking to significantly increase these efforts in the coming weeks and months to further support to the state’s nonprofit community.

Governor Ned Lamont, acknowledging the urgency of addressing the impact of the crisis on communities across the state, said the creation of this charity is an example of Connecticut ingenuity and generosity, and applauded the efforts of those who sought to bring it to fruition.

“I’m grateful to our community foundations, United Way of Connecticut, and the individual donors who support the work of nonprofits that provide critical services across our state every day – and during this crisis,” Governor Lamont said. “4-CT will expand the ranks of these philanthropic partners supporting the nonprofits on the frontlines.

“It is incredible how quickly the global COVID-19 pandemic impacted our state and brought nearly every normal, daily function of our lives to a halt – and the effects are stretching thin the critical services on which so many in Connecticut rely,” the governor said. “From the working parents who depend on child care so they can earn a living, to the health clinics that are providing critical care – including mental health and addiction services, to the education providers that are training our next generation of health care workers, this crisis is felt statewide. I am committed to working with all our partners in philanthropy to ensure that state government works in close cooperation with them and supports the mission and the generosity of all those involved.”

Governor Lamont also touted the strong response across the state to the call for volunteers.

“We’ve had 1,000 medical volunteers – including retired nurses and doctors – sign up to help us battle COVID-19,” he said. “Our hospitals need critical care nurses and respiratory therapists, above all, and these volunteers are helping fill those vital positions. Connecticut residents are pulling together to fight this thing. This week, we’ll be launching an additional effort to recruit non-medical volunteers where our communities need them most – in our food pantries, shelters, and to deliver meals to the elderly and homebound. I know the good people of Connecticut will step up and help take care of our most vulnerable residents.”

The founders of 4-CT are Don Kendall, who is serving as the organization’s CEO, and Ted Yang, who is serving as COO.

“The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented and requires many different groups to come together,” Kendall and Yang said in a joint statement. “We are humbled by this opportunity to be of service to our state by providing a valuable connection between donors and important statewide projects that will help those in need.”

As part of its efforts, 4-CT has launched the 4-CT Statewide COVID-19 Relief Fund, administered by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The fund is soliciting donations from individuals and institutional funders across the state. 4-CT has already assisted with several projects that are being funded by Raj and Indra Nooyi and other leading philanthropists.

On an ongoing basis, Governor Lamont plans to showcase the efforts of donors, foundations, corporations, and community leaders who are leaning in during this time of exceptional crisis.

“The challenges our state and nation face in this crisis will require all of us to do our part to address both the short-term and long-term needs of our residents,” Jay Williams, president of the Hartford Foundation, said. “The Hartford Foundation is proud to be a part of this unique collaborative effort to tap into the generosity of our state’s residents to provide immediate support to the dedicated nonprofits on the frontlines responding to those most adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 4-CT Statewide COVID-19 Relief Fund will enhance the philanthropic response to the imminent needs throughout Connecticut, and will help to amplify the impact of several of the other COVID-19-related funds that the state’s local community foundations have created.”

Juanita James, president and CEO of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, said, “I applaud the 4-CT vision for creating this opportunity to quickly get these critical resources to communities throughout Connecticut. As a Community Foundation, we are thrilled to partner in coordinating efforts to quickly address the most pressing needs and to greatly magnify the impact of our local efforts.”

“In this time when the nonprofit sector in our state and the people it serves are facing unprecedented challenges, I applaud the creation of 4-CT,” William W. Ginsberg, president and CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, said. “This new organization will play a very important role in mobilizing private philanthropy to address the extraordinary needs that are emerging across Connecticut because of COVID-19. At The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, we look forward to working closely with 4-CT, knowing that it will be a valuable complement to the work we are doing on COVID-19 at the local level in our region.”

Those interested in making a contribution to 4-CT should visit