Big news for many people left out of the upcoming stimulus check program: a bill has been filed to include payments for many high schoolers, college students, and older adults who are being cared for by someone else.
This is because the recent federal relief payments that were approved excluded payments for dependents older than 16.
If approved, the "All Dependents Count Act" allows the people who provide for, or care for, dependents older than 16 would get $500 payments for them.
If you’d like to help the bill get approved, the calls and emails to your representatives matter. All the contact information for senators and representatives are available at the bottom of this article.
Many of you have messaged me that you’re worried about making your next payment. Here is a great article from AARP, which includes links where you can check to see if your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac:
Most mortgages are backed by those two giants. If yours is, you could defer your payments for up to a year without penalties, fines or extra interest. Additionally, FHA backed mortgages are eligible for payment deferments. If you have checked the two websites above and didn’t find who is backing your mortgage, you can click here to find out the answer. Once you get the mortgage servicer on the line, here’s a guide to what you need to know.
If you are renting, there is a moratorium on evictions from multifamily buildings (like apartment complexes) that are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. It is estimated that half of all multifamily building mortgages are backed by those two, but admittedly, there is no tool to search to see if your building is covered by one of them. You should contact your complex management if you anticipate having trouble paying rent.
The Texas Supreme Court just extended its ban on evictions for nonpayment statewide through April 30.
Dallas County has halted evictions for nonpayment through May 18.
What about keeping the lights on in your home?
Direct Energy just suspended disconnections for low-income customers through April 30 and gave another $100,000 to a program that helps those customers pay their electric bills.
Even if you're not in that low-income program, contact your electric provider if you are worried about being able to pay your bill! The state has ordered providers to offer deferred payment plans to people financially impacted by COVID-19.
Contact information for your elected leaders
All the information below is compiled from the list of elected leaders organized by The Texas Tribune:
Wherever you live in Texas, these are your two senators:
U.S. Senator John Cornyn
Email form: https://www.cornyn.senate.gov/contact
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz
Email form: https://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=form&id=16
Congressional representatives for North Texas:
U.S. Representative Van Taylor
District 3 (R-Plano)
Contact form: https://vantaylor.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe
District 4 (R-Heath)
Contact form: https://ratcliffe.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative Lance Gooden
District 5 (R-Terrell)
U.S. Representative Mike Conaway
District 11 (R-Midland)
Contact form: https://conaway.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative Kay Granger
District 12 (R-Fort Worth)
Contact form: https://kaygranger.house.gov/contact
U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry
District 13 (R-Clarendon)
Contact form: https://thornberry.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative Bill Flores
District 17 (R-Bryan)
Contact form: https://flores.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington
District 19 (R-Lubbock)
Contact form: https://arrington.house.gov/contact/#email
U.S. Representative Kenny E Marchant
District 24 (R-Coppell)
Contact form: https://marchant.house.gov/contact/
U.S. Representative Roger Williams
District 25 (R-Austin)
Contact form: https://williams.house.gov/contact/email-me
U.S. Representative Michael C. Burgess
District 26 (R-Lewisville)
Contact form: https://burgess.house.gov/contact/356345.htm
U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson
District 30 (D-Dallas)
Contact form: https://ebjohnson.house.gov/contact-us
U.S. Representative Colin Allred
District 32 (D-Dallas)
U.S. Representative Marc Veasey
District 33 (D-Fort Worth)
Contact form: https://veasey.house.gov/contact/email-me
U.S. Representative Ron Wright
District 6 (R-Arlington)
U.S. Representative Brian Babin
District 36 (R-Woodville)
Contact form: https://babin.house.gov/contact/
Congressional representatives for the rest of Texas can be found here: