Consumer Action’s ‘Coping with COVID-19’ series offers sixth fact sheet

Free multilingual guides help consumers cope with the financial fallout of the pandemic

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Earlier this year, when it became clear that the coronavirus pandemic would raise daunting challenges for consumers across the country, Consumer Action, a national consumer education and advocacy nonprofit, launched its COVID-19 Educational Project. Approximately six months into the year-long initial effort, the organization has just published the sixth fact sheet in the “Coping with COVID-19” series.

Establishing or replenishing savings covers why and how to start or rebuild an emergency fund. While having a financial cushion has always been essential, the record unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic has made evident just how crucial a financial cushion is. The four-page fact sheet, funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation, covers the purpose of, and target balance for, such a fund, what to consider when choosing where to keep your emergency fund, savings tips and inspiration, and a list of some FinTech tools that can help savers get and stay on track. Like the other publications in the series, Establishing and replenishing savings will be translated into multiple languages.

Other fact sheets in the “Coping with COVID-19” series include:

  • Telemedicine: What to know about virtual doctor visits: The pandemic has driven non-urgent doctor visits online to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. As more people receive medical care remotely, via a smartphone, tablet or computer, it's important to understand when and how virtual visits might be an option, whether they're covered under private and government-sponsored health plans, and what privacy issues they raise.
  • Making a job or career transition:  The coronavirus pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work, with many others reevaluating their job and career choices in light of how different industries are faring. This guide will help workers identify job opportunities, weigh their education and training options, make wise choices, and know where to get more information. (Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.)
  • Estate planning: Critical decisions for uncertain times: The COVID-19 pandemic has driven home the wisdom of making critical end-of-life decisions before a crisis strikes. This publication outlines the key estate planning decisions everyone should make now, explains which documents and tools help ensure that your wishes are carried out, and provides resources for learning more, getting help and taking next steps. (Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.)
  • Fair housing rights for those affected by the pandemic: The federal Fair Housing Act protects rental housing applicants, tenants, homeowners and prospective homebuyers from various forms of discrimination. This publication explains how these same rights may protect you from discrimination related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the steps to take if you do experience discrimination.
  • Financial assistance for undocumented workers: Millions of undocumented workers are ineligible for the federal economic aid available to U.S. citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic. This publication provides tips and resources for finding state, local and private financial assistance programs that are designed specifically for undocumented immigrants or don’t ask for immigration status when determining eligibility. (Funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.)

The project also includes a library of webinars (a half dozen, and growing), and a continually updated guide to resources that can help consumers deal with the challenges of pandemic-related job loss, housing and food insecurity, health care, debt repayment, and more.

All fact sheets are available for free download from the COVID-19 Educational Project website, and all are available in English and one or more other languages (Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and/or Korean).

“Almost immediately following the shutdown in March, we saw that there would be a need for unbiased, multilingual information that could help financially vulnerable consumers stay afloat, and help all households plan and prepare for an uncertain future,” said Ken McEldowney, Consumer Action’s executive director. “The response, in terms of viewers and downloads, confirms the need was there, and we’re grateful to our funders and supporters for making it possible to create the tools to guide families through the seemingly endless challenges and changes presented by this crisis.”

More fact sheets are scheduled for 2021, on topics to be determined based on the changing needs of consumers.

The COVID-19 Educational Project is made possible with major funding from Wells Fargo Foundation and additional support from AT&T, Bank of America, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Square.

Publications, webinars and the resource guide are available to consumers across the country, either directly, via downloads and views at our online hub, or through the thousands of community-based organizations in our network.

About Consumer Action
Consumer Action has been a champion of underrepresented consumers nationwide since 1971. A non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Consumer Action focuses on consumer education that empowers low- and moderate-income and limited-English-speaking consumers to financially prosper. It also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers to advance consumer rights and promote industry-wide change. By providing consumer education materials in multiple languages, a free national hotline, a comprehensive website (www.consumer-action.org) and annual surveys of financial and consumer services, Consumer Action helps consumers assert their rights in the marketplace and make financially savvy choices. More than 6,000 community and grassroots organizations benefit annually from its extensive outreach programs, training materials and support.

 

 

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