Published by the Omaha Star

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect our communities, it’s more important than ever to get the assistance that you may need. Public services and benefits are meant to be used, and there are many different groups with expertise in different areas

Here are some good places to start if you need help.

  • Call the United Way by dialing 211. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A trained professional will listen to your needs and tell you about organizations and resources that can help you.
  • Talk to your local Community Action Agency. lowa and Nebraska are split into regions of counties, each with its own group that can help provide basic necessities and point you toward other resources. To find your Community Action Agency, do an online search for “community action agency” plus the name of the county and state where you live. For example, Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership serves Douglas County, while West Central Community Action serves Pottawattamie County.
  • File for unemployment benefits. If you’ve lost your job, had your hours reduced or had your wages cut, you can apply for assistance from your state workforce development agency. You may be eligible for extended jobless benefits as well. Learn more at neworks.nebraska.gov or iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov.
  • Use your local food bank. The Food Bank for the Heartland in Omaha feeds the hungry directly and through smaller food pantries and soup kitchens. You can find nearby programs at foodbankheartland.org or by searching online. You can also apply for assistance with buying groceries at dhhs.ne.gov.
  • Reach out to your lenders. If you’re worried about falling behind on loan payments, contact your lender to see how they can help. If you have federal student loans, you can review your options at studentaid.gov. If you have a Veridian loan, call us at (800) 235-3228 for assistance.

If you could use some financial advice, Veridian is here to help. We’re a not-for-profit credit union with branches in Council Bluffs, Omaha and Papillion. Simply call (800) 235-3228 and ask to speak to Alexandra to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.