The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have voted to pass a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package intended to help those affected by the coronavirus get back on their feet. Do you qualify? How much should you expect to get from the spending bill? And when will you get it? Read on to learn everything you need to know about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Note: We have information about the THIRD 2020 Covid-19 stimulus payment in a separate article. The following article was written for the FIRST stimulus check. We also wrote about the SECOND stimulus check.
When and where do I get my check?
The IRS claims distribution will start by April 15. Here is what we know:
- Recipients of Social Security retirement, survivors or disability insurance benefits (SSDI) and Railroad Retirement benefits (RRB) can expect to receive their payments next week.
- Payments will be issued automatically by the IRS through direct deposit, based on your 2019 or 2018 tax return, so expect to receive your payment deposited electronically if you received a refund or check through your account.
- If you don’t have an electronic account set up, the IRS will mail your check to your last known address, but this method could take months.
- If you are living on social security and don’t need to file taxes, you still get a check for $1,200 if you filed your form SSA-1099 or RRB-1099.
- If you haven’t filed taxes because you didn’t make enough money, you can file now through the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here page.
- If you’re not sure where your check will end up, or have questions as to the status of your payment, refer to the IRS’s Get My Payment page for more details.
- According to the IRS, If you’re an SSI or VA recipient with eligible children and don’t need to file a tax return, you need to act by May 5 to get your stimulus check.
Who qualifies for the stimulus check?
The stimulus checks are intended for Americans with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less, and $150,000 for couples. The amount you receive will be determined by your 2018 or 2019 income tax returns.
If you qualify for the check, the IRS will refer to your last tax return you filed. But, if your income for 2020 will be far less than what you’ve made in either 2018 or 2019, you can get the payment in 2020.
Under the terms of the bill, payments will now extend to freelancers and gig workers as well.
If you gross more than $75,000, your payment will fall by $5 for every $100 earned over $75,000.
If you earn more than $99,000 annually, you don’t qualify for a check. Payments also decline gradually for married couples earning more than $150,000; couples making more than $198,000 don’t qualify.
How much stimulus money do I get?
The stimulus package will give qualifying Americans a one-time direct payment of $1,200 and $500 per dependent child (children 17 and under).
Married couples can expect to get $2,400 and $500 per child.
Payments phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $75,000, and $150,000 for couples.
Low-income earners will also receive a $1,200 check or $2,400 if they file jointly.
How do I apply for my check?
There is no need to apply. According to the bill, payments will be directly deposited into your bank account if the government has your bank account details from your tax return.
If you didn’t file in 2019, the government will use your 2018 tax returns to determine your payment and where to send it. The government can use your Social Security benefit statement as well.
If you’re usually not required to file a tax return because you’re a low-income tax payer, senior citizen, a veteran or person with disabilities, you can register and file your taxes using the IRS’s Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here page.
Social Security recipients don’t need to do anything to get their payment. The IRS will calculate your payment details using either your 2019 Form SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement or RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.
Once the payment has been distributed, you should receive a paper notice by mail detailing where the payment went and in what form it was made no later than a few weeks after it’s dispersed.
If you can’t locate your payment after receiving your notice, you should contact the I.R.S. using the information given on the notice.
How do I know if my stimulus check has been mailed?
USPS has your back on this one, guys.
There’s a 100% free service called Informed Delivery that will digitally preview your mail and manage packages scheduled to arrive at your home. Every piece of mail is scanned into USPS’s system, so when you sign up for Informed Delivery, those greyscale images will be accessible to you on the Informed Delivery dashboard, app, or via email.
Look for an image of an IRS envelope in the coming weeks, then plan to check your mailbox daily for your coronavirus stimulus check arrival.
Set up free USPS Informed Delivery.