The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) is a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to support and speed relief across the American economy during the pandemic that has left nearly 10 million Americans out of work.
The IRS is calling it an “economic impact payment,” the government has named a “recovery rebate,” and many people are calling a “stimulus check.” What most people are asking is, “Where the check at?”
How much should I expect my check to be?
The cash payments are based on either your 2018 or 2019 tax filings. Checks will be $1,200 per adult, $2,400 for married couples filing jointly, and an additional $500 per child. The recipient can not be claimed by someone else as a dependent.
When will I get the money?
If you’ll be receiving a direct deposit, you can expect your money around mid-April.
The IRS will reportedly start mailing checks out to those unable to receive the economic impact payment digitally from April 24, but some may not arrive until September.
Does it matter how much money I make?
The amount of the checks will start to reduce for individuals earning more than $75,000, $150,000 for married couples with joint returns, and $112,500 for heads of household.
If you make more than $99,000 for single filers, $136,500 for heads of household, or $198,000 for married filers you reached the max income and are not eligible for the one-time payment.
Wait, how do the reductions work?
Payments go down as income increases. In this case, for every $100 of income above those thresholds, your check will drop by $5. So, if you are a single filer earning $75,100, your check will be $1,195 ($1,200-$5). If you are a single filer earning $85,000, your check will be $700 ($1,200-$500).
Is there a cap on kids?
There are no limits on the number of children that qualify. The definition of child will be the same as for the child tax credit.
age 16 or younger – at the end of the tax year
You must claim the child as a dependent on your federal tax return
The child must have lived with you for more than half of the tax year
What about people who have retired?
Retired seniors are eligible as long as they meet the other criteria (Social Security numbers, income thresholds, etc.). If they don’t usually file a tax return because they rely on Social Security benefits (or RRB equivalent) they will be entitled to a check without having to do anything else because the Treasury will use their SSA-1099 form to figure and send your check.
What about those on government benefits?
You are eligible if you do not have any income income, or if your income comes entirely from benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits.
What if I’m under wage garnishment due to child support?
Child support is an exception to the “your check won’t be offset” rule. Under the law, your check can be seized for child support arrears.
What about unemployment benefits?
The CARES Act expands eligibility for unemployment insurance for workers who are displaced due to COVID-19 in several ways.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program has been created to provide up to 39 weeks of combined federal and state unemployment assistance between January 27, 2020, and December 31, 2020, to individuals, including independent contractors, who are otherwise not eligible for, or have exhausted, other state or federal benefits.
The new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation provides an additional weekly $600 federally funded payment for up to four months to individuals already collecting state unemployment insurance payments.
What about my student loans?
The CARES Act, suspends all involuntary collections of defaulted student loans, including wage garnishments, Social Security garnishments, and tax refund offsets.
The Department of Education is directed to automatically suspend payments on most federal student loans — Direct Loans and FFEL Loans held by the federal government — through September 30, 2020.
Interest on loans WILL NOT accrue on during this time.