Coronavirus Stimulus Checks Are Coming — But Who Is Actually Getting One?

Photographed by Megan Madden.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed an emergency $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, which will provide some workers relief as the United States plunges into precarious economic times as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it heads to the House and, if it passes on Friday as expected, it will go to President Trump to be signed. The package includes cash payments directly to Americans who are losing their jobs or facing desperate financial situations.
While many people agree that the financial relief offered in the package — a one-time payment of $1,200, with some caveats — is not nearly enough to provide most people the help they need, people are still desperately waiting for whatever assistance they can get. Here’s what you need to know about what’s in the package and who is eligible to receive money from it.

Who will get a stimulus check?

Anyone with a Social Security number who is living and working in the United States should be eligible for the relief payments. The Tax Foundation estimates that 93.6 percent of tax filers will get a check. If you have been working and paying taxes since 2018, you don’t have to apply or fill out any forms to receive the money.

How much money will you get in a stimulus check?

Amounts are calculated based on the amount of income reported in 2019 taxes (people who haven’t yet filed 2019 taxes will have their amount based on their 2018 taxes). People who make less than $75,000 a year are eligible for the full one-time payment of $1,200. Couples who file joint taxes and make less than $150,000 are eligible to receive $2,400. Someone who filed as “head of household” and makes $112,500 or less will receive the full $1,200. Households will receive an additional $500 for each child. The maximum payment for a family of four is $3,400.
For people who make more than $75,000, payments will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of income that exceeds that limit. So, for example, if you make $85,000, you will receive a $700 payment. People making $99,000 a year or more will not receive any money; couples who file taxes jointly and make more than $198,000 will not receive a payment.

When will you get a stimulus check?

Secretary Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the checks will be sent out “within three weeks,” though that only applies to people for whom the IRS has information. Secretary Mnuchin also said they would be running a “public awareness campaign,” hoping to get the word out to people who may not have filed taxes in the past two years but need assistance.

How will you get a stimulus check?

The money will go directly to the account where you’ve received your tax refund in the last two years. If you haven’t received a refund via direct deposit, the check from the IRS will be sent to your last known address (you should be notified within 15 days by the agency how the money was sent, and they should provide a phone number and point of contact so you can let them know if you don’t receive it). If you’ve moved recently, you should notify the IRS of your change in address sooner rather than later.

Is there any chance for more financial assistance beyond this?

Not right now, no. But, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested on CNN that Congress could revisit the issue, saying, "We think we'll get more direct payments in another bill."
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