The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion emergency relief bill Wednesday that will help tens of millions of American households recover from the financial fallout of the pandemic. A big chunk of change will be going straight to the American people.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU GET?
Individuals who make $75,000 or less will get a direct payment of $1200. The rebate check for individuals would shrink by $5 for every $100 earned over $75,000. Married couples earning up to $150,000 will get $2400. Families will get an additional $500 for each child under 17. The payments will be based off your tax filings. If you haven’t filed for 2019 yet, the rebate will be based off your 2018 filings.
WHEN AND HOW WILL YOU GET YOUR CHECK?
The Treasury Department expects most people to get their payments within three weeks. President Donald Trump has set a target date of April 6 for the first rebates to roll out. It would be done through direct deposit, through mailing a paper check, there’s even some talk of loaded debit cards.
WHAT IF YOU ARE ON A RETIRED SENIOR?
You will still get a payment. So long as they are not listed as a dependent for someone else or fall within the income thresholds, you should receive a check. Non-profit AARP fought hard for that and applauds the rescue plan. AARP writes, “AARP is heartened that the bipartisan package will provide both economic stimulus and individual financial relief through direct payments to eligible individuals, whether they’re working, unable to work, unemployed, or retired. We appreciate that the agreement includes two key priorities of ours: authorizing the maximum payment for those whose primary income is Social Security, which is both fair and good for the economy, and ensuring that the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will be made whole as employer payroll tax payments are delayed”
WHAT IF YOU ARE ON SOCIAL SECURITY OR DISABILITY AND DON’T MAKE ENOUGH TO FILE TAXES?
You are still entitled to a rebate as long as you have an eligible social security number. However, you will likely need to file a tax return to claim the rebate. The statue in the bill currently does not specify how individuals can receive this rebate if they do not file taxes, so the IRS will likely have to come out with an announcement clarifying what folks should do in order to receive this rebate. Stay tuned for those details.
WHAT ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
With this bill, more workers than ever are eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployed workers will get up to $600 per week on top of their state benefits. If you’re a freelancer, gig worker or self-employed, you are newly eligible for unemployment. And yes, part-time workers can get benefits too. The benefit amount and how long the benefits last depends on the state.
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