What is a Stimulus Check or Economic Impact Payment?

I’ve read that because of Coronavirus, people are getting stimulus checks. But what is a stimulus check?

Since many people have lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus lockdown, people can use some financial help to cope with their loss of income.

Under the CARES Act, the US federal government is providing financial help called Economic Impact Payments, which is commonly known as the Coronavirus stimulus check.

Who is eligible to get this Economic Impact Payment? And how will they receive it?

If your 2019 income level is lower than a certain amount, you and your kids under 17 are eligible for the stimulus check. This income cutoff depends on your tax filing status.

If you are eligible, you can receive your stimulus check in one of 3 ways:

  1. As a direct deposit to your bank account, if the IRS has your direct deposit information
  2. As an actual check, just like the name suggests
  3. As a prepaid debit card, which is a debit card with money already loaded onto it

How much money would you get?

If your filing status is ‘single’, you are eligible to get a stimulus check of $1,200 if you earned less than $75,000 in 2019.

Stimulus Check Income Thresholds - Single
Stimulus Check Income Thresholds – Single

If your filing status is ‘married filing jointly’, you are eligible to get a stimulus check of $2,400 if you earned less than $150,000 in 2019. You also get $500 for each child under 17.

Stimulus Check Income Thresholds - Married Filing Jointly
Stimulus Check Income Thresholds – Married Filing Jointly

For incomes more than these levels, the stimulus payment amount starts to decline. There is no stimulus payment at all if the income is over $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for married couples.

If I am eligible, how do I get a stimulus check? Do I have to apply for it?

No, you don’t have to apply for it. The IRS is sending the payment automatically to all those who qualify, after getting your information from past tax returns, Social Security Administration, etc.

When do I get the stimulus check payment?

The government started sending out stimulus checks in April 2020. Most people received theirs in April or May, but don’t worry if you haven’t got yours – they are still being sent out.

What can I do if I am eligible, but did not receive the stimulus check?

You can go to the IRS website and easily check the status of your stimulus check.

Podcast: What is a Stimulus Check or Economic Impact Payment?

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