UPDATE: Stimulus payments began going out on April 13th and millions more are on the way soon.
The Senate voted unanimously to pass a $2.2 Trillion dollar stimulus package that will funnel more than $290 billion dollars directly to individuals and families in just a few weeks. President Trump signed the historic legislation, which is the largest stimulus in United States history.
Here’s what you need to know.
Who is Eligible for the Stimulus Check?
Almost anyone with a Social Security number who is not a dependent on someone else’s tax return. This means that even individuals who receive Social Security retiree, disability, or survivor’s benefits will qualify as long as their income is below the limits set by the legislation.
Other individuals are eligible include SSI recipients and people who receive Veteran’s disability compensation.
How Much Money Can I Expect?
Individuals with adjusted gross income under 75,000 will qualify for a $1200 stimulus check. Joint filers with income under $150,000 will qualify for one $2400 check. If you have dependents under age 17, you will qualify for an extra $500 per dependent.
Filing as head of household? If your income is below $122,500, you will qualify for a $1200 stimulus check.
If your income is above the threshold, your stimulus check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income over the limits. This means that checks will phase out altogether for individuals at $99,000 in income and at $198,000 for joint filers.
The government will base your income on your 2019 adjusted gross income, line 8b on your filed 1040. If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes yet, then they will look back to your 2018 income.
This money is also nontaxable, so you don’t have to claim it as income when you file your 2020 taxes.
What if I Live on Social Security and Don’t File Taxes?
You will still be eligible for a stimulus and the government will look to other information, such as your SSA Form 1099 Social Security Benefits Statement to estimate your income. You do not have to apply for the stimulus check.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veteran’s Disability Compensation but no other Social Security income, you also do not need to apply for a stimulus payment. The IRS will use your current information on file to make sure your payment gets to you.
If you haven’t filed taxes for 2019 yet, and you want to do so quickly so that your check gets to you as fast as possible, you can use the new IRS Non-filers tool to submit your information. Find more information here.
When Will the Checks Arrive?
Stimulus payments began going out on April 13th. The first round of payments went out to people who qualify and have already filed their 2018 or 2019 taxes. The next wave will go out to people who receive Social Security but have not filed taxes recently.
The IRS has provided tools for both tax filers and non-filers which will allow some individuals to submit direct deposit information to the government and will allow others to check status of their payments.
You can find these tools on the IRS Economic Impact Payments page.
Keep in mind that this is a massive undertaking for the federal government, so if your deposit or check takes a little longer, don’t panic. You will receive a letter in the mail once your money has been deposited or mailed to confirm that your payment has been made.
How Will the Stimulus Money Arrive?
If you have a bank account on file with the IRS from a previous tax return, your money will be deposited there. Alternately, if you are non-filer because your income was lower than the threshold required to file taxes, you can use the non-filer tool to provide banking information to the IRS so that it can get your payment paid to you as quickly as possible.
Otherwise, your check will be mailed.
Does the Stimulus Affect my Medicare Premiums?
No, you will continue to pay your Medicare Part B premiums unless you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program or Medicaid due to low income and resources. Individuals and couples in that situation get assistance with paying their Part B premiums.
Who Doesn’t Get a Stimulus Check?
High income earners over the limits who also have no children may find that they are not eligible for a payment. Non-resident aliens who are working in the United States with no green card do not qualify for a payment either. If you are behind on child support payments, you may also not receive a payment.
Anyone who is a dependent on someone else’s tax return will not receive their own Social Security check.
Would people who are receiving SSDI payments each month also get a stimulus payment?
Do I have to pay income taxes on the amount of my payment?
No. Many people have heard this circulating on social media and it is just not true.
If my income tax refunds are currently being garnished because of default loans, will I still get this check?
Yes. In fact, the bill is temporarily suspending efforts to garnish most tax refunds to repay debts, including those directly owed to the I.R.S. This waiver applies to all garnishments except for those relating to parents who are behind on child support.
What If I Have Recently Moved?
The Treasury must send notice of the payment by mail to your last known address. The notice will show how the payment was made and how much the check was for. If you did not receive it, the notice will have phone number for the right person to get in touch with at the IRS. We also suggest filling out this change of address form and sending it in as soon as possible: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f8822.pdf