How Can I Get a Stimulus Check? COVID Relief FAQs
How to Get Your Stimulus Payment from the Federal Government
There are two major pieces of federal legislation that are stimulus packages designed to help struggling Americans with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus crisis. The first bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (a.k.a. The CARES Act), was signed into law on March 27, 2020 by President Donald Trump and provided approximately $2 trillion of financial assistance. The second bill, the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provided approximately $900 billion of financial assistance and funding for various programs.
Both of these bills include a provision for stimulus checks (also called Economic Impact Payments, EIPs) for most individuals, as well as expanded unemployment benefits for jobless Americans and emergency loans for small businesses.
There Are Two Stimulus Checks So Far…
The first round of stimulus payments were worth up to $1,200 for each eligible individual (or $2,400 for a married couple that files taxes jointly). Additionally, this payment is increased by $500 for each qualifying child/dependent you have.
The second round of stimulus checks are worth up to $600 per eligible individual (or $1,200 for a married couple that files taxes jointly). Additionally, you can get a $600 stimulus check for each qualified child/dependent who’s under your care.
Who Is Entitled to a Stimulus Check?
Your eligibility for a stimulus payment depends on your annual income – more specifically, your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) – which was reported on your most recent tax return.
You were eligible for the first stimulus check ($1,200) if your AGI is:
- Below $99,000 for single filers
- Below $198,000 for married couples filing jointly
- Below $136,500 for heads of household
You are eligible for the second stimulus check ($600) if your AGI is:
- Below $75,000 for single filers
- Below $150,000 for married couples filing jointly
- Below $112,500 for heads of household
For the second stimulus check, worth up to $600, the amount of your payment will decrease by $5 for each $100 of income that exceeds the above threshold (e.g., $75,000 for single filers).
If your income is over $87,000 (for single filers), you will not be eligible for the second stimulus check. For a married couple that files taxes jointly, they will not receive a stimulus check if their combined income is over $174,000.
RELATED: New $600 Coronavirus Stimulus Checks
What Date Will I Get My Stimulus Check?
Stimulus checks will be automatically issued to eligible individuals who filed a 2019 federal income tax return (Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR).
According to the IRS and the Treasury Department, the second round of stimulus checks started going out via Direct Deposit on Tuesday, December 29th. Some individuals reported that their stimulus check was deposited into their bank account as early as that Tuesday night. For people who do not have Direct Deposit set up with the IRS, paper checks have been scheduled to be mailed out starting on January 6, 2021.
If you still haven’t gotten your stimulus money, the IRS has requested that people wait until January 15th – which is the final day for IRS payment processing of stimulus checks – before doing anything.
How Do I Check the Status of My Stimulus Payment?
The IRS provides an online tool called “Get My Payment” that you can use to find out the status of your stimulus check. To check the progress of your stimulus money, you just need an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. Note that it is best to use a non-public Wi-Fi network and computer since you will need to provide your personal information to access the IRS portal.
The IRS “Get My Payment” system is updated every 24 hours (usually overnight), so you only need to check it once a day for the most current stimulus payment status. Also keep in mind that the IRS phone representatives only have access to the same system, so try to avoid calling the IRS because they will not be able to give you any more information than what you see online.
In order to use the “Get My Payment” tool and access the IRS database, you will need to enter the following personal information:
- Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax ID Number (ITIN)
- Date of birth
- Street address
- ZIP or Postal Code
Once you input the requested information, you can click the CONTINUE button at the bottom of the page. Afterwards, you will see a page that shows the status of both stimulus checks (Payment #1 and Payment #2) and whether your checks have been sent.
Will There Be Another Stimulus Check?
We have two stimulus checks so far – the first for up to $1,200 per person and the second for up to $600 per person. Will there be a third round of stimulus checks coming in the future?
On Monday, January 4th, President-Elect Joe Biden said that “$2,000 checks will go out the door” if the Democrats win U.S. Senate seats in the Georgia runoff elections. This is a strong indication that Biden will press lawmakers for a third stimulus check after he takes office in late January.
Stay tuned as more updates will be posted when new information becomes available