Congress recently signed into action the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to combat the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 26th, 2020, the bill was officially passed, and details have been released to the public.

The CARES Act is a $2 trillion stimulus package that allocates funds to several aspects of U.S. society. Of the $2 trillion, an estimated $300 billion has been reserved for personal checks to go out to almost every citizen in America.

You may be wondering, “how much money will I receive from the stimulus check?” Every eligible American will receive up to $1,200. People with children will earn an additional $500 per child. Continue reading to learn everything you should know about the COVID-19 stimulus check, including eligibility, when you’ll receive it, and how to receive it. 

Eligibility

There’s a good chance that you’re eligible to receive a personal check from the U.S. government. To qualify for the stimulus check, you need to:

  • Be a U.S.citizen.
  • Have filed taxes for 2018 or 2019.
  • Meet the income requirements listed below.

Income Requirements

Ultimately, eligibility for the stimulus check will depend on how you filed for your 2018 or 2019 tax returns. The Adjusted Gross Income determines income constraints reported on your taxes. Below is the criterion for receiving a check based on the income you reported on your taxes. You’ll receive the full $1,200 from the stimulus check if:

  • filed as Single and are making at or below $75,000.
  • filed as Head of Household and are making at or below $112,500.
  • Married, filed jointly, and are making at or below $150,000.

An important thing to note is that as you pass certain income thresholds, the amount you receive will gradually phase out until it reaches $0. For example:

  • If filed as Single: starting at $75,000 the amount will decrease until completely phased out at $99,000.
  • If filed as Head of Household: starting at $112,500 the amount will decrease until completely phased out at $136,000.
  • If Married, filed jointly: starting at $150,000 the amount will decrease until completely phased out at $198,000.

Delivery date and delivery method

As of Sunday, March 29th, it is expected to take about three weeks for each tax-paying individual to receive their checks. Notifications will be sent out to eligible Americans beforehand, by mail, with details on the delivery. 

Distribution of checks will depend on how each tax-payer chose to receive their 2019 or 2018 tax returns: either through direct deposit or a physically mailed check.

Those who do not have a direct deposit set up will have the chance to arrange for direct deposit through an IRS web portal, which is in the process of being implemented. Otherwise, failure to establish a direct deposit will result in a physical check sent through the mail, and to whichever address the IRS has on file at the time. 

After deliveries have been made, the government will notify you via mail of how the check was delivered. Checks that were not received can be dealt with through the IRS. Currently, there is no way to opt-out of receiving the stimulus check.

The Takeaway

The U.S. government is doing everything it can to stabilize the economy amid the COVID-19 outbreak. They are hoping that putting cash in as many hands as possible will feed money back into the economy, while also helping those who are experiencing hardship. Only a fraction of what the CARES Act contains is going towards these stimulus checks. Other funds are helping with unemployment payments, small businesses, and other establishments.

As long as you meet the above criteria, you will be receiving money from the government. Any issues before or after the checks are delivered should be taken up with the IRS. Review your 2018 or 2019 tax return documents as soon as possible and cross-reference it with the information above to understand your situation.