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What the Coronavirus Stimulus Check Means for You

Posted by Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity on 12:32 PM on April 16, 2020

A Habitat homeowner sitting with his son, looking out their front door.

You may have heard about a stimulus package passed by Congress to help the American people during the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Among other benefits, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the "CARES Act" for short) promises to send coronavirus stimulus checks to Americans to help cover expenses until the economy stabilizes.

This has people asking, 

  • "What does the CARES Act mean for me?"
  • "How much will I receive?"
  • "When will I get my check?"

We're here to offer simple answers to your pressing questions so you know what it means for you and your family.

Do I need to do anything right now?

No. As long as you filed your taxes in 2018 or 2019, the government will use the most recent information they have to determine how much you'll receive in your stimulus check. (But if you haven't filed your 2019 tax return yet, now's as good a time as any – the IRS has extended the deadline to July 15, 2020.)

Am I eligible for a CARES Act stimulus check?

Probably. If you filed your taxes using your Social Security number in 2018 or 2019, most individuals should be eligible to receive a check. The amount will depend on your income, citizenship status, number of dependents, and more. (More on that below.) 

How much will I receive?

$1,200 for adults and $500 per child – but it depends. Using the information from your tax return, the government will send different amounts to different people. (You can find your adjusted gross income on Line 8b of the 2019 Form 1040 federal tax return.) The coronavirus stimulus check payment is not subject to income tax.

Here's a quick list of payment amounts based on your situation:

  • Single adults with an income of $75,000 or less per year will receive a $1,200 stimulus check.
  • Married couples with no children and combined income of $150,000 or less will receive $2,400.
  • For each child under the age of 17, the total payment to adults will increase by $500.
  • Taxpayers filing as head of household who earned $112,000 or less will get $1,200.
  • Dependents are not eligible to receive the stimulus check (there is an exception for members of the military).

Looking to help others during this time of need? Learn more about the At Home Fund

When will I receive my coronavirus stimulus check?

By Friday, April 17, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. If you filed your last tax return using direct deposit, the funds are expected to be deposited directly into that account. If you filed by mail, it could take another few weeks to get to you. The IRS website is expected to implement a tool to track your payment in April, which you can check out here.

I'm unemployed. How does the CARES Act affect me?

Eligible unemployed workers in Minnesota can expect an extra $600 per week until July 31 on top of their current unemployment benefits. On top of Minnesota unemployment benefits, the CARES Act provides an additional amount to cover the average worker's paycheck. This weekly benefit is subject to income taxes, though you should be able to request exemption.

Unemployment benefits are also being extended by 13 weeks. The CARES Act also expands unemployment benefits to self-employed workers and part-timers who've lost their jobs during the coronavirus crisis. Even if you're unemployed for reasons other than the coronavirus, you will receive the additional $600 weekly compensation and the CARES Act extends your unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.

My child's school or daycare shut down. What am I eligible for?

You're eligible for the additional $600 unemployment benefit if you relied on a school, daycare, or other caretakers to watch your children so you could work, and if that caretaker is closed because of the coronavirus.

Find our full list of resources on our COVID-19 response webpage.

If you’re a Habitat homeowner, we’re here to help. Please see the Homeowner webpage for information.

first time homebuyer guide

Tags: Habitat News, 2020

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