Many Americans are beginning to receive a special one-time payment from the government as part of the COVID-19 economic relief package.
We’re already getting a lot of customers calling to find out if their check is available. So we put together a quick frequently asked questions about the stimulus checks.
When will you get your check?
It depends. The government will begin making these payments available on April 15 through direct deposit into the bank account you have on file with the IRS. Visit this IRS website to check on your deposit status or to set up a direct deposit.
The first wave will go to those with direct deposit information on file. Next, the IRS will make payments to social security beneficiaries who do not file tax returns, but have bank account information on file. Finally, the IRS will send paper checks to those with no bank information on file.
Since this is a federal program, our bankers do not have details on when your check will arrive.
What will the deposit be called?
IRS TREAS 310 TAX REF
How much will I get?
Individuals earning up to $75,000 a year will be eligible for the full $1,200 check. Reduced checks will go out to individuals making up to $99,000 a year (the payment amount falls by $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000).
Married couples are eligible for a $2,400 check as long as their adjusted gross income is under $150,000 a year. Reduced checks, on a sliding scale, will go out to married couples who earn up to $198,000. Married couples also will receive an additional $500 for every child under 17.
People who file as a “head of household” (typically single parents with children) are eligible for a $1,200 check if they earn up to $112,500 a year. Reduced checks on a sliding scale are available for heads of households earning up to $136,500 annually. Heads of households will also receive an additional $500 per child under 17.
What should you do with your money?
Well, that's not up to us, that's up to you! But, here are a few things we think you should consider:
- Spend it on the essentials: Those who have already lost a lot of income or are fearful of a layoff on the horizon should spend the money on basics such as rent, groceries, prescriptions, gas, and utilities.
- Fund an emergency savings account: Even small amounts of cushion can help people stave off disaster. As little as $250 can significantly reduce the risk that a family will miss paying a utility bill or be evicted, research suggests.
- Pay high-interest credit-card debt off: According to WalletHub™, the average American household has over $8,000 in credit card debt. Add not receiving a paycheck to the mix, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Try to pay your credit-card bill as soon as it's due, and make sure you stick to a credit card budget.
- Support a local business, organization, or nonprofit that’s been negatively impacted by COVID-19, if you have the means.