The economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic could be with us long after the spread of the virus wanes. In just a few short weeks, millions of workers filed for unemployment as vital industries came crashing to a halt.
Many of the businesses that endured the initial impact have taken drastic steps to survive, such as cutting hours and staff, or moving all employees to work remotely. Tap or click here to see 5 essential tips to master working from home.
But in a show of bipartisanship, the United States government crafted a relief package to rescue businesses and workers. Central among its promises are stimulus check for millions of eligible taxpayers. Here’s how you can find out how much you qualify for.
The biggest rescue package in American history
On March 27, President Donald Trump signed a historic $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill that would provide financial support to millions of businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to ordinary workers, some of the largest industries and employment sectors in the country will see bailouts in the hopes of keeping the economy from spiraling deeper into uncharted territory. Tap or click to see what it’s like for workers like Uber drivers during COVID-19.
Among the bill’s many provisions, the most notable to ordinary Americans will be the unemployment expansion and stimulus check sections, which pledge additional funds for unemployed workers and direct cash to taxpayers up to $1,200 for adults and $500 for children under 17.
The payments are based on tax returns filed for the 2019 and 2018 tax years, with payments being phased out for high income individuals making $99,000 or more per year. Married couples will receive checks up to $2,400, with payments being phased out for couples making over $150,000 per year.
Married couples making between $150,000 and $198,000 will receive reduced checks.
United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated his goal of getting the first batch of checks disbursed during the week of April 6, but no official timeline has been set. Checks will be mailed to the address on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, or direct deposited via information on file with the IRS.
How much am I getting?
Despite the relatively straightforward numbers above, determining eligibility is a bit more complicated. It’s expected that the Trump Administration or IRS will be moving forward with additional guidance in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, it’s possible to calculate how much your share will be with the help of this handy calculator from The Washington Post.
All you need to do is fill out your filing status, gross income and number of children to calculate the amount. This data isn’t taken from the IRS or your actual tax returns, but you can ballpark the number.
As you can see above, a family of 4 making slightly more than $50,000 per year can expect a check of $3,400. For every child claimed as a dependent, the number will rise by $500.
This money will prove to be a major relief during a time of economic uncertainty, especially as rents and bills are due. It’s important to have access to instant cash that can ease our collective burden.
In a bit of good news, recently unemployed workers will be getting even more than just the stimulus money. The bill signed by the president expands unemployment insurance by an additional $600 per week on top of existing UI.
Now that we can relax a bit with knowledge that money is on the way, this stimulus does beg the question: How will people spend the money if they’re all stuck indoors?
Maybe Amazon will see an even larger uptick in online purchases. Tap or click here to find out how to properly clean and sanitize your Amazon deliveries.