Last week, both chambers of Congress passed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package designed to keep pretty much everything afloat during these unprecedented times. The bill since received President Donald Trump’s signature, and will officially provide relief to hard-hit industries, small businesses and, perhaps most notably, the American people.
That’s what we’ll focus on in this post: relief that many Americans can expect to receive in their bank accounts in the coming weeks. According to the bill, Americans are eligible to receive one-time payments of up to $1,200 per person (or $2,400 for couples), plus an additional $500 for each child claimed as a dependent. But not all will qualify for this money. We break down what it means for you here:
How Much Will I Get?
The bill is designed to help Americans who need it most. So, individuals who make up to $75,000 per year or married couples who make less than $150,000 combined are eligible for the full $1,200 and $2,400 amounts, respectively.
If you earn more than $75,000 per year but less than $99,000 per year, you’re eligible for payment as well — but a lesser amount. If you fall into this category, the amount that you’ll receive will decrease by $5 for every $100 in income you make above $75,000. So, for example, if you make $85,000 per year, you can expect a $700 stimulus payment. The same rules apply for married couples that make more than $150,000 but less than $198,000 per year. For couples that earn a combined $160,000 per year, for example, a $1,900 payment should be expected.
Regardless of how much you earn, the $500 per child rule applies. However, the child needs to be under 17 years of age, and you need to claim him/her as a dependent. For instance, if you and your wife earn $300,000 per year and have three children, you’ll receive a $1,500 check.
The stimulus checks also apply to retired or disabled Americans, so long as their Social Security benefits don’t exceed the maximum individual limit.
Overall, it’s estimated that nearly 94 percent of all Americans will qualify for some money from the bill.
What Income is Your Check Based On?
The stimulus money you receive is based on your most recent year’s tax filing. If you’ve yet to file your taxes for 2019, which may be the case being that the deadline was extended into the summer, then the money will be based off what you earned in 2018.
Keep in mind, however, that the money you’re eligible for could vary based on your income tax returns. So, if you would qualify for the full amount based on your 2018 returns, you may be best waiting to file your 2019 taxes. But if your 2019 taxes will help you receive a bigger stimulus check, it might behoove you to file soon. The money is expected to be direct deposited into your bank account or mailed to you within 3 weeks.