In March 2020, the US government passed an act giving the American people relief money and expands the benefits for unemployment. Find out what this act means to you.
You may have heard of a $1,200 check from the government because of Coronavirus. That is the CARES Act, or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. While the bill has a lot to it, we’d like to share some information about what that means to you as an individual and how it may impact your unemployment benefits.
Here's what you should know about the Coronavirus relief bill
New and extended unemployment benefits
- Unemployment insurance payments to individuals will increase by $600 per week (for the first 4 months)
- In most states, benefits will be extended from 26 to 39 weeks
- Contract, freelance, gig, self-employed, partially-employed and non-traditional workers will now be eligible for unemployment benefits
- If you're unemployed or Coronavirus has impacted your work, start the 5 step process now or visit the Unemployment Resource Center
Grant or 'stimulus' money for individuals
- You must have a social security (or a tax identification) number to qualify for a relief payment
- You will not have to apply to receive payment, the IRS will mail a check (or direct deposit) if you qualify
- Payments will likely be issued ~mid-April
- If you made $75,000 or less on your 2019 taxes (2018 return if you haven’t filed yet) you will qualify for a $1,200 one-time payment
- If you made more than $75,000, the payment will be less; and if you made more than $99,000, you will not receive the grant
- If you have children under the age of 17, you will receive an additional payment of $500 for each child
- If you are not typically required to file a tax return (low income, veterans, disability, etc.) go to the IRS: Non-filers enter payment info here so you can get paid!
Getting paid Coronavirus money
The IRS has published how it plans to pay you Coronavirus grant money if you're eligible
- You will get paid economic impact money by direct deposit if you have filed 2019 (or 2018) taxes and provided the IRS your bank account info
- If you have filed your 2019 (or 2018) tax return, but the IRS does NOT have your bank account info, go to the IRS: Get My Payment to update your information
Check out this article if you think you qualified and haven't received your money.
Tips for getting stimulus money
Tip 1: Keep your information with the IRS current
- A correct mailing address or bank information is critical for a timely payment
- File your tax return
Tip 2: Be patient
- The bill was signed into law on March 27 2020, so it will take time for state governments to catch up
- There were a number of changes due to the CARES act that impact unemployment, and many state governments are scrambling to adjust their unemployment insurance processes
Tip 3: Share what you know
- The right information (at the right time) has the potential to really help
Remember, we are all in this together!