Receiving your Stimulus Check for COVID-19

And the Top 5 Scams to Avoid

En español: The COVID-19 stimulus bill, signed this March, will send much needed relief payments to tens of millions of Americans. While individuals and families wait to receive their checks, often while facing financial worries, misinformation is circulating and opening doors for scammers to take advantage of this crisis. Whether you’re unsure if you qualify, or you want to know how much you’ll receive to help plan and budget, here is all the information you need to know about the COVID-19 relief payments.

Am I eligible for stimulus payment?

All Americans who filed tax returns for the years 2018 or 2019 and meet the income requirements below, as well as Social Security beneficiaries who typically don’t file a tax return, will qualify for an economic impact relief payment. The money will arrive automatically, either through direct deposit or physical check.

According to the IRS your check will be based on your income and number of dependents.

1.  Individuals:

    • Income < $75,000 will receive the full $1,200.
    • Income > $75,000 will have $5 taken from that $1,200 for every $100 they earn above $75,000. 
    • Income > $99,000 will not be eligible for payment.

2.  Married Couples: 

    • Income < $150,000 will receive a total of $2,400.
    • Income > $150,000 will have $5 taken from that $2,400 for every $100 they earn above $150,000.
    • No children and income > $198,000 will not be eligible for payment.

3.  Other Beneficiaries:

    • Social Security beneficiaries will receive $1,200 through direct deposit. 
    • Parents with children ages 16 and under will receive an additional $500.
    • Parents with children ages 17 or 18 will not receive an additional $500.
    • College students ages 19 to 23 whose parents pay for more than half of their expenses and claim them on their tax returns will not receive a payment.
How can I get my stimulus check?

Most Americans do not need to take action to receive their stimulus check at this time. The IRS will automatically calculate your payment based on your 2018 or 2019 tax returns and send a payment. You should periodically check the IRS website for additional information.

  1. Where will my check be sent? If you received your tax refund through direct deposit, the government will send your relief payment to the same account. If you’ve already filed for 2019 and didn’t include this information, there’s no need to worry -- the IRS is setting up a web portal to securely provide banking information so you can receive your stimulus check as quickly as possible.
  2. When will I receive my check? The IRS has created a new "Get my Payment" portal where you can securely update your information and check on the status of your payment. Ensuring the IRS has your tax information for 2019 and bank account information will help speed up the process.
  3. Where can I find updated information? For any questions, visit the Coronavirus Tax Relief website for updated information as it becomes available. Please use the portal above to check the status of your payment.
What are the top 3 stimulus check scams?

With billions of dollars on the line, some scammers are trying to take advantage of Americans who need their stimulus check to buy food, pay rent or otherwise remain financially stable. Here are the top 3 to look out for.

  1. Websites Advertising Early Payments: Some websites and phishing scams have surfaced, boasting that they can send people their stimulus checks faster. There is no concrete timeline for when the payments will be sent out, but they will be done automatically. You don't have to sign up for an account or link any person or agency to your account or PayPal, and any claims otherwise are scams trying to gain access to your banking information.
  2. Calls from the IRS: Don't trust any phone calls from the IRS claiming to need your Social Security number or bank information in order to arrange a direct deposit. All deposits will be made either through the direct deposit information you listed when you filed your taxes or through a secure online portal.
  3. Cash Advance Loans: Be careful of lenders offering you your stimulus money in advance. These loans often come with high interest rates, which add up quickly if your are unable to pay back the full amount within a short time frame. 

 Ignore and report any emails, calls, or websites that claim they can send you your money early -- they are scams. Here's how to spot a scam.

  1. Government Agencies will never ask for your social security number or call you for financial information. If you receive a request and aren't sure, you can always call the IRS to see if they are missing information from you.
  2. Government agencies do not communicate through social media.
  3. Do not pay money for a "free" government grant or stimulus check.
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