A U.S. dollar bill.

COVID-19 Stimulus Checks - What You Need to Know

Thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), stimulus checks to help with the economic impact of COVID19, are on their way to households soon. Here is what you need to know.

How Much Will You Receive?

U.S. residents will receive a one-time Economic Impact Payment of up to $1,200 for individuals (or those who are filing taxes as head of household) with and couples receiving up to $2,400. Families will get an additional $500 per child. You can calculate how much you could receive using this stimulus calculator by TurboTax.

Who is Eligible?

Most U.S. adult residents with an eligible Social Security number will receive a payment, as long as they aren't claimed as dependents by someone else. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), "Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child."

Who is Ineligible?

According to the IRS, a taxpayer would not qualify for a stimulus check if any of the following apply:

  • Your adjusted gross income is higher than:
    • $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
    • $136,500 for head of household
    • $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else's return. For example, this would include a child, student, or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent's return.
  • You do not have a valid Social Security number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.

How Will I Receive a Check?

If the IRS has your direct deposit information on file, your stimulus check will be directly deposited into your bank account. If you don't have direct deposit on file with the IRS, a check will be mailed to your address on file.

If you need to change the address the IRS has on file for you, you can call the IRS directly to make that change. You will need to verify your identity and the address on file before making the change. Please have these items ready to discuss with an IRS agent:

  • Full name
  • New address
  • Old Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number, ITIN or EIN

What if I don't have Direct Deposit Set Up or Don't File a Return?

If you haven't set up direct deposit with the IRS yet, or don't file tax returns, the IRS partnered with the Treasury Department to create an online portal that allows citizens to register for a stimulus check.

Social Security recipients don't need to file a return to get their stimulus payment. These payments will be calculated based on information from a taxpayer's SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement for 2019 or RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement and direct deposited by the IRS, according to AARP.

On the IRS webpage, "Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here," you will see a blue button by the same name. This link will take you from the IRS website to a "Free File Fillable Forms page," which is a certified IRS partner. According to the IRS, you will need to provide the following:

  • Full name
  • Current mailing address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type, and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver's license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse
  • The IRS will use this information to confirm eligibility and send a stimulus check. Including your bank account information will allow the IRS to deposit your stimulus check directly in your account. Otherwise, your stimulus check will be mailed to you to the address the IRS has on file.

Can I Track My Stimulus Check?

The IRS has launched a "Get My Payment" tool to provide the status of a taxpayer's stimulus check, including the date payment is scheduled to be direct deposited or mailed. You will be able to access "Get My Payment" and get all IRS COVID-19 updates at the Internal Revenue Service webpage.

Be sure to be mindful of COVID-19 and stimulus check scams. If you are the victim of a scam or you encounter a scammer, please report it to the FTC.