On Friday, March 27, the United States government signed into law the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), providing assistance for millions of hard-working Americans impacted by the coronavirus, including those who are unemployed due to the pandemic. The CARE Act protects essential workers who are working on the front lines, many who are first responders, health care workers and union members risking their lives.
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR OUR CLIENTS
Your case will not impede on your ability to collect a stimulus check or expanded unemployment benefits.
- How to know if you are eligible: Any citizen with a Social Security number is eligible, including individuals who are collecting Social Security disability benefits, according to AARP.
- Do you need to apply for these benefits: There are no action steps required at this time.
- What amount you can expect from a stimulus payment: The payment amount depends on your income, marital status, and dependents.
- Single adults with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will receive the full amount of $1,200.
- Married couples with no children with an adjusted combined gross income of $150,000 or less will receive the full amount of $2,400.
- Families with children 16 and under are eligible for an additional $500.
- These payments will decrease for higher gross income levels. You can find your adjusted gross income on your latest tax return.
- How many stimulus payments you may get: There will only be one payment.
- How you will receive your payment, if eligible:Payments will be dispersed based on the information provided in your latest tax return.
- Who is eligible for expanded unemployment benefits: The program provides $250 billion for an extended unemployment insurance program and expands eligibility. Unemployment benefits are extended through December 31 for eligible workers. This measure applies to gig workers, self-employed and independent contractors. For more information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and employee paid leave rights, head to the Department of Labor’s website.
- How much you could receive in federal unemployment insurance: Eligible workers will receive $600 per week in additional to their state benefit for up to four months.
- Will Social Security disability recipients be included:If you receive Social Security benefits for disability, you are eligible to receive a stimulus check or direct deposit. According to AARP, “Social Security recipients do not have to file taxes to receive a stimulus check. The government can send your check or direct deposit using the information you have provided to the Social Security Administration. The federal government will automatically send you a direct deposit or check using the information on your tax return or that you have provided to the Social Security Administration if you currently are receiving benefits. However, if you are not receiving Social Security benefits and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 yet, you will need to file a 2019 return to get the stimulus money.” Some taxpayers are eligible to file tax returns online for free through the IRS Free File program.
Without these funds, experts estimate more than 10 million Americans would be laid off this year, and unemployment would soar to more than 10%. For more information and to read the bill, click here.
The health and safety of our hard-working clients, many who are currently working on the front lines, will always remain our number one priority. As a reminder, you can get your questions answered by calling our Pond Lehocky COVID-19 Hotline at 267-606-4343. Stay safe and well.