After complaining about being broke, the government took five loaves of bread and two fish and turned it into a $2 trillion economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's the biggest stimulus package in American history, and some still don't feel as though it's enough. That should let you know what kind of times we're likely approaching.
At the core of the stimulus package—and what most people actually give a damn about—is a plan to send the majority of Americans a $1,200 stimulus check. To qualify for the full amount, you must earn less than $75,000. If you're married and filing jointly, the income limit is $150,000 total for a $2,400 check. If you earn between $75,000–$99,000, you'll receive a check, but the amount decreases as your income increases. Parents will also receive $500 for each child under 17.
About 90% of all tax filers will qualify for the full $1,200, and 93% will qualify for a partial payment. So contrary to what your Twitter and Instagram timelines tell you, everybody isn't as rich as their social media profile portrays. The stimulus checks are estimated to cost the government between $290–$300 billion.
How Your Income Will Be Calculated
If you've filed your taxes this year, the IRS will use your 2019 income to decide if and how much you'll receive. If you're running on CP time and haven't filed your taxes yet, the IRS will use last year's returns and your 2018 income.
If you haven't filed this year or last year, you might wanna gon' 'head and do that, so the IRS has some information on you, and you can be eligible. If you're dodging the IRS for whatever reason, you might as well chalk this check up to the game; it's over.
When Will You Get Paid
Once the stimulus package is officially signed into law, the government expects to send the money out within three weeks or so. Word of advice: Don't count on those checks coming before May. If it's one thing we know about this administration, it's that they'll stand outside with you in a thunderstorm and tell you it's sunny.
If you don't receive your tax return by direct deposit, it's going to take significantly longer to receive your money. For perspective, it took about two months the last time stimulus checks were sent out. To help accommodate people without bank accounts, the government is considering having prepaid debit cards as an option.
Where the Other Rescue Funds Will Go
The stimulus checks are only a small portion of the total $2 trillion package. The rest of the aid is broken down this way:
$532 billion: Big businesses ($61 billion specifically for the airline industry) and state and local loan and financial assistance
$377 billion: Small business loans and grants
$260 billion: Unemployment benefits expansion
$290 billion: Tax cuts
$150 billion: State and local stimulus funds
$126 billion: Hospitals and other healthcare needs ($16 billion specifically for protective equipment and ventilators)
$45 billion: FEMA
$31 billion: Educational institutions