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Coronavirus stimulus checks: How much am I getting and when are more checks coming?

Published May 9th, 2020 9:01AM EDT
Stimulus check update
Image: Shutterstock
  • On Friday, the US got a sobering report on the latest jobless statistics in the country, with unemployment now standing at 14.7% thanks to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • Congress has passed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill, which includes support for direct cash stimulus payments to Americans — especially to help the newly unemployed.
  • Here are some of your questions answered about the stimulus program.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

I don’t know about you, but like millions of Americans I’m still waiting on my stimulus check in the wake of Congress’s passage back in March of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus legislation that supports direct cash payments to most Americans, among other things.

You can check out our past coverage of all the details people need to know about the coronavirus stimulus checks, for which people can qualify for up to $1,200 as individuals and $2,400 for couples (along with an extra $500 per eligible child). We’ve covered everything from who’s eligible to when you can expect yours to arrive, along with important details to know like how to make sure the IRS has your updated info in order to receive this money and some possible reasons your payment might be delayed. In the meantime, in this post we’ll take a look at answers to some situation-specific questions people still might have about the stimulus checks that are important to get answered.

For example, a teenager named “Dee” asked CNBC the following: “I am 18 years old and no longer staying with my parents. I live on my own, but last year I wasn’t, so I was claimed as a dependent. Does this mean I won’t get a stimulus check for myself? I was laid off my everyday job due to the virus, and now I am living on my own in a drought. Any advice?”

Answer: You actually may be eligible for a credit for any economic impact payment that you weren’t able to claim by using your 2019 or 2018 tax returns if your income drops this year, which is, of course, something happening to millions of newly jobless Americans right now. On Friday, for example, we learned that the US jobless rate has now ballooned to 14.7%.

“The IRS will pretend like the credit is just like money that was withheld from their paycheck,” said Richard Winchester, visiting professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, in response to the question from Dee. “So if the credit and their payroll withholdings are more than what they owe in tax, the IRS will pay them the difference as a refund.”

Here’s another question: What if you’re a small business owner, apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, but you don’t get full loan forgiveness? Do you have other options?

Answer: Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like you have any other option through this program. If you get a loan through the program that is not completely forgiven, you will have to pay that money back. At least the interest rate will be low compared to other loan programs. And note: Loan recipients have to maintain their full-time employee headcount through June 30, commit to not cutting employee pay by more than 25%, and at least 75% of the loan money has to go toward paying employees. If you don’t meet all three of those conditions, you will have to pay some of your loan money back.

What about the timing of the stimulus checks? If you’re still waiting, when are those coming?

Answer: Use the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool to input your personal information (and your direct deposit banking information, if the IRS doesn’t already have it). This tool is updated once a day, so no need to check it more than that, and it will tell you when your check is scheduled to arrive.

The Treasury Department has said it expects payments for Social Security recipients to be sent out by no later than the middle of this month.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.