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COVID-19 Economic Stimulus

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments ("Stimulus Checks")

  • A Stimulus Check is money that the government will give to individuals and families to help them during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • If you filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you do not need to do anything. The IRS will send you the stimulus check.
  • If you get Social Security Retirement, Social Security Disability Insurance, or Railroad Retirement benefits, you do not need to do anything. The IRS will send you the stimulus check.
What if you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019 and earned some income from work?
  • If you are single and your income is higher than $12,200, you should file your 2019 tax return as soon as possible. If you are married and your income is higher than $24,400, you should file your 2019 tax return as soon as possible. The deadline to file taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020. But, if you can’t file right away, you can still qualify to get your stimulus check through December 2020.
  • If you have very low-income, but you earned at least $1 from work, you should think about filing taxes, because in addition to getting the stimulus check you may also be eligible for additional money through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
What if I didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019 because I am very low-income or I didn’t earn any money?
Will the IRS call me to ask me any questions after I file my taxes or fill out the online form?
  • No! The IRS will not call you to ask for any of your personal information or your bank account. Do not give this information out to anyone who calls you. This is a scam.
How much stimulus money will I get?
  • You will get $1,200 if you are single and earn less than $75,000 before taxes.
  • You will get $2,400 if you are married and file jointly and earn less than $150,000.
  • You will get $1,200 if you file as head of household and earn less than $112,500.
  • You will receive a smaller stimulus check or no stimulus money if you earn more than these amounts.
  • You will get $500 for every child you claim as a dependent, if the child is under 17 and has a social security number. See here about who you may claim as a dependent: https://www.irs.gov/help/ita/whom-mayi-claim-as-a-dependent
How will I get the money?
  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will deposit the money into the bank account you listed in your 2018 or 2019 tax return, or the special IRS form. If you did not give the IRS a bank account, the IRS will mail you a check to the address you provide.
How will I get the money if I get SSI benefits?
  • Anyone who receives SSI and does NOT have qualifying children in the household, whether or not they file tax returns or fill out the IRS form, will receive $1,200 by the end of April.
  • But, if you’re on SSI and you have children, you will not receive your child’s payment until next year.
  • If you are on SSI and have children, you can choose to fill out the new tool to get money for you and your children: https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment
  • Or...go now to the IRS’s webpage at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here and visit the "Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info" section to provide your information.  By taking proactive steps to enter information on the IRS website about yourself and your qualifying children, you will receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to your $1,200 individual payment. If SSI beneficiaries in this group do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.
Do I need a social security number to get a check?
  • Yes. If you file jointly with your spouse, you and your spouse must both have social security numbers.
  • If you don’t have a social security number, you can’t apply for a stimulus check for your child. Your adult child may be able to get a Stimulus Check if they have a social security number and will not be a dependent in 2020.
Will the Stimulus Check reduce my cashaid, health care or food assistance benefits?
  • No. If you spend the stimulus money within 12 months, it will not affect your CalFresh, SSI, School Meals, Medi-Cal, WIC or CalWORKs benefits.
Where can I get help with filing my taxes?
What if they send my Stimulus for just me, but I have a child who lives with me?
What if I used a tax preparer in 2018 and 2019 to file my taxes and I don't receive a stimulus check?
  • Contact the IRS to find out if your check was sent to your bank account, or to a different bank account connected to the tax preparer.
  • The IRS hotline is 1-800-829-1040.
  • If the IRS says the check was sent or deposited to the wrong bank account, call legal aid for help.
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