USA dollar cash banknote stimulus economic tax return check with US flag. concept: COVID-19 Stimulus Check
Cedric Jackson
By: cjackson
Read in 7 minutes

Everything You Need to Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Check

The IRS sent its first COVID-19 stimulus check on April 11, and now, people are checking their bank accounts so often that some online services have shut down. It’s clear that people are happy they’ll get the money they need to counter the economic effects of coronavirus. After all, those extra dollars are definitely great aid. 

But maybe you’re not sure if you’ll get the money. Or you might be wondering where to apply to get this COVID-19 stimulus check.

Don’t worry; we’re here to clear things up. Get the details on what you need to do so that you can enjoy these much-needed funds. 

COVID-19 Stimulus Check

The government passed the CARES Act on March 27. This Act was designed to offer financial relief to counteract the economic damage caused by COVID-19. The Act is deploying funds to businesses and individuals. 

Individuals can receive a stimulus check (also known as economic impact payments) of $1,200 or $2,400 if they’re married.

Who’s eligible?

If you want to receive the Payment, though, there are some eligibility requirements you need to meet. You:

  • Should be a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien
  • Cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return.
  • Need to have a valid SSN. If your spouse is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, then only one of you needs to have a valid SSN.
  • Need to have adjusted gross income below an amount based on your filing status and the number of your qualifying children.

How to Apply?

The IRS is sending the checks or direct deposits out to eligible recipients. But many might be wondering if they need to fill out an actual application. 

The short answer: you don’t need to fill out an application.

The long answer: you don’t need to apply to receive your COVID-19 stimulus check from the government if you:

  • Filed income taxes in 2018 or 2019
  • Receive Supplemental Security Income, survivor benefits, disability, or Social Security retirement
  • Get Railroad Retirement benefits

But, just because you filed taxes doesn’t mean the government has your bank account information. If you don’t get your tax refunds directly deposited, you might have to wait weeks or to get a paper check. It seems like checks will start being mailed on April 24, so be patient.

It’s not unusual for people to fail to include the checking account information on their taxes, but you can fix this problem if you want your check sooner. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Gather your bank account information and get your adjusted gross income from the last tax year you filed. You just need the whole dollar amount to verify your identity. 
  2. Then use the IRS’ Get My Payment tool. Click “Get My Payment” and enter the information. That way, you’ll receive a direct deposit instead of a COVID-19 stimulus check. 

That simple process will allow you to get your COVID-19 stimulus check weeks earlier. 

How to Apply If You Didn’t File Taxes 

Are you eligible, but you didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019? 

You can still get the COVID-19 stimulus check, but the government needs a little information from you first.  

Along with basic information, such as your name and current mailing address, you’ll need:

  • Valid social security numbers for all members of the household 
  • Bank account number if you want your COVID-19 stimulus check directly deposited
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number if you have one
  • A state-issued ID or driver’s license

Then you need to go to the IRS website to fill out a short form to get your COVID-19 stimulus check. The process is a cinch. 

You just need to:

  • Create an account
  • Choose your filing status
  • Fill in your bank account information if you want the check directly deposited
  • Verify your identity

One thing to keep in mind is that the IRS will ask if anyone can claim you or your spouse as a dependent. Dependents cannot receive the COVID-19 stimulus check. 

Check the Status of your COVID-19 Stimulus Check

You’ve entered your information, and now, you’re eagerly awaiting your COVID-19 stimulus check. Waiting is the hard part, but the IRS makes it a bit easier with its Get My Payment tool. 

When you’re on the Get My Payment page, you’ll have to input your SSN, your date of birth, your street address and your ZIP or postal code. Once you’ve done this, you’ll see your payment status as long as you’re eligible. 

At first, it might just say that you’re eligible, but that the payment date isn’t available.

But be patient, it will update your payment date whenever it’s ready. 

One thing to remember, though, the IRS only updates the site once a day at the most, so there’s no need to check it multiple times a day.    

What Can Your Stimulus Check Be Used For?

You’ve probably heard the IRS has some pretty strict guidelines about business loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s the good news regarding the COVID-19 stimulus check, though.

There aren’t any limits to what you can spend it on.

You can catch up with bills, pay for food or your rent, invest the money into your business, pay your employees, and so much more. You also don’t have to pay this money back. It’s yours to keep and use how you want. 

Camino Financial Is Here for You During This Difficult Time 

We understand that this a difficult time for business owners. You are worried about your financial future while trying to stay afloat today. We are here to help and have compiled some small business resources for you.

In our “content hub,” you’ll be able to find all the information you need to help your small business weather the storm. 

COVID-19: Small Business Resources, coronavirus, Camino financial

COVID-19: Small Business Resources

Remember, we’re in this together, and we will help you.

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