Q: I’m a disabled vet but don’t pay taxes. Do I qualify?
A: Yes, although some of the details still need to be worked out. The IRS is expected to set up a system so that disabled veterans don’t fall through the cracks.
Q: I’m on Social Security, or don’t make enough to file a tax return. Will I get a check?
A: Yes. Even if you didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 or pay taxes in those years, you will be eligible if you received a Form SSA-1099 for the year 2019. That’s a form that the Social Security Administration sends each year to people who receive Social Security benefits, including retirement and disability.
Q: What if I’m homeless or recently got out of prison? Will I get help?
A: As long as you have a Social Security number, you should be eligible to apply for the relief payments under the new system created by the IRS.
Q: How does the gov’t calculate how much I earned?
A: Have you filed your taxes for 2019 already? If so, the checks will automatically be based on your 2019 return. Look for your “adjusted gross income” (Line 7 on your Form 1040 tax return in 2018, or line 8B on a 2019 return.) If you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes yet, it’ll be based on your 2018 return.
Q: When is the money coming?
A: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday the checks will be sent out “within three weeks” to people for whom the IRS has information. You don’t need to sign up or fill out a form to receive a payment if you’ve been working and paying taxes since 2018.
The Treasury Department will also run a “public awareness campaign” with information about the program, including for people who didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019.
Q: Where do I sign up?
A: You don’t. There’s no sign up. The payments will be automatic for people who have filed a tax return or gotten Social Security benefits recently. The IRS asks people not to call with questions, but to keep checking this website where they will post updates about the program once they are available.
Q: How will the money be sent?
A: If you’ve gotten a tax refund in the last two years by direct deposit, that’s where the money will be sent. If not, the IRS can mail a check to your “last known address,” and it has 15 days to notify you of the method and amount of the payment. They’ll send a phone number and appropriate point of contact so you can tell them if you didn’t receive it.
If you’ve moved recently, it may be a good idea to notify the IRS as soon as possible. The IRS also suggests that if you haven’t yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, do it as soon as you can, so that the government has your up-to-date information on file.
Q: How large would the payments be?
A: Most adults would get $1,200, although some would get less. For every qualifying child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500
Q:What if I have Covid-19 or need to care for a family member who has it?
A: If you’ve received a diagnosis, are experiencing symptoms or are seeking a diagnosis — and you’re unemployed, are partly unemployed or cannot work as a result — you would be covered. The same goes if you must care for a member of your family or household who has received a diagnosis
Q: Would this income disqualify me from any other programs?
A: Maybe. The additional $600 benefit would count as income when determining eligibility for means-tested programs, except for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP.
Q:Did the legislation make it illegal for utility providers to cut off service?