Stimulus checks coming in, questions answered

Stimulus checks coming in, questions answered

TRI-STATE (WFIE) -If you woke up and found a couple thousand extra dollars in your bank account this morning, you aren’t alone. That’s because stimulus checks from the U.S. government are starting to deposit into bank accounts.

If you did not get your check yet, that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. For mothers like Beverly Galloway who lost her job due to COVID-19, this deposit came at the right time.

Galloway says COVID-19 has impacted her tremendously.

“Oh man, COVID-19 has impacted my life extremely,” Galloway said. “I no longer go to work.”

Galloway was a bartender and one of the first impacted by job loss in the Tri-State.

“Our last day of work was March 15,” Galloway said.

Like many bartenders, Galloway lost her job last month and has struggled to make ends meet. Now with these checks, many like her are able to stay afloat for the time being.

“I have three children, so I got $2700 deposited into my bank account today,” Galloway said.

The amount varies per family and their situation. You can get an estimate of how much you will get a few ways.

You can also go to the irs.gov/coronavirus website for information.

According to the website, Eligible individuals with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for head of household filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 married filing jointly. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per qualifying child.

For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000, $112,500, $150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000, $136,500 for head of household filers and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible and will not receive payments.

Many viewers reached out to us asking if they have to pay this money back and if it is taxed. The answer to that is no.

So what should you do with this money?

“It should go towards immediate necessities, food, utilities, rent, that sort of thing,” Certified Financial Advisor Mark Powers said.

After that, he says it should go towards an emergency cash fund

“This pandemic could last a lot longer than we’d expect,” Powers said.

Powers says if the first two are covered, he suggests paying down bad debt, which is high-interest rate debt.

If your bad debt is covered, he says to take care of some good debt like your mortgage, student loans or car loans.

For others, this money came at a time where they are still doing okay, and they are working to put it to good use.

Kevin O’Dell is an essential employee for a local water department. He is still working.

“Mainly just trying to get the economy back on track. You know the little mom and pop stores that are struggling to stay open with just the carry-out,” O’Dell said.

Something Powers says is a good idea if you are financially able to help others out during this difficult time.

“Doing something that can make a difference locally, like the food bank or a charity that you know is going to do some good," O’Dell said. "Even more if you know a family or a family member who’s in trouble right now or lost their job etc. Then consider investing in them.”

According to the irs.gov website, "Eligible retirees and recipients of Social Security, Railroad Retirement, disability or veterans’ benefits as well as taxpayers who do not make enough money to normally have to file a tax return, will receive a payment. This also includes those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from certain benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Retirees who receive either Social Security retirement or Railroad Retirement benefits will also receive payments automatically."

There are some people who will not receive these payments. That includes people who,

  • have an adjusted gross income is greater than
  • $99,000 if your filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $136,500 for head of household
  • $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly
  • You can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return. For example, this would include a child, student or older dependent who can be claimed on a parent’s return.
  • You do not have a valid Social Security number.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You filed Form 1040-NR or Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or Form 1040-SS for 2019.

Paper checks will start going out next week. You can check on your own payment by going to the “Get my payment” section of the Irs.gov website.

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