Resources for Families: Federal Relief Program

As you may know, congress passed a $2 trillion stimulus bill to help Americans struggling amid the Coronavirus pandemic. As part of this bill single Americans would receive a one-time payment of $1,200, married couples would get $2,400, and parents an additional $500 for each child under age 17. Payments start to decrease for individuals who made more than $75,000 as a single adult and $150,000 as a married couple.

Eligibility is based on your 2018 or 2019 taxes and will be deposited to the bank account on file. If you did not have direct deposit for these, the IRS will mail you a check to your last known address on file. Those who have not filed taxes in 2018 or 2019 but are obligated to will need to complete their 2018/2019 taxes to receive the payment. If you did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes because you are not required to, you will need to complete a simple 2019 tax return that provides basic information to determine eligibility and informs where the funds should be deposited. The simple 2019 return has not been shared by the IRS at this time. If you do not file taxes but do receive Social Security benefits (and receive a SSA-1099 form every year), you will automatically be sent the payment without action necessary.

Children over 18 that have been claimed as a dependent by someone else are not eligible.

This bill also includes student loan relief. Federally held student loan payments (does not apply to Perkins and Federal Family Education Loans) will be suspended for 6 months interest-free. This change will be automatic, if you would like to continue making payments contact your loan servicer.

If you have lost your job during this time, there is no longer a one week waiting period to apply for unemployment. Unemployment has also been expanded to cover independent contractors and gig workers. The maximum payment amount has been increased by up to $600 and can be received for up to 4 months.

Update: The IRS has put up the form to fill out to receive your stimulus check if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples). This includes people who had no income.
  • You weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons

To fill out the form, click here.

We will continue to update this post as additional information becomes available.