MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Good news for those affected by the coronavirus crisis: after weeks of back and forth, lawmakers in Washington struck a deal early Wednesday morning that includes sending stimulus checks directly to Americans.
The bad news, it could be months before those checks are sent out.
It will likely take until at least May if history is any indicator.
In 2001, it was six weeks before the IRS began to send out rebate checks under President Bush’s tax cut.
In 2008, Bush signed a law that granted money to those affected by the Great Recession.
Those checks took three months.
Every single day, we’ve heard from FOX13 viewers who wanted to know If they will qualify for a COVID-19 stimulus check and when they will come.
Until a deal was struck in Congress, there was very little information we could provide them in response.
According to CNN reporting, as the plan stands now, single Americans would get $1,200, double that for married couples at $2,400, and parents would get $500 for each child under 17.
If you make more than $75,000 individually, expect that number to phase out.
People who make more than $99,000 will not qualify at all.
Per couple, those numbers are $150,000 and $200,000.
According to the Tax Policy Center, about 90% of Americans will qualify for the $250 billion in the so-called recovery rebates.
The money will only be granted to those who pay taxes and have a valid Social Security number.
The IRS will use your 2019 income if you’ve already filed, otherwise, they’ll use 2018.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin recently promised to send the checks out in two weeks, however, the law hasn’t been signed yet and the IRS has far fewer employees and a smaller budget than it did in 2010.
One way to speed up the process is by filing your taxes electronically and sign up for direct deposit with the IRS.
According to the latest version of the bill publicly available, people who pay little to no taxes will get a minimum check of $600 if they’ve made at least $2,500 in earned income, Social Security retirement or veteran benefits.
That is because benefits like those, the government said, aren’t going to be interrupted by the pandemic.
Finally, those unemployed during this crisis can expect an increase of up to $600 per week in unemployment insurance benefits on top of what is issued by the state for the next four months.
We spoke with Congressman Cohen’s office Wednesday and they told us because the deal made this morning hasn’t been voted on yet, none of these numbers are set in stone.
There is still much to debate over hospital funding, small and large business loans and aid to state and local governments.
The Senate meets Wednesday, the House Thursday.
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