Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion rescue plan to help the country deal with the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
The massive undertaking covers a variety of topics—from unemployment benefits to student loans and a much talked about stimulus payment. Below, we break it all down into digestible bits, answering 7 questions about the bill and its effects on your day-to-day life.
1. Who gets $1,200?
United States citizens with social security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get a single $1,200 payment. Folks with children will receive an additional $500 per kid. The payments decrease corresponding to your income. Those earning $99,000 or more will not receive any money.
The Washington Post set up this handy little tool to easily calculate how much money you should expect to receive.
2. How does the government know my income?
The payments are made based on your 2019 tax return. If you haven't yet filed it, your 2018 tax return will be used instead.
3. How do I actually receive the money?
Good news: you don't really have to do anything. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has your bank information, the sum will be transferred via direct deposit into your account automatically.
4. When will the payments be made?
Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasure Secretary, announced that the payments are expected to be made in the next three weeks. If you don't receive it by then, call the IRS.
5. Are follow-up payments a possibility?
Sort of. If future bills pass, they could potentially involve additional stimulus payments.
6. Has anything changed in regards to unemployment benefits?
Yes. The bill seeks to expand the definition of unemployment in order for more people to qualify for benefits. Some part-time and self-employed people will be covered as well, for example. In terms of specifics, it all depends on the state you live in.
7. Are student loans affected by the bill?
Yes. All student loan payments held by the federal government will be automatically suspended through September 30. That applies to students who have borrowed money from the federal government in the past 10 years.