“For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a rebate check," which will be $1,200 for most adults or $2,400 for married couples

By Diane Herbst
March 27, 2020 02:40 PM
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Many people across America should soon expect checks or direct deposits from the federal government to help with the financial pain caused by efforts to stop the still-spreading coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered or upended numerous businesses.

The House of Representatives on Friday passed an approximately $2 trillion stimulus package which, after President Donald Trump signs it into law, will provide a check of $1,200 for adults with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 a year, according to an analysis by the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of Senate Committee on Finance.

But the more someone earns, the less money they will get from Uncle Sam.

The payment amount decreases by $5 for every $100 made above $75,000, capped for individuals with a gross income of $99,000 and above.

Married couples earning up to $150,000 will receive $2,400 and payments are progressively decreased until they are phased out at $198,000 for couples, according to Grassley’s office.

In addition, the payments would include an additional $500 per child who is 16 years and under for parents beneath the income threshold.

What do you need to do to get the money?

“For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required in order to receive a rebate check as IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed, or in the alternative their 2018 return,” according to the analysis by Grassley’s office.

People who rely on Social Security benefits will also receive a check, Grassley’s office noted.

When will you get your check?

You should start getting the money “within three weeks,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

How will you get the money?

“Most of these will be direct deposit,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “It will be within three weeks. We’re determined to get money in people’s pockets immediately.”

If someone doesn’t have direct deposit with the IRS — and doesn’t want a check mailed to them — the agency is working on a way for Americans to sign up for it, Mnuchin told Face the Nation on Sunday.

“…we will create a web-based system for people where we don’t have their direct deposit, they can upload it so that they can get the money immediately as opposed to checks in the mail,” Mnuchin said on the show.

Who qualifies?

A Social Security Number is required to receive a payment, according to Grassley’s office.

If you don’t file taxes because your income is too low, you are still eligible to receive a check, but you need to file a tax return for 2019 to qualify for the payment, according to the AARP.

What is your ‘adjusted gross income’?

A person’s adjusted gross income is not the same as taxable income and is found on their tax return — IRS Form 1040.

For 2019 tax returns, the adjusted gross income is on line eight-b of the 1040 form. On 2018 tax returns, it is on line seven.

Where does the $2 trillion for the stimulus package come from?

“We are going to borrow it. We’re going to deficit finance it,” economist Diane Lim of the Penn Wharton Budget Model of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania tells PEOPLE. “We issue more bonds. The Fed is going to increase the money supply.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.