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By Miriam Raftery

April 14, 2020 (Sa Diego’s East County) – The federal government this week has begun distributing stimulus funds to help Americans during the COVID-19 crisis under the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Below are details on who qualifies and how to receive your money, as well as additional resources to get information on additional help available if you're economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to get your money

Your money should be direct-deposited into your account immediately if you have a bank account on file with the IRS through tax returns filed in 2018 or 2019, or if you receive Social Security payments, disability or survivor benefits via direct deposit.

 If you have filed tax returns but do not have direct deposit, you should receive a check in about three to four weeks, says Congresswoman Susan Davis.

If you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, you can go to and click on the top link for non-filers to receive your relief funds. This would apply to many disability recipients, some Social Security recipients, and others who earned less than the amount required to pay taxes

Who qualifies?

U.S. citizens or resident aliens should receive payments automatically if they:

  • Have a valid Social Security number,
  • Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
  • Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.

How much will you receive? 

Individuals earning less than $75,000 are eligible for $1,200.  Couples earning less than $150,000 are eligible for $2,400, pus $500 per child younger than 17 and born in 2019 or earlier. The rebate phases out at a 5 percent rate above adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 for single filers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for joint filers.

Q: Will parents of children born in 2020 be eligible to receive stimulus money for their child?

A: Unfortunately, parents will not receive a $500 payment for children born in 2020. However, assuming they qualify based on their 2020 income, they may be eligible to get a tax credit when they file their 2020 tax returns in 2021. 

Q: Can dependents over the age of 17 receive stimulus money?

A: Under the CARES Act, dependents over the age of 17 who have not filed a tax return will not receive a stimulus rebate. The CARES Act used the more limited Child Tax Credit age limit of 17 in the tax code to determine payments for dependents, instead of using the more expanded version, which would include dependents who are students up to age 24 and permanently disabled adults. Legislation to fix this issue is being introduced, says Congresswoman Susan Davis, who adds, “I will be joining the effort to ensure dependents over the age of 17 and disabled dependents are included.”

Q: What help is available to small businesses and non-profits?

A: There are several programs and initiatives available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address the needs of small business and non-profits during the coronavirus pandemic. Programs include capital to cover the cost of retaining employees, cash assistance to cover your business right now, small business debt relief, or free counseling to help you navigate this situation.  For a comprehensive guide on how the CARES Act helps small businesses, click here. For information specific to the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program, click here.

Beware of scams

The FBI is warning taxpayers to be wary of scammers seeking to con people out of stimulus funds.  Beware of fake checks arriving in the mail for larger amounts, after which scammers ask taxpayers to return "excess" payments. The scammers then steal any payment that you send them.  Do not give out your bank account information to anyone who calls, mails or emails you.

Where to find more help with COVID-19 economic impacts

The CARES Act is now law. For a full list of questions and answers regarding assistance in this bill, Congresswoman Susan Davis has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for help in areas ranging from student debt relief to help with mortgages and more  To view this resource list, click here.


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