As reported in yesterday’s News article, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” passed in Congress, providing for substantial stabilization in America’s economy during the unprecedented medical crisis sweeping the country. As approved, the Act provides critically needed funding in key areas like expanded unemployment benefits and specific aid to many business segments facing extraordinary disruption, along with financial relief payments to most Americans.

Under the provisions of the approved Act, Americans having a valid Social Security number will receive direct cash assistance, specifically including those who receive welfare and Social Security benefits. Relief payments are scheduled to be $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, and $500 for children, for individuals with incomes at or below $75,000 ($112,500 for heads of household), while couples with income at or below $150,000 eligible for the same level of relief payments.

The procedural details on how the approved payments will get into the hands of recipients are being finalized now, but here are some of the general elements of the process we’ve been able to find:

  • According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, most payments should be in the hands of recipients within three weeks
  • Eligibility for cash payments is based on income as reported in your most recent income tax return (adjusted gross income, specifically)
  • If you did not file tax returns and are receiving Social Security payments, the IRS can use your Form SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement or your Form RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement to send your check
  • If you have received a tax refund in the last two years by direct deposit, that’s where your money will be sent. If not, the IRS will mail a check to your “last known address”
  • The IRS will mail a notice confirming distribution of your payment, along with IRS contact information if you haven’t actually received the confirmed payment
  • You do not need to do anything in advance. For many recipients, the IRS has your banking information and will likely execute direct transfers to your account

As noted above, procedural details are being developed now. Stay tuned to this site for additional specifics as they are announced!