Most Americans to receive $600 coronavirus relief checks starting next week
WASHINGTON - Think of it as a much-needed gift after Christmas.
Starting next week, most Americans will receive a check for up to $ 600 from the federal government to help ease the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payments are part of a $ 900 billion pandemic relief package that is expected to be finalized Monday in Congress.
The payments will be roughly half what millions of Americans received last spring as part of an earlier bailout to boost the economy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday the $ 600 checks will give Americans the boost they need to benefit from the financial aftermath of the pandemic and will strengthen the economy.
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"So much relief, just in time for the holidays," Mnuchin said during an interview on CNBC. "This is a very, very quick way to get money into the economy." People go out and spend that money, and that helps small businesses. And that helps get more people back to work. "
Families with dependent children will receive a check for $ 600 for each child, so a family of four would receive up to $ 2,400. Payments will expire for Americans who make more than $ 75,000 a year. These are the same income limits that were set for the first payments that year.
Mnuchin said the government will start sending the funds via direct deposit next week.
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For millions of Americans, it is the second relief check received from the government this year.
More than 159 million checks worth up to $ 1,200 were distributed in the spring under a bill designed to allow Americans a one-time infusion of money and revitalize an economy hit by coronavirus-related closings and other restrictions.
These payments were approved under a $ 2.2 trillion recovery package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Under the law, individuals with gross adjusted income of $ 75,000 or less were entitled to a one-time payment of up to $ 1,200 ($ 2,400 for joint tax returns) and $ 500 for each eligible child. Individuals with little or no tax liability were also entitled to $ 1,200 ($ 2,400 for joint tax returns).
Aid payments for those earning more than $ 75,000 or $ 150,000 for a joint return will expire. Payments for single applicants with income greater than $ 99,000, $ 136,500 for heads of household with one child, and $ 198,000 for joint applicants without children have been ceased entirely.
Most Americans didn't have to do anything to get payment. The checks were automatically sent by direct deposit to eligible Americans who had filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019. Physical checks were sent to Americans who did not have a bank account or for whom the federal government did not have direct deposit information.
Not everyone was eligible. Those left out included many students, some elderly and disabled people, and immigrants who do not have a social security number.
The check delivery was also not perfect. According to the Government Accountability Office, checks totaling $ 1.4 billion have been sent to more than 1 million dead. According to one legal interpretation, the Treasury Department and the IRS could not use government death certificates to prevent checks from going to the deceased.
Americans who received a check for a dead relative were asked to return the money.
Michael Collins reports on the White House. Reach out to him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
Payments for the Dead: Coronavirus relief checks sent to the dead should be returned to the IRS, according to the Treasury
The check wasn't in the mail: Not everyone gets a $ 1,200 coronavirus check. Here's who's left out.
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: $ 600 Checks: Coronavirus Aid Payments Will Arrive Next Week
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