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Do You Qualify for a Coronavirus Stimulus Payment? Here’s What You Need to Know

March 30, 2020

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For the vast majority of Americans, the pandemic and economic crisis are taking an unprecedented financial toll as millions of people are out of work. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act will send one-time stimulus payments up to $1,200 to many individuals. 

At Varo, we are here to serve you. If you’re using Varo for direct deposit, we aim to get you your funds as soon as we receive them.

Do I qualify for a stimulus payment?

✅You have a Social Security number

✅You are a U.S. resident

✅You have adjusted gross income up to $99,000 as a single tax filer

👉You can find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of your most recently filed return (2019 or 2018) 1040 federal tax return. 

As an individual, if you earned up to $75,000 you’ll qualify for the full payment. If you earned between $75,000 and $99,000, your payment will be less. If you’re not sure how much you’re going to receive, use this calculator to determine how much you could receive. 

If you are receiving Social Security benefits but didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you will be eligible to receive a stimulus check without a tax return based on data available to the IRS from your annual Social Security benefits statement, according to AARP.

If you are not receiving Social Security benefits and didn't file taxes in 2018 or 2019 because you earned less than $12,200 over the year ($24,400 for married couples) or were otherwise not required to file, you are still eligible for benefits. Enter your payment info here.

Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. If you have filed as head of household, you will get the full payment if you earn $112,500 or less. Above those income figures, the payment decreases until it stops altogether for single people earning $99,000 or married couples earning $198,000.

Do I need to have a valid Social Security number to get a stimulus payment?

In most cases, everyone — including children under age 16 — must have a valid Social Security number. There is an exception for members of the military.

How much will the stimulus payment be?

Most adults will get up to $1,200, however, the full amount will depend on your reported income. If you’re not sure how much you’re eligible for, use this calculator to determine how much you could receive. For every child age 16 or under, the payment would be an additional $500. 

How can I get my stimulus payment?

You do not need to apply for this check. The government will automatically transfer the money to you in a few ways. Please see the IRS website for more information.

Direct Deposit: Most people will receive their payment via an ACH direct deposit to the bank account where they receive their SSI, SSA, or other payments, such as a tax refund from the IRS, from the government.

Paper check: If you have not connected your bank account to your tax return with the IRS, the government has said it will mail a paper check. 

When will I get my stimulus payment?

As of April 15, 2020, many people have received their stimulus payments. If you haven't received your payment, you may check on its status using this tool on the IRS website.

How can I get my stimulus payment with Varo?

If your Varo Bank Account is connected with direct deposit, your payment will likely be deposited into your Varo account. Please make sure to turn on notifications in your app so you can get alerted when the money hits your account. 

What can I do with my stimulus payment?

These funds are aimed to help you make ends meet in this time of economic stress—there are no restrictions on how you use this money. 

While these funds might feel like a windfall, take a moment to plan how you need to spend this money. What bills can be postponed and what bills need to be paid now? Do you need this money to buy food and other essential supplies for you and your family? You might consider putting half the funds into a savings account for the coming months if you can afford to do that. 

For more information about how to handle your taxes, your bills, and other money issues see this blog post.

Will I get another stimulus payment?

Right now the CARES Act only provides for this one payment. Future government bills could order up additional payments.

Sources: New York Times, IRS, Washington Post

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