The coronavirus pandemic has caused significant financial hardship for millions of U.S. households, with roughly one-quarter of Americans reporting that they have lost income as a result of COVID-19, according to CNBC's All-America Economic Survey.
To provide relief, the IRS is sending coronavirus stimulus checks to millions of Americans. While some people may have already received their checks, others might need to wait months before they get their money. Here's when you may get yours.
When will your check arrive?
The IRS announced over the weekend that it started its first round of deposits on Saturday, and it will continue making deposits as quickly as possible.
If you've filed your 2019 (or 2018) tax return and have your direct deposit information already on file for your tax refunds, you'll be among the first to receive your check when it's deposited straight to your bank account. If you don't use direct deposit and instead receive paper checks for your refunds, you'll have to wait a bit longer to receive your stimulus check in the mail.
The IRS estimates that it will begin mailing the first round of paper checks the week of May 4. It will then be sending out approximately 5 million checks per week, with lower-income individuals getting first priority. At that rate, it could take months for all the checks to be delivered. So if you're a higher-income individual who will be receiving a paper check, expect to wait a while for your money.
If you don't normally file a tax return (if you're retired or are receiving Social Security benefits, for example), you may still be eligible to receive a stimulus check. To receive your check as quickly as possible, you can submit a form on the IRS's website that will include your direct deposit information so you don't need to wait for a paper check in the mail.
In addition, the IRS is planning to launch a new tool called Get My Payment by April 17, which will allow you to check the status of your stimulus check and see what date you're expected to receive it. If you don't already have your direct deposit information on file with the IRS, you can also use Get My Payment to enter your bank account information to get your money faster.
Who is eligible to receive a check?
Not everyone will receive a stimulus check, and whether or not you'll get one depends on a couple of factors. First, you must have a Social Security number in order to receive a check. Second, you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return. This means many college students, adults with disabilities, and seniors who are claimed as dependents may not be eligible to receive checks.
Finally, your income must be under a certain limit in order to be eligible. For individuals, you must be earning less than $75,000 per year to receive the full $1,200 check. For heads of household and married couples filing their taxes jointly, those limits are $112,500 per year and $150,000 per year, respectively.
If you're earning more than those limits, your check will be reduced by $5 for every $100 you earn above the limit. So if you're earning more than $99,000 per year (for individuals), $136,500 per year (for heads of household), or $198,000 per year (for married couples), you won't receive a check for yourself.
Millions of Americans are struggling financially due to COVID-19, and the stimulus checks are intended to provide at least a little relief. Some people will have to wait longer than others to receive their checks, but by ensuring your bank account information is on file with the IRS, you can collect your money as soon as possible.