Last week President Trump signed the $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief package dubbed the “CARES Act” into law, bringing assistance to corporations and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. While a majority of the $2 Trillion goes to help enterprises struggling with a loss of revenue, the package comes with some relief to qualifying individuals in the form of a $1200 one-time check.
Lets breakdown the aid offered through the CARES Act and how you can ensure you’ll be getting as much of it as possible during these times.
Where the money goes in the US Senate’s $2T coronavirus stimulus bill pic.twitter.com/ssJ6jFXnnw
— Nathan Oyler (@NathanOyler) March 27, 2020
DIRECT PAYMENT TO TAXPAYERS
The payment is determined by the income noted in your 2018 or 2019 tax forms. Thus, individuals who filed taxes alone, and are not considered a dependent will receive $1,200 per person and $500 per child under 17 if they earned less than $75,000 annually. For those who filed jointly, the amount stays the same and includes $1,200 per adult — about $2400 total — and $500 per child under 17.
The amount received scales from $75,000 to $99,000, after which individuals who earned more than $99,000 themselves will be ineligible for aid. The same goes for those joint filers who earned more than $150,000 and less than $198,000.
When looking at the checks, it’s important to remember that a large group of people seeking aid will be ineligible for assistance. This includes undocumented individuals who still pay taxes, college students who are unemployed but still classified as a dependent on their 2018/2019 tax returns, and individuals who made too little money to file taxes in either of the aforementioned years. Thus, while a good chunk of people may be receiving one-time aid, the relief does not cover the whole of the population that is suffering.
For those who are eligible, if the IRS currently has your direct deposit details, they will use the information from your 2019 tax return, or your 2018 return and deposit the money into your account. If they don’t have your account information, then you should expect to see a paper check in the mail within the next three to four weeks.
MORTGAGE AND STUDENT LOAN ASSISTANCE
To further help mitigate the economic strain placed on home and business owners, mortgage lenders and servicers will be allowed to provide up to 180 days of forbearance [a deferral on payments] on federally-backed loans for customers who are experiencing hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. Those looking to take part in the forbearance program will need to reach out to their loan provider to see about taking part in the assistance offered through the CARES act.
On top of mortgage forbearance, the CARES Act also puts a deferment on all payments for federal student loans [Direct and FFELP] through September 30, 2020. Individuals currently suffering from student loan payments must reach out to their lender to request the forbearance, or else they will not be eligible.
Contact information for the top three lenders are as follows:
- MOHELA: 1-888-866-4352
- Navient: 1-800-722-1300
- Nelnet: 1-888-486-4722
The CARES Act also expands unemployment assistance and benefits to include self-employed, independent contractors/gig economy workers such as Uber drivers, nonprofit employees, and others who previously had no social safety net. The Act also provides unemployed individuals with a weekly payment of $600 in addition to the unemployment benefits to which an individual is entitled, and the duration of assistance has been extended an additional 13 weeks beyond the existing 26-week maximum.
Additional information about how you can go about applying for unemployment assistance, as well as a breakdown of the assistance offered to businesses, can be found here.