July 17, 2020
Economic Impact Payments –commonly referred to as “stimulus checks”– are a key provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act legislation that Congress passed in March 2020 to help reduce the financial burden of COVID-19.
While most households automatically received these payments, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that over 300,000 people in Louisiana qualify for stimulus checks but did not receive those payments automatically. This group includes very low-income households in great need of support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Am I Eligible for the Stimulus Payment?
You are eligible for the full payment if:
- You have no income OR your income is under $75,000 (single, or married filing separately), $112,500 (head of household) or $150,000 (married filing jointly).
- Someone else cannot claim you as a dependent on their tax return.
- You and your spouse, if filing jointly, each have a valid Social Security number (for military couples, only one is needed).
Above these income limits, the payment amount decreases five percent for every additional $100 of income up to $99,000 for a single adult, $136,500 for head of household, and $198,00 for a married couple.
The stimulus checks are worth up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. You’ll get $500 for every dependent child under 17 who has an SSN or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN).
How do I get the Stimulus Payment?
There are a few options to get the stimulus check depending on your situation.
1. Complete the IRS Non-filer tool if you:
- Earned less than $12,200 ($24,400 if married) in 2019; AND
- Are not required to file a tax return; AND
- Don’t plan on filing taxes.
People with direct deposit information on file with the IRS will get their payment before those who receive their payment by mail. Complete the online form by October 15 so the IRS knows where to send your payment.
2. File taxes now if you:
- Earned more than $12,200 ($24,400 if married) in 2019 and haven’t filed taxes; OR
- Are self-employed and earned more than $400.
3. You should have automatically received a check (no action needed) if you:
- Already filed taxes for 2018 or 2019; OR
- Receive Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI); OR
- Are a railroad retiree or Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiary.
How can I file taxes? Is help available?
Virtual Tax Help
If you have access to a mobile phone or a computer connected to the internet, you can get help to file your federal and state taxes at GetYourRefund.org.
Local Tax Assistance
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites are another option for free tax preparation. While many sites in our region are closed, view a list of open sites at UnitedWaySELA.org/VITA.
What else should I know?
You can use the IRS Get My Payment tool to check when you will get your payment.
The IRS refers to this money as an “Economic Impact Payment” and will not contact people by phone, email, text message, or social media to request personal information or a processing fee. The IRS will send written correspondence.
If you have specific questions, read through these Economic Impact Payments FAQs to get answers on eligibility details, how to get your payment, options for direct deposit if you don’t have a bank account, and more.