ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENT

Direct Cash Payments

Q. Who is eligible to receive a direct cash payment, called Economic Impact Payments, from the federal government?

All U.S. residents who are not a dependent of another taxpayer, have a work eligible social security number and do not exceed approved income caps.

Q. How much money will I receive?

This depends on the size of your family.  The payment is $1,200 for each adult ($2,400 for joint filers) and $500 per child under the age of 17.  However, high earners will receive less: this payment will be reduced by $5 for every $100 of adjusted gross income joint filers made over $150,000; $112,5000 for a head of household filer; and $75,000 for everyone else, including single filers.

Q. When, and how, will I get my direct cash payment?

These payments have already started being issued via direct deposit for millions of Americans.  Treasury, in coordination with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal agencies are working to obtain that information for millions more Americans.  Those who do not have direct deposit information available will receive checks over time – we are working to ensure this happens as quickly as possible. 

The IRS will determine payment delivery systems for everyone entitled to rebates.  Rebates will be delivered automatically, by the IRS, to most Americans who file individual federal income tax returns.  Payment processing will be based on payment or address information already on file with the IRS.  Rebates sent via check will take longer.

The Social Security Administration will share information for Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) beneficiaries with the IRS to help ensure these beneficiaries receive their automatic advance payment.  According to guidance issued by the IRS, people who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment.  Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens and some veterans who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

The IRS will also conduct a public awareness campaign to reach other non-filers and provide them with information on how they can access rebates.  If you would like to check on the status of your rebate or enter your information to receive your payment via direct deposit, please use this website from the IRS.  We will continue updating our website to reflect new information.

Q. Will I get a rebate if I didn’t file taxes in 2018 or 2019?

If you do not owe the federal government taxes for either 2018 or 2019 and usually don’t file as a result – you should file this year to ensure you can receive your payment.  According to guidance issued by the IRS, people who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment.  Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens and some veterans who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security recipients do NOT need to file a tax return in order to receive their direct cash payment.

The IRS recently released this resource for those who may have questions as to whether they need to file taxes to receive their return.  And if you need to do so, you can enter your information to help ensure you receive your payment.

 Q. Will I be taxed on the direct cash payment?

No, the cash payments are not subject to Federal income tax.

Q. Is the direct cash payment an advance on my 2020 tax refund?

No.  If you normally get a refund when you file your taxes, this payment doesn’t change that.  You should still expect to get your normal refund when you file your taxes, assuming nothing else changes, even if you received direct cash payment.

Q: What if I need to update my information? How can I check on the status of my payment?

For updates on these payments, including checking on the status of your payment, or updating your information to make sure you receive it as quickly as possible, you can check this website.

Q. Are retired senior citizens living on a fixed Social Security income eligible for the direct cash payments?

Yes.  Any American who meets the requirements laid out above - whether their income comes from their job or social security payments - is eligible.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will NOT need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment.  Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. 

Q. I am a veteran who does not file a tax return, will I receive the direct cash payment?

The Internal Revenue Service, working in partnership with the Treasury Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced that recipients of VA benefits will automatically receive direct cash payments.  Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments from VA will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part.  As of April 18, the timing on the payments is still being determined.  The IRS has outlined more information on the direct cash payments here.

If you also have dependents under the age of 17 please see question below.

Q. Will recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) receive a direct cash payment?

Recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will automatically receive a direct cash payment of $1,200 with no further action needed on their part.

Payments for this group will go out no later than early May.

Recipients will generally receive the automatic payments by direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits.

If you also have dependents under the age of 17 please see the next question below.

Q: If I receive benefits through Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or veterans benefits and have dependents, how do I get the $500 per qualifying child?

For benefit recipients with dependents, extra steps may be needed to claim the extra $500 for qualifying children.  For taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019, the child payments will be automatic.  However, many benefit recipients aren’t required to file tax returns.  Social Security retirement, survivors and disability insurance beneficiaries with dependent children and who did not file 2018 or 2019 taxes should go to this IRS webpage and visit the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” section to provide their information by Wednesday, April 22 in order to receive additional payments for their eligible children quickly.  SSI and veterans benefit recipients need to take this action by later; a specific date will be available soon.

The tool will request basic information to confirm eligibility, calculate and send the Economic Impact Payments: Full names and Social Security numbers, including for spouse and dependents, mailing address, bank account type, account and routing numbers (leave blank if you receive your benefits through Direct Express).  By entering this information, they can receive the $500 per dependent child payment automatically in addition to their $1,200 individual payment.  Otherwise, their payment at this time will be $1,200.  By law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

More information can be found on the Treasury website and the Social Security Administration website.

Q: I got a text, email, call asking for more information to get my direct cash payment. What do I do?

Unfortunately, there are reports of fraudulent scams centered around direct cash payments.  As long as you filed taxes for 2018 and/or 2019, the federal government most likely has the information needed to provide your check.  The government is not reaching out to you directly soliciting additional information, and if someone is asking for your personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account information it is a scammer.  You should not engage potential scammers online or on the phone and can learn more about reporting suspected scams on this Report Phishing and Online Scams page from the IRS.

If you think you are a victim of a scam involving COVID-19 you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by calling: 1-866-720-5721 or by emailing disaster@leo.gov.  You can also report it to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office at scams@attorneygeneral.gov.  Anyone who receives unsolicited email or text messages, or contacted over social media, in attempts to appear like the IRS or as an organization closely linked to the IRS, should also forward these examples to phishing@irs.gov.