Stimulus Checks: The Truth


In these times of financial trouble and with the economy in the toilet, unemployment on the rise and so many struggling, we start to see the government issue these stimulus checks. But there has been some controversy about who gets them and the balance of the check. Well, To begin with, you may be wondering, what really is a stimulus check?  Besides being just free money, a stimulus check “is a check sent to a taxpayer by the U.S. government. Stimulus checks are intended to stimulate the economy by providing consumers with some spending money” according to Investopedia. It is usually a part of a larger stimulus bill package to basically help jumpstart the economy while it is in a downturn.

The next thing to know is who actually gets a stimulus check? Let’s look at the last stimulus check sent out (that whopping $600!). Well, according to AARP the checks went out to “single adults who reported adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less on their 2019 tax returns”. Married couples who filed jointly each received $600, and in families, each child received an additional $600. Those that make anything above that limit did not receive any money. And, those that receive disability, social security income(SSI), social security disability insurance(SSDI), and VA beneficiaries will receive a check. Lastly, believe it or not, those that are incarcerated and filled their 2018 or 2019 tax returns can get a stimulus check of $600.

Now, you’re probably wondering why that if the stimulus bills and packages are so great, why don’t they get passed more often? Well, this comes down to multiple things but mainly politics, different agendas, and congressional recess. The house wants to pass a bill called H.E.R.O.E.S (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions ) while the Senate wants to pass much cheaper bills that won’t give out as much money. This alongside congressional recess delays talks and any cooperation between the house and senate. Now couple that with the presidential transfer of power and civil unrest could delay another stimulus package further. 

There is hope is on the horizon, however. with president Biden now in office, he plans to roll out a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Contained in this plan Is a bosted stimulus check of $1,400 from the previous 600. This is supposed to be a life preserver thrown out to the cash-strapped Americans that have lost work over the past year. The house will vote likely in favor of the check come early February, then the senate will vote and hopefully by mid to late February people can start seeing their checks. Another key point is to include adult dependents who were exempt from the previous checks.

On the brighter side of things, if you received a stimulus check, enjoy spending it! Whether it’s for food or bills, repairs or renovations, a new T.V or even that nice pair of shoes you saw. It is your money, your right to spend it on whatever you want. Or don’t, if you want to save it, save it! It won’t expire, and can hopefully help you out however you want.

Finally, some myths about stimulus checks:

  1. You owe income tax on your stimulus payment: False, since it is not income, it will not have any tax to it.
  2. You need a bank account to receive a stimulus check: False, it is just like a regular check, no bank account is needed, but a valid home address is required.
  3. Relative can keep stimulus checks sent to deceased family members: False, unfortunately, if you’re not a dependent of that relative, the IRS has requested that checks be sent to a deceased family member, and they departed before they received the check, the check must be sent back. That is unless you want to be in trouble with the IRS.