The recent outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent pandemic that followed has had an unprecedented effect on the everyday lives of people around the globe. As the U.S. is starting to feel the impact of the virus, many families and individuals are finding themselves unable to work or in economic hardship due to the wide-spread lock-downs and stay-at-home orders that have been – and continue to be – put into effect to try to slow the spread of this pandemic.
Thankfully, the government signed a relief bill on March 27th that contains provisions to help individuals and companies find financial relief during Covid-19. The various categories and financial relief options include the following:
Individual Relief Checks
Individuals looking for financial relief during Covid-19 will be happy to know that the new stimulus bill includes the provision of a check to most middle- to low-income people. Anyone who makes $75,000 a year or less will receive a check for $1,200. If you make between $75,000 and $99,000 a year, the stimulus check you will receive will decrease from the standard $1,200 by $5 for every hundred dollars you earned over the $75,000 threshold. Any individual who earned more than $99,000 won’t receive a check.
If a couple filed jointly and their combined income was $150,000 a year or less, they will each receive a $1,200 check, or $2,400 combined. If an individual made $112,500 or less and filed as head of the household, they will also receive the $1,200 check. Couples will also receive an additional $500 per child in the household under the age of 17.
Income will be based on 2019 taxes if you have filed them already, or 2018 taxes if you haven’t filed yet. The checks will be dispersed in the same way tax returns are distributed. So, if you usually get your refund through direct deposit, that is how you will receive this stimulus check, most likely in the next 4 – 5 weeks. If you usually receive your refund by mail, expect a physical check to arrive sometime in the next 5 – 6 weeks.
Also included in this bill is an expansion of unemployment benefits for those who may have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Freelancers and those who rely on gigs for income now qualify for unemployment benefits, which has never been the case before. Additionally, the average length someone is able to receive unemployment benefits has expanded from 26 weeks to 39 weeks. Also, anyone who is unable to work because they are in quarantine, sick, or need to provide unexpected childcare because of Covid-19 will receive an additional $600 a week. This additional pay can last up to four weeks.
Student Loan Interest Suspended
Interest on student loan payments has been suspended indefinitely, and people now have the option to suspend payment entirely for at least two months. Anyone who needs to suspend payments or take advantage of the deferred interest should contact their loan provider and apply for forbearance.
Delayed Tax Filing
Another potential source of financial relief comes in the form of a delayed tax filing date. The deadline to file federal taxes has been moved from April 15th to July 15th. This means that if you usually owe taxes, you can put off paying them for a few more months in the midst of this financial upheaval. If you are expecting a tax return, you can still file before the July 15th date to receive your refund when you would usually expect it.
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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.
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