Update (3/26/2020): The Senate passed a $2 trillion dollar rescue plan last night that will provide immediate payments to Americans. The bill will provide one-time checks of $1,200 for adults and $500 per child. The payments are phased out for individuals who earn $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples). Payments will be based on your 2019 income tax return, or if you haven’t filed yet, your 2018 tax return. If you have not filed a tax return, Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement (or Form RRB-1099 Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement) will be used to verify your income and eligibility for the stimulus payment.
Update (3/25/2020): Details of the stimulus package are starting to emerge. The bill, yet to be passed by Congress, will give direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child, based on 2019 tax returns for those who filed them and 2018 information, if they have not. This means seniors who haven’t filed tax returns could be left out. Unfortunately, there is no mention of increasing Social Security benefits in the latest version of the bill.
Congress is trying to quickly pass a massive stimulus package to help Americans weather the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Unfortunately, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree on what should be included in the bill, as they failed to reach a vote for the second time.
The current bill includes:
- Sick leave pay for workers caring for a child whose school or day care has been closed
- Paid time off for health care and emergency medical service workers
- Tax credits for small and medium businesses offering leave and insurance to employees
- Direct payments of $1,200 (plus $500 per child) to Americans based on their 2018 tax return, or based on their Social Security benefit statement
- Penalty free hardship withdrawals from 401K, 403B and IRA accounts (up to $100,000)
House Democrats plan to introduce their own bill after the Senate bill failed to pass. Some of the clauses in the Democratic bill include:
- Requirements that corporations getting bailout money limit CEO compensation, stock buybacks and layoffs
- Direct payments to Americans
- Expanded paid medical leave
- Grants and loans to small businesses
- More funding for food assistance programs
In addition, several leading Democratic senators want to increase Social Security benefits by $200 per month.
The Senate bill includes stimulant payments to Americans, but because it’s based on your 2018 income tax return, older Americans who aren’t required to file tax returns may not receive a stimulus check.
Increasing Social Security benefits would help older Americans, and those on SSI, pay for higher expected costs during this health crisis.
Votes on a bill stalled in the Senate today, but look for a stimulus package to be passed this week.