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Coronavirus Stimulus FAQs

Stimulus Checks Update: To help taxpayers get their CARES Act stimulus payments as soon as possible, the IRS launched the "Get My Payment" web app. The app allows you to:
  • Check your payment status
  • Confirm your payment type: direct deposit or check
  • Enter your bank account information for direct deposit if the IRS doesn't have your direct deposit information and it hasn't sent your payment yet
NOTE: In certain cases, the "Get My Payment" app will be unable to tell users the status of their payment. Users may receive an error message if they:
  • Are not eligible for a payment (see the FAQs on who is eligible and who is not eligible)
  • Are required to file a tax return and have not filed in tax year 2018 or 2019
  • Recently filed their return or provided information through the Non-Filers Form (payment status will be updated when processing is completed)
  • Are a Social Security or VA benefit recipient (the IRS is working with the relevant agency to issue payments and information is not available in this app yet)
  • Tried to enter your information too many times and are locked out for 24 hours (information is updated once a day)

My office and I are aware of these difficulties accessing the system and want to be helpful. Please contact us with any issues you're experiencing or call (202) 225-2706.

CARES Act: Recovery Check FAQ


Who is eligible for a recovery rebate?
All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income under $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 married), who are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible Social Security Number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. A typical family of four is eligible for a $3,400 recovery rebate.

What about taxpayers with adjusted gross income over $75,000 ($112,500 for head of household and $150,000 married)? Are they eligible to receive any rebate?
The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold. The amount is completely phased-out for single filers with incomes exceeding $99,000, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. For a typical family of four, the amount is completely phased out for those with adjusted gross incomes exceeding $218,000.

What if my income was above the threshold in 2019, but I’ve lost my job due to the corona virus? Can I still get a rebate check?
If your income in 2019 was in the phase-out range you would still receive a partial rebate based on your 2019 tax return. However, the rebate is actually an advance on a tax credit that you may claim on your 2020 tax return. If your income is lower in 2020 than in 2019, any additional credit you are eligible for will be refunded or reduce your tax liability when you file your 2020 tax return next year.

Is the rebate taxable or will I have to pay back any amount if the rebate based on my 2019 return is larger than what it would be if based on my 2020 tax year return?
No, the rebate is treated like other refundable tax credits, such as the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and not considered income. Moreover, if the credit amount you qualify based on 2020 income is less than what you qualify for based on your 2019 tax return, it does not have to be paid back.

Who qualifies as a child for purposes of the rebate?
Any child who is a qualifying child for the purposes of the Child Tax Credit is also a qualifying child for the purposes of the recovery rebate. In general, a child is any dependent of a taxpayer under the age of 17.

Do dependents, other than children under 17, qualify a taxpayer for an additional $500 per dependent?
No, the additional $500 per child is limited to children under 17.

Are individuals with little to no income or those on means-tested federal benefits, such as SSI, eligible for a recovery rebate?
Yes, there is no qualifying income requirement. Even individuals with $0 of income are eligible for a rebate so long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible SSN.

Are seniors whose only income is from Social Security or a veteran whose only income is a veterans’ disability payment eligible?
Yes, as long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer. The bill also provides IRS with additional tools to locate and provide rebates to low-income seniors who normally do not file a tax return by allowing them to base a rebate on Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement or Form RRB-1099, which is the equivalent of the Social Security statement for Railroad Employees. However, seniors are still encouraged to file their 2019 tax return to ensure they receive their recovery rebate as quickly as possible.

Are college students eligible for a recovery rebate?
Only if they are not considered a dependent of their parents. Generally, a full-time college student under the age of 24 is considered a dependent if their parent(s) provide more than half of their support.

I am eligible for a rebate, what do I have to do to receive it?
For the vast majority of Americans, no action on their part will be required to receive a rebate check since the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return if they haven’t filed their 2019 return. This includes many individuals with very low income who file a tax return despite not owing any tax in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?
In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return, including low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not need to take any extra action to receive a stimulus payment. However, please make sure to keep an eye on the IRS website for updates.

What should I do if I did not file a tax return for 2019 or 2018?
The best way to ensure you receive a recovery rebate is to file a 2019 tax return if you have not already done so. This could be accomplished for free online from home using the IRS Free file program (https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free). The bill also instructs the IRS to engage in a public campaign to alert all individuals of their eligibility for the rebate and how to receive it if they have not filed either a 2019 or 2018 tax return.

If I have a past due debt to a federal or state agency, or owe back taxes, will my rebate be reduced?
No, the bill turns off nearly all administrative offsets that ordinarily may reduce tax refunds for individuals who have past tax debts, or who are behind on other payments to federal or state governments, including student loan payments. The only administrative offset that will be enforced applies to those who have past due child support payments that the states have reported to the Treasury Department.

Where can I get more information?
For more information concerning unemployment insurance and the CARES Act, click here. The IRS will also post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

Receiving Your Stimulus Payment by Debit Card 

Nearly 4 million people are being sent their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card, instead of paper check. The determination of which taxpayers received a debit card was made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, a part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments.

Those who receive their Economic Impact Payment by prepaid debit card can do the following without any fees.

  • Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted
  • Get cash from in-network ATMs
  • Transfer funds to their personal bank account
  • Check their card balance online, by mobile app or by phone

This free, prepaid card also provides consumer protections available to traditional bank account owners, including protection against fraud, loss and other errors.


Debit Card FAQs 

Can I have my economic impact payment sent to my prepaid debit card?

Maybe. It depends on your prepaid card and whether your payment has already been scheduled. Many reloadable prepaid cards have account and routing numbers that you could provide to the IRS through the Get My Payment application or Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool. You would need to check with the financial institution to ensure your card can be re-used and to obtain the routing number and account number, which may be different from the card number. If you obtained your prepaid debit card through the filing of a federal tax return, you must contact the financial institution that issued your prepaid debit card to get the correct routing number and account number. Do not use the routing number and account number shown on your copy of the tax return filed. When providing this information to the IRS, you should indicate that the account and routing number provided are for a checking account unless your financial institution indicates otherwise.

Will IRS be sending prepaid debit cards?

Some payments may be sent on a prepaid debit card known as The Economic Impact Payment Card The Economic Impact Payment Card is sponsored by the Treasury Department's Bureau of the Fiscal Service, managed by Money Network Financial, LLC and issued by Treasury's financial agent, MetaBank®, N.A.

If you receive an Economic Impact Payment Card, it will arrive in a plain envelope from "Money Network Cardholder Services." The Visa name will appear on the front of the Card; the back of the Card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A. Information included with the Card will explain that the card is your Economic Impact Payment Card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information.

Can I specifically ask the IRS to send the Economic Impact Payment to me as a debit card?

Not at this time. For those who don't receive their Economic Impact Payment by direct deposit, they will receive their payment by paper check, and, in a few cases, by debit card. The determination of which taxpayers receive a debit card will be made by the Bureau of the Fiscal Service (BFS), another part of the Treasury Department that works with the IRS to handle distribution of the payments. BFS is sending nearly 4 million debit cards to taxpayers starting in mid-May. At this time, taxpayers cannot make a selection to receive a debit card. Please go to EIPcard.com for more information.

Q: Can I use the card to pay my rent or buy food?

A: There are a few ways to use the card in addition to getting cash from an ATM. You can use it at the grocery store and get cash back at the point of sale when you select the debit option at checkout. You will be prompted to enter your four-digit pin.

You can also use the card to pay your mortgage or rent if the lender or landlord accepts Visa debit card payments.

Q: I thought the letter was a scam, so I threw out my debit card. How do I get it replaced?

“Individuals who have lost or destroyed their EIP card may request a free replacement through customer service. The standard fee of $7.50 will be waived for the first reissuance of any EIP card. Any initial reissuance fee charged to a customer from an earlier date will be reversed. Individuals do not need to know their card number to request a replacement.”

Call 800-240-8100 for a lost, tossed or stolen card. Press through the automated options until you reach a customer representative if you don’t have the card number.

If the card has more than one name, only the primary cardholder — the person listed first on the card — can request a replacement. In an acknowledgment that names have been mismatched, MetaBank says the payee with the first name on the first line should make the call.

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