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COVID-19 Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payments — What You Need to Know

In Benefits Articles, COVID-19, News by Sarah Lyngdal

In the last week, there’s been a lot of information shared about the COVID-19 economic impact (stimulus) payments that many Americans are expecting to receive. It can be confusing and overwhelming!

Our ERI benefits specialists are closely following state and federal guidance on getting these payments and how they will impact cash benefits and health insurance in the state of Wisconsin — more to come on that later.

What are economic impact payments?

A one-time payment of:

  • $1,200 to individuals whose gross adjusted income is below $75,000
  • $2,400 for joint tax returns with adjusted gross income under $150,000
  • $500 for each qualifying dependent child under age 17

For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the thresholds.

Payments are for US citizens and permanent residents.

How will the government know if I’m eligible?

The IRS will look at your taxes filed for 2019, or 2018 if 2019 wasn’t filed yet.

What if I don’t earn enough to have to file taxes?

You may still qualify if you don’t file taxes:

Do you receive Social Security retirement, survivors, or disability insurance benefits (SSDI)?

Yes!  The IRS will use the information on your Form SSA-1099 to pay the economic impact payment. You do not need to do anything further, unless:

  • You have dependent children under 17, and/or
  • Your benefits started after January 1, 2020

If you have dependent children under 17 and/or your benefits started after January 1, 2020, fill out the IRS Non- Filers form.

Do you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? 

Yes! All SSI recipients will automatically receive economic impact payments from the Treasury Department no later than early May 2020. If you receive SSI and you have a qualifying child under age 17, you will need to fill out the IRS Non- Filers form.

I don’t receive any cash benefits, and I don’t have to file taxes.

You may still qualify.  Visit the IRS website for a full list of who is eligible.

Is there anyone who is definitely NOT eligible to receive a payment?

Individuals who are claimed by someone else as a tax dependent are not eligible to receive the economic impact payments. This may include some students.

How will they pay me?

You may have received payment already.  Some payments went out this week! The IRS will use the direct deposit information provided on your taxes to deposit the economic impact payment. You can check your payment status on the IRS website.

If you didn’t file taxes, they will use information provided on the IRS Non-Filers form.

How do these payments affect the benefits I receive?

Economic impact payments do not count as income for Social Security, SSI, or Medicaid eligibility.

In programs with a resource or asset limit, like SSI or Medicaid, the payment will not count toward the asset limit unless you do not spend it in the next 12 months.

More information from SSA and the IRS

This information is subject to change. ERI will continue to monitor updates and share as new relevant information becomes available. 


About the Author

Sarah Lyngdal

Sarah works with ERI’s Ticket to Work program with a focus on providing high quality and efficient services. She is passionate about helping individuals move forward with their employment goals. More about Sarah