Questions about government stimulus payments
As of April 15, 2020, the Federal Government began issuing stimulus payments to eligible Americans. These stimulus payments are often referred to as stimulus checks or Economic Impact Payments (“EIP”). We understand there is a lot of information out there, which can be both confusing and overwhelming. We pulled together information directly from the IRS website and related sources to help answer the questions you might have about the relief effort.
Top tip: Remember to keep yourself safe in these unprecedented times. Make sure to only submit your personal information directly to the IRS website The IRS will not directly email, text or call you to collect sensitive information. Watch out for any advertisements that offer you a bigger or faster payment; if it looks too good to be true it probably is!
Am I eligible for a payment?
Eligibility requirements are determined by the IRS and detailed requirements can be reviewed on the IRS website. Below are the requirements set out by the IRS on its website:
- You must have a valid social security number
- You must be either a US Citizen, permanent resident or a US citizen living abroad who files taxes in the US
- You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s filings
- Your Income on your last tax returns cannot exceed the following:
- $99,000 for single filers
- $198,000 for married filers without children
- $136,500 for head of household
- If your dependents are aged 17 and over
- If you are US citizen but are married to an immigrant and you file your taxes jointly
- If you have arrears on child support payments
- If you owe money to your bank (under the CARES act, they can collect debt payments against your stimulus payment)
- We recommend that you continue to review the IRS website for the latest updates on eligibility requirements.
Stimulus payments started flowing out as of April 15, 2020. According to the IRS, there are a few reasons you may not have received a payment:
- The IRS determines eligibility based on several criteria and if you do not meet these criteria, you would likely not be eligible for payment. Continue to review the IRS website for more detailed information.
- The IRS issued the first batch of direct deposits on April 15 and paper checks starting April 22. According to the IRS, if you are eligible for payment and have not yet received it, you may still need to submit your Direct Deposit information or wait for a paper check in the mail.
- The IRS website lays out that if it has a closed or restricted back account on-file, the payment will be returned to the IRS and re-issued in the form of a paper check.
If you meet all the eligibility criteria, the IRS has outlined the following payment breakdown:
- Single filers with income under $75,000 can expect to receive $1,200 with $5 less per each $100 earned up to the cap of $99,000
- Married filers with income under $150,000 can expect to receive $2,400 with $5 less per each $100 earned up to the cap of $198,000
- If you have children you can expect to receive an additional $500 per child for each child claimed as a dependent on your returns (aged 16 and under)
- These are just estimates based on information shared by the IRS; the actual amount of your payment may vary.
According to the IRS, the federal government is conducting a staggered rollout of payments, via direct deposits into bank accounts or via paper check. The IRS plans to mail checks daily, until all checks are delivered with an estimated check volume of approximately 5 to 7 million checks per week. More information can be found on the IRS website.
How can I check on the status of my payment?
Visit the IRS Get My Payment page to review the status of your payment. The IRS has identified that your payment status will most likely fall into one of the following categories:
- Payment has been processed: Payment is most likely on its way.
- Need more information: This may be because you have not yet submitted your Direct Deposit information. You can elect to send your stimulus payment directly to your PayPal Cash Plus account using Direct Deposit for free. Per the IRS, Direct Deposit can only be used to receive your stimulus payment until 12PM ET on May 13, 2020, following which all payments will be issued via paper check. Simply set up Direct Deposit if you don’t have it already. Terms apply1
- Payment Status Not available: This may be due to various reasons:
- You may not have filed your 2019 return yet.
- If you are a Non-Filer and are eligible for a payment, you still need to submit your Direct Deposit information or wait for a check.
- If you receive Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and VA Compensation and Pension, the relevant agency may not have loaded your information into the portal yet. Payments for this group are set to begin in early May.
- You may have entered the incorrect Social Security and Direct Deposit account information.
PayPal can offer you two great ways to access your government stimulus payment, fast:
Elect to receive your stimulus payment through Direct Deposit1 into a PayPal Cash Plus account in a few simple steps. Simply set up Direct Deposit if you don’t have it already. Once you have your PayPal-assigned account number and routing number, submit it directly into the IRS website and you’re all set. The last chance to submit your Direct Deposit information to the IRS is before 12PM ET on May 13, 2020, per the latest IRS guidance.
Cash your check in the PayPal app
Expecting a paper check? Cash your stimulus check with no fees and no trip to the bank using PayPal’s Cash a Check feature. For a limited time, fees associated with the Cash a Check feature are being waived for the stimulus payments. Terms apply2
Get started with these simple steps:
- Download the latest version of the PayPal app and ensure you have the latest operating system installed on your phone.
- In the app, click the More button at the bottom of your screen.
- Select ‘Cash a Check’. You’ll be prompted to set-up a PayPal Cash Plus account if you don’t already have one. Take photos of your signed check and select the “In minutes” option.
1Limited to Direct Deposit of a federal or state check, where permitted under applicable law. For up-to-date information from the IRS, visit www.irs.gov/stimulus. Faster access to funds is based on comparison of traditional banking policies and deposit of paper checks from employers and government agencies, versus adding funds electronically using Direct Deposit. Direct Deposit and earlier availability of funds is subject to payer’s support of the feature and timing of payer’s funding.
If you have a PayPal Cash Card debit card as part of a Cash Account, have enrolled in Direct Deposit, or have established Goals in PayPal, such funds will have pass-through FDIC insurance as further detailed in the PayPal Cash and PayPal Cash Plus Account Terms and Conditions.
2PayPal Cash a Check Campaign Terms and Conditions
How it works. For a limited time, use PayPal’s Cash a Check feature in our mobile app to cash any government-issued stimulus check, government-issued check or payroll check with a pre-printed signature and the check cashing fee of 1% for disbursement in minutes will be waived for approved checks (“Offer”). Checks which are not approved will not be transferred to your account with PayPal. PayPal reserves the right to cancel, extend, suspend or modify this Offer in part or in its entirety at any time without notice, for any reason in its sole discretion. Any questions relating to the promotion will be resolved in PayPal’s sole discretion and its decisions are final and binding.
Offer Period. Offer ends when the $2,000,000 USD cap has been reached. (“Offer Period”).
Eligibility Requirements. Must have a U.S. PayPal Cash Plus account (“Valid Account”) in good standing to participate. Must use your Valid Account and the Cash-a-Check feature in the PayPal mobile app to a) take a picture of any government issued stimulus check, government issued check or payroll check with a pre-printed signature that you want to cash, and b) send through the PayPal app for review. If approved, the check funds will be transferred into your PayPal Cash Plus account. Offer is limited to a maximum check transfer amount of $5,000 USD per day for each PayPal Cash Plus account holder. There is a minimum allowed per check transfer of $5.00 USD. The total maximum check transfer per PayPal Cash Plus account in 30 days is $15,000 USD. For the best experience, use the latest versions of the PayPal app and operating system on your mobile device.
Exclusions/Disqualification. Offer is void and 1% check cashing fee will not be waived if, in PayPal’s sole discretion: (1) it is made in an attempt to tamper with or impair the administration, security, proper play, or fairness of this Offer, (2) it is not completed through legitimate channels, (3) any Offer-related materials are counterfeit, altered, defective, tampered with or irregular in any way, or (4) any person supplies false or misleading information, participates by any fraudulent means, or is otherwise determined to be in violation of these Terms. The Offer is void where prohibited, if submissions are not completed through legitimate channels, or if any promotion related materials are counterfeit, altered, fraudulent, defective, tampered with or irregular in any way.
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