Edited: 12/27/2020 to reflect President Trump has signed the bill, making it a law.
A $900 billion economic relief package was signed by President Trump, making it a law, on Sunday December 27, 2020. It includes a number of benefits, including another stimulus check, eviction protections, unemployment benefits and other benefits.
Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $600 for individuals or $1,200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child 17 years old and under.
- Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals, and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment.
- For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000 for single filers, $150,000 thresholds for joint filers, and $112.500 for those who filed as head of household.
- Single filers with income exceeding $87,000 and $174,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible.
- Payments will now go automatically to individuals who receive Veterans pension of disability compensation and Social Security benefits.
Do immigrants or mixed-status households qualify?
- Undocumented immigrants unfortunately are not eligible but their spouses and children are eligible as long as they have Social Security numbers.
- Mixed-status households with undocumented family members will now receive stimulus checks that they were denied under the first round of legislation
- Additionally, this new bill also retroactively makes mixed-status families with one Social Security number-holder eligible for the $1,200 per household and $500 per child checks allocated by the CARES Act, which was enacted in late March.
When will I see my payment?
- The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible within several weeks of the bill being signed.
- If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, there will likely be an opportunity to use the 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. See more information here.
Will this stimulus payment affect my eligibility for Public Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, or Section 8 benefits (or other?)
*These answers are based on the previous stimulus payment info
- Medicaid. The payment does not count as “income” for Medicaid. If you are age 65+, blind, or disabled, it also will not count as a “resource” for 12 months after you receive it. In other words, it will not affect your Medicaid eligibility.
- SSI and SSD. SSI will not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.
- Public Assistance. Stimulus payments are not counted as income for the purposes of Public Assistance. Receipt of the payment is not subject to the lump sum provisions. The payment will be excluded as a resource in the month received and the two months following. Any remaining funds after that will be counted as a non-exempt resource
- SNAP (Food Stamps). Stimulus payments are not counted as income for the purposes of SNAP. They are an exempt resource in the month received and one month following. Any remaining funds after that will be counted as a non-exempt resource.
- VA Benefits. The economic impact payment does not count as income or assets for VA purposes. It is important that the check be spent within 12 months of receiving it, because any remaining stimulus money will be considered an asset.
- Section 8. Because the stimulus payment is not income, it should not affect someone’s Section 8 share.
- The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program will be extended for another 11 weeks, until March 14, 2021. The program provides support for Americans who are unable to work due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but do not qualify for traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI
- There will be an additional $300 payable to claimants under the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) supplement program.
- The bill is expected to extend the nationwide eviction moratorium by one month, through the end of January.
- There are other housing protections, but its best you call a lawyer to understand your options. Our COVID-19 hotline can help.
This resource does not constitute legal advice nor does it substitute for legal advice.
For help with your specific circumstances, contact NYLAG’s NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline. It’s free and confidential.
For the latest resources and up-to-date information on court procedures, policies, and COVID-related benefits, visit NYLAG’s COVID-19 Resource Center.