It’s passed in the Senate, and it looks like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act is set to pass the House. But for all the talk about bailouts for big businesses, the questions most New Yorkers have are most likely, how much money will I get, and how do I get it?

You may be due money on two fronts. Here’s what we know right now:

Who is eligible to get the Coronavirus Stimulus Check?

Single adults earning up to $75,000, heads of households earning up to $112,500, and married couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000 per year in gross adjusted income will receive a one-time payout of $1,200, plus $500 for each child.

That amount decreases by $5 for every $100 in yearly income above that amount.

Single adults earning $99,000 per year or more, and couples earning $198,000, would get nothing. Your income will be based on your 2019 tax returns, or the 2018 returns if you have not yet filed your 2019 returns, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

How and when can we expect to get the money?

How you receive your cash depends on how you get your tax refunds. If you have direct deposit with the IRS, you’ll get your money faster than if you have to wait for a check to be mailed.

When you get your money is a bit more up in the air. According to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, checks should be sent out two weeks after the bill passes. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would take three weeks for payments to be sent. Keep in mind, the Economic Stimulus Act was passed on February 13, 2008. The first payments went out in late April.

One more thing to consider: we don’t yet know if the money will be considered a loan or a gift. If it’s a loan, you may have to pay at least part of it back in a future tax filing. If it’s a gift, it could be taxable income.

How does this factor into unemployment?

The unemployment piece of the stimulus package works differently. According to Gillibrand, the bill allows for everyone laid off or furloughed because of the new coronavirus to receive their full salaries for up to four months. That money will be paid out by the states.

If you’re eligible, you can access your cash the same way that you sign up for and collect your regular unemployment check. Go to the state unemployment website,, for more information.

How does this impact small businesses?

Finally, if you are a small business owner, there is loan money in the bill that would allow you to pay your furloughed workers. If you keep those workers on after the crisis has passed, that loan would become a grant. Just contact the state’s Small Business Administration for details.



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