Apr 15, 2020

Stimulus Checks Are Starting to Arrive – Here’s What You Need to Know

Financial documents

What is a stimulus check and who is eligible?

U.S. residents can expect to receive assistance under the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, as early as this week. The first wave of deposits have already been delivered with the rest being deposited in the coming days. This stimulus check or Economic Impact Payment is intended to offset the potential economic devastation caused by COVID-19. U.S. residents who previously received their tax refunds or Social Security payments by direct deposit will receive their payments first, followed by those who typically receive their returns and payments by mail.

Most filers will qualify. Eligibility is determined by the following.

  • Individual or head of household filers will receive $1,200
  • Couples married and filing jointly will receive $2,400
  • $500 per qualifying child

So long as the recipient is not the dependent of another taxpayer, has a work eligible Social Security number with an adjusted gross-income up to:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if their filing status was single or married filing separately
  • $112,000 and $136,000 for head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if their filing status was married filing jointly

The payments will be automatic for most taxpayers.

However for those who did not file their tax returns in 2018 or 2019 will need to enter their payment information for non-filers in order to receive payment.

Check your status and update your direct deposit info

The IRS made a new tool available online for those who wish to check their payment status as well as to update the method of delivery. This form will allow recipients to enter their direct deposit information if their check has not yet been mailed. Go to ‘Get My Payment.’ If you want to switch or update your direct deposit to Hughes, the Routing Number is 322174944. If you are expecting your check via direct deposit, remember to set up your online and mobile notifications to alert you when a large deposit is made.

Deposit your stimulus check with the Hughes mobile app

If you choose not to have direct deposit, the IRS will start mailing paper checks beginning in May. Depending on the size of your payment, you’ll be able to deposit your check using the Hughes Mobile App (up to $1,500), or at a Hughes Branch Drive-Thru location (over $1,500).

What can you do with your stimulus check?

The funds are intended to help stimulate the economy. Those who were heavily impacted during the early stages of the pandemic will be utilizing those funds for necessities, including food, rent and utility payments. Others will be stocking up on groceries and purchasing quarantine entertainment such as video games and streaming services. In the past few weeks, 17 million U.S. residents have filed for unemployment which means the additional income will come as a relief.

The best use of the relief check will vary from person to person. Here are just a few more ways that the stimulus check can work even harder for you:

  • Pay small debts – If you have small debts such as credit cards, loans or leases, now might be the right time to pay them off.
  • Grow your emergency savings – There are lots of unknowns, many people feel at ease knowing that they have money in their savings, just in case. Consider opening a Daily Savings Account with Hughes. Your interest earning funds will be accessible to you 24/7.
  • Open a Certificate Account – With as little as $1,000 you can turn that stimulus check into an investment with a high yield Certificate Account. Choose from 6 months – 36 months and watch your funds grow.
  • Open a Youth Account – Invest in your child’s or grandchild’s future by opening a youth account for them. All of our youth accounts generate interest and will help children manage their finances well into adulthood.
  • Donate – If you are in a position where you don’t necessarily need the full amount of the refund, consider donating a portion to organizations that are in the front lines of this pandemic. Here are just a few, Boys and Girls Clubs, Meals on Wheels COVID response fund, or locate a local shelter in your community.

Watch out for scams

The IRS will be mailing out letters with information on how the payment was issued and instructions on how to report any failure to receive payment. These letters will be sent within 15 days after the payment was issued and will be mailed to the recipients’ last known address.

Be on the lookout for scams. The FCC and the IRS are both warning consumers to beware of scammers trying to get a hold of your stimulus check. These scams are intended to steal personal information and money. The IRS will not call, text, email or reach out via social media asking for personal bank account information. Be extra mindful of emails claiming to have special information about economic relief payments or refunds. Beware of calls, text messages and emails that promise a speedy delivery by paying a “processing fee.”

Hughes is here to help! If you are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, please send us a secure message, or call us at 520-794-8341 to see if we can tailor a plan for your specific needs.