Check your bank account! Some in NJ already got the latest stimulus
Had a rough New Year's Eve? Take a look at your online bank account for a little pick-me-up.
People in New Jersey on Friday were reporting that they had received the $600 stimulus payment that the president had signed into law last week.
If you haven't received yours yet, sit tight. It's coming.
Will I get check or deposit?
Direct-deposit payments started going out on Dec. 29 while paper checks and debit cards started being sent on Dec. 30. Which way you get your stimulus depends on how you elected to receive your tax refund and whether the IRS has current bank account information on file.
People will be automatically sent a stimulus payment if they filed a 2019 tax return or registered for the first round of the stimulus at the IRS website. People who receive Social Security, Railroad Retirement or Veterans benefits also will get a stimulus payment automatically.
The IRS advises people to keep a close eye on their mail. Some who received a check last time may get a debit card this time and vice-versa.
Am I eligible for this round?
The Treasury will look at people's 2019 tax filings to see if they fall under the $75,000 adjusted gross income for single filers, $112,500 for heads of households or $150,000 for couples in order to receive the full amount. Those who earn more will have their stimulus reduced by $5 for every $100 of income over the limits.
Do families get extra?
Adults receive $600 a piece. Families get an extra $600 per child under 18 for up to two children.
Where can I check the status of my payment?
The IRS website is supposed to have a "Get My Payment" portal where people can check the status of their stimulus but it was not working on Friday with no estimated time for it to return.
The IRS asks people not to call their banks or the IRS to ask about the payments because they are automatic.
What happened to the $2,000?
The latest stimulus round is half what the federal government provided back in spring. Democrats had been pushing for $2,000 payments, which President Donald Trump also demanded Congress provide after Republicans had already reached a deal on the lesser amount.
On Monday, several Republicans joined the Democrats in the House to approve a $2,000 stimulus payment but Republican leaders in the U.S. Senate have been intractable on this issue. Instead, on New Year's Day, they shored up enough GOP and Democratic votes to hand the lame-duck Trump a veto override, his first ever, on the defense bill he rejected last week.
Will this get done while Trump is in office?
The clock is ticking. A new session of Congress starts Sunday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Thursday called the House bill that provided Trump's $2,000 request “socialism for rich people." He prefers a more targeted approach.
“After all the insanity that Senate Republicans have tolerated from President Trump — his attacks on the rule of law, an independent judiciary, the conduct that led to his impeachment — is this where Senate Republicans are going to draw the line — $2,000 checks to the American people?” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said this week.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Congress could take a vote on the $2,000 checks in the new session.
“I am with President Trump on this," Graham said on Fox News. “Our economy is really hurting here.”
Joe Biden is scheduled to be inaugurated as the 46th president on Jan. 20. He also is pushing for $2,000 checks, calling it a mere "down payment" for future relief.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is the digital managing editor of New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-775-9793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.