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FAQs about Coronavirus Rescue Bill

Posted at 5:56 PM, Mar 27, 2020

President Trump announced Friday that he signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Rescue Bill. The money will hopefully help stabilize the American economy and help those impacted by COVID-19.

White House coronavirus task force to hold daily briefing after Trump signs stimulus bill
President Donald Trump speaks during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Monday, March 16, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

All week long, News 5 Investigates has been working to track down answers to some of the most asked questions coming into our newsroom and circulating on the Internet.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: When will I receive my money?
A: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the checks will be sent out "within three weeks" to people who qualify and are in the IRS system. If you've already filed taxes for 2018 or 2019, no further action is needed on your part right now.

Q: Do I need to sign up to get my money?
A: No. Anyone or any web site asking you for personal information in order to receive money from this rescue bill is not legitimate. You do not need to sign any forms or pay any money to get this stimulus check.

Q: How will the money arrive?
A: If you received your tax refunds through direct deposit, that is how this money will be deposited. Otherwise, look for a check in the mail.

Q: What if I moved addresses?
A: If you moved addresses recently, it's a good idea to notify the IRS through a "change of address" form. That form can be found here.

Q: Will I receive one check or multiple checks?
A: You will only receive one check for the entire amount you qualify for.

Q: What tax return year will the IRS use to determine my eligibility?
A: Your eligibility will be based on your 2019 tax return. If you have not yet filed that return, your eligibility will then be based on your 2018 tax return. As you may recall, the 2019 tax deadline has been extended in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Q: What happens if I'm on social security and no longer work? Will I get a check?
A: Yes. Even if you didn't file tax returns in 2018 or 2019, you will be eligible as long as you received Form SSA-1099 for last year. That's the form that the Social Security Administration (SSA) sends out to people who receive Social Security benefits, including retirement and disability.

UPDATE from the IRS as of March 30: The IRS is now saying the following:
I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. People who typically do not file a tax return will need to file a simple tax return to receive an economic impact payment. Low-income taxpayers, senior citizens, Social Security recipients, some veterans and individuals with disabilities who are otherwise not required to file a tax return will not owe tax.

How can I file the tax return needed to receive my economic impact payment? will soon provide information instructing people in these groups on how to file a 2019 tax return with simple, but necessary, information including their filing status, number of dependents and direct deposit bank account information.

Q: If I'm a college student, will I receive $1,200?
A: It depends. If your parents claim you as a dependent on their taxes, you're not eligible for this stimulus check. However, if you've been working and filing taxes independently in recent years, you may qualify. For students who have not yet filed a 2019 tax return, you will need to have filed your 2018 tax return in order for the government to determine your eligibility.

Q: If you're not an American citizen, will you still qualify?
A: Yes. If you are living and working in the United States with a valid social security number, you may qualify for assistance. This includes individuals who are here on work visas and green cards.

Q: If you owe back taxes, will you still get your money?
A: Yes, your payment from this stimulus bill will not be impacted if you owe past due taxes to either the federal government, state government, or both.

Q: If I'm behind on child support, will I still get this money?
A: If past due child support has already been reported and documented with the Treasury Department, you may have your check reduced or eliminated all together.

Still have a question you'd like our team to look into? Please send an email to