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Newsletter: COVID-19 relief: Answering your stimulus check questions

This newsletter was sent to WA-10 constituents on Wednesday, April 22nd. If you'd like to recieve regular updates like this, I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act included direct payments of up to $1,200 to help individuals and families cope with this unprecedented crisis. With Tax Day pushed back to July 15th this year, the IRS has been hard at work depositing those payments. Check your balance—you may have already received your payment.

I wanted to share answers to some common questions I’ve received regarding this payment.

Am I eligible for this $1,200 Economic Impact Payment?

The CARES Act included a $1,200 “Economic Impact Payment” for individuals who: have a valid Social Security number, can't be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and fall within the adjusted gross income parameters outlined below. In addition, parents will receive $500 per minor child.

Will I receive the full $1,200 Economic Impact Payment?

You are eligible to receive the full $1,200 payment if your adjusted gross annual income is up to:

  • $75,000 for individuals
  • $112,500 for head of household filers and
  • $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns

You will receive a reduced payment if your adjusted gross income is between:

  • $75,000 and $99,000 if your filing status was single, or married filing separately
  • 112,500 and $136,500 as a head of household
  • $150,000 and $198,000 if your filing status was married filing jointly

Will I receive my Economic Impact Payment automatically?

If you filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and are eligible for the payment, you will receive it automatically.

If you receive the following benefits, you will also receive your payment automatically. However, if you do receive the following benefits and have children who are minors, you will need to claim the additional $500 payments at this link.

  • Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), survivor benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Railroad Retirement and Survivor Benefits

I won’t receive my payment automatically. What do I need to do?

If you had a gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) in 2019, or were otherwise not required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, you can quickly and easily provide the necessary information through the IRS website for free.

Is my Economic Impact Payment taxable as 2020 income?

No, you will not owe taxes on your Economic Impact Payment, and it will not affect how much you will receive or owe when you file taxes next year. It will also have no impact on your eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs. 

Will college students receive an Economic Impact Payment?

In most cases, no. If you are an adult student who was claimed as a dependent on a 2018 or 2019 tax return, you will not receive the $1,200 payment for individuals.If you are no longer able to be claimed as a dependent in 2020 (for example, if you are graduating from college this spring), you may be eligible to receive a $1,200 credit on your 2020 tax return.

I know many of you are frustrated by this provision and I am too. As Congress considers further economic aid packages, I will continue to fight for assistance for students that are struggling during this crisis. 

Finally, I encourage you to check out the provisions within the CARES Act that provide relief for students during the pandemic -- including allowing students with federally-held Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FEEL Loans) to defer payments for six months without accruing interest. 

Where can I check the status of my payment?

You can check the status of your Economic Impact Payment at this link on the IRS website. At this site, you will be able to check your payment status, confirm whether you want to receive your payment via check or direct deposit, and enter your bank account information if the IRS does not have it already. 

We know that not everyone has been able to access the IRS portal and find the status of your direct payment. The IRS updates their Economic Impact Payment database once a day, so continue checking back even if the IRS does not currently display the status of your payment. 

If you believe you are eligible for a payment but are not currently scheduled to receive one, or have received an incorrect amount based on your eligibility, I encourage you to reach out to my district office via my website or phone at (360) 459-8514. My office is fully staffed and teleworking, and we are here to assist you. 

Tax Day is now July 15th

I also wanted to remind you that the federal tax deadline this year has been automatically extended to July 15th.

You can also defer any federal income tax payments that were due on April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest. This deferment applies to all American taxpayers, regardless of the amount owed. You do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. 


Facebook Live Public Health town hall

Tomorrow, I’ll be holding a Facebook Live town hall with Washington’s Secretary of Health, John Wiesman. Secretary Wiesman will be sharing an update on our progress in the fight against COVID-19 in Washington, and we’ll also be fielding public health questions that you have for us. 

Have questions or topics you’d like to hear about? Let me know on Twitter, Facebook or my website, and we’ll get through as many as we can. The town hall starts at 5pm PT on my Facebook page, and will also be available for viewing afterwards. I hope you’ll join me. 

Stay safe and healthy during this difficult time. It is an honor to represent you. 


Denny Heck