COVID-19

Who’s getting the $1,200 COVID-19 checks first?

David Brancaccio, Kimberly Adams, and Alex Schroeder Apr 13, 2020
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People who never gave the IRS their bank information may have to wait weeks, if not months, to get their payments. William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
COVID-19

Who’s getting the $1,200 COVID-19 checks first?

David Brancaccio, Kimberly Adams, and Alex Schroeder Apr 13, 2020
People who never gave the IRS their bank information may have to wait weeks, if not months, to get their payments. William Thomas Cain/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
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Update: The IRS’ online portal to check the status of your payment is now live. Visit the “Get My Payment” tool here.


The IRS says it has started distributing emergency aid payments, the $1,200 per person that’s part of the federal government’s effort to take some economic pressure off individuals in this pandemic.

But not everyone is getting paid at the same time.

Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams has the latest update on where the payments stand.

“According to the IRS, people who filed taxes in the past two years and who used direct deposit for their refunds will be the first to get the payments,” Adams told “Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio.

The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

Kimberly Adams: The $1,200 per person applies to people who are U.S. citizens or residents and make less than $99,000 a year, for individuals.

David Brancaccio: And what does the timeline look like for people who don’t have direct deposit or are on social security and didn’t file taxes in the past couple years?

Adams: People who never gave the IRS their bank information may have to wait weeks, if not months to get their payments. And people who didn’t file at all in 2018 or 2019 will have to wait as well. The IRS is letting non-filers register online so they can get their payments. The agency expected to have a similar tool up online later this week for people who filed taxes but never shared their bank information.

Brancaccio: There’s a published report out that a certain group of people who have filed in the past may still face some additional delays?

Adams: The Financial Times is reporting that some taxpayers who used so-called “refund transfer” services may face additional delays. Those services allow people to use their refunds to pay for preparation and filing services, but it means their refund goes through a third party before it gets to them. Some consumer advocates are warning this will cause additional delays for low-income filers.

Brancaccio: How can people find out which batch they will be in to receive funds?

Adams: Right now, you can’t. Again, most people who already gave their bank information to the government, even for social security benefits, shouldn’t have to do anything extra. Just wait. The IRS is working on another tool to track the payments, which is supposed to be ready later this week.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are states ready to roll out COVID-19 vaccines?

Claire Hannan, executive director of the nonprofit Association of Immunization Managers, which represents state health officials, said states have been making good progress in their preparations. And we could have several vaccines pretty soon. But states still need more funding, she said. Hannan doesn’t think a lack of additional funding would hold up distribution initially, but it could cause problems down the road. “It’s really worrisome that Congress may not pass funding or that there’s information circulating saying that states don’t need additional funding,” she said.

How is the service industry dealing with the return of coronavirus restrictions?

Without another round of something like the Paycheck Protection Program, which kept a lot of businesses afloat during the pandemic’s early stages, the outlook is bleak for places like restaurants. Some in the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, only got one week of indoor dining back before cases rose and restrictions went back into effect. Restaurant owners are revamping their business models in an effort to survive while waiting to see if they’ll be able to get more aid.

How are hospitals handling the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases?

As the pandemic surges and more medical professionals themselves are coming down with COVID, nearly 1 in 5 hospitals in the country report having a critical shortage of staff, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services. One of the knock-on effects of staff shortages is that people who have other medical needs are being asked to wait.

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