Qualifying for the US Government’s COVID-19 Stimulus Payment

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By: Hima Mehta

The US government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide support to businesses and individuals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Part of the CARES Act gives stimulus payments directly to families to help them financially during the crisis. Most Americans are eligible for stimulus payments, and there may be an additional stimulus check issued in the future.

The following criteria are used to determine who qualifies for stimulus payments:

  • US citizens and permanent residents can receive up to $1,200 each for single tax filers, or $2,400 for those filing married filing jointly. If taxpayers have children that qualify, they will be issued an additional $500 per child.
  • Those being claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return do not qualify for the payment.
  • Individuals must be eligible to work with a Social Security Number to receive the stimulus payment.
  • US citizens who are living abroad are still eligible to receive the payment.
  • The stimulus payment is issued to filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) on the 2018 or 2019 tax return up to:
    • $75,000 for those filing Single or Married Filing Separately
    • $112,500 for those filing Head of Household
    • $150,000 for those filing Married Filing Jointly
  • Taxpayers can be eligible for a reduced payment if their AGI falls between:
    • $75,000 to $99,000 for those filing Single or Married Filing Separately
    • $112,500 to $136,500 for those filing Head of Household
    • $150,000 to $198,000 for those filing Married Filing Jointly
  • For those who do not need to file a tax return, they are still eligible to receive the stimulus payment. Even those receiving federal benefits such as Social Security, disability income, Supplemental Security Income, VA Compensation and Pension, and Railroad Retirement benefits can still get this payment. Enroll as a non-filer to collect your stimulus payment.

Individuals will not need to include the stimulus payment as taxable income on their tax returns. Instead, the payment will be treated as a tax credit to help individuals stay afloat during this pandemic.

For those who are not eligible for the stimulus payment based on their 2018 or 2019 AGI, you may still qualify based on your 2020 AGI. If you 2020 AGI falls within the income limits above, you will be eligible to get up to a $1,200 credit when filing your 2020 tax return.

If you haven’t received your stimulus payment yet, you can check your payment status online.


For help getting coronavirus (COVID-19) relief for your family or your business, contact your trusted Chugh CPAs, LLP professional today. You can also send an email to info@chugh.com to request a free consultation.