The vast majority of Michigan residents are eligible for the stimulus checks made available by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. This includes individuals with low or no earnings who normally don’t file taxes. You could receive up to $1,200 for yourself ($2,400 for a married couple) and an additional $500 for each dependent child. A new website provided by the University of Michigan can take you through the process so you can get your payment as soon as possible.
Starting this month, the stimulus checks will be directly deposited into the bank account provided on their most recent tax returns or delivered via the Social Security system. But if you don’t file taxes, don’t have a bank account, or move frequently and don’t have a stable address where the check can be mailed, you may face barriers to receiving your stimulus checks.
What Stimulus Payments Mean To the Thumb Region
A U of M initiative called Poverty Solutions found people without a bank account and who don’t file taxes, or are recent movers are disproportionately concentrated among the poor. Thus 57% are at risk of a delayed or missing stimulus payment. This is true for 52% of all poor families.
According to U.S. Census Data, an average of 13.7% of households are considered at or below the poverty line in Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron Counties. Thus over 7,200 of these households would be eligible for the $1,200 stimulus check. This could bring a potential of over $8.6 million into the local economy. However, according to U of M data, approximately $4.5 million is at risk in the Thumb area due to not meeting filing requirements required to obtain the stimulus checks.
The U of M site, 2020 Coronovirus Stimulus Payment, attempts to level the playing field. It offers a step by step guide on how to ensure those without a bank account, not filed income taxes or recently moved, get their check as quickly as possible.
Get a Check Even If You Haven’t Filed Income Taxes or Have No Income
If you are not required to file taxes, or if your income is under $12,200 ($24,400 for a married couple), you need to enter your payment information on the IRS website to get your stimulus payment. The U of M site takes non-tax filers you through the process with the IRS to enter how you want to get paid.
Help For Those Without a Bank Account
If you don’t use a bank or credit union it could take up to five months to receive your stimulus check by mail. The U of M site guides you on how to set up a bank account and get your payment quickly through direct deposit. Or if you don’t want to sign up for a bank account, you can link your prepaid debit card instead.
Moved Recently or Receive Social Security
If you want the check by mail but have recently moved the U of M site gets you to the right IRS area to change your address. It may still take up to five months to get your check via mail.
If you receive Social Security benefits and have no dependents, you don’t need to file a tax return (your stimulus payment will be automatically deposited into the same account as your Social Security payments). If you have dependents, you should file a tax return to ensure you get a $500 credit for each dependent.