Cash Payments

Senator Baldwin worked to pass the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help provide immediate support for Wisconsin families, workers, schools, small businesses, hospitals and our health care system. This action by Congress is another strong step forward to help Wisconsin meet the challenges we face. We are all in this together, and Senator Baldwin will continue her work across party lines to take additional steps to get through this public health crisis, stabilize our economy, and help us all move forward.

The bipartisan CARES Act provides direct payments of up to $1,200 to individuals ($2,400 for married couples) and an additional $500 per child dependent under 17. The full payment is available for individuals making up to $75,000 and $150,000 for married couples. Anyone who filed a tax return this year or last year qualifies to receive a payment and no sign-up is needed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is sending out the payments either through direct deposit to your bank or a check mailed to your home. For more details, please visit: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments


Frequently Asked Questions: Cash Payments to Wisconsinites

Who qualifies to receive a payment and how much will an individual receive?

Anyone who filed a tax return for 2019 or 2018. Individuals will receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for married couples), with an additional $500 per child dependent (under 17).

Individuals who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less will get the full amount, as will married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less. Taxpayers filing as head of household will get the full payment if they earned $112,500 or less.

For those whose income is above those thresholds, the payment is reduced.

Individuals are not eligible for a payment if someone claims them as a dependent.

Will my family receive the additional $500 for children or other dependents who are 17 or older?

Not right now. Under the CARES Act, no credit is allowed for dependents older than 16. This means there is no credit allowed for 17- and 18-year-olds, college students, and other dependent adults, such as a disabled parent cared for by the taxpayer—even though a taxpayer is providing the majority of the dependent’s financial support. 

Senator Baldwin has introduced legislation with Senator Smith to make older children and adult dependents eligible for the additional credit. The All Dependents Count Act would expand eligibility for the $500 credit so that a taxpayer will receive a $500 credit for all dependents they care for—not just children age 16 and under.    

Which year’s income is this payment based on?

2019. For those who have not filed a tax return yet for 2019, the payment will be based on their 2018 tax return.

What if I haven’t finished filing my taxes?

To receive a payment, you need to have filed either a 2018 tax return or a 2019 tax return. You can file 2019 taxes now to claim the payment. The quickest way to get a payment is to file online and set up direct deposit. You can find out how to file a return for free at https://www.irs.gov/

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

Filers can use the IRS' Get My Payment tool by visiting https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to provide direct deposit information.

You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions for more information on the Get My Payment tool. 

I filed taxes for 2019 (or 2018). Do I need to anything else to claim my payment?

You do not need to claim, apply or sign-up for this payment. IRS will send out payments automatically to your direct deposit or to the address provided on the last tax return submitted.

For security reasons, the IRS plans to mail a letter about the economic impact payment to the taxpayer’s last known address within 15 days after the payment is paid. The letter will provide information on how the payment was made and how to report any failure to receive the payment. If a taxpayer is unsure they’re receiving a legitimate letter, the IRS urges taxpayers to visit IRS.gov first to protect against scam artists.

I filed taxes for 2019 (or 2018) and I want to check on the status of my payment. What can I do?

Filers can use the IRS' Get My Payment tool by visiting https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment to check the status of their payment and/or provide direct deposit information. 

You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment-frequently-asked-questions for more information on the Get My Payment tool. 

How long will it take for this payment to be delivered?

Payments sent via direct deposit will be administered starting the week of April 13, 2020. Payment sent via checks may take longer.

How can I avoid scams related to payments and COVID-19?

The IRS urges taxpayers to be on the lookout for scam artists trying to use the economic impact payments as cover for schemes to steal personal information and money. Remember, the IRS will not call, text you, email you or contact you on social media asking for personal or bank account information – even related to the economic impact payments. Also, watch out for emails with attachments or links claiming to have special information about economic impact payments or refunds.

How will a person who has recently moved access their payment?

The IRS will determine delivery systems for everyone entitled to a payment. To learn more about notifying the IRS if you've recently moved, visit: https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc157

Will I be taxed on this payment?

No.

If I am collecting Social Security or disability, do I need to file a tax return to receive a payment?

No. Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return do not need to take an action, and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.

The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.

Following calls from Senator Baldwin and colleagues, the U.S. Treasury Department made clear that Social Security recipients will automatically receive direct cash assistance included in the CARES Act without having to file tax returns.

I'm not required to file taxes. What do I need to do to receive a payment?

If you did not file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return because your gross income was under $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples), or you weren’t required to file a 2018 or 2019 federal income tax return for other reasons, the IRS is requesting you fill out an application to provide simple information so you can get your payment. This includes people who had no income. 

Fill out the non-filers application here.

Do not use this application if you receive Social Security retirement disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits – or Railroad Retirement and survivor benefits. 

Senator Baldwin is also calling calling on the U.S. Treasury Department to ensure that families who are not required to file taxes and have dependents receive their additional $500 payment per dependent child as soon as possible. 

I'm currently experiencing homelessness. What do I need to do to receive a payment?

Homeless individuals can qualify to get a payment, even if you don’t work. The IRS is requesting you fill out a free online application to provide simple information so you can get your payment.

Fill out the non-filers application here.

Senator Baldwin and her colleagues called on the U.S. Treasury Department to ensure that direct assistance provided by the CARES Act reaches people experiencing homelessness who are entitled to a payment.

Will the Social Security Administration (SSA) administer the funds to my EBT/Debit card that I receive my SSA benefits through?

No, the IRS is sending out the payment via direct deposit or check.

Click here for more information regarding payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients courtesy of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

I receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Do I have to file a tax return to receive a payment?

No. Following calls from Senator Baldwin and her colleagues, SSI recipients will now automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments directly to their bank accounts through direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their SSI benefits. Treasury anticipates SSI recipients will receive these automatic payments no later than early May.  

Click here for more information regarding payments for Social Security and SSI Recipients courtesy of the Social Security Administration (SSA).

I receive benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Do I have to file a tax return to receive a payment?

No. Following calls from Senator Baldwin and her colleagues, Veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension (C&P) benefit payments will receive their payments automatically and without additional paperwork.

I receive SSI or VA benefits and I have dependents under the age of 17. What do I do to claim dependent payments?

If you receive SSI or VA benefits, have qualifying children under 17 and didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019, the IRS announced your payment at this time will be $1,200 and, by law, the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be paid in association with a return filing for tax year 2020.

If my income tax refunds are being garnished because of a student loan or other debt, will this payment also be garnished?

No. IRS will not garnish the payment to repay debts. However, this does not apply to individuals who are behind on child support.

What identification requirements apply to receive payments?

Taxpayers must have Social Security numbers for themselves and their qualifying children in order to receive the payment.

Does someone who has died qualify for a payment?

No. A payment made to someone who died before receipt of the payment should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. Return the entire payment unless the payment was made to joint filers and one spouse had not died before receipt of the payment, in which case, you only need to return the portion of the payment made on account of the decedent. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000. 

Does someone who is a resident alien qualify for a payment?

A person who is a non-resident alien in 2020 is not eligible for the payment. A person who is a qualifying resident alien with a valid SSN is eligible for the payment only if he or she is a qualifying resident alien in 2020 and could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer for 2020. Aliens who received a payment but are not qualifying resident aliens for 2020 should return the payment to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments.

Does someone who is incarcerated qualify for a payment?

No. A payment made to someone who is incarcerated should be returned to the IRS by following the instructions about repayments. A person is incarcerated if he or she is described in one or more of clauses (i) through (v) of Section 202(x)(1)(A) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 402(x)(1)(A)(i) through (v)). For a payment made with respect to a joint return where only one spouse is incarcerated, you only need to return the portion of the Payment made on account of the incarcerated spouse. This amount will be $1,200 unless adjusted gross income exceeded $150,000.

I have additional questions. Where can I learn more about payments?

Learn more by visiting the IRS' Economic Impact Payment Information Center at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payment-information-center

Note: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for calls and email phishing attempts about Coronavirus payments. These contacts can lead to tax-related fraud and identity theft. Taxpayers should watch out for calls, emails, text messages, websites and social media attempts that request money or personal information. For more information on Coronavirus-related or other phishing attempts please click here.


Additional Information and Resources

For general information and resources about coronavirus for Wisconsinites, please click here.

For a section by section summary of the bipartisan CARES Actplease click here.


Disclaimer: This webpage shares information, email addresses and links to other sites or entities on the Internet that are not maintained by Senator Baldwin. Resources, email addresses and links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Senator Baldwin of any of the products, services or opinions of the entity or organization or individual. Senator Baldwin bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.