CORONAVIRUS USA

Coronavirus USA: Stimulus checks calculation: how much money will I get?

US president Donald Trump signed off a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package which promises to deliver payments of up to 1,200 dollars to American citizens.

Coronavirus USA: Stimulus checks calculation: how much money will I get?
APU GOMES AFP

Several countries, including the UK, Germany and Canada, have passed stimulus packages through government to pump money into their ailing economies to keep things ticking over while business and trade are paralyzed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The United States have also pledged to help businesses who have suffered as a consequence of the crisis as well as ordinary individuals who are struggling to make ends meet.

Trump promises to bail out struggling US citizens

At the end of last month, United States president Donald Trump signed off a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package bill last month to get the country through the crisis. The stimulus package involves sending out cheques of up to 1,200 dollars to American citizens from the second week in April. Under the terms of the deal, single Americans stand to receive a payment of up to 1,200 dollars, married couples will get a maximum of 2,400 dollars and parents would be given 500 dollars for each child under the age of 17. All low-income workers (roughly, 43% of the workforce, according to Forbes) will receive the full amount (1,200 dollars) – on the condition that the recipient's tax situation is in order. The stimulus deal payment will be given out on top of state unemployment benefit.

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the US economy has been hit hard with 3.28 million workers registering as unemployed last week. Figures published on Thursday 2 April paint a worrying picture – a total of 6.65 million Americans filed for unemployment in the week ending 28 March – the biggest monthly increase since 1975.

When and how will the money arrive in my bank account?

Payment delivery, according to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, could be anything up to three weeks from when the bill was passed which means that the first payments should be made starting from Monday 6 April although some observers, citing previous, similar situations, believe the process will take much longer. The Washington Post reports that low income workers, those on less than 10,000 dollars per year, will be the first to have cheques posted out from Thursday 6 April. Electronic payments, to individuals' bank accounts, are expected to start on 14 April.

Those who have a direct deposit account with the tax authorities, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will have payments transferred directly into their personal bank accounts. Those who don’t will receive a cheque at their official home address through the post.