Coronavirus - Stimulus - Federal Aid

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Stimulus - How to Get Payments

*This page will be updated as more information is made available

The fourth and latest COVID-19 relief package, totaling $900 billion, was signed into law on December 27, 2020.  The relief package includes important financial relief, food assistance, housing assistance, vaccination funding and other important supports.  However, the relief package excludes significant supports for older adults and persons with disabilities, the $1.8 billion in funding for long-term services and supports and HCBS that was included in the original bipartisan COVID-19 proposed relief package introduced in early December.

Stimulus Payments

Individuals with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 ($150,000 married filing jointly) are eligible for a stimulus payment in the amount of $600 ($1,200 married). Families receive an additional $600 per child. The amount of the payment will phase out by $5 for every $100 up to $87,000 ($174,000 married without children).

Individuals who live in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, prisons, and other institutionalized settings are also eligible to receive the stimulus payment.

Members of mixed-status households, where the household includes those who qualify for the stimulus payments and those who remain ineligible due to immigration status, are now eligible for these direct payments retroactive to the CARES Act.

Who is ineligible?

Adults who are claimed as dependents are not eligible.

Individuals who file taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or undocumented immigrants are not eligible.

Adult tax dependents and individuals without Social Security Numbers are also not eligible.

How will you receive payment?

Individuals receiving Social Security and or Supplemental Security Income will receive their payments automatically as will railroad retirees and those receiving Veterans benefits.

Payments will be based on 2019 tax returns and information provided by individuals through the online non-filer portal used in the first round of stimulus payments.

Individuals with no taxable income who do not file tax returns will need to complete a form provided by the IRS to receive their rebate check.

Stimulus payments will not affect eligibility for state and federal programs like Medicaid/Medi-Cal, SSI and SNAP.

Individuals who have not received payment , but are eligible can claim payment on their 2020 tax return.

Vaccines and Testing

The COVID-19 relief package includes $69 billion for COVID-19 vaccines and testing and tracing, which includes $400 million earmarked for vaccine allocation to high risk and underserved areas, including communities of color. It also includes funding allocated for vaccine research and development, building the vaccine supply, and mental health services.

The relief package also includes an extension of the federal increase to unemployment benefits that expired in July. Individuals eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation will receive an additional $300 a week in unemployment compensation through March 14, 2021.  Additional programs that have been extended include the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for expanded coverage for contract workers and others in non-traditional employment and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program that provides additional federally funded relief to individuals who have exhausted their state benefits.

While the Families First Coronavirus Response Act required employers to provide emergency paid sick leave and expand family medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, emergency paid leave is no longer guaranteed. Employers who offer paid leave on a voluntary basis will qualify for payroll tax credit through March 31, 2021.

The federal eviction moratorium has also been extended through January 31, 2021 following the passage of the relief act. Additionally, $25 billion in emergency rental assistance is included in the relief package to help renters who have been impacted by COVID-19 and unable to pay rent. These funds can also be used by renters to cover utility and energy bills to prevent shutoffs.

The COVID-19 relief package includes a 15% increase to SNAP benefits for individuals enrolled in the program through June 30, 2021. SNAP benefits are also extended to college students. The package also includes $400 million in funding for food banks.

Finally, the relief package includes funding for telehealth and $100 million to address abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly, including adult protective service and long-term care ombudsman activities.