In March 2020, Congress passed the first COVID-19 relief package, which included an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) of up to $1,200 for qualifying individuals. Additionally, in December 2020, a second relief package was announced, which would provide stimulus check payments of up to $600.

Who is eligible for stimulus checks?

US citizens and resident aliens who meet certain income requirements can receive a stimulus check. Income refers to your 2019 adjusted gross income (AGI). 

For the first and second stimulus checks, single adults earning $75,000 or less and heads of households earning $112,500 or less are considered eligible for receiving payments of $1,200 and $600 respectively. Married couples with an AGI of $150,000 or less and filing jointly are eligible to receive $2,400 and $1,200 as the first and second stimulus check payments respectively.

Individuals collecting Social Security benefits for retirement, disability, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and who didn’t have to file tax returns for 2018 or 2019 will automatically receive stimulus check payment from the IRS. Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI recipients without dependent children were also included in this category.

Please note that adults claimed as dependents on another’s individual’s tax returns will not qualify for the second stimulus check, as was allowed for the first stimulus check.

What’s the limit at which the stimulus checks phase out?

For individuals, both stimulus checks reduce by $5 for every $100 earned above $75,000. Individuals who earned more than $99,000 will not receive a payment. For couples and heads of households, the same reduction applies if they earn over $150,000 and $112,500 respectively. Couples filing jointly and heads of households will not get a check if they earn more than $198,000 and $136,500 respectively. However, the second stimulus checks phase-out differently—at $87,000 for individuals, $174,000 for couples filing jointly, and $124,500 for heads of households.