Personal Finance

Social Security recipients may benefit from coronavirus relief checks


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Congress passed new legislation Friday that will put stimulus relief checks in the hands of millions of Americans.

The checks will amount to $1,200 for those who earn $75,000 or less, and $2,400 for couples making $150,000 or less. The legislation now heads to the desk of President Donald Trump, who has said he will sign it.

A big question among individuals who are living on Social Security or other government benefits is whether they will be eligible for a relief check.

The answer is yes, regardless of whether they are on Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, or veterans benefits.

“They are eligible,” said Michael Zona, a spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that put together the legislation.

“There aren’t provisions explaining a list of people eligible — it’s a broad definition, meant to be as all-encompassing as possible,” Zona said.

Like other Americans, the size of the checks for those on Social Security will be based on their adjusted gross income as reported on their tax returns. The stimulus bill calls for using that information from 2019 filings, if they are in, or otherwise 2018.

However, some Social Security beneficiaries do not file returns either because they do not have taxable income or their tax liability is very low. In that case, their relief checks will be based on information in their 1099 form.

But not everyone receives those forms, particularly those who are on…


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