MONEY & JOBS
Here are the biggest questions about the COVID-19 stimulus check and where to get answers
Who Qualifies for a Stimulus Check?
A Social Security number is required to receive a payment, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to pages 144 and 145 of the 880-page rescue plan, nonresident aliens, those who can be claimed on someone else’s tax return as a dependent, and estates or trusts are all excluded.
In addition, an earnings threshold based on adjusted gross income will mean no checks for some Americans.
How Much Money Will I Receive?
The coronavirus relief package provides direct cash payments of up to $1,200 for most adults — or $2,400 for married couples filing jointly — plus $500 per child under 17.
To get the full amount, your adjusted gross income on your 2019 tax return (or 2018, if you haven’t already filed for 2019) must not exceed the following:
Head of Household: $112,500
Joint Return (Married Couples): $150,000
(Note: Find your adjusted gross income on line 8b of Form 1040)
If you make too much money to receive the full amount, you may still receive a smaller check. Reduced stimulus payments will go out to individuals who make up to $99,000 and married couples who make up to $198,000.
For those who are expecting a reduced payment, use this calculator from the Washington Post to determine what you’ll likely get.
Are Retirees and Social Security Recipients Eligible?
Most people who receive Social Security retirement and disability benefits will get a stimulus payment.
For those who haven’t filed taxes in 2019 or 2018 (many Social Security recipients don’t have to), the government will use data from the following forms to determine your amount:
Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement
Form RRB-1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement
To be clear, if you fall into this category, you don’t have to file a federal tax return to get a check.
When Will I Receive My Stimulus Payment?
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that he hopes Americans will begin to receive their checks in about three weeks, but other reports indicate that it could take longer.
If you gave direct deposit information to the IRS on your 2018 or 2019 taxes, the payment will be made electronically.
For those who don’t have direct deposit set up with the IRS or have changed banks, you could be waiting longer for your payment to be issued by mail. It will be sent to the address on file with the IRS.
For non-filers, the IRS posted the following message on its website and urged immediate action:
“The IRS encourages anyone with a tax filing obligation who hasn’t filed a tax return for 2018 or a previous year to act now. Pending legislation includes certain potential credits and rebates for those who have filed a return for 2018 and/or 2019. Those without 2018 tax filings on record could potentially affect mailings of stimulus checks.”
More Big Questions:
There are some questions that can’t be answered at this time, but the IRS has set up a special website that you can check for updates. The IRS is asking people to avoid calling them about the stimulus payments.
Top jobs to consider while we wait for the curve to flatten
The most in-demand job in the United States, according to a LinkedIn analysis of increases in job postings during the week of March 15-21, compared with a week earlier (March 8-14), was store associate. The retailers that are open, like supermarkets and hardware stores, are in need of more staff to deal with long lines. They also need new employees to replace those who can’t or won’t work due to concern for their own health during the pandemic. LinkedIn’s list also includes jobs like health care specialist, warehouse manager, and psychologist — all of which seem like a pretty good indicator of the state of the nation.
The coronavirus pandemic will have lasting effects on the labor market and could change the composition of available jobs indefinitely. The Brookings Institution wrote in a blog post that it expects the coronavirus and the ensuing economic decline to usher in a new era of automation.
“At these moments, employers shed less-skilled workers and replace them with technology and higher-skilled workers, which increases labor productivity as a recession tapers off,” the authors of the Brookings post wrote.
If this continues to prove true, high-skilled jobs and the jobs that machines can’t do may be all that’s left.
At a time when millions of Americans are losing jobs at restaurants, hotels and airlines because of the coronavirus pandemic, a few large companies are on a hiring spree.
That's because despite mass shutdowns and lockdowns, Americans still need food and medicine. And that means a new hiring push at supermarkets such as Kroger and Albertsons, pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, convenience and discount stores like Dollar General and 7-Eleven, and retail giants like Amazon and Walmart.
This week, hotel chains Marriott and Hilton launched new programs to get their furloughed workers some of the new temporary jobs in food, health care and retail.
Grocery delivery service Instacart on Monday said it plans to sign on 300,000 new gig workers to shop and deliver groceries, more than doubling its workforce of independent contractors.
Walmart plans to add 150,000 new staffers to warehouses and stores, promising to get some people into new jobs in a matter of hours.
Amazon has a similar plan, to hire 100,000 new delivery and warehouse workers in the next few weeks to keep up with a big spike in online shopping.
Papa John's and other pizza-delivery companies are hiring thousands of cooks, managers and drivers. Same at meal kit companies like Blue Apron and delivery platforms like Shipt.
Transportation and logistics hiring is up 7% in mid-March compared to mid-February, says Daniel Zhao, senior economist at the jobs and recruiting website Glassdoor. That accounts for new hires at warehouses of all kinds, including retail.
Zhao says new types of jobs are being posted by local governments and health care organizations. Those positions include call-center and front-desk workers who are helping to field questions about the coronavirus and local response.
Some of the companies that are adding new jobs — including Amazon and Instacart — have faced criticism from their current employees, who want protective gear, hazard pay and broader access to paid sick leave.
Many of the retailers and gig companies have expanded their paid leave for workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed on mandatory quarantines. However, access to testing in the U.S. remains tricky. And workers say they can't afford to take unpaid time off, which is what's available for those who feel vulnerable or might have to care for family members.
A new federal law will give more workers access to two weeks of paid sick leave. However, the law focuses on smaller businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
Still, these new jobs are an option for many workers who find themselves suddenly unemployed because of the coronavirus. And the companies that are hiring are specifically targeting them.
"You can imagine that there's an awful lot of people who have lost their normal livelihoods and are desperate to generate some income to support their families," says Ruth Milkman, professor of sociology and labor studies at the City University of New York.
"The whole point of paid sick leave is to not force workers to have to choose between their livelihoods and their health or the health of their kids — but these workers are going to be put in that position," Milkman says.
Many of the jobs that are growing during the pandemic are hourly, with limited benefits and pay. And they require human interaction at a time when the country is asked to socially distance. So they serve as a reminder that in times of crisis, some of the lowest-paid jobs become essential.
This article is from NPR.com
Public Housing and Paying Rent during COVID-19
Get updates on housing and rent deferment policies through weekly webinars from the Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition
The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will lead recurring national calls on Coronavirus and Homelessness/Housing every Monday at 2:30pmET. We are thoroughly devoted to ensuring members of our community, from across the country, are fully equipped with the information and resources they need to respond to this national outbreak of Coronavirus and its impact on people experiencing homelessness and low-income households.
Register for these calls at: https://tinyurl.com/ru73qan
The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition is pushing for a broad array of resources and protections, including emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers, among other recommendations. For more information, download our recommendations on the federal response to the coronavirus below. You can also visit our dedicated webpage outlining our requests to Congress.
Click here to find your members of Congress and urge them to provide resources to help ensure housing stability for low-income households and people experiencing homelessness.