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Bustos: First Round Of Stimulus Checks Coming Soon

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AP Photo/Susan Walsh
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In this Jan. 4, 2019 file photo, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., walks to a group photo with the women of the 116th Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The federal government is gearing up to send the first round of direct payments to help individuals through the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Moline) said people could see that money automatically deposited into their bank account as soon as two weeks from now.

Individuals earning less than $75,000 are due checks of $1,200. That threshold and payment amount doubles to $2,400 for couples, plus an additional $500 per child. Lesser amounts will be issued to people earning up to $99,000 on a sliding scale.

Bustos said 60 million deposits will be made the week of April 13. The payments will be based on 2018 tax returns — unless the individual has already filed for 2019 — where the filer enrolled in direct deposit.

“If people did not file electronically, paper checks will be mailed out beginning May 4,” Bustos said. “There will be 5 million checks per week that will be sent out. That is the most that the IRS can process, that’s why it’s only five million.”

Checks will be mailed to lowest income earners first, Bustos said, and will continue to be sent out until everyone who qualifies receives one.

Bustos said those on social security or social security disability will qualify for the $1,200. Those payments will be automatically deposited. The timeline is not clear yet, she said, but it will be “sooner rather than later.”

Meanwhile, Bustos said she anticipates another round of federal funding will be needed to sustain the COVID-19 response. She said a phase four plan should be reactive to the needs of healthcare workers, first responders and municipalities.

Bustos also said she’s working to make family farmers eligible for small business loans and grants afforded in the $2.2 trillion dollar stimulus package.

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