COVID-19 Stimulus Checks
With over 20 million Americans filing for unemployment,* the government has put together a second stimulus package to assist those who continue to experience financial hardships due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The stimulus package includes payments that will be distributed within the next coming weeks. We understand financial relief is greatly needed for many of our Members and we're committed to ensuring you have quick and easy access to your stimulus payment. Here is what you need to know about the payments.
Stimulus Payment Questions Answered
The plan provides $600 to individual taxpayers, $1,200 to married couples filing jointly, and an additional $600 per qualifying child under the age of 17 to families. There are, however, income restrictions. If you earn more than $75,000 as an individual taxpayer, $112,500 as a head of household, or $150,000 as a couple, the amount you’re eligible for will decrease. For additional information on payout amounts and qualifications, please visit the official IRS Website.
Stimulus payments will be direct deposited into the account listed on your 2019 tax return or your 2018 tax return if you haven’t filed last year’s tax return yet. If they’re unable to direct deposit your money, they will mail you your check.
We're committed to ensuring you have full access to your stimulus funds, and are here to assist you if you have any questions.
Non-Tax Return Filers
Individuals who don’t normally file a tax return and are eligible but did not receive a stimulus payment earlier this year may qualify for a Recovery Rebate Credit on their 2020 Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR in 2021. Visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/recovery-rebate-credit to learn more about the Recovery Rebate Credit.
Direct Deposit disbursements are expected to begin as early as Thursday, December 31. Mailed checks are expected to arrive as early as the first week of January.
For closed and charged off accounts, please contact the IRS.
You can use the Get My Payment tool from the IRS. It includes the scheduled date of when your stimulus money will deposit into your account or when your check will be mailed.
If you’re expecting a direct deposit of your stimulus payment, you can log into Digital Banking online or on your mobile device to view your accounts. You can also check your account through Telephone Banking, or at any Branch or CO-OP ATM.
Please note that you may experience long wait times when calling Orange County’s Credit Union during this time due to other Members checking the status of their stimulus payments.
The best use of stimulus money depends on your own individual circumstance. We’ve provided a few suggestions to help you identify the areas that you should prioritize.
Focus on essentials first.
First, look at essentials such as groceries, utilities, and your home. You can make the most out of your stimulus money with frugality. If your primary need is groceries, meals you can cook at home are usually less expensive than premade or microwaveable meals. It’s also recommended to only buy the food that you need each week to reduce the amount of waste.
If you’re trying to get caught up on bills, are there assistance programs or deferment opportunities you can utilize? When it comes to credit cards and debt, pay only the minimum balance so you can continue to be in good standing but also add needed dollars towards your essentials.
If your essential needs are met, look to saving.
For those in a more financially stable circumstance, use your stimulus money to build up your savings. Use our no-fee savings accounts to set up an emergency fund that you can fall back on for those unexpected costs, like car or home repairs.
If your essential and savings needs are met, look at investment options.
Perhaps consider contributing to your retirement or a child’s account. Remember, the best investment guidance will come from your financial advisor.
Additional ways to use your stimulus money
The Credit Union has partnered with GreenPath Financial Wellness to offer financial relief resources to our Members. No matter what your individual circumstance is, GreenPath is ready and able to offer:
- Free-of-charge financial and debt planning services, Phone: (877) 337-3399
- Student loan counseling
- Financial webinars
Stimulus Payment Scams
The FTC is warning that with the new round of stimulus payments, scammers will once again try to exploit individuals during these unprecedented times. As a reminder, the government will never:
- ask an individual to pay anything up front to get this money
- call, text, email, or contact you via social media to ask for personal identifiable information
- provide an expedited process to receive government funds
Here are other ways fraudsters are using the government-issued stimulus checks as a way to get your personal account information:
- Fraudulent Checks: If you receive a check, pay close attention to the amount listed and check to see if there is any requirement for you to verify any information online – if the amount seems strange or the check asks you to complete any additional steps, it’s a scam. For extra peace of mind, you can use the Bureau of Fiscal Services check verification services to help you determine the legitimacy of your check.
- Social Media: If you receive any messages through your social media accounts asking you to verify information in order to get your check, it’s a scam. The government, or the Credit Union, will never go through social media to get in contact with you.
- Processing Fees: Beware of anyone who offers you a fee for faster check processing. The government will not issue any checks earlier in exchange for money.
- Correspondence from the IRS: The IRS will use information on your tax return filings for your check. They won’t be asking you for personal information.
As a rule of thumb: you do not need to provide anyone with any personal account information in order to receive your stimulus check.
*Estimated count as of December 28, 2020.