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The CARES Act is short for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. President Trump signed the bill into law on March 27, 2020. The stimulus package offers $2.1 trillion in aid to individuals and businesses.

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples. Parents also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

Economic impact payments for Individuals and Families: What you need to know

Press Release, December 29, 2020:

WASHINGTON — Today the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.
The initial direct deposit payments may begin arriving as early as tonight for some and will continue into next week. Paper checks will begin to be mailed tomorrow, Wednesday, December 30.
The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. Some Americans may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions.
As with the first round of payments under the CARES Act, most recipients will receive these payments by direct deposit. For Social Security and other beneficiaries who received the first round of payments via Direct Express, they will receive this second payment the same way.
Anyone who received the first round of payments earlier this year but doesn’t receive a payment via direct deposit will generally receive a check or, in some instances, a debit card. For those in this category, the payments will conclude in January. If additional legislation is enacted to provide for an additional amount, the Economic Impact Payments that have been issued will be topped up as quickly as possible.
Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year – either the first or the second payment – will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021. The IRS urges taxpayers who didn’t receive a payment this year to review the eligibility criteria when they file their 2020 taxes; many people, including recent college graduates, may be eligible to claim it. People will see the Economic Impact Payments (EIP) referred to as the Recovery Rebate Credit (RRC) on Form 1040 or Form 1040-SR since the EIPs are an advance payment of the RRC.
“Throughout this challenging year, the IRS has worked around the clock to provide Economic Impact Payments and critical taxpayer services to the American people,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We are working swiftly to distribute this second round of payments as quickly as possible. This work continues throughout the holidays and into the new year as we prepare for the upcoming filing season. We urge everyone to visit in the coming days for the latest information on these payments and for important information and assistance with filing their 2021 taxes.”
Authorized by the newly enacted COVID-relief legislation, the second round of payments, or “EIP 2,” is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment.

Link to full press release:

Offering an online tool provided through the IRS that provides taxpayers a secure way to quickly find the status of both the first and second payments, and if needed, a way for taxpayers to add their bank account information in order to receive their economic impact payment.
If the IRS does not have your direct deposit information, share it through this tool to speed your Economic Impact Payment. Data is updated once per day overnight, so there’s no need to check more than once per day.

Track the status of a payment: This feature will show the user the payment amount, scheduled delivery date (via direct deposit or through paper check) and whether a payment has been scheduled. To utilize this tool, taxpayers will need to know their Social Security Number, Date of birth, and the Mailing address used on their tax return. It is useful to have a copy of their most recent tax return to speed up the process but not required.

Taxpayers needing to add their bank account information to speed receipt of their payment will also need to provide the following additional information: Their Adjusted Gross Income from their most recent tax return submitted (either 2019 or 2018), the refund or amount owed from their latest filed tax return, and their bank account type, account and routing numbers

Please Note: Get My Payment cannot update bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery. To help protect against potential fraud, the tool also does not allow people to change bank account information already on file with the IRS. A Spanish version of Get My Payment is now available.

Get My Payment (Online Tool)

Spanish Get My Payment Tool- Obtener Mi Pago (Espanol)

Based on the information the IRS has on file, some individuals may see the following message from the IRS when attempting to check their payment status on the ‘Get My Payment’ tool. The following reasons may be why, but for more information about other circumstances, visit the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page on the IRS site (linked on the right).
You may receive this message if:
-You are not eligible for a payment.
-If you recently filed through the IRS No-Filers tool
– If you receive SSA, RRB, SSI, or VA benefits, as your information is not yet available.
– If you are required to file taxes and have not yet filed for 2018 or 2019.

FAQ and Eligibility Page:

The Recovery Rebate Credit is a credit that was authorized by the CARES Act and many eligible individuals received it in advance as an Economic Impact Payment (EIP). Those who were eligible for the EIP but did not receive one of the two EIPs or received less than the full amount as an advanced payment in 2020 can claim the Recovery Rebate Credit when they file their 2020 tax return. Generally, the credit will increase their refund amount or lower the taxes they may owe.

Individuals who were eligible for the first and second Economic Impact Payments but were not issued one or did not receive the full amount that they were eligible for. The first Economic Impact Payment was $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly) plus $500 for each qualifying child you had in 2020. The second Economic Impact Payment was $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly) plus $600 for each qualifying child had in 2020.

Eligible individuals must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if they don’t normally file.

For more information:

The IRS has discovered a text scam created to trick people into disclosing bank account information under the guise of receiving the $1,200 Economic Impact Payment.

The scam text message states: “You have received a direct deposit of $1,200 from COVID-19 TREAS FUND. Further action is required to accept this payment into your account. Continue here to accept this payment …”and the text message includes a link to a fake phishing web address. This fake phishing URL appears to come from a state agency or relief organization and takes recipients to a fraudulent website that impersonates the Get My Payment website.

Individuals who receive this text scam should take a screenshot of the text message that they received and then include the screenshot in an email to with the following information:
– Date/Time/Timezone that they received the text message
– The number that appeared on their Caller ID
– The number that received the text message

The IRS and state agencies will never text taxpayers asking for bank account information so that an EIP deposit may be made. The IRS does not send unsolicited texts or emails, call people with threats of jail or lawsuits, nor does it demand tax payments on gift cards.


Offering assistance in navigating unemployment benefits with changes due to COVID-19.  Offers information about how COVID-19 will affect benefit amounts and who has access to unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 changes.

For questions or information regarding COVID-19, please contact Legal Services of Northern California by phone: 530-345-9491, regular office hours are M-Th: 9am-Noon, & 1pm-5pm, and Friday: 9am-Noon.

Information is also available online at:

Individuals in California who would like to return their EIP (Economic Impact Payment) may do so by following the directions below based on their situation.

Individuals who received a paper check should write “Void” in the endorsement section on the back of the check and include a note stating the reason for returning the check. Do not staple, bend, or paper clip the check. Send to the address below.
If the payment was a paper check that has been cashed, or if the payment was a direct deposit write a check or money order made payable to “U.S. Treasury”. Write 2020EIP, and the taxpayer identification number (social security number, or individual taxpayer identification number) of the recipient on the check. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the EIP. Send check or money order to Fresno Internal Revenue Service, 5045 E Butler Avenue, Fresno, CA 93888.



The IRS is reviewing implementation plans for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

For updates on the 2021 Economic Impact Payments, please visit


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Supplemental Security Income recipients will receive automatic Economic Impact Payments

SSI Recipients will receive a $1,200 Economic Impact Payment with no further action needed on their part. The IRS projects the payments for this group will go out no later than early May. Many benefit recipients typically aren’t required to file tax returns . Those who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or survivor benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits do not need to take any further action, the IRS will direct deposit or mail your Economic Impact Payment to where you normally receive your benefit.

SSI Recipients with qualifying children: If they have children who qualify, an extra step is needed to add $500 per child onto their automatic payment of $1,200 if they didn’t file a tax return in 2018 or 2019. For those who receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits or SSI and have a qualifying child, they can quickly register by visiting and providing their information in the Non-Filers section. By quickly taking steps to enter information on the IRS website about them and their qualifying children, they can receive the $500 per dependent child payment in addition to their $1,200 individual payment. If beneficiaries in these groups do not provide their information to the IRS soon, they will have to wait until later to receive their $500 per qualifying child.

Visit special tool available only on and provide their information in the Non-Filers section, online here:

The Cares act for Self employed individuals

Individuals who are self-employed and were affected by COVID-19 may now qualify for unemployment insurance benefits due to the Federal CARES Act. The weekly benefits that they are eligible for will be calculated in the same way as other workers who are eligible and include an additional $600 until July 31, 2020. Benefits will be available for up to 39 weeks. The period of unemployment due to COVID-19 that is eligible for coverage is from Jan 27, 2020 until December 31, 2020, which is when the eligibility expansion for self-employed individuals will end.

Individuals can file a claim online at or via phone with a representative. Phone representatives will be available M-F: 8am-12pm PST. They are not available on holidays.  Please Note: Phone lines may be busy due to increased call volume.

English: call 1-800-300-5616

Cantonese: call 1-800-547-3506

Spanish: call 1-800-326-8937

Mandarin: call 1-866-303-0706  TTY call 1-800-815-9387

Vietnamese: call 1-800-547-2058