Congress passed a bill aimed at relieving those affected by the coronavirus this week. It's said to be the most expensive stimulus plan to date, at a final cost of $2 trillion. You must've seen reports generalizing how most Americans will receive direct payment of $1,200, but there are a lot of details that are not being stated.

1. Your check amount depends on your income.

Your stimulus check from the government isn't a straightforward payday as one could assume when hearing the words direct payment. The amount given is based on your adjusted gross income (AGI) on your 2018 or 2019 federal tax filing, according to CBS News.  

Using information from either tax year, here are the following qualifications that would make individuals eligible to receive a $1,200 check or $2,400 for married couples:

  • You're single and have an AGI of less than $99,000.
  • You're the head of a household and you earned less than $112,500.
  • You're in a childless marriage and you earned less than $198,000.

Parents would receive $500 for each child under the age of 17. Additionally, those with an AGI above $75,000 will receive smaller checks depending on their specific income. 

2. Undocumented immigrants aren't eligible for payments.

The coronavirus has affected everyone's ability to work, including undocumented workers without green cards, but the bill states they wouldn't be eligible to receive help.

This historic stimulus plan was designed to give our economy a boost as many Americans face unemployment and vulnerability. Millions of Americans are coping with the loss of their jobs. However, there's a concern for those who are undocumented, whom the Boston Globe reports were hit the hardest in their primary working fields of hospitality and retail. 

As the Globe reports, most undocumented immigrants pay taxes despite being illegible for the perks that come with doing so, like receiving stimulus checks or unemployment benefits. 

House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., took to Twitter to call out the GOP for excluding undocumented immigrants.

“To clarify, $1200 checks are ONLY going to some w/social sec numbers, NOT immigrants w/ tax IDs (ITINs)," Ocasio-Cortez said. "Thanks to GOP, these checks will be cut off the backs of *taxpaying immigrants,* who get nothing. Many are essential workers who pay more taxes than Amazon.”




3. The House passed it despite some disliking it.

The Senate voted unanimously 96-0 on Wednesday when the deal was constructed amongst prominent figures including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., with further negotiations from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. This led some Democrats in the House to be cynical of the Republican-controlled Senate bill.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., didn’t have any objections, saying her fellow Democrats in the Senate added much balance to the situation, Fox News reported. However, others like the aforementioned AOC and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., were adamant about seeing a final version of the Senate bill and having a 24-hour notice before voting, creating a delay.

Friday, the House approved the bill, and President Donald Trump signed it hours later.

"No bill is perfect, but we want to make sure that it at least comes part of the way to being sufficient," Pelosi, said. "I do think that when we're considering a bill, appreciate [it] for what is in the bill rather than judge it for what is not in the bill. But we do know that we must do more," NBC News reported.

4. This relief bill is comparable to presidential candidate Andrew Yang's signature universal basic income plan.

Yang’s signature policy was Freedom Dividend, a form of a universal basic income (UBI) that grants every American adult $1,000 per month or $12,000 a year.

"I'm pleased to see the White House adopt our vision of putting money directly into the hands of hard-working Americans," Yang said in an earlier statement. "It's unfortunate to see this development take place under the current circumstances, but this is exactly what Universal Basic Income is designed to do – offer a way to ensure that Americans can make ends meet when they need it most."

It’s important to note that Yang’s Freedom Dividend plan, and by expansion his candidacy, was perceived as an ill-advice proposal, as seen in an interview Yang had on The View.


5. This relief bill is being considered a corporate bailout too.

Some Democrats weren’t too pleased to find out that corporations, such as airlines, are included in this relief bill.

Airlines and air cargo carriers are set to receive $29 billion in grants and a matching grant of $29 billion in low-cost loans, Dallas Morning News reported. What's even more troubling is that American Airline could get $12 billion in government aid despite their business expecting to cut domestic flights up to 80% in May.


6. The timeline for when people will receive checks is unclear.

People who received a tax refund via direct deposit will most likely be the first ones to receive their checks, which could take between three to four weeks after Trump approves the bill, NPR reported. If you received your refund via mail, the process could take even longer.

"It really depends on what information the IRS has on you," Kyle Pomerleau, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said.