Federal stimulus check pic

Federal stimulus checks began arriving in March. Most people will receive $1,200.

With the state of Idaho just beginning to get back to some sense of normalcy after weeks of mandatory shutdowns due to concerns with the COVID-19 virus, many people have had financial concerns.

In March, Congress passed the Cares Act, which will give most Americans stimulus checks as a way to deliver economic support during the economic crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who filed taxes within the past two years, including self-employed individuals, are supposed to have received or will receive the stimulus payment. The amount of money each person receives is based on income level, which is determined by the most recent tax filing -- either 2018 or 2019. Individuals who make $75,000 or less per year will get a stimulus check for $1,200 plus an additional $500 per child who is less than 17 years old. The same is true for couples filing jointly who make $150,000 or less each year. In addition, veterans on pensions, those who are on Social Security and other individuals are slated to receive the money. Note that children older than 17, in college and claimed by their parent(s) are not eligible. However, many colleges across the state have provided a $500 grant payment to their students to aid in their needs during the coronavirus crisis.

The money is not related to anything else, cannot be garnished and does not have to be paid back. The checks will not affect next year’s tax refunds.

What does the money mean to Free Press readers?

“We built a greenhouse with materials from a local lumber company,” said Candy Thomas.

“We bought furniture locally,” Reyna Phillips said, adding she and her family felt it was worthwhile even if the cost was somewhat higher than buying it elsewhere.

Sisters Bailey Stout and MaryAnn Stout Sexton are both expecting babies and said they bought some baby things and paid bills.

“I spent most of mine remodeling my deck and putting in a little paver patio -- all materials purchased in Grangeville,” said Krista Green.

Rachel Young, Megan McDonald and Lee Slichter are all spending their money on taxes.

“I tithed to my church, donated some to QRU, Hope Center and the White Bird Library, saving the rest,” said Randy Myers.

“Mine went for groceries, twice a week smoothie treats for my kiddos from Sunrise Espresso, and gardening supplies,” explained Michelle Waite, who built a raised garden bed. “I bought soil nutrients, as well as miscellaneous garden tools, from LeAnne’s, purchased plants from high school, and necessary yard implements from Ace Home Center.”

“We painted our house,” Jenna Roberts said.

“I bought groceries and the rest went in savings,” added Shelly Bentley.

“I sent some to grandkids who were non-essential workers,” said Cheryle Miller.

“We put some in our daughter’s college fund to start with,” stated Shari Chaffee.

“I haven’t received it yet, but when I do, it will go to pay off hospital bills,” Chandra Kelley said.

Joyce Stapleton also has not received hers, but, “When I do, I will use it to buy new glasses and pay the dentist bill.”

Rachel Taylor-Diaz, Tara Wolfinger and Sonya Turner all put their money in savings for when times are, perhaps, even tougher.

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