An aid package to help some, but not all

By Brandon Sprague and Linsey Madison

A government check. Photo from Google.

In the wake of the coronavirus, many people have been left without work. Whether they were furloughed or their company closed temporarily, they are feeling the economic impact.

As a financial safety net, the government has issued aid packages to taxpayers. Many individuals will be receiving stimulus checks.   

Stimulus checks were issued to people because of the government’s new coronavirus aid package. Individuals who make less than $75,000 will receive $1,200. Couples that earn less than $150,000 will receive $2,400. Head of households who make less than $112,500 will receive $1,200. Parents with children under the age of 16  would receive $500 per child. If a person registered as a dependent, they would receive nothing.

For Michelle Leo, receiving a check will help her pay for necessities like groceries and bills.

Leo is a staff development educator for the ARC of Jefferson County. Due to the coronavirus, she has been forced to work from home and is only allowed to work two days a week. This has drastically decreased the amount of income that she typically has coming in. Leo is a single mom that is raising two children. By receiving a stimulus check, she is able to pay for things like her bills and groceries.

“Recently I have had a hard time being able to afford my bills while also buying groceries for myself and my two children,” said Leo. “The $1,200 check along with the extra $1,000 I get for my two kids will help me pay off my bills while giving me some breathing room with money.” 

Leo is one example of how a stimulus check amount will differentiate from other households.

The amount people will receive will vary depending on the 2019 tax return for each person and 2018 if the 2019 taxes haven’t been filed. Those that are on Social Security are eligible to receive a check as long as they received an SSA 1099 form for 2019. These checks will be sent out by mail or direct deposit by the IRS.

Brockport resident Michele Donovan is receiving a check but hasn’t received one yet.

Donovan is currently married and the pair will combine their checks for one thing in particular.

“I am planning on installing my fence for my dog around my yard. The entire amount will go towards it,” said Donovan.

While Donovan can use her stimulus check toward a fence, other people cannot afford to spend their money on extras. Eliza Zachowicz is currently an unemployed student and won’t be receiving a check.

A table filled with school work. Photo by Eliza Zachowicz.

“I was still a student and going home during breaks, I was listed as dependent despite just getting an apartment. We figured one more year I would be claimed as a dependent on my parents. If we had known this pandemic would be striking I don’t think I would be listed as a dependent,” said Zachowicz.

Zachowicz has her apartment and lives with her boyfriend. She worked in retail until the virus shut non-essential businesses down.

Since Zachowicz isn’t working and is attending school, she has tried to file unemployment to keep money going into her account. Unfortunately, Zachowicz hasn’t been successful and has spent a minimum of 12-15 hours combined between the computer and her phone on The Department of Labor’s website.

“It has been a journey. I filed in mid-March and it said my report was incomplete and that I would need to call,” said Zachowicz.

A graph of unemployment changes resulting from Covid-19. Graph from Brookings.

The Department of Labor has switched from having its employees call people instead because so many people were calling the department, put on hold and couldn’t get through.

“They called me Apr. 11 and we got everything settled, my file was complete and that I could start claiming benefits every week. That was almost three weeks ago and I still can’t claim benefits and my claim is listed as incomplete. From what I’ve seen this is not just me, this is a lot of people who were told their claim was complete and it’s not,” said Zachowicz.

During the pandemic, many people are unemployed. Many are feeling the economic impact because of temporary closures or from being furloughed.

Because of the House of Representatives and Senate passing the coronavirus aid package, many will be receiving stimulus checks.



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