$1,400 checks aren’t the only form of financial help in the stimulus bill

Investigators

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It’s the first official day of delivery for the stimulus funds which are part of the massive American Rescue Act bill signed by the president.

But there’s more to that bill than just government checks.

The nearly $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act sets into motion lots of action by the federal government to help finically crippled Americans.

The $1,400 stimulus payments are just part of the package. It also includes extended federal unemployment benefits of $300 a week until Sept. 6.

It also mandates no taxes on previous unemployment benefits from 2020.

The act also enlarges who is eligible for stimulus funds.

In the past, students 17 or older claimed as dependents didn’t qualify for a payment.

That meant many high school seniors and college students were disqualified.

This time, Congress changed it so those students qualify but, the stimulus funds for them go to the taxpayer who claims them.

If your dependent status changed, you may be eligible for stimulus payments if you file a tax return this year.

“They might not have any income, so they should file a return because they could also get those payments,” said Annette Nellen, a CPA and financial author.

Previously, the government taxed unemployment benefits.

For those who collected unemployment in 2020, here’s how the no-tax provision works.

The first $10,200 of unemployment you collected will not be taxable. This is a 1-year only deal and applies to anyone who made up to $150,000 a year.

However, to get that no-tax benefit, you have to file for it on your 2020 income tax form.

“You’ve got to claim the recovery rebate credit,” said business analyst Jill Schlesinger. “That’s the way to ensure that you get the money that you are owed.”

Outside the American Rescue Act, there are other programs that can help those who are struggling.

There is federal student loan relief. The president suspended payments on federal student loans through Oct 1.

Eviction and Foreclosure moratoriums have been extended until the end of June for homeowners with federally backed mortgages

There is also food support.

The federal government has extended pandemic benefits for many states including North Carolina.

You can read about specific benefits here.

With all that’s happening, it may be confusing to trying to figure out what COVID-related benefits are available, so to help you out you can click here to get more details.

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