A $2 trillion stimulus bill was passed last week in response to the economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus. Under this bill, U.S. residents will receive an economic impact payment or stimulus check—up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for married couples who filed jointly, and $500 for each qualifying child. The first round of eligible taxpayers should expect to see the direct deposits in their accounts as early as next week, while those receiving mailed checks may not receive their stimulus checks for a couple of months.
Although the stimulus checks are certainly not a long-term economic solution, they can help people pay some bills or rent in the meantime. If you’re lucky enough to have financial stability during this time, you may be wondering what useful things you could do with your stimulus check. Considering all the extra time you’re spending at home quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic, it may be wise to switch to an internet plan with faster speeds so your remote work and children’s classes won’t be disrupted more than they already have been. You can use our tool to find a faster internet plan by entering your address and the internet speed you’re looking for.
In this article:
- How Much Money Will I Get?
- How to Get a Stimulus Check
- When Will I Receive My Stimulus Check?
- The Best Way to Spend Your Stimulus Check
- The Top High-Speed Internet Plans
How Much Money Will I Get?
With so much misinformation out there, it’s easy to get confused and bogged down by it. Here’s what the IRS has to say about your bonus stimulus check and how much you’ll receive.
The following taxpayers are eligible for the full $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples filing jointly:
- Single filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000
- Head of household filers with adjusted gross income up to $112,500
- Married couples filing jointly with adjusted gross income up to $150,000
Everyone above is also eligible for an extra $500 per qualifying child—they must be under 17 years old and you must claim them as a dependent on your tax return; otherwise, that $500 will go to whoever claimed the child.
The following individuals will receive a stimulus check payment that is reduced by $5 for every $100 over the thresholds of $75,000, $112,500, and $150,000—with the upper limits being $99,000, $136,000, and $198,000. For instance, an individual who makes $80,000 will receive a $950 government stimulus check.
How to Get a Stimulus Check
As long as you filed your taxes for 2019 or 2018, you don’t need to do anything to get your coronavirus stimulus check—you should receive your financial stimulus check automatically, via direct deposit or mailed check, depending on how you chose to receive your tax refund. Since the IRS extended the deadline for tax filing until July 15, 2020, you may not have filed your 2019 taxes yet. That’s okay, the IRS will simply use your 2018 income information to make economic impact payment calculations.
Those who aren’t typically required to file a tax return, such as Social Security and Railroad Retirement recipients, also don’t need to take any action. The IRS will use the information from the Form SSA-1099 and RRB-1099 to calculate the stimulus payment amounts. As with tax filers, these residents will receive their payments via paper check or direct deposit, in whichever fashion they typically receive their benefits.
Lastly, some other people, such as specific veterans, disabled individuals, and low-income workers, aren’t required to file a tax return—they, too, qualify to receive a bonus stimulus check. If you think you fall into this category, you can confirm that through the IRS website.
As long as you filed your taxes for 2019 or 2018, you don’t need to do anything to get your stimulus check.
When Will I Receive My Stimulus Check?
According to IRS Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the first round of stimulus payments, which is going to over 50 million Americans, was ready for processing April 9, 2020. U.S. residents in this round may begin to see the direct deposits in their bank accounts around April 13, while those receiving mailed checks may see a delay of up to 20 weeks.
Keep in mind, when processing the coronavirus stimulus checks, the government is prioritizing low-income Americans and Social Security beneficiaries first. If you don’t receive your direct deposit next week, don’t fret—it’s coming. Plus, the IRS will mail you a letter to your last known address within 15 days after they pay your stimulus check. The letter will outline information about the method of payment, as well as how to report any failure to receive your stimulus payment. Of course, be smart. Many scammers may be taking advantage at this time, so if you’re unsure whether your letter is a legitimate IRS letter, visit IRS.gov to protect against scams.
The Best Way to Spend Your Stimulus Check
If you’re lucky enough to have your basic needs covered, you aren’t going to want to blow your $1,200 or $2,400 on something frivolous that you’ll forget about in a few months. You want the gift that keeps on giving—really fast internet so your Zoom meetings are crisp and clear, your binge-watching sessions are never disrupted by buffering, and your online gaming experience is free of frustrations. Don’t know what internet speeds you need? That’s what we’re here for. When choosing a faster plan, you should consider:
- How many people in your household will be connected to the internet
- How many devices will be connected to the internet at any given time
- What activities you and your household members are using the internet for
Generally speaking, the more people and devices, the faster your internet speeds should be. Here is the breakdown of online activities and how many Mbps they require:
- Social media, email, internet browsing: 1Mbps
- Video conferencing: 1-3Mbps
- Video streaming (SD): 3-4Mbps
- Video streaming (HD): 2-25Mbps
- Online gaming: 1-3Mbps
If you and several other members of your household are now working or attending school remotely because of COVID-19, you’ll want to increase your speeds by anywhere from 20Mbps to 30Mbps per month to ensure quality video conferencing, in addition to all the virtual happy hours you’ll be attending plus the Netflix binge-watching you’re bound to partake in.
This might mean choosing an internet plan with speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps. 50Mbps internet plans start as low as $20/month, with popular plans costing between $40/month and $100/month. If your household received a stimulus check for $3,400 (a sample amount for a married couple and two qualifying children), that would cover nearly 3 years of service on a $100/month internet plan.
The Top High-Speed Internet Plans
Now that you’ve decided you’re going to invest your stimulus check into faster internet, you’re going to want to compare plans to make sure you get the best deal possible. Below you’ll find some of the best internet plans starting at speeds of 50Mbps. You can always drag the slider under “Download Speed” to increase or decrease the Mbps according to your specific needs.