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Congress came to agreement early Wednesday morning on a massive $2 trillion stimulus package designed to help families and businesses get through the coronavirus pandemic.

The money from the coronavirus relief bill will be a lifeline for families who have lost their jobs or are unable to work due to the coronavirus.

But who will get a check? Will you qualify?

Some of the answers are unclear as legislators continue to work on the exact language of the bill.

Here’s what we know so far.

Will I qualify to get a stimulus check?

If you earn too much money, you won’t qualify.

Individuals are eligible if they have adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 a year, or $150,000 for married couples who file taxes jointly. The cutoff will be $112,500 for heads of household.

Taxpayers must also have “qualifying income” of at least $2,500, and have “net income tax liability which is greater than zero,” or gross income which is greater than the standard deduction. “Qualifying income” includes earned income, Social Security benefits, pension benefits and certain other retirement income.

Phase-outs are expected to start for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of more than $75,000, and phase-outs start at $150,000 for married couples. Singles who earn more than $99,000 won’t qualify at all, nor would married couples who earn more than $198,000.

How much of a stimulus check will I get?

According to the current version of the bill:

Individuals would get the lesser of $1,200 or their net income tax liability but not less than $600;

Those who file taxes married filing jointly would get the lesser of $2,400 or their net income tax liability, but not less than $1200.

Parents would get an additional $500 for each “qualifying child.”

Will my kids get a stimulus check too?

It seems that if you claim your child as a dependent, you would get an additional $500 per child. It appears that you would also get $500 for a college student that you claim as a dependent, even if the student files his own tax return.

What if I don’t qualify to get a stimulus check? What if I’m left out?

Experts believe there will be more stimulus packages in the future, and those may address people who were left out of this one.

But if you’ve lost your job and qualify for unemployment benefits, this stimulus package gives you a bigger check. It’s expected to add $600 per month onto individual workers’ unemployment checks for the next four months.

When will I get my stimulus check?

The exact timing of the one-time direct payments is still unclear.

“As soon as Congress passes this, we will get this out in three weeks,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week.

But in an interview Wednesday morning with CNN, Sen. Chuck Schumer said: “I think the president said that he would have it out by April 6.”

Tell us your coronavirus stories, whether it’s a news tip, a topic you want us to cover, or a personal story you want to share.

If you would like updates on New Jersey-specific coronavirus news, subscribe to our Coronavirus in N.J. newsletter.

NJ Advance Media Washington correspondent Jonathan D. Salant contributed to this report.

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(c)2020 NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.





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