By Rebecca Fending
With the coronavirus comes an economic onslaught for the working class, as well as retirees. You’ve probably heard about Congress’ “stimulus package” in light of COVID-19, but what does it mean for seniors? Here’s a basic rundown on what the package entails and how to effects seniors:
The Package Basics
The 2020 stimulus package acts as a means of supporting the economy and those affected by the closures and disruption of daily activity by COVID-19. Some of the folks hit hardest by these closures are those in the service industry. For people like many of those in the service industry, living paycheck to paycheck is already hard enough. However, when you’re forced out of work due to mandated closures due to the pandemic, it’s even harder.
According to the New York Times, this $2 trillion stimulus package promises a direct deposit in every U.S. citizen’s bank account in about three weeks. Most adults will receive $1,200 ($2,400 for couples) paired with a child (under the age of 16) bonus of $500. Deposited checks are configured on your 2019 tax information.
In addition to this bonus check, those who have lost or been laid off of their job can apply for unemployment during this period. Those who are paying back student loans also have the added bonus of having the interest on said loans waved.
The package also aims to lend a financial hand to businesses affected by COVID-19, such as airlines and smaller local businesses. In some cases, business loans may even be forgiven depending on factors such as number of employees on their payroll.
As of Thursday, March 26, the stock market has seen a surge in activity since the Senate passed the stimulus package. This, of course, is an excellent sign of what this package holds for the future.
What Does the Stimulus Package Mean for Seniors?
In a nutshell, seniors are included in the package coverage. According to The Hill, the bill will aid seniors in a number of ways. One detail of the package is the purpose of increasing funding for nursing homes in the way of health inspections. It also specifies that low-income and/or disabled seniors will still be able to get regularly scheduled medical treatment.
This stimulus package will also do the same for seniors as for the working class: directly deposited checks. The check amount is determined by how much you earned as specified in your 2019 tax form. If you earned $75,000 or lower, you’ll receive $1,200 as an individual or $2,400 for couples. If you made up to $99,000, you will receive a partial benefit. Any higher and you will not receive a deposit. Though the exact amount is unclear for those with partial deposits, all seniors will still receive a deposited amount in their bank account within the coming weeks.
For those over the age of 72, you are allowed to skip taking your required minimum distribution (RMD) in light of the significant affect the virus has had on the stock market. This, of course, will give your portfolio more time to bounce back from any loss it may have endured during this period. In addition, any early withdrawals will not have the usual 10% penalty.
Not only will the package ensure that seniors are taken care of financially, but it will also increase funding for programs that deliver meals at home for seniors. Programs such as Meals-On-Wheels will receive the funding to be able to serve seniors for three meals, each day of the week.
Ultimately, the coronavirus has intensely impacted business in a short period of time. However, the 2020 stimulus package produced by Congress intends to pick up the stock market pieces for the benefit of business and the American people. The expected direct deposits and increased program funding will aid in having the country back on its feet in an expected short amount of time.