May 23, 2020
State Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Memorial Day | Today's Paper

700,000 Mainers received stimulus payments. More will come by check or debit.

Eric Gay | AP
Eric Gay | AP
President Donald J.Trump's name is printed on a stimulus check issued by the IRS to help combat the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in San Antonio. According to the Treasury Department, it marks the first time a president's name has appeared on any IRS payments, whether refund checks or other stimulus checks that have been mailed during past economic crises.

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More than 700,000 Maine residents received economic impact payments so far, totaling more than $1.2 billion in federal money from a coronavirus-related stimulus bill that has gone directly to households in the state.

As of Friday, nearly 715,000 Mainers — a little more than half the state’s population — have already received payments, according to data released by the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. Overall, 152 million Americans have received the payments since late April. When the program commenced, one congressional estimate predicted that between 150 and 170 million individuals would ultimately receive checks.

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Payments so far have largely gone to individuals who had provided their bank account information to the IRS, though the window to give banking information to the IRS has closed. In the coming weeks, another 4 million people nationwide will be receiving the payments on prepaid debit cards. Others will still receive regular checks in the mail.

A study led by Northwestern University found that Americans with high bank account balances were less likely to spend in ways related to the stimulus, while families with lower incomes were spending less compared to past recessions on durable goods and more on food, likely reflecting national stay-at-home orders and other business restrictions.

Generally, individuals are eligible for the so-called stimulus check if they earned less than $99,000 last year. Anyone earning less than $75,000 will receive $1,200, with the payment gradually decreasing for people who earned more than that. Additional $500 payments are available for dependents under age 16, while some groups, including non-U.S. citizens, students and recent graduates, are not eligible for the payments at this time.

Individuals who think they are eligible for a stimulus check but did not file taxes in the last few years can request a payment on the IRS website anytime this year.

A second round of checks has been a part of debate over a new stimulus bill, but it is not clear the program will go through again. A package that passed the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives this month included a second round of payments, but virus relief stalled in the Republican-led Senate before it adjourned for a Memorial Day recess.

Watch: Maine gets funding for coronavirus testing


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