Based on 2019 tax filings, adults who earn up to $75,000 a year are eligible for the full emergency universal income payment of $1,200. Prorated amounts will be paid to those making up to $99,000 a year, with the payment decreasing by $5 for every $100 in income above $75,000. Parents will also receive $500 for every child under 17.

Americans with Social Security numbers do not have to apply for the payments. If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) already has bank account information on file, direct deposits will begin April 13 at the earliest. Those who have not received tax refunds by direct deposit will receive checks in the mail, scheduled to begin the week of May 4.

Those who do not have bank information on file with the IRS can upload their information to a web-based system that will be created by the Treasury Department to get their relief payment by direct deposit instead of a mailed check, according to information from Treasury Department Secretary Steve Mnuchin. For Americans who have not yet filed a 2019 tax return, eligibility will be based on information from 2018.

In their news release, “Economic impact payments: what you need to know,” the IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive a relief payment.

The agency will use information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate payments to recipients of benefits reflected in Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019. This includes senior citizens and Social Security recipients who are not otherwise required to file a tax return. For complete information go to

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.