Latinos who are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic can still set up direct deposit to receive our IRS stimulus payment electronically. Photo: Artem Beliaiken, Unsplash.

As coronavirus continues to harm the American economy and force workers to quarantine at home, the federal government started disbursing the $2.2 trillion in stimulus money. Over 80 million Americans have already received their stimulus payments by direct deposit, but many of the 60 million Latinos around the country are still waiting on their checks as some face dire financial struggles

Nearly two-thirds of Latinos around the country claim they are currently facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new SOMOS Latino Decisions poll, and that check (for those who qualify) would be welcome now.

For those still waiting, here are some answers to common questions from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and CNETabout the stimulus payments.

Do I qualify for a stimulus payment?

Some Americans who have filed their taxes with the IRS for 2019 or 2018, and make less than $75,000 annually, qualify for a stimulus payment of $1,200. 

Married couples who file their taxes jointly will receive a payment of $2,400, with each child listed as a dependent on a family’s income taxes netting them an additional $500. But those married to undocumented individuals or who use a TPIN number won’t receive a stimulus relief check.

Taxpayers earning more than $75,000 will receive a reduced stimulus payment based on IRS determinants.

I haven’t received my check, why?

One reason could be that you haven’t signed up to receive a direct deposit payment.  You can update your status here

Another reason your deposit might take longer than others is if you used a third party to file your taxes, such as TurboTax or H&R Block. Your check must first be cleared by the third party’s bank before being deposited into your account.

Retired Americans receiving social security will also receive stimulus payments, with most of the money having been disbursed in early April and other payments going out at the end of the month.

What if I’m in a mixed-status home? 

If your spouse is undocumented and has filed their taxes using a tax ID, referred to as an ITIN, you will most likely not receive the $2,400 stimulus payment for spouses, nor the $500 for each of your children. 

The federal government has restricted families that file taxes using ITINs from obtaining federal stimulus dollars.

But resources for food banks and monetary assistance are available for the undocumented community. And some city and state governments in California, Minneapolis, and Chicago are providing undocumented persons with emergency relief funds.

Do I need a bank account to receive money electronically?

Yes. In order to set up direct deposit electronically you will need to visit the IRS website and provide them with your bank account number, routing number, social security number, or your ITIN tax ID, street address, and date of birth. 

What happens after I set up direct deposit?

It will take several days for your stimulus payment to be deposited into your account, according to the IRS

Should I be on the lookout for scams?

The threat of potential scammers trying to come in between you and your money is legitimate.

To avoid falling victim, never give out your social security number or banking information to unverifiable callers, and don’t contribute money to suspicious charity funds.

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Author

Herbert Norat (he/him/his) is a contributing writer for Pulso. A Bronx-born writer of Puerto Rican and Nicaraguan descent, he owns a small business, works as a library researcher, and writes for Bronx Narratives and The New York Public Library. Herbert lives with his fiance and daughter in the Bronx.