Help for Individuals

The bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is providing unprecedented economic and health care relief to ensure Ohioans get the support they need to get by in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

The CARES Act rescue package will help Ohioans and their families around the state weather the enormous impact of the coronavirus pandemic by:

  • Providing direct financial assistance to Ohio families in need.
    • Starting this week, the government will be mailing checks of $1,200 for individuals making less than $75,000 per year, with lesser amounts sent to individuals making up to $99,000 per year.
    • Couples making less than $150,000 will receive $2,400, with lesser amounts sent to couples making up to $198,000 per year.
    • Families with children would be eligible for an additional $500 per child.
    • This means the average family of four will receive approximately $3,400 through the CARES Act.
  • Including a four-month, historic increase in unemployment insurance benefits to help Ohioans make ends meet during this difficult time.
    • The CARES Act provides approximately $250 billion so state unemployment programs can offer full wage replacement to low- and medium-income individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
    • For the first time, the bill expands unemployment insurance benefit eligibility to cover most self-employed individuals, government workers, and nonprofit employees.
    • It also covers an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits on top of what states already provide, and offers an additional 13 weeks of benefits.
  • Authorizing new federal loans to employers large and small to help keep workers on payroll.
    • These loans incentivize employers to retain their employees during the months ahead, ensuring that employees still have access to their employer-provided health insurance and retirement plans
  • Providing $4.5 billion to the state of Ohio and $150 billion overall to support states and local governments that are impacted by the coronavirus to ensure they can continue to provide basic services for their citizens.
  • Providing $150 billion to health care providers and hospitals in Ohio and elsewhere to accelerate the public health response, increase testing, and save lives.
    • This includes needed support for rural hospitals that may otherwise have not had the capacity to respond to the historic surge in coronavirus cases we are currently seeing.
  • Providing $4.3 billion to support the CDC and state and local health departments in their response to coronavirus and save Ohioan lives.
    • This includes resources to expand testing capabilities so that more Ohioans can know whether or not they or a loved one have been infected with coronavirus, potentially limiting the spread and saving lives.
    • It also includes resources to speed up the development of antiviral therapies that can help alleviate the worst symptoms of coronavirus for Ohioans fighting the disease and in doing so potentially reduce the overall number of fatalities.

Direct Financial Assistance to Ohio Families

Who is eligible for the economic impact payment?

Tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. For filers with income above those amounts, the payment amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. Single filers with income exceeding $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children are not eligible. Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return. 

Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018 will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples and up to $500 for each qualifying child.

How will the IRS know where to send my payment?

The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.

For people who have already filed their 2019 tax returns, the IRS will use this information to calculate the payment amount. For those who have not yet filed their return for 2019, the IRS will use information from their 2018 tax filing to calculate the payment. The economic impact payment will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed.

The IRS does not have my direct deposit information. What can I do?

In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail.

I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?

Yes. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the 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, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.

Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.

I have a tax filing obligation but have not filed my tax return for 2018 or 2019. Can I still receive an economic impact payment?

Yes. 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 an economic impact payment. Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.

I need to file a tax return. How long are the economic impact payments available?

For those concerned about visiting a tax professional or local community organization in person to get help with a tax return, these economic impact payments will be available throughout the rest of 2020.

Where can I get more information?

For more information regarding the federal rebate, check here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/economic-impact-payments-what-you-need-to-know

The IRS will post all key information on IRS.gov/coronavirus as soon as it becomes available.

Concerned about how the coronavirus will affect your federal incomes taxes? The IRS has delayed Tax Day until July 15, 2020 for Americans to file their taxes. More information on Tax Day here https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-day-now-july-15-treasury-irs-extend-filing-deadline-and-federal-tax-payments-regardless-of-amount-owed.

For the vast majority of Ohioans, no action is needed since the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return if they haven’t filed their 2019 return. This includes many individuals with very low income who file a tax return despite not owing any tax in order to take advantage of the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.  The best way to ensure you receive a recovery rebate is to file a 2019 tax return if you have not already done so. This could be accomplished for free online from home using the IRS Free file program (https://www.irs.gov/filing/free-file-do-your-federal-taxes-for-free ). 

For other questions, please visit the Senate Finance Committee’s Frequently Asked Questions page at https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/cares-act-recovery-check-faq

Ohio Unemployment Insurance

Ohioans who have been laid off due to the coronavirus can visit http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm to apply for Unemployment Insurance (UI). Ohioans without computer access need to call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB).

The CARES Act provides approximately $250 billion so state unemployment programs can offer full wage replacement to low- and medium-income individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

The CARES Act includes a four-month, historic increase in unemployment insurance benefits to help Ohioans make ends meet during this difficult time.  For the first time, the bill expands unemployment insurance benefit eligibility to cover most self-employed individuals, government workers, and nonprofit employees. It also covers an additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits on top of what states already provide, and offers an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

New Federal Paid Leave Requirements 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. A U.S. Labor Department’s Fact Sheet for employees can be found here https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave

Frequently asked questions and answers regarding federal paid leave requirements can be found here https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions