A few individuals have started to receive their stimulus money in their bank accounts over the past couple of days. This is the money that was promised by the federal government to jump-start the economy in the wake of COVID-19 hitting the United States. Many individuals are eligible for $1,200, or $2,400 in the case of couples. Those with children can expect even more.
The ones who are getting the money first are those who filed their income taxes with the IRS in 2019. Those at the front of the line also supplied the IRS with a bank account number and a routing number to receive their refunds.
However, some individuals lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus and are collecting unemployment. Many of them are asking whether they can continue to collect unemployment, but still receive a stimulus check.
Can You Both Receive a Stimulus Check and Collect Unemployment?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes. You can be on unemployment from losing your job due to the coronavirus, directly or indirectly, and you will still get the $1,200 one-time payment per eligible adult.
What Should I Do with the Stimulus Money?
The next question that many people are asking about the stimulus payment that they’ve received is what they should do with it. That is a matter of particular concern if you have a stack of bills that is piling up, with no end in sight since the pandemic began.
What you should attempt to do is prioritize what you need to keep up with the most. Let’s say that you have rent due on a house or apartment, and you’ve already spoken with the landlord. Some landlords are fine with receiving that money later because they understand that many individuals are in dire straits right now. Several car companies are waiving payments at the moment and allowing you to catch up later. The same is true for many credit card companies.
This is the new reality, with the professional lives of millions of Americans being at a virtual standstill. If you’ve been laid off, and you can’t leave the house to try and find a new job, then you’re helpless to earn. It’s natural to be worried about the future, but for now, focus on the present.
Use the stimulus money to pay for things like food for yourself and your family, diapers for your child, or medication that you or your loved ones need. If you are in a tight spot financially, then try to make that stimulus money stretch any way that you can. You can do things like buying store-brand cereal when you shop. It won’t make a huge difference, but every little bit helps right now.
You can contribute whatever is left of the stimulus money toward making a dent in the pile of bills like auto payments or back rent. Those things matter. Just remember that what is needed for basic survival is a little more important right now.