BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The vast majority of Vermonters will receive at least $1,200 as part of Congress’ massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief stimulus package.
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On Friday, President Trump signed the bill that addresses the fallout from the coronavirus. It sets up economic relief for millions of Americans who were laid off as businesses closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, small businesses and hospitals.
Checks will start being sent out within the next three weeks from the Treasury Department. Some $290 billion dollars will be distributed to people across the United States.
Some people in Burlington are looking forward to getting their check.
“It'll definitely help out. I'm not going to complain about getting money,” said Joseph Burro of Burlington.
Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, says anyone who makes up to $75,000 a year will get a direct payment of $1,200. If you make $99,000 or more per year, you will not receive a payment. Couples making up to $150,000 annually will receive $2,400. Families will receive $500 for each dependent child. Welch says a family of four could get $3,400.
Americans collecting Social Security benefits are eligible for a stimulus check. Seniors are encouraged to file their 2019 tax return to ensure they receive their recovery rebate as quickly as possible. Those collecting SSI benefits will also receive a payment. There is no qualifying income requirement. Even individuals with $0 of income are eligible for a rebate so long as they are not the dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible SSN, according to the Republican Finance Committee.
Congressman Welch says the one-time payment is a good start but believes it's not enough.
“If it's a family that makes $50,000 a year, $1,200 is going to be a week, $2,400 would be two weeks. So it's short-term help. No illusion about that,” he said.
Some people agree Americans need more money.
"All of that is good but we are really at a time of uncertainty,” said George Philibert of Burlington.
Tony Carter thinks the funds would be better spent finding a cure.
“I feel like they feel like by giving us money, we're supposed to be comfortable with that,” Carter said. “There's people dying out here. Money ain't nothing.”
The stimulus package will also allocate $100 billion to hospitals and health care providers across the U.S.
“They need it. Our Vermont hospitals are on the front lines here and facing enormous challenges. It's going to help that,” said Welch.
The relief package will also give small businesses a boost with $367 billion worth of loans and grants available.
It will also increase unemployment benefits by an extra $600 per week on top of state benefits. Eligibility is extended to self-employed and independent contractors for the federal money. It provides $9.5 billion to support farmers across the U.S., stabilizes the SNAP program with $15.8 billion, and creates a $150 billion state relief fund to help states address this pandemic. Vermont will receive $1.25 billion, according to Welch.