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If you’re like many Americans, you’re wondering: Where’s my stimulus check? The funds were authorized by the CARES Act to offset a recession/depression brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRS will launch a new search for your “Economic Impact Payment” status, sometime this week. Visit www.irs.gov/eip to search for the status of your family’s EIP check.

No application is needed, and deposit information will be provided by your 2018 or 2019 tax returns, whichever was filed most recently.

An exception, however, is that many Social Security recipients who do not file taxes will receive their payments, regardless. However, those on Social Security may want to do some additional research.

Locally, the Richfield Mall has heard anecdotal accounts of local families receiving their funds today — $1,200 for adults, $500 for children (except 17-year-olds and dependent adults). Everyone locally who has received their funds did so via direct deposit. Those we’ve been able to ask said they’d filed their taxes in 2018, but not 2019 (yet). Valid or not, that is expected to change soon. Government officials have repeatedly promised the vast majority of all Americans will receive their funds this week or next.

Those who did not give the IRS their bank account information, for whatever reason, may visit this website to add their bank information: www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments

Those who are unwilling or unable to offer bank account information may have to wait several months for printed checks to arrive in the mail. They are expected to be sent out through August of this year. Reportedly, some delays are expected because Pres. Trump wants his signature printed on each check; the government denies this, saying the delays were part of the process anyway. In any case, if you have moved, you may want to update your information as soon as possible.

To be clear: This money will not be paid back to the government. It’s “free” money to help stave off a looming economic depression. You can find answers to other myths and rumors here.

And, when you get your payments, remember that tough times may lie ahead. Some experts say the COVID-19 quarantine could last for months.

So, remember that utility companies are offering delays in payments right now, including Richfield City, along with most home lenders. USDA Rural Development is offering temporary payment assistance as well as moratoriums where no payments need to be paid for six months. Contact your lender or creditors for details. Many have streamlined applications for delayed payments at this time, including local internet provider, Centurylink, which may be contacted via online chat.

Financial expert Dave Ramsey recommends having at least $1,000 on hand to help cover predictable “emergencies” and help manage your cash flow, which may eliminate the need to use credit cards — and get in debt paying that interest off. That’s good financial advice — anytime.

Finally, please let those who may be out of touch know that these stimulus funds are coming and they are not a trick of some kind. And yet, authorities are warning that there are numerous scams out there, to rob the elderly and unsuspecting of their stimulus payments, so beware. No one from the government will be calling them or asking for their banking information other than on the approved IRS website listed above. Thanks for your help in spreading the word!