“It’s a welcome surprise.”
“I don’t think it’s going to change my life that much in any way.”
“Maybe it’s a little ‘too little, too late’.”
These were just a few responses from Columbus residents when they were asked how helpful the recent pandemic stimulus checks would be.
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The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department began deploying the country’s second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) on December 29. According to an IRS press release, this is part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
These stimulus payments are typically $ 600 for singles and $ 1,200 for a married couple filing a joint return. Parents will also receive up to $ 600 per qualifying child. Individuals with 2019 gross income greater than $ 75,000 for individuals (and $ 150,000 for couples) will receive reduced payment amounts.
Margarita Orosco, 65, predicted that for families with a mortgage and four to five children, the stimulus fund could possibly only be a “blessing for a month, maybe two months.”
“I know the government is finally taking a step forward in this vein to help,” she said. “But maybe it’s a little ‘too little, too late’. I just pray it will get better under a new administration.”
Orosco said the stimulus check helped her as she lives on a steady income and there can sometimes be five weeks between disability payments. She plans to use the incentive for her needs.
Even though she said she was grateful for the help, she still admitted that it only goes so far.
Caleb Blackerby, one of the owners of Blackerby’s Hangar 5 restaurant, said of the incentive, “I don’t think it’s going to change my life that much in any way.”
He said he plans to use the funds for household expenses and bills. He noted that while there was a downturn in business in 2020, there are other elements built into the bill that included the business cycle reviews to help businesses.
Bobby Hayes of Columbus, who works for Cummins’ Indirect Materials Associate, found the stimulus funds a “welcome surprise” for his family, who received $ 2,400.
The family plans to spend the funds on living room furniture, which they planned to buy as early as 2021. However, thanks to the incentive, they don’t have to dip into their savings account to make those purchases, he said.
“To be honest, that was exactly what the incentive was meant to be, at least in my opinion, to get back into business and not be in a bank account,” said Hayes.
He noted that he and his wife were not badly affected financially by COVID so the incentive for them was sort of a “cherry on top”.
“That kind of money is always helpful, but we certainly didn’t expect it or really planned it,” he said.
North Vernon’s Rosie Hess said the helpfulness of stimulus money likely varies from person to person.
“For me personally, it’s not a big difference,” she said. “I think it’s a little helpful. I definitely think it depends on who you ask. You know, it could be a big deal for some people and it could be absolutely nothing for other people. “
Hess, 28, works at Cummins and is an administrative clerk at the Tech Center. Stimulus funds were also received for her husband and daughter. She said that she and her husband plan to use hers in their classes; She is currently studying at the IUPUC. Her daughter’s stimulus payment is deposited into a savings account for her own college education.
For Alison Kocur, 2-D arts teacher and arts coordinator at Columbus East High School, their grants could also serve an educational purpose. Kocur is a student at the University of Indianapolis and said she could use some of the money to buy art supplies for her home studio.
She said she could also save the money or invest in “self-care” such as buying a bike to ride the people trails.
Kocur added that while she is fortunate enough to have a relatively stable paycheck, many companies let people go – meaning that for many people the incentive “can run out very quickly”. She said that while she doesn’t know what amount would be best, many people could benefit from an amount greater than just $ 600.
“I just consider myself very blessed not to have to worry so much,” she said. “But I also know that I have some students that their families occasionally have to worry about. And that’s really, really difficult. “
Where can I find out more?
For more information on Economic Impact Payments, please visit the IRS website. Individuals can check the status of their stimulus review using the Get My Payment At tool irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.