While the coronavirus stimulus check is not a big-picture solution for the economic downturn to come, it sure can help the millions of people unemployed due to the virus’s rapid spread.

But are you even eligible? Here’s what you need to know.

Lower-income workers are financially getting hit the hardest as the coronavirus brings lower-paying industries to their knees. A long history of job discrimination against Black people means many of us are included in this group.

To combat this, low-wage workers are eligible for a one-time payment of around $1,200. Fortunately, there are more options.

Unemployment benefits have been expanded to cover people who have lost their job due to the pandemic, and provides more money than in usual circumstances. This is big news for gig workers, like Lyft drivers, the self-employed, freelancers, and contractors, who might not usually be covered, and even those who are furloughed and technically still employed. 

But to access these rescue packages, there’s one important step you must take….

Make sure you have filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes to receive your stimulus check! 

This does NOT include older people or others who receive social security and typically don’t file, in a reversal enacted by the Treasury.

Coronavirus is no joke, and, unless you’re an essential worker, it’s important that we all stay home to protect each other. In the meantime, visit your state’s unemployment website and file your taxes if you haven’t already!

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