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Information on Direct Payments

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act directs the Department of the Treasury to make a one-time direct payment to individuals to help them recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This program is being run through the IRS and additional and updated information can be found on their webpage HERE.

Payment Amounts

  • Individuals receive $1,200 (joint filers receive $2,400) plus $500 per child under 17 years old.
  • Benefits start to phase out for those with incomes exceeding $150,000 for married couples, $75,000 for singles, and $112,500 for single parents.
  • With the phase-out, payments will not go to single filers earning more than $99,000; head-of-household filers with one child, more than $146,500; and more than $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
  • Your income is based on your 2019 tax return; if you did not file taxes in 2019, the Treasury will use your 2018 tax return.
  • These direct payments are not taxable income.
  • If you did not file a tax return in those years, you will have to file a tax return, unless you are currently receiving Social Security.  You can find out how to file a return for free at

How will you receive your payment?

  • If you filed a tax return in 2018 for the year 2017 or 2019 for the year 2018 you will receive the rebate automatically.
  • Your 2018 filing will only be used if you did not file in 2019.
  • The IRS will use your tax return information to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements and do not exceed the phase-out cap.
  • If you provided bank account information to receive your tax refund as a direct deposit, you will receive your rebate that way.
  • If you did not provide information for direct deposit, you will be mailed a rebate check to the address provided on your 2018 or 2019 tax return, whichever you filed most recently.
  • After the payment is made, you will receive a notification in the mail from Treasury within 15 days.
  • If you do not fit within one of these categories you can file a tax return now to receive your payment (to file a return for free, please go to

Social Security Beneficiaries

  • Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment.
  • Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. 
  • The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. 
  • Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits.


Information on Unemployment Assistance Programs

  • The CARES Act expands Unemployment Insurance. Highlights include:
    • Includes self-employed, contractors, gig-economy, part-time and furloughed workers. Additionally you are eligible if you are employed, but your hours have been cut or reduced to zero.
    • Increases the maximum unemployment benefit amount by $600 per week above one’s base unemployment compensation benefit until July 31st.  
    • Makes available 13 additional weeks of unemployment for those who need it.
    • Waives the normal one-week waiting period.

Applying for unemployment benefits


Information on Protections for Homeowners and Renters


  • The CARES Act protects homeowners with federally back mortgages who are having difficulty making monthly mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 National Emergency. Homeowners have the right to request forbearance on their payments for up to 6 months, and an additional six-month period, if needed. Federally back mortgages include FHA, USDA, VA, or Section 184 or 184A and those with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
    • Contact your mortgage servicer, the entity to which you make your monthly mortgage payments, as soon as possible. Your mortgage servicer will be able to provide you a mortgage repayment option that allows you to defer or lower your monthly payments. Your mortgage servicer can further explain the details of the FHA COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance option.
  • To assist homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages in understanding these options, FHA has also published a Q&A for consumers. You can also find your nearest housing counselor on the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies website. 


  • The CARES Act provides protection for renters residing in properties with federally guaranteed loans or participating in federal housing programs. Renters who are unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 emergency are protected from eviction for 120 days.
    • Property owners utilizing the forbearance program, are prohibited from issuing a 30-day notice to a tenant to vacate a property until after the 120 day moratorium ends. This protection covers properties that receive federal subsidies such as public housing, Section 8 assistance, USDA rural housing programs, and federally issued or guaranteed mortgages.
    • Renters seeking to know if are covered by the moratorium should contact Legal Aid Society of New Mexico or a HUD approved housing counselor. 


Information on Federal Student Loans

  • The CARES Act provides broad relief for federal student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers are automatically being placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment. During this period interest rate for these loans will not accrual, there will be no negative credit reporting and no forced collections
    • Please note commercial lenders own some FFEL Program loans, and some Perkins Loans are owned by the institution you attended. These loans are not eligible for this benefit at this time. For additional information on how this applies to you, please visit the U.S. Department of Education website.


Information for Seniors

Economic Impact Payments

  • The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive an Economic Impact Payment. Instead, payments will be automatically deposited into their bank accounts. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate $1,200 Economic Impact Payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, just as they would normally receive their benefits. Learn more on the IRS Economic Impact Payments website.

Longer Prescription Refills

  • The CARES Act requires Medicare Part D plans to offer up to 90-day prescription refills. To receive a 90-day refill, contact your care provider upon your next refill.

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

  • The CARES Act provides $955 million to support nutrition programs, home and community-based services, support for family caregivers, and expand oversight and protections for seniors and individuals with disabilities. For more information, visit the ACL COVID-19 website.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

  • The CARES Act provides $200 million for CMS to assist nursing homes with infection control and support states’ efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus in nursing homes. For more information, visit the CMS Current Emergencies website.

Expansion of the Medicare Hospital Accelerated Payment Program (Sec. 3719)

Housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities

  • The CARES Act provides $65 million for rental assistance, service coordinators, and support services for the more than 114,000 affordable households for the elderly and over 30,000 affordable households for low-income persons with disabilities. For more information visit the HUD Rental Assistance webpage. 

Senior Nutrition Program

Social Security Administration

  • The CARES Act provices $300 million to support essential telework, communication needs, and salaries and benefits of Federal employees impacted by office closures. This funding provides the resources necessary for processing disability and retirement workloads and backlogs when SSA offices reopen to the public.

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