Unemployment rate has touched a record high due to the coronavirus-induced economic turmoil. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department have revealed that they have sent more than $200 billion in stimulus checks aka Economic Impact Payments in the first four weeks of the program. The IRS has also provided state-by-state data on payments. Let’s take a look at the top 10 states that have received the most stimulus checks.
As of May 8th, about 130 million Americans have received their stimulus checks as part of the CARES Act signed by the Congress. Approximately 150 million people are still waiting for their payments, according to the newly revealed data. IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said that the vast majority of payments were "delivered in record time." He assured the remaining people that they would get their checks fast.
The IRS had given people still waiting for their money until May 13 to submit their direct deposit information for quick payments. Those who missed the deadline will have to wait for a check in the mail, which will likely arrive in late May or early June.
The US Congress approved the $2 trillion CARES Act in March to provide emergency relief to American individuals and businesses. As part of the program, the government is sending stimulus checks of up to $1,200 per individual or $2,400 if you are a married couple. The amount is $500 for children under the age of 17.
The stimulus checks are aimed at helping the low- and middle-income Americans navigate the crisis. The $1,200 stimulus checks are for people earning up to $75,000 per person or $150,000 for married couples. The checks get smaller in size if your income is higher than that. Individuals earning more than $99,000 a year and couples filing jointly earning above $198,000 are not eligible for the Economic Impact Payments.
States that received the most stimulus checks
California was the biggest recipient of the stimulus payments. Its residents received a total of 13.56 million checks worth $22.46 billion. It shouldn't surprise anyone considering California is the most populous state in the country with nearly 40 million residents. It was followed by Texas, which received 10.72 million checks with a combined value of $18.79 billion
Florida was not far behind with $15.17 billion. New York occupied the fourth spot with 7.73 million checks totaling $12.52 billion. It was followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia.
States with the highest average amount of payments
The average amount of payment also varies from state to state. It could be due to a variety of reasons including whether the person receiving the checks is single, files taxes jointly with spouse, and has children. Married couples who file their taxes jointly receive the stimulus checks together.
The average payment in Utah was $1,944. Utah happens to have the largest average household size in the US, which explains the high average payment. In the District of Columbia it was $1,386, meaning there was a $558 difference between the largest and smallest payment. The DC area has relatively more smaller families and singles.
For the entire country, the average stimulus check is $1,699 (total money sent divided by the total number of payments). Given the prolonged lockdown, these stimulus checks are not going to be enough for millions of Americans.
The government has also distributed hundreds of billions of dollars to small businesses via its Payroll Protection Program (PPP). But many large and financially healthy corporations have also secured massive amounts of money that should have ideally gone to ailing small businesses. Nobody hates free money.