Coronavirus Q&A: Why you may not see your stimulus until August and what you can do about it

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The $2 trillion dollar economic relief package promised to get money into the hands of most Americans quickly. Now we're learning more than 100 million taxpayers without direct deposit may not get their checks until mid-August.

Folks are not only waiting for stimulus checks, thousands are out of a job. More than a million Californians filed for unemployment in just two weeks. Many more are wondering if they qualify.

Be sure to ask Michael your questions on Facebook or Twitter for him to answer on air!

Grace asks: I am paid an hourly wage plus commission. The business is closed due to coronavirus. They are still paying my hourly wage but I cannot earn the commission. Would unemployment cover this?
Answer: Yes, the bill allows you to claim unemployment if your income went down due to coronavirus. You may qualify for the standard unemployment pay, plus the flat $600-per-week payment.

RELATED: California EDD reports surge of 900,000 unemployment claims in a week

Bree asks: We are still waiting for our 2018 tax refund. Will this disrupt the process for receiving stimulus money?
Answer: You should have no worries. The IRS says stimulus checks are issued separately from your refunds. You should receive a payment based on your adjusted gross income from your last return.

Cleo asks: What happens if I owe back taxes? Will I still be eligible for the stimulus check or will the IRS take it as payment?
Answer: You are eligible. The IRS will not use your stimulus to pay your back taxes.

However, other viewers wondered about child or spousal support. Those debts are not specifically protected. The IRS won't go after you to pay those debts, but states and private parties could do so.

Bill asks: What if I owe money to the IRS and I'm currently on a payment plan. Do I still get the stimulus?
Answer: Yes you do! And not only that, the IRS says you may suspend your installment payments until July 15th, the new tax filing deadline. If you have automatic debits, the IRS says contact your bank to stop those payments. But be sure to resume the debits by July 15 to avoid a default.

You may be able to speed up delivery of your stimulus check by filing a quick tax return with a direct deposit bank account number. Also, the IRS is supposed to set up a portal to enter your direct deposit information - but it hasn't happened yet and it could be weeks away.

Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here


Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.