Stimulus checks on press

Blank stimulus checks are seen on an idle press at the Philadelphia Regional Financial Center, which disburses payments on behalf of federal agencies, in Philadelphia, Pa. Avery County and U.S. residents received a second COVID-19-related stimulus payment for $600 after legislation passed late last year.

AVERY COUNTY — The second wave of stimulus checks are rolling into Avery County due to the signing of the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that was passed into law at the end of the previous year. Many residents have already received their checks, as direct deposits were initially made on Dec. 29, with checks that were sent through the mail beginning to arrive as well.

While the checks, which alloted $600 to each eligible individual, are sure to provide many with a bit of economic relief, those throughout the community may yet be hesitant to begin to splurge. Based on a small sample of community members, some are choosing to stow away their stimulus checks in savings.

“Our stimulus checks were deposited into our checking account and showed up this morning. I put them in our savings account,” Julie Roberts said after receiving her payment on Jan. 1.

Others are deciding to go ahead and spend their checks on necessary expenses. The influx of cash has given some people the opportunity to finally mark off large items from their to-do list.

“We are doing needed car repairs on our new-to-us car after our other car was totaled,” Pam Brown said.

Moreover, a few people even decided to send their checks back to the government altogether after the first round of payments were issues last summer, since there are people out there who likely are not in need of the checks in the first place.

“I received (my payment) on Jan. 1. If folks are sending theirs back, it might stop or reduce the next ones! If you don’t need yours, I need a new washer and dryer,” Shelby Lewis said.

U.S. citizens and resident aliens are eligible for the economic relief payments if they have not been claimed as a dependent on someone else’s 2019 taxes. Each eligible individual will receive $600 or $1,200 for married couples, in addition to $600 for each qualifying child. Payment eligibility based on income begins phasing out for individuals who make up to $75,000 or married couples who make up to $150,000.

Direct deposits have been made to people who provided their bank information when they filed their 2019 tax returns. Those who did not provide this information and have not received a deposit to their bank account will receive either a check in the mail or a debit card. In order to track your stimulus check, click to irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment.

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