The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said on Friday that it has issued more than 88 million COVID-19 economic impact payments to households through April 17, with the money disbursed totaling about $158 billion.
“The IRS, Treasury and partner agencies are working non-stop to get these payments out in record time to Americans who need them,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig, in a statement. “Tens of millions of people across the country are receiving these payments, and millions more are on the way.”
More than 150 million payments in total are expected to be sent out as part of the $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that President Donald Trump signed into law on March 27.
Called the CARES Act, the relief bill stipulated payments of up to $1,200 for individuals, $2,400 for couples, along with an additional $500 for each dependent child. The payments start to phase out for individuals earning over $75,000, or $150,000 for couples.
The relief is meant as a measure to help Americans bridge a period of unprecedented business shutdowns and record-fast job losses and worker furloughs due to the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease that has infected millions and ravaged economies worldwide.
Some 26 million jobs have been lost in the past five weeks alone, according to unemployment data from the Labor Department, more than erasing all the job gains of the record-long economic expansion that started after the 2008 financial meltdown. That boom was cut short by social distancing measures and lockdowns imposed to contain the outbreak.
The IRS was expected to begin sending out paper checks to people this week, while direct deposits started hitting recipients’ accounts last week.
On a per-state basis, residents of California received the most at $15.9 billion, followed by Texas with $14.4 billion, Florida with $11.1 billion, and New York with $9.3 billion.
Broken down by the number of payments, the IRS indicated it has sent 9.1 million payments to taxpayers residing in California, 7.8 million to those in Texas, 6.3 million to those in Florida, and 5.4 million to taxpayers in New York.
For people who need assistance, the IRS has a tax help service on IRS.gov that operates 24/7, though its live telephone assistance is currently down due to the outbreak.