ATLANTA — ATLANTA— They have been a boost to families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are lingering questions about the stimulus checks issued by the federal government.
Some wonder why they haven’t received their $1,200.
Others wonder how Congress settled on the amount.
11Alive Morning Rush Insider Carol Simmons got her check back in mid-April.
“I’ve been teleworking on reduced hours,” says Simmons. “Things have been challenging. We were able to use it to get caught up on monthly expenses.”
In March, Congress passed a $2-trillion-dollar piece of legislation known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Individuals who qualify can get as much as $1,200 or $2,400 for couples filing a joint tax return.
We contacted several members of Congress. No one was able to point us to exactly who came up with the figures, but a Congressional aide explained that it is likely based on the Federal Minimum Wage.
If you multiply the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour over a month, you get $1,160. Round that up and you’ve got $1,200.
“A lot of times things are based around and revolve around minimum wage,” says Andrew Poulos of Poulos Accounting. “That’s why I’m not surprised.”
Families can get an additional $500 for each child under 17. That is likely based on the child tax credit that provides a break for dependents under 17.
Initially, that credit was $500 per child.
“What it appears is that Congress picked $500 which is roughly where the child tax credit started back in the 90s,” says Poulos.
Many Americans are still waiting on a stimulus check while others are hungry for another one.