Here are the 4 most important things to know about the government's $1,000 minimum payout to all Americans, which is designed to fight the coronavirus outbreak

Donald Trump Steven Mnuchin White House

  • It's appearing likely that Americans will get government money to help increase spending as a result of the economic damage from the coronavirus.
  • The Trump administration announced it was pushing for a $1 trillion stimulus bill, which would include funding for people to get checks.
  • The government has previously sent checks twice before to Americans who had filed tax returns.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

It's increasingly likely that Americans will get a government check of $1,000 or more in the coming weeks.

It's part of a $1 trillion stimulus bill the Trump administration announced it was seeking on Tuesday in order to arrest the economic damage from the coronavirus and provide a widespread cash injection.Advertisement

President Trump said on Tuesday the plan would be "a big infusion."

A centerpiece of the plan is sending government checks to Americans, the Washington Post reported, a $500 billion component though it wouldn't benefit those above a certain income level. Negotiations between Congress and the White House are fluid but Americans could get two $1,000 checks.

Here are four important things to know.
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The federal government has directly sent money to people twice before.

The federal government has directly sent money to people twice before.

The idea isn't unprecedented as the US sent money directly to people two times in the last two decades.

  • 2008: Americans received a check for $300-$600 from the federal government (plus $300 per child under age of 17) just before the financial crisis as part of a massive stimulus bill.
  • 2001: The government also cut a $300 check to most Americans in 2001.

Both were provided as rebates, or put another way, through tax cuts. This time, the government would fund the checks through further borrowing.

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Americans could receive more than $1,000 from the government depending on how long the crisis lasts.

Americans could receive more than $1,000 from the government depending on how long the crisis lasts.

The coronavirus has upended modern American life, forcing restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and other businesses to shutter in a bid to curb its spread. That has triggered an initial wave of layoffs, and both companies and consumers are abruptly cutting their spending.

A survey released Tuesday from NPR, PBS, and Maris found that 18% of American workers either lost their jobs or had hours cut from work schedules, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Its fueled calls for the government to step in with direct emergency aid. Economists such as Jason Furman, the former head of the Obama administration's Council of Economic Advisors, backed the idea of sending checks to people earlier this month.

The proposal gained further steam when Sen. Mitt Romney rolled out his plan to send people checks

To staunch the fallout, the Trump administration is weighing even larger checks to encourage spending and helping people make ends meet.

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People would likely not have to fill out anything for the payments — and they could be delivered by April.

People would likely not have to fill out anything for the payments — and they could be delivered by April.

During the last recession over a decade ago, government checks went out to most people as long as they had filed a tax return the previous year.

Recipients of Social Security were also eligible for the payout. People earning less than $75,000 got the full money, which was sent via mail or directly deposited into bank accounts.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the administration is aiming to send the first round of checks by the end of April, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Rich people are probably not going to get a check.

Rich people are probably not going to get a check.

Millionaires and other wealthy Americans didn't get government money in the last recession.

And it's likely they wouldn't this time either, though the income cutoff is not immediately clear. It depends on the legislative language of the final $1 trillion stimulus bill.

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