Some Michiganders need to take action to receive stimulus money


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The federal government is starting to dole out some financial relief to Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic through stimulus checks. However, some people need to take action to ensure they receive a payment.

Households without a federal tax filing requirement will not automatically receive the payment unless they file a 2018 or 2019 tax return. Kerry Lenaghan-Baughman, executive director at Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency, says her organization has IRS certified volunteers who can assist with tax preparation virtually or over the phone, or answer questions about the stimulus checks.

"With everything so vastly different, to have somebody that they can reach out to with whatever question they have, I hope that we can provide at least a little sense of well-being to people," Lenaghan-Boughman says. "This can be a bit confusing, and we're here to help and will continue to help in the months to come."

Many households also are eligible to file electronically for free at People who filed 2018 or 2019 taxes and those who receive Social Security benefits will automatically receive their stimulus payment.

Payments for individuals will be up to $1,200; up to $2,400 for married couples. Families are also eligible to receive up to $500 for each qualifying child.

Ross Yednock, program director with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, says for direct deposit, taxpayers need to enter their banking information at the IRS website.

"For folks who don't have a bank account, it will take longer because they'll need to mail you the check," Yednock says. "Or if they go to google 'bank on coalition,' there are some free or low-cost banking options to be able to get their stimulus payment much faster."

Lenaghan-Baughman encourages Michiganders who are struggling to reach out to their local community action agency, where they can get help being connect to a variety of resources.

"There's a lot more to community action than just one program," Lenaghan-Baughman says "We're a large organization that has a lot to offer and can provide a comprehensive support for folks right now during this difficult time."

More information is available online at

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