Are Immigrants Eligible for Benefits Under the CARES Act? | Mark E. Jacobs

Are Immigrants Eligible for Benefits Under the CARES Act?

On March 13, President Donald Trump declared a nationwide emergency concerning the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Soon after, many businesses stopped operations to prevent the spread of the virus. Although necessary, some individuals were left to deal with significant monetary loss.

What Is the CARES Act?

A few weeks after the declaration the President approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help families recover from their financial loss. According to the US Department of the Treasury, the “over $2 trillion economic relief package delivers on the Trump Administration’s commitment to protecting the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19.”

For American households, the CARES Act provides a tax credit payment of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 or $198,000 for joint filers. Plus, it offers $500 per child under 17 years of age.

Do Immigrants Qualify for Benefits Under the CARES Act?

American taxpayers are eligible for the CARES Act benefits, as well as all resident aliens. To be a resident alien, you must have a green card or be able to pass the substantial presence test.

Green Card

You must have US permanent or conditional residence. You may be a citizen of another country, but you’re authorized to live and work in the US permanently.

Substantial Presence

If you don’t have a green card, but you’ve spent at least 183 days during the past three years (with 31 days being in this year) within the United States, you’re considered to be a resident alien for tax purposes.

If neither of these tests fit your current circumstances, you’re not eligible for the CARES Act tax credit. If you need some financial assistance, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits through your employer. To apply for unemployment, your immigration status must have been in good standing and you must have been authorized to work when you earned your wages.

Not Sure If You Qualify? Reach Out to an Immigration Attorney.

Not sure if you qualify for unemployment or the CARES Act tax credit? We can help. Reach out to Mark E. Jacobs to speak to an experienced immigration attorney. Give us a call today at 972-445-7577 or send us a message.

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