Midlands residents receive first wave of stimulus checks

Updated: Apr. 16, 2020 at 12:11 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Stimulus checks have started to show up in the bank accounts of people all over the country including some residents’ accounts in the Midlands.

These checks are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package to help limit the economic damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. The first payments for these stimulus checks will go to those who have already filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns and authorized the IRS to make a direct deposit.

The first wave of stimulus payments comes as many people are struggling to pay their bills and feed their families.

"I do have those bills. It’s an every month occurrence, so to have that money when I wasn't necessarily expecting it, to go ahead and pay off those things, has made such a big difference for me," said Allyson Long, who received her check on Tuesday.

Long is a Type 1 diabetic and with her condition comes a number of monthly costs that she must pay for to stay alive, even during a pandemic.

"I have a specific credit card just for my pump supplies. So, I went ahead and paid off some of the supplies that I bought for this year," added Long. "So, that was taken care of. I also paid money for the vehicle I just purchased and put some money into a savings account."

Economics professor William Hauk with the University of South Carolina believes many people will be spending this money on basic needs due to the number of people out of work.

“I think what you’re going to see is a lot of people spending it on necessities especially if they are at home and not going out,” Hauk said. “They will probably go to the grocery store and stock up on food.”

Hauk said this stimulus package will help people who are struggling financially but depending on how long this shutdown lasts, he fears it will only be a temporary fix for everyday people.

“It’s going to be better than nothing. I mean, certainly, that extra $1,200 isn’t going to hurt anybody, but do I think it’s going to allow anyone to survive for an extended period of time? No,” Hauk said. “I mean, if we are not able to get the economy restarted very quickly, I think we might have to do this again at some point.”

As for those people who did not file their taxes electronically, you will be receiving your check by mail if you are eligible. Those checks are expected to be printed and sent out in the next few weeks.

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