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Second Stimulus Package Status Update: When Will You Get Your Check?

Lauren Nowacki3-minute read
January 11, 2021

Updated: 1/11/2021

On December 27, after months of waiting and countless back-and-forths in Congress, the second stimulus package was finally passed and signed by President Trump. Included within it were the much-anticipated and much-needed second stimulus checks for Americans.

IRS Second Stimulus Checks Are Here

Along with second stimulus checks, the $900 billion second stimulus package also included:

  • enhanced unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week
  • $258 billion in additional loans for the Paycheck Protection Program
  • billions in funding for vaccines and clean energy projects.

The second stimulus package has many of the same components as the first stimulus package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which also included a stimulus payment. However, the second, slimmer package allocates much less funding to many parts, including the second round of checks.

Here’s how the first and second stimulus checks compare:

 

First Stimulus Package

Second Stimulus Package

Single (under $75K)

$1,200

$600

Married (under $150K)

$2,400

$1,200

Each Child

$500

$600

Who Is Eligible?

Not everyone will receive a second stimulus check. Just like the first, there are some eligibility requirements.

Income Limits

Single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 and married couples, filing jointly, with an AGI of up to $150,000 are eligible to receive the full amount.

Single filers with an AGI above $87,000 and married couples, filing jointly, with an AGI above $174,000 will not receive a second stimulus check. The income limits are based on your 2019 earnings.

Each family, no matter their income, will receive a check for each child they have who is under 17.

Dependents

If someone else can claim you on their tax return, you won’t receive a stimulus check. That’s the case whether you’re actually claimed or not.

Immigration Status

Non-resident aliens are also excluded from receiving a second stimulus check.

Social Security Number

You must have a social security number to be eligible to receive a stimulus check. If you have a Social Security number but your spouse doesn’t, you can still get a stimulus check. This was not allowed under the CARES Act.

In order to get $600 per child, each child must also have a Social Security number. The exception to this requirement is if you have adopted children, in which case you can use their Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number (ATIN).

How Much Will I Receive?

Stimulus payments are still based on your AGI on your most recent taxes, your 2019 taxes. Here’s how much you can expect to receive, based on your situation:

  • Individuals who earned up to $75,000 on their 2019 taxes will receive the full $600.
  • Heads of household who earned up to $112,500 will receive the full $600.
  • Married couples who earned up to $150,000 will receive the full $600.
  • For every $100 earned over the limits mentioned above, the check will decrease by $5.
  • Single filers who made over $87,000, heads of household who made over $124,500 or married couples who made over $174,000 will not receive a stimulus check.
  • In addition, individuals, heads of households or married couples will earn up to $600 per child.

When Can I Expect The Check?

Payments started going out at the end of December and the IRS is still working on sending all payments out. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has predicted that most payments will be received by April 17. As with the first round of checks, paper checks may take longer as the government sends those in batches.

You can check on the status of your payment with the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool. If you haven’t received your check there are a few things that may have caused the delay.

What Issues Might Arise With Receiving My Stimulus Check?

Unfortunately, many Americans have run into issues receiving their second stimulus checks. Here are the most common, so far.

Wrong Bank Account

Many Turbo Tax and H&R Block clients were shocked to see their stimulus check was sent to a bank account that wasn’t theirs. While the financial institutions receiving those checks must legally send them back, the mistake will delay payments to many Americans.

As of Friday, January 8, Turbo Tax has said that it has fixed the problem and that payments should start showing up in the correct accounts as early as that same day.

On Friday, January 8, H&R Block tweeted that it “has processed all stimulus payments.”

Payment Status Not Available

Some people were confused to see the message “Payment #2 Status – Not Available” when checking the status of their stimulus check on the IRS website. At the time of this writing, the IRS has stated that those receiving this message will not get a stimulus check by mail or direct deposit. Instead, you’ll need to “claim the Recovery Rebate Credit on your 2020 Tax Return.” This will either increase your tax refund or decrease the amount of taxes you owe by however much your stimulus check was supposed to be.

What Should The Second Stimulus Check Be Used For?

The money from the second stimulus check can be used for anything. While it’s best to seek advice from a financial advisor, here are a few smart ways to use your check.

  • First, make sure your basic needs and living expenses are covered. This includes paying for things like shelter (mortgage or rent), electricity, heat, food and water.
  • If your needs are covered and you’re struggling to make payments on your debts, you could use the money to cover minimum payments for some time.
  • If you’re concerned about the future, save the money in an emergency fund to cover future expenses should you lose your job or become ill.
  • If you can pay your bills and have a healthy emergency fund, use the money to save for a down payment or other big future expense.
  • If your bills are covered and you have money saved up, you can spend your money to help local businesses or, as the name suggests, stimulate the economy.

Will There Be A Third Stimulus Package?

Throughout 2020, the Democratic party pushed for bigger stimulus checks. At the end of the year, democrats, encouraged by Trump, pushed for $2,000 stimulus checks instead of $600 ones. It was not approved by the Republican Senate. Now, with a Democratic President and Democratic majority in the House and Senate starting mid-January, Americans may see a third stimulus check come to fruition. The hope for a third stimulus check was made even stronger as President-Elect Joe Biden promised that $2,000 stimulus checks would be sent out or, “go out the door,” immediately if Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won the January 6 Senate Races in Georgia, which they did.

Other FAQS

Still have questions? We have more information. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the second stimulus check.

Will child support take my second stimulus check?

While the IRS was able to take money from first stimulus checks to pay arrears, it will not take child support – or any other debts owed to the government – out of your second check. These stimulus checks are also protected from garnishment by creditors and other debt collectors.

Do I need to apply to get my second stimulus check?

You do not need to apply to get the second stimulus check. However, you may need to have filed your 2018 or 2019 taxes or have a 2019 Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099. The IRS will refer to the Social Security Administration, Railroad Retirement Board or Department of Veterans Affairs to get the information they need.

Will SSI recipients get a second stimulus check?

Yes. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are eligible for a second stimulus check.

Will I get a stimulus check if I got the first one?

If you received the first stimulus check, you’ll likely receive a second one. However, certain situations may change that.

If your AGI is higher than $87,000 if you’re a single filer or $174,000 for married filing jointly, you won’t get a second stimulus check. But because these limits for the first stimulus check were higher – $99,000 and $198,000, respectively – you may have gotten a first stimulus check.

For example, if your AGI was $90,000 in 2019, you would have received the first stimulus check, but you won’t receive a second.

Another situation is if you’re in the delayed payment situation mentioned above. If you are in a situation where you must claim the check on your 2020 taxes instead, you will not receive a second check. Instead, you’ll get the money by having your tax refund increased or the amount you owe on taxes reduced by $600 or $1,200 – depending on your filing status and how much you were supposed to receive from the second stimulus.

Can I get a second stimulus check if I get unemployment?

Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

Will my second stimulus check be mailed?

If the IRS has your banking information from your 2019 tax returns, your second stimulus check will be directly deposited into your account. If it doesn’t have your banking information, you will receive a check in the mail.

The Bottom Line On The Second Stimulus Check

After months of drama, the second stimulus package was signed at the end of December and second stimulus checks were sent out immediately. For single filers and heads of household, checks are up to $600 and for married couples filing jointly, checks are up to $1,200. Singles, heads of household and married couples with children also receive $600 per child under 17.

You must meet the eligibility requirements (including income limits) to receive a second stimulus check. If you have not received your check, track its status with the “Get My Payment” tool on the IRS website.

For more tips and information on managing your finances, saving money and paying, check out more personal finance articles on Rocket HQSM.

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Lauren Nowacki

Lauren Nowacki is a staff writer specializing in personal finance, homeownership and the mortgage industry. She has a B.A. in Communications and has worked as a writer and editor for various publications in Philadelphia, Chicago and Metro Detroit.