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$1,400 Stimulus Checks: Third Round of Direct Payments Are on the Way

Stimulus Checks: Payment Update – Who’s Eligible & When Will You Get a Check? What You Need to Know

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan. This is a monumental stimulus package, and the third major piece of federal legislation focused on COVID-related relief for struggling Americans.

The American Rescue Plan costs $1.9 trillion and it covers numerous programs – including another round of stimulus checks, extended weekly unemployment benefits, expanded tax credits, and more.

“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving people in this nation – working people and middle-class folks, the people who built the country – a fighting chance.  That’s what the essence of it is,” said President Biden during the signing of the bill.

RELATED: $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Signed Into Law

Stimulus Check 3

For many Americans, the most important part of the bill is the provision for stimulus checks. When promoting the COVID stimulus package, President Biden said that it would send stimulus checks to “85% of American households.”

The American Rescue Plan designates about $400 billion for stimulus checks, which will be distributed as direct payments to millions of individuals across the country. These stimulus checks (also called Economic Impact Payments) are going to be sent as Direct Deposit payments or as paper checks, depending on the recipient.

This represents the third round of stimulus payments that the federal government has authorized through major legislation. The first round of stimulus checks was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (a.k.a. CARES Act) in late March 2020. The second round of stimulus checks was authorized by the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act, which was passed in late December 2020.

Eligibility Rules for the 3rd Stimulus Check

Your eligibility is based on how much income you earn during the year, which you reported on your 1040 income tax return (for most people). The IRS will use the information from your most recently filed tax return (tax year 2020 or 2019) to determine if you qualify to receive a stimulus check, and whether or not you are eligible for the full amount.

The eligibility requirements for the 3rd stimulus check are slightly different than the previous two stimulus checks.

In order to receive the full amount this time, an individual (single filer) must have an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) that is $75,000 or less. If you earn more than $75,000/year, then the amount of your stimulus payment will be reduced. If you’re a single filer and your income is $80,000 or above, you will not be eligible for a stimulus check.

For a married couple that files a joint tax return, their combined income must be $150,000 or less in order for them to qualify for a stimulus payment. If their income is greater than $150,000 annually, then the amount of their stimulus check will be reduced. Any married couples filing jointly with an AGI of $160,000 or more will not be eligible for a stimulus check either.

Stimulus Checks Are $1,400 This Time

The American Rescue Plan authorizes a $1,400 stimulus check for each eligible person. For a single filer, the maximum amount they can receive is $1,400. For a married couple that files jointly, the maximum amount they can receive together is $2,800.

Furthermore, if you have a qualified dependent, you can qualify for an additional $1,400 per dependent. This is an extra amount that will be added to your stimulus check. For eligible families with children, this can boost their stimulus check substantially.

This is the largest payment amount we have seen for a stimulus check so far. The first stimulus check was for up to $1,200 per eligible individual and the second stimulus check was for up to $600 per eligible individual.

Stimulus Check Delivery Timeline

The White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, has said that the government will start distributing this 3rd round of stimulus checks as early as this weekend. This statement was reiterated by the Treasury Department, which recently said (on Twitter): “We’re working hard to help relieve suffering happening across the economy right now. Part of that is getting direct payments out as soon as this weekend.”

Stimulus checks will be distributed by the IRS via Direct Deposit, paper check, and prepaid debit cards. Those who have Direct Deposit set up with the IRS will get their stimulus money much faster than people whose checks require paper processing and mailing.

If you want to find out the status of your stimulus check, the IRS has a “Get My Payment” portal that you can use to look up your information in their database.

>> Check the Status of Your Stimulus Payment

Details about these stimulus checks continue to be released, so check back again soon. Updates will be made as more information becomes available.

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