On Monday, the Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate passed the $ 900 billion stimulus package that both sides agreed over the weekend. Now it suffices to be signed by President Trump (who has signaled that he supports the deal).
This coronavirus relief program would send most Americans a stimulus check for $ 600. That’s down from the $ 1,200 checks sent through the CARES Act in the spring.
But once the bill is enacted – which is expected this week – when will Americans see their money?
When will the stimulus checks start to arrive?
If the last go-around is any indication, the first check for $ 600 would begin to be deposited within two weeks of the law being passed. After the $ 2.2 trillion CARES law was passed on March 27, Americans began receiving their $ 1,200 stimulus checks as early as the week of April 13. So the $ 600 checks could start arriving the week ending Jan. 9, if they were passed this week.
But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thinks the government can speed up that deadline, given that a distribution system is already in place.
“People will see this money early next week”, Mnuchin said on CNBC. “The good news is, it’s a very, very quick way to get money into the economy.”
And this time, there should be fewer delays. In the spring, millions of Americans, including those on Social Security, saw their checks deferred until they provide additional information. Since this payment would be based on the same tax year, it is unlikely that more information will need to be verified, at least among those who received their first round of payments.
A calendar oddity for those who watch the clock: Federal government employees are on leave on Friday, December 25 and Friday, January 1. But that shouldn’t cause significant delays.
Who will receive a stimulus check?
The plan agreed to by Democratic and Republican leaders would send checks for $ 600 to most adults and $ 600 for each dependent child. However, the funds will be phased out for people with higher incomes. These stimulus checks will decline for households whose adjusted gross income in 2019 – that is, federally taxable income – exceeds $ 75,000 per person or $ 150,000 per qualifying couple. Checks are completely gone for people earning over $ 99,000 and childless co-filers at $ 198,000.
How do I get my check?
For anyone who is eligible and has previously provided their direct deposit information to the IRS, no action is necessary. Your money will be deposited into your account. According to IRS website, “Direct deposit is the safest and fastest way to receive a payment, including a tax refund.” Taxpayers who do not have direct deposit will receive a paper check in the mail, a process that last spring took longer than direct deposits.
Again for many Americans, this will be a welcome holiday gift, even if technically it’s a few days late.
Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article stated that the Senate had not yet passed the stimulus bill. In fact, the Senate did it late Monday night.
More to read absolutely financial cover of Fortune:
- 14 of the biggest bankruptcies of 2020—And who could be next in 2021?
- CEO Upstart talks about the major “pop” IPOs, the racial biases of AI and Google
- Biden wants change how credit scores work in America
- Readers of term sheets predict which markets will explode in 2021
- Lemon call it ‘most ridiculous’ IPO of 2020