Many Americans are asking: “When will my second stimulus check come?”
Here’s what you need to know.
Second Stimulus Checks
If you’re feeling restless about a second stimulus check, you’re not alone. Congress failed to finalize a stimulus package Friday, which has left many Americans wondering if and when they will receive a second stimulus check. Congress was expected to reach a deal by August 7, but that unofficial date has been pushed back as both Republicans and Democrats are too far apart on total spending. Practically, this means it will now take longer for you to get a stimulus check. Importantly, Congress has not officially approved any Economic Impact Payments, although both parties agree that there should be a $1,200 stimulus payment. There is also a proposal from Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and other Republican senators for a $1,000 check and $1,000 for each dependent, although both parties appear focused on the $1,200 amount on the same terms as the Cares Act, which is the $2.2 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March.
When will second stimulus checks be sent?
According to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the IRS, which he oversees, could “start printing [stimulus checks] the following week” if President Donald Trump signs a stimulus package into law. “I could have them out immediately,” Mnuchin said, referring to stimulus checks. That’s good news for many Americans who qualify for a second stimulus check based on income and other factors. It also means that the federal government can send checks faster than they sent the first stimulus check under the Cares Act. For example, the first stimulus check was sent on April 15, 2020, which was 17 days after Trump signed the Cares Act on March 27, 2020. In contrast, Mnuchin said checks can be printed and sent the week after the president signs the stimulus legislation. This timeline is potentially 10 or more days faster than the Cares Act.
If and when Congress finalizes a stimulus deal, the process works like this:
- The Senate votes; and then
- The House votes; and then
- The president signs the legislation; and then
- The legislation becomes law
Congress does not appear in a position to announce a deal early next week. Based on this procedure, here is an estimated unofficial timeline for when second stimulus checks could be sent if Congress finalizes a deal:
If the Senate passes a stimulus package on August 12, 2020….
- House votes: August 13
- President signs: August 14
- Checks Sent: Week of August 17
If the Senate passes a stimulus package on August 14, 2020….
- House votes: August 17
- President signs: August 18
- Checks Sent: Week of August 24
Of course, it’s possible that Congress could pass a stimulus package on a different timeline, or Congress may not pass a stimulus package. If Congress doesn’t pass a stimulus bill, Trump has already said he would consider an executive order for several components of the stimulus package, including unemployment benefits, a payroll tax cut, a moratorium on evictions and student loan repayment. If that scenario occurs, Congress could pass stimulus checks as separate legislation, for example. If the president, who said that stimulus checks could be more than $1,200, holds off on an executive order, Congress returns from summer recess on September 8. Although it is low likelihood that Congress waits until September to pass legislation, it is a potential consideration.
How do I get my stimulus check faster?
- Cares Act: The IRS likely may use the same distribution schedule as the Cares Act.
- Get My Payment: Although this may change, this would mean that you can update your direct deposit information on the Get My Payment tool on the IRS website.
- Direct Deposit: For the first stimulus check, recipients who provided direct deposit information to the IRS generally received their checks fastest. This included many Social Security recipients as well who provided their direct deposit information. According to CBS News, the IRS said that approximately 80 million Americans who provided their direct deposit information to the IRS received stimulus checks within the first week.
- Paper Checks: Under the Cares Act, the remaining recipients without direct deposit or who didn’t provide direct deposit information to the IRS received, or will soon receive, paper checks on a rolling, weekly basis starting with the lowest income earners based on 2018 or 2019 adjusted gross income. The next stimulus check may work on the same terms as the Cares Act, although it’s possible that checks can be sent more quickly if the IRS has more direct deposit information already on file.
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