How to find out if you will be first in line for $600 stimulus check – and what to do for payment to arrive quicker

How to find out if you will be first in line for $600 stimulus check – and what to do for payment to arrive quicker

CONGRESS gave the $900billion relief package the green light this week, which includes the $600 stimulus checks.

The Senate passed the emergency coronavirus legislation at around 11.42pm on Monday after two weeks of tense cross-party talks.

Two hours after it passed in the House, United States senators approved it with a 92-to-6 vote at around 11:42pm last night.

Donald Trump signed a stopgap spending bill to keep the US government open until December 28 because the paperwork still has to be completed on the $900billion package, which he has yet to sign into law.

But how do you find out if you'll be first in line for the relief payment and when will it arrive?

"Most of these will be direct deposits. We call them 'checks in the mail,' but most will be direct deposits," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told CNBC yesterday.

"It will be within three weeks. We are determined to get money in people's pocket immediately. So that will be within three weeks."


Now that Trump is set to "imminently" sign the bill, the IRS and Treasury could well start sending out the payments over the next seven days.

This is a significantly shorter timeline than the 19 days it took when the Cares Act was passed.

"I can get out 50 million payments really quickly. A lot of it into people's direct accounts," Mnuchin said back in August – but different groups will be prioritized for different reasons.

It also depends what form of payment you'll be getting i.e. direct deposit or a check. First in line will be those who got it directly into their accounts.

“For most Americans, these payments will go out really quickly and in a similar timeline to the first round of stimulus checks,” Chantel Boyens, a former Office of Management and Budget official, told CNBC.


People who haven't logged banking information with the IRS will get a paper check or a prepaid debit card and the Treasury can deliver five to seven million of these per week.

If Trump signs it today, the first direct payments of $600 could go into bank accounts by the week of January 4, those receiving checks could get them by January 11, and EIP cards by the the week of February, noted CNET.

But if the newly inaugurated Joe Biden doesn't sign it until February 3, this would push everything back by nearly a month with direct deposits being issued from the week of February 8.

It will be March 8 and April 12 by the time the direct deposits are made if Biden doesn't sign until March 3 and April 7 respectively.


Americans who earned up to $75,000 in 2019 will qualify for a $600 payment, with the threshold set at $150,000 for couples, Business Insider reported.

As it stands, adults and their dependents will be pocketing $600 each under the new bill though Democrats were pushing for $1,200 per person.

Families of four (two adults, two kids) could get a $2,400 payout.

But any change in your AGI or total income could increase or reduce the stimulus check.

This means if a person got a promotion or a new job, their payout could be smaller this time around.

But because nothing is concrete until the president signs it into law, citizenship status in the US, US territories or abroad could change and alter a person's eligibility to get the check.

The IRS defines a child dependent as 23 or under, and financially reliant on the person filing taxes, meaning $600 per dependent.

But if they became a parent or got a new job, they may qualify for their own check as an independent adult.


People who are behind on child support payments may have their check amount slashed.

Creditors or banks could seize your assets and in this exceptional case, stimulus check, if the rules don't change with this legislation.

If you moved and didn't inform the IRS, they may not know where to send your check but this won't matter if you got the first payment directly into your account.

If clerical errors and complex rules mean you don't get a payment, you can file a rebate.

Meanwhile, people getting Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will be reportedly eligible for full rebates.

It's quicker if they use direct deposit for their monthly payment but the wait is longer by mail.

If your spouse or child dependent has died, you pay also get a smaller payout if they passed away between your last tax filing and the receipt of the second stimulus check.

The IRS may ask for the check to be sent back if the person died recently.

However, millions of people may not have received their first $1,200 payment from the Cares Act yet, which Boyens acknowledged is "a significant hole."

"With a second round of payments, the IRS has more information about the non-filers who overcame those barriers and should be able to get payments out to them more quickly,” Janet Holtzblatt, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center told CNBC.

“But reaching the remaining non-filers and ensuring that they receive both rounds of payments remains a challenge.”

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