GREENSBORO, N.C. — After weeks of debate and delay, third-round coronavirus stimulus checks are on the way to millions of Americans - with some receiving checks on Saturday.
Over 85% of Americans will get the full $1,400 dollar check, according to The White House, after President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan on Thursday.
Here are 5 key questions answered:
#1: Will I get the full $1,400 per person in my family?
The amount of money you receive is based on the income reported in your most recently filed tax return -- 2019 or 2020, according to the IRS. So if you've already filed your 2020 taxes, the agency will use those documents.
People who receive the following are also eligible for the checks: Social Security retirement, survivor or disability benefits (SSDI), Railroad Retirement benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Veterans Affairs benefits.
This round of stimulus checks provides $1,400 for a single taxpayer or $2,800 for a married couple filing jointly, plus an extra $1,400 for each dependent. Those who earn up to $75,000 will get the full amount, as will married couples with combined incomes up to $150,000.
This stimulus check is different from the first two: dependents are not only people under 17, it includes all qualifying dependents including older relatives like college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents.
The check amount shrinks for people earning slightly more, with an absolute upper limit cutoff at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples.
#2: How do I know if I’m getting a stimulus check?
Use the IRS’s “Get My Payment” tool (it went live on Saturday) to easily check on the status of your stimulus payment. Go to https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment, click “Get My Payment,” follow the instructions to enter your information, and you will be shown the status of your money.
Most likely, you don't have to do anything at all; the IRS will just send it automatically.
#3: How exactly will the government send me the money?
The 2021 stimulus payment will arrive to you either through direct deposit, mailed check, or mailed debit card, according to the IRS, similar to how the first two stimulus checks were delivered.
#4: When will I get my direct payment?
Those getting the money via direct deposit into their bank account could have seen the money as soon as Saturday, March 12.
After this weekend, the IRS says “additional batches of payments will be sent in the coming weeks by direct deposit and through the mail as a check or debit card.
Some banks have issued public statements about when their customers will see the money.
Wells Fargo wrote in a Saturday Tweet that the earliest their customers would see the money direct deposited is Wednesday, March 17th.
Chase banking also says that Wednesday, March 17 was the soonest their customers would get direct deposits.
Bank of America has not issued a statement about when their customers could first get the stimulus money, but some banking customers say their IRS portal is listing March 17th.
#5: What if I moved, or changed bank accounts?
It makes sense to worry about getting your payment if you’ve moved homes or changed bank accounts since the money is sent via direct deposit or in the mail.
If your bank account has changed recently, the IRS says your direct deposit will be returned to the IRS and the agency will then mail you a check to the address it has on file.
To update your address, the IRS says the easiest way is to file your 2020 tax return with your new address.
If you’ve already filed your 2020 tax returns before moving, the IRS says you should notify your local post office that services your old address and notify the IRS using the instructions here.
If the IRS is still unable to send you stimulus money through the mail, your “Get My Payment” portal will then be updated 2-3 weeks later with instructions for how to set up bank direct deposit, prepaid debit card, or another way to get you the money.
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