CORONAVIRUS USA

Second stimulus check: will it arrive quicker than the first one?

With the HEALS Act on the table and in negotiation between Republicans and Democrats, individuals around the US want to know when they can expect financial support.

Second stimulus check: will it arrive quicker than the first one?
MICHAEL REYNOLDS EFE

Wth the Republican led HEALS Act in negotiation Americans around the United States are waiting on news of what financial support they can expect and when it is likely to arrive.

Stimulus check: faster and smoother

The good news is that when a second stimulus check is agreed upon, as part of the relief package, it will almost certainly be issued out and delivered sooner than the first round of payments, at least for the majority of people. With the rush to get the CARES Act signed off, the first round saw a number of logistical problems being faced which resulted in delays, as well as checks being sent to deceased people and to wrong addresses.

Back in June, Chad Hooper, the national president of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) which represents managers at the Internal Revenue Service, said that ”should there be subsequent rounds of stimulus, the agency could get out all of the payments more rapidly.

"Under the CARES Act program,” he continued, “the agency was able to issue direct deposits in fewer than four weeks – because of how the agency's ageing mainframe functions, it is our understanding that the most rapidly a check could be issued is roughly 2-3 weeks so I would expect to see payments issued within 4 weeks.

"Because the Treasury recently chose to issue debit cards to unbanked taxpayers or taxpayers for whom we do not have banking information, this is another population of taxpayers for whom we would have direct deposit information and will only help the agency to issue subsequent payments more rapidly."

Second check: likely payment dates

The first round of Economic Income Payments involved the set-up of most of the payment structure, something that included the creation of the Get My Payment tool. This allowed individuals to sign up for a direct deposit - the quickest means of getting a check - and also to track its movements thereafter. This time around, it is already there, is familiar to most, and has a lot more information than before. A smoother process is guaranteed.

Deadline approaching | US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delivers remarks to members of the news media.

We are also in a better position to predict payment dates, given that we have the experience of the CARES Act procedures. In that, we saw the bill pass the Senate on 25 March, the House a day later, and then President Trump signed it into law on 27 March. The first checks were issued on 15 April.

Although there is a risk that the HEALS Act will not be concluded by the proposed start of the summer recess (7 August) the plan is that everything is done not to avoid further delay. In this case, we could expect the president to put his name on it by 10 August - assuming he doesn’t try to veto the final bill - and that could then see checks issued from Monday 24 August.