CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

Is a third stimulus check coming? When would the payment go out?

The American Rescue Plan includes a new $1,400 direct payment, but how long after President Biden signs it into law will the stimulus check be sent out?

Is a third stimulus check coming? When would the payment go out?
TOM BRENNER REUTERS

On Friday House Democrats released full details of the stimulus bill that they intend to officially table in the House next week. The 591-page proposal comprises around $1.9 trillion worth of federal funding, including the much-anticipated round of $1,400 stimulus checks.

This would be the third round of direct payment from the federal government since the pandemic began, and is the most generous to date. It is thought that this will also be open to more Americans than previous iterations with a widening of eligibility requirements to include adult dependents.

When will the new stimulus bill be passed by Congress?

On Monday House Democrats are expected to introduce the American Rescue Plan into the chamber, so members can debate and discuss the bill as it stands. There may well be some minor amendments requested by lawmakers but given the partisan split in Washington it seems likely that it will remain fairly intact.

Reports suggest that the bill will be voted on in the House by the end of next week, and will then be passed to the Senate for their round of talks. The reconciliation mechanism Democrats intend to use will allow them to push past any Republican opposition for the most part.

They are hoping to have the final bill passed and signed into law before 14 March, to prevent previous support running out. The emergency relief bill signed in late December only provided a limited amount of unemployment benefits and many could go without if a new deal is not agreed soon.

When will the third stimulus check be sent?

The distribution process improved dramatically for the second round of stimulus checks and it is fair to assume that the third round will also be fairly swift now that the IRS has details on file for the vast majority of recipients.

However there are some concerns that the IRS may be too overburdened with tax returns at the moment, given that tax season 2021 has just begun. The deadline to file your tax returns is not until 15 April so the IRS will almost certainly be attempting to administrate both the tax system and stimulus check distribution at the same time.

Whatever the exact dates are it is fair to assume that different groups will receive their stimulus check payments at different times, purely because of the differing speeds of each method.

As was the case in previous rounds of payment the direct deposits will be the first to arrive, which could arrive the week after the bill is signed into law by President Joe Biden.

The second to arrive will be the paper checks, which are sent to those who have bank accounts but the details are not on file with the IRS. These physical stimulus checks will likely arrive around two weeks after the bill is signed into law.

The final payments to be made will be those requiring an Economic Impact Payment debit card to be produced and delivered. These are used for Americans who do not have access to a bank account so they are given a pre-paid bank card instead. Given the extra time needed to produce the cards, they will arrive around three weeks after the stimulus bill is passed.