Will my third stimulus money be paid in notes, check, a bank transfer or debit card?
The American Rescue Plan will see $1,400 stimulus check payments distributed to around 150 million Americans. How will you get yours?
On Thursday President Joe Biden signed the American Recue Plan into law, releasing the federal funding for the long-awaited third stimulus check.
At $1,400 this direct payment is the largest to date and the Biden administration is eager to begin distribution as soon as possible. To get the money out quickly the IRS will utilise a variety of payment methods to ensure that everyone can be reached.
Most stimulus checks will be sent in the form of a direct deposit paid into a bank account; but millions will get theirs as either a physical check or pre-loaded onto an Economic Impact Payment debit card sent to their home address.
When will the third stimulus check payments be made?
After months of negotiations in Washington the White House has confirmed that they expect the third round of stimulus check payments to begin in the coming days.
Press secretary Jen Psaki gave a press briefing shortly after Biden signed the stimulus bill into law, announcing: “People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend.”
“This is, of course, just the first wave,” Psaki added, before saying that “payments to eligible Americans will continue throughout the course of the next several weeks.”
“People can expect to start seeing direct deposits hit their bank accounts as early as this weekend.”— The Recount (@therecount) March 11, 2021
— WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki on COVID relief stimulus checks pic.twitter.com/W7GpgODaXo
As with previous rounds of payment the stimulus check distribution will be staggered to allow the IRS to administrate the vast procedure, which could be even more of a challenge this time around.
Unlike with the first round of stimulus checks that were agreed this time last year, the IRS has so far refused to push back the tax return deadline to ease the workload. There are fears that this could cause delays but we will have to wait and see.
How will the third stimulus check be sent?
The IRS will base the distribution method on the information that they have on file for each recipient. As this is the third round of payments the IRS should have a more complete set of details than for previous rounds, but there will still be some variation in payment method.
Stimulus check recipients whose banking details are already on file with the IRS will likely receive the payment as a direct deposit into their bank account. This covers the majority of Americans and also applies to those who receive Social Security beneficiaries, because it utilises the same payment method for benefit distribution.
Despite being commonly referred to as stimulus checks, a relatively small proportion will actually receive their Economic Impact Payments in the form of a physical check. They are typically used for those who are eligible for the support and have access to banking facilities, but whose direct deposit details were not on file. The extra time required to produce and send the physical checks means that they will probably arrive around a week after the first direct deposits are made.
EIP debit cards
Those who do not have access to any formal banking, or at least none that the federal government is aware of, will receive their $1,400 stimulus check payments in the form of an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) debit card. The prepaid Visa card will be sent to their home address preloaded with the money and can be spent in shops or online, just like a regular debit card.
For all of the latest updates on the stimulus check payments as they go out, follow our dedicated live feed.
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