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Everything You Need to Know about the Third Round of Stimulus Checks

By
Matt Pelkey, CFEI
Matt Pelkey is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI). As director of education for OppU, he has successfully implemented personal finance courses, scholarship opportunities, and financial literacy resources for students and adults of all ages.
Updated on April 15, 2021
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Another round of payments is on the way.

The third covid relief bill is now official. Like previous stimulus packages, it will deliver much-needed aid across the country. This includes extended unemployment benefits, money for small businesses, and funds to help with rental, mortgage, and utility assistance.

The bill also provides more direct payments to the majority of Americans — but the latest round of checks will be different in more ways than one.

For starters, the payments will be larger — $1,400 for those who qualify. Eligibility, however, will be capped at a lower income threshold. In a boost for families, the new package expands eligibility for dependents. It also increases the amount their households will receive.

Got questions about the third round of stimulus checks? We’ve got answers.

How much will I receive?

Individuals who earn $75,000 or less will receive a full $1,400 payment. (For married joint filers, eligibility is $150,000 or less.) The payment amount decreases for higher earners and phases out completely for individuals who earn more than $80,000 (or $160,000 for joint filers).

The IRS will use your latest tax return to determine your eligibility. This means you can file your 2020 taxes to reflect any decrease in income last year that would allow you to qualify.

You can see a detailed list of eligibility rules on the IRS website.

How much will I receive for dependents?

Households that meet the income requirements will receive $1,400 for each dependent child. This includes older high school students and full-time college students (assuming they’re dependents).

The new package also provides $1,400 for disabled or elderly adult dependents.

Compared to the earlier relief packages, these measures broaden eligibility and increase payments. With the first stimulus checks, qualifying dependents were limited to those 16 or younger. The second round of checks maintained those age requirements but increased the payments by $100 — from $500 to $600 per dependent.

All payments will be sent to the taxpayers who claim the dependents rather than the dependents themselves.

When will I get my payment?

The first batch of payments has already been sent. The best way to determine when you can expect yours is to use the IRS Get My Payment tool.

Those who qualify will receive their payment in one of two ways: direct deposit or mail. Direct deposit is typically faster than mail — it will be wired directly to your bank account, while a mailed check can take up to several weeks to arrive.

Can I check the status of my payment?

Yes.

The IRS Get My Payment tool allows you to check the status of your payment. It will tell you how you can expect to receive your payment (direct deposit or mail) and the date it’s scheduled to go out.

To use the Get My Payment tool, simply follow the instructions provided on the site. If you have trouble, visit the IRS FAQ page, which lists solutions to common problems.

How will I receive my payment?

You’ll receive your payment in one of two ways: direct deposit or mail.

Direct deposit

If your direct deposit information is on file with the IRS, that’s how you’ll receive your payment. The IRS will wire the money to your bank account, though it might take several days to post. If the account is closed, the bank will return the payment and the IRS will mail you a check.

Mail

If your direct deposit information is not on file with the IRS, you will receive your payment by mail. It will arrive either as a check or a prepaid debit card, known as an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) card. If you receive an EIP card, you can use it as you would a normal debit card, or you can transfer the money to your bank account.

Mailed payments can take several weeks to arrive. They will be sent to your most recent address on file with the IRS.

What if I moved?

If you moved, the easiest way to update your address to receive your payment is to file your 2020 tax return. The fastest way to do this is to file your taxes electronically.

You can also notify the IRS about an address change in writing or by submitting the appropriate forms.

If your payment can’t be delivered, it will be returned to the IRS. In that case, you can request that it be reissued through the Get My Payment tool

Do I need to do anything to receive my payment?

For most people, if you’re eligible, the IRS will automatically send your payment. To ensure that you receive it as quickly and safely as possible, monitor its status by using the IRS Get My Payment tool.

What should I do if I have more questions?

The IRS provides a list of answers to common questions on its website. It does not encourage calls.

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